The Weekly Memphian: Ballet 5:8, Ken Burns, David Porter tribute, Weezer and Bluff City Brawl

By Published: March 26, 2019 12:13 AM CT

The Weekly Memphian is a partial guide to things happening in Memphis, recommended by Daily Memphian staff. This guide covers March 21-26.


Makaya McCraven at Crosstown Arts: Makaya McCraven, a Chicago based jazz drummer, producer and sonic collagist, will perform in Crosstown Arts’ Green Room. McCraven fuses hip-hop and jazz and has released four critically acclaimed albums. – Elle Perry

7:30 p.m. $10 in advance ($15 at the door). 1350 Concourse Ave. #280


“Too Heavy for Your Pocket” at Hattiloo Theatre: Jiréh Breon Holder, a Memphis native, is currently a writer on NBC’s “New Amsterdam.” Previously, Holder served as the playwright fellow of the department of Theater and Creative Writing at Emory University in Atlanta. He received a Master of Fine Arts in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama in 2016. His award-winning play “Too Heavy for Your Pocket” was featured off-Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre. “Too Heavy for Your Pocket” is set in 1961, in Nashville, where 20-year-old Bowzie Brandon gives up a college scholarship to join the Freedom Riders. “Too Heavy for Your Pocket” opens at Hattiloo on March 22 and runs through April 14. – Perry

7:30 p.m. $26-30, before fees. 37 Cooper St.

Young Collectors Contemporary at Crosstown Arts: This four-day art fair and conference brings emerging artists, curators and writers from all over the country and includes lectures, masterclasses, workshops, studio tours and parties. – Perry

Various times. $25-$100, before fees. 1350 Concourse Ave. #280

Weezer/Pixies at FedExForum: Led by bespectacled frontman Rivers Cuomo, Weezer were instant alt-rock stars when they emerged out of Southern California in the mid-1990s, planting “Woo-ee-ooh, I look just like Buddy Holly” into our collective hum matrix. Though they've maintained a large following ever since, the band's unlikely major commercial comeback last year came via a tongue-in-cheek cover of the 1980s radio-pop so-bad-its-good (or maybe just still bad) “Africa.” (That would be by Toto.) Predating Weezer by half a decade and perhaps influencing their sound is the weirder (and better!) Pixies, who came roaring out of Boston in the late 1980s with a sound that managed to be at once avant-garde and deliriously fun and hooky. They can only play an NBA arena as an opener, but the Pixies are low-key one of the most influential (see: Nirvana) American bands of past 30 years. – Chris Herrington

7 p.m. Tickets starting at $22. More info here


House of Prom at Saddle Creek: The former Grimaldi’s Pizza space in Saddle Creek North will be transformed into a dress store. The annual House of Prom will sell donated formal dresses for $10.75. The annual event, put on by Q 107.5, donates proceeds to a different charity each year. This year’s proceeds will go to Streetdog Foundation. – Abigail Warren

10 a.m. to noon. 7605 W. Farmington Blvd.

David Porter Tribute by Memphis Symphony Orchestra at The Cannon Center: One of the early purveyors of symphonic soul, along with close colleague Isaac Hayes, Memphis’ David Porter’s songbook is almost tailor-made for Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s “Pops” series. As its name suggests, “Pops” is designed to accommodate the casual listener, who might just look at an evening at the orchestra as an outing for fuddy-duddies. In the case of Porter, whose solo output includes ambitious, lush movements, fans of mid-1990s rap will most certainly find short excerpts in this performance that sound familiar, because they’ve been sampled. Pieces of 1971’s “I’m Afraid the Masquerade is Over,” for instance, have been parsed out to complete nearly 40 other songs, including The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Who Shot Ya?” More widely known, though, is the stream of singles – like “B-A-B-Y,” “Hold On, I’m Comin’ ” and “Soul Man” – Porter wrote and produced for Stax’s revolving door of regional stars as the label rose to prominence in the American soul tradition. For added flavor, the orchestra will welcome special guest, Stax alumnus and gospel impresario, Rance Allen, as well as members of Porter’s own Memphis Made Entertainment group. – Jared Boyd

7:30-9:30 p.m. Ticket prices vary. 255 N. Main St.

Richard Douglas Jones’ “I Comede” at Buckman Performing Arts Center: Memphis’ Richard Douglas Jones is a co-host of Black Nerd Power, a podcast about science-fiction, fantasy and pop culture. Jones, who opened for Patton Oswalt in Nashville and performs nationally, is taping his first half-hour comedy special at the event. Jones tackles sex, race and politics in his sets. The event also will feature other comics from around the country. – Perry

7-10 p.m. $20-35. 60 Perkins Extd.

Ballet 5:8 presents “Compass” at Halloran Centre for Performing Arts and Education: Chicago dance company Ballet 5:8 will perform in Memphis for the first time, for one night only. “Compass” is a collection of one-act ballets about “navigating cultural tension with compassion.” The 12-member company’s performance will close with one of its TalkBack question and answer sessions with artistic director and resident choreographer Julianna Rubio Slager and company members. – Perry

7 p.m. $30, before fees. 225 S. Main St.

Memphis Armored Fight Club presents "Bluff City Brawl" at the Hi-Tone: No matter your walk of life, all of us have an instinct within us to sometimes want to get up and fight. It’s been going on since the beginning of humankind. That’s happens to be the exact premise of Memphis Armored Fight Club, a combat league in which fighters compete using the martial arts of the European feudal age. Don’t worry. The stakes in these fights aren’t for property or for one’s own life. Everyone involved must use period appropriate armor, as well as blunt weapons. So, while spectators will surely be treated to loud clunks and bangs, there will be no need to shield your eyes for fear of serious injury. It’s all in good fun! – Boyd

9 p.m. $10. 412 N Cleveland St.

Military Appreciation Weekend with Bret Michaels at Graceland Live: I can't claim to have followed Bret Michaels' career since the late-1980s heyday of his glam-metal hitmaking band Poison. But, hey, even I know that "Every Rose Has its Thorn" is a better (translation: better cheesy fun) singalong raise-your-lighter anthem than anything Kid Rock could muster. That "Nothin' But a Good Time" sounds pretty good for something that sounds like a beer commercial. And that, best of all, "Talk Dirty To Me" is about the closest MTV metal ever got to true-blue rock and roll. This show is being advertised as "free to active military, veterans, and first responders." More info here. Twin Soul opens. – Herrington

Doors at 7 p.m. Showtime 8 p.m. Tickets $49.50 in advance, $60 at the door. 


The Millennium Tour featuring B2K, Mario, Pretty Ricky, Lloyd, Ying Yang Twins & Chingy at FedExForum: If you could get into a time machine, going back to 2003 would probably seem like a bit of a waste. Good thing the hip-hop and R&B radio artists of that era have decide to come to you, instead. This jam-packed lineup of stars from urban radio yesteryear are doing exactly what they should do: team up and tour for the sake of nostalgia. If you remember any of the names on this list, make no qualms about it, you are getting old. And that’s okay. Past generations got through seeing their childhood memories become footnotes of history, and you will, too. Buy a ticket and go sweat it to the (new) oldies. – Boyd

Doors at 6:30 p.m. Show at 7:30 p.m. $42.50 - $147.50. 191 Beale St.


WKNO presents Ken Burns “Country Music” screening and Q&A: Nashville is country and Memphis is, well, everything else … blues, jazz, rock and roll, soul, hip-hop. Right? Hey, Memphis is country too. Don’t believe me, ask documentarian Ken Burns, who’s going to give country music the lavish treatment he’s previously given topics such as the Civil War, baseball, and jazz. Burns will be in Memphis as part of a six-city Tennessee tour to promote the coming eight-part, 16-hour “Country Music” series, which debuts on PBS in September and in which Memphis’ Sun Records is justifiably a big part of the story. Burns and his filmmaking partners will screen a portion of the series in an event sponsored by WKNO. - Herrington

7 p.m., $35. 1801 Exeter Rd. More info here


Crosstown Arts Hattiloo Theatre Jiréh Breon Holder Young Collectors Contemporary David Porter Memphis Symphony Orchestra Richard Douglas Jones Ballet 5:8
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