Your Groupon is good for one of the company's final three productions of its 40th season. Reacquaint yourself with the classic Oliver! and sing along to the musical tunes of your childhood, such as "Food, Glorious Food," and "Consider Yourself," as the rapscallion orphans of Dickens's tale tear through the streets of 19th-century London. Or opt for a ticket to the regional premiere of Red, White, and Tuna, a two-man portrayal of the inhabitants of a small Texas town with more than 15 characters and 40 lightning-quick costume changes. Or take in the musical Hairspray to relive the trials and tribulations of Tracy Turnblad as she breaks into the 1962 Baltimore dance-show circuit. Instead of threatening lawsuits or vicious revenge, the cast of local Memphis actors will dazzle audiences with their triple threats of singing, dancing, and acting.
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra has been breaking strings and the hearts of screaming fans since its inception in 1952. Three of the four scheduled performances will resonate throughout the elegantly crafted Cannon Center. The architecturally stunning venue will host Mozart's Requiem in a performance guest-conducted by Ward Stare and dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Requiem, a piece written in Mozart's last days, will run on April 10 at 8 p.m. at the Cannon Center. On April 11, the intimate 900-seat Germantown Performing Arts Centre will host a matinee encore of Mozart's Requiem at 2:30 p.m.
One of the oldest community theaters in the country, Theatre Memphis has been putting on high-quality productions for 90 years. The 2010–2011 season features six highly acclaimed plays and musicals fit for auditory and sensory feasting. Tony Award nominee for Best Book of a Musical, [title of show] (January 14–30), is a love letter to the musical theater that follows two struggling writers in a race to craft an entry to a musical theater festival. Amadeus (February 4–20) traces Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as he rises to become the number one ranked composer in the eyes of Austrian Emperor Josef. March 11–April 3, the stage and its reddest curtains dance to Cabaret, along with a charmingly carefree nightclub performer. Richard III, the third in William Shakespeare’s acclaimed three-part Richard series, appears April 8–24, preparing the stage for Picnic (April 29–May 15) and Crazy for You (June 3–26).
Providing a stage for bands of roaming musicians to ply their melodic wares, Hi-Tone Café also feeds hordes of Memphis's hungry with its wide-ranging menu. Start things off with a Middle Eastern staple, hummus and a handmade pita ($4), or go for the gustatory gold of upstate New York with nine hot wings plus celery and carrots ($7). Six-ounce burgers ($6) use beef from local Neola Farms, except for the handmade veggie burger, which eschews meats both domestic and foreign for oats, veggies, soy, and sesame. The New York–style cheese pizza (slice $2.50/small $9.50/large $12.50) pays homage to sewer-dwelling, martial-arts-competent teenage reptiles whose genetic mutations make pizza their only digestible option, while eclectic topping posses grace the varied house specialty pizzas (slice $4/small $13/large $16). The barbecue pizza puts grilled chicken or pulled pork in barbecue sauce instead of marinara, and the Greek pie is comprised of eggplant, artichoke, roasted red peppers, and feta cheese. Toppings ($.50 per topping for a slice/$1 per topping for a small/ $2 per topping for a large) such as bacon and Roma tomato can be annexed and terminated at will, unlike tenancy on Russia's first mandatory moon colony.
Devised by the crew of Strictly Jazz Entertainment, the 2nd annual Pianos in the Park JazzFest palliates families and friends with a relaxing evening of jazz and soul, filling Overton Park with the mellow tones of assorted ivory-ticklers, saxophone maestros, and groove engineers. This year’s festival features the esteemed Philadelphia trio Pieces of a Dream, whose blend of smooth jazz has charmed audiences since 1976. Adding to the evening’s jubilant spirit, Sal Crocker and the Sax on Sunday Quartet deliver straightforward jazz free of air guitars and electronic gongs. Former Bar-Kays keyboardist and platinum-selling gospel jazz artist Winston Stewart bears witness with an uplifting set of rhythm and praise, and Will Graves & Soul fills the air with old fashioned R & B. Food and beverage vendors are on hand for fueling finger snaps and belly dances, and a moon bounce allows jazz-savvy children to eschew gravity and intercept floating quarter notes. This event allows BYOB.
Canada's Classical Theatre Project shatters modern preconceptions about the dryness of Shakespeare by infusing the romantic tragedy of Romeo and Juliet with a potency and youthful electricity that snuffs reluctance in the Bard-averse. On an inventive chalk-circle set, the Toronto players whisk viewers to an Elizabethan marketplace in the 16th century, engaging the imagination without relying on cumbersome stage props. Hearts melt as Romeo, the Montague, and Juliet, the Capulet, fall in love against the odds, sweeping the audience along on their way to ghost prom. Shakespeare’s colloquies come naturally from the mouths of the virile acting talents, who translate the text for this generation’s ears without changing a word. Classical Theatre Project's rendition of Romeo and Juliet, intended for ages 11 and older, treats Shakespeare's tragedy like a rock concert, except with better enunciation and a higher mortality rate. A surviving artifact established in 1890, the historic and lovingly restored Orpheum Theatre adds majesty to the performance with its brocade draperies and crystal chandeliers.