The Weekly Memphian: Art by Design, 'The Firm,' Mother's Day Paddle on the Wolf River and more

By Published: May 12, 2019 9:08 AM CT

The Weekly Memphian is a partial guide to things happening in Memphis, recommended by Daily Memphian staff. This guide covers May 8-13.


“The Firm” at Malco Paradiso: Mud Island remains, but if you want to see it at its peak, check out “The Firm,” the 1993 adaptation of John Grisham's career-making bestseller about a crooked Memphis law firm and the young attorney who navigates it. It’s directed by Sydney Pollack, stars Tom Cruise and is peppered by great supporting turns (Gene Hackman and Holly Hunter lead the way). But Memphis circa the early 1990s was also ready for its close-up. The most inventive use of a Memphis location in any film is probably the climactic Hitchockian chase scene where on-the-lam lawyer Mitch McDeere (Cruise) and a heavy in pursuit cross paths on Mud Island monorails headed in opposite directions, Cruise back toward Front Street and the bad guy to the park, before one climbs up to the pedestrian bridge. Other notable locations where the “all white, all male, all married” (to the mob) lawyers of the fictional Bendini, Lambert and Locke work, live and play: the Cotton Exchange building at Front and Union, the wide, shady residential streets of East Memphis, Beale Street (where Cruise tumbles down the sidewalk with a nascent Flipper and studies late at Blues City Café), Front Street Deli, Southland Greyhound Park, and the Peabody rooftop. A good, deeply rewatchable movie on any terms. But an especially essential Memphis watch. Screening at Malco Paradiso as part of the ongoing Memphis in May Salute to Memphis screening series. Producer Michael Hausman will be in attendance. - Chris Herrington

7 p.m. $10. More info here. 584 S. Mendenhall Road

Art by Design at the Pipkin Building: Twenty-four Memphis interior designers will be showcased in ArtsMemphis’ five-day fundraising event. Attendees will be able to view custom vignettes inside a gallery showroom. The fun begins 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 8 with Cocktails and Floral Arranging, a $75 event that includes cocktails and heavy appetizers. On Thursday, May 9, guests can enjoy a $250 private dinner prepared by Sweet Grass chef Ryan Trimm. On the morning of Friday, May 10 is the Mingle and Mimosas with Memphis Fashion Week and later that evening is Ferguson’s Cocktail Party, which includes live entertainment. Art by Design, which started in 2016, has raised more than $560,000 for the organization. ArtsMemphis makes grants to more than 75 arts groups and artists annually. Some of those grantees can be seen during the event, including several visual artists. Grantee Stax Music Academy’s student group Street Corner Harmonies will perform 2-4 p.m. Saturday, May 11. Art consultant Anna Wunderlich will give a tour of the vignette artwork 1-2 p.m. Saturday. - Elle Perry

Various times. $20 (for general admission Saturday and Sunday), up to $250, depending on event. 940 Early Maxwell Blvd.


Memphis Greek Festival at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church: Get your “Opa!” on with the family by taking in some Greek food, Greek music, Greek dance, art and more. - Jared Boyd

Friday and Saturday. 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Various prices. 573 N Highland St.

IRIS Orchestra Artist Fellows concert at Morton Museum: A quartet of members from the IRIS Orchestra’s Artist Fellows will perform at the Morton Museum for a concert of influential works by African-American and Latinx composers.  The music will feature works by Florence Price, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Jose Ignacio Quinton. Brooke Mundy, museum director, said the Orchestra’s music choice by lesser known composers of color coincides with a current exhibit, “Beyond the Image.” - Abigail Warren

6:30 pm. Free. 196 N. Main St., Collierville

“Rewind” at Ballet Memphis: Ballet Memphis’ last shows of the 2018-2019 season are “Rewind,” performances chosen by audience voted. With “Rewind,” people voted on their favorite pieces from the season opener, Fall Mix and Spring Mix. The top three, Julia Adam’s “Devil’s Fruit,” Trey McIntyre’s “Memphis” and Steven McMahon’s “Flyway” will be performed this weekend. The performances are also the last of Crystal Brothers, who is retiring after starting her career with Ballet Memphis in 1996. Brothers is in two of the works. - Perry

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $25 ($10 for students). 2144 Madison Ave.


“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” at Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library: To shine light on Mental Health Awareness Month, the library’s “page-to-screen” book club, “I Read That Movie @ The Library,” is featuring “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” a film based on a novel of the same name by Stephen Chbosky. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has endorsed the movie, which deals with the 15-year-old protagonist coping with first love, the suicide of his best friend and his own mental illness. UTHSC’s Dr. Valerie Arnold will lead a discussion after the screening. The event takes place in Meeting Room C. - Perry

2 p.m. Free. 3030 Poplar Ave.

Nancy Boatwright exhibition reception at Morton Museum: Nancy Boatwright, Collierville’s assistant town planner, has her first solo art exhibition at the Morton Museum. She creates collages from paper she makes and unique objects she finds. Her work is currently on view until June 17, but she will have a reception Saturday. - Warren

4-6 p.m., Free. 196 N. Main St., Collierville

The Mountain Goats at Minglewood Hall’s 1884 Lounge: Singer-songwriter John Darnielle is the leader of the Mountain Goats, which began as a name for his essentially solo lo-fi recordings and has bloomed into a full-fledged touring indie band (ace Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster keeping the beat). Darnielle’s clear, sometimes declarative vocals and tricky, literate songwriting still dominate. An active, obsessive mind, Darnielle has concocted concept albums about divorce, the ravages of drug abuse, professional wrestling, goth culture and sundry other subjects. The band's latest, “In League with Dragons,” is about the “Dungeons & Dragons” role-playing game. (No, really.) This concert is sold out, so you’ll have to hit the secondary market if you haven’t already secured tickets. - Herrington

9 p.m. More info here.

Cory Branan at Railgarten: It’s singer-songwriter Saturday in Midtown. Memphis’ own Branan is another sharp wordsmith, who launched his career out of Memphis at the dawn of the previous decade and has recently returned. Branan, whose most recent album is 2017’s “Adios,” is taking a break amid a May tour for a local show. Kevin Gordon opens. - Herrington

9 p.m. More info here.   


Mother’s Day Paddle on the Wolf River: Mama love the outdoors? Wade out into the sunset on Mother’s Day with this annual kayaking event in the Wolf River. Could be the sweetest way to say, “I love you,” while also loving on some quiet, still nature in one of Memphis’ greatest aquatic treasures. - Boyd

1 - 4:30 p.m. Free. RSVP required. Germantown Parkway to Walnut Grove Road.


Disney Movie Slumber Party at Rec Room: All Disney properties are not created equally. While marquee releases such as “The Lion King” and “Finding Nemo” are defining moments in the media and entertainment giant’s larger catalog, the Disney Channel Original Movie remains the bottom feeder that you’d expect a series of made-for-television movies to be. However, children of the '90s and 2000s have fond memories of these prime-time film presentations – that is, the '90s and 2000s children who had cable. One of the finest examples of these films is 1999’s “Smart House,” starring the great American thespian Katey Sagal. The film is an interesting entry in the genre of science fiction involving artificial intelligence. When 13-year-old Ben loses his mother, he enters his family to win a smart house controlled by an AI named Pat. Pat, of course, becomes sentient and oversteps her boundaries as an overbearing surrogate mother figure. Pretty heavy stuff for a kid’s movie, which is likely what allows it to hold up years later for late-night bar viewings years later. Relive the memories with a beer and a pizza or come check it out for the first time and see one of Sagal’s most poignant performances. - Boyd

7 p.m. Free. 3000 Broad Ave.


ArtsMemphis IRIS Orchestra Morton Museum Ballet Memphis Cory Branan

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