March news briefs

Nashville singer to perform house concert in CY
Acclaimed Nashville singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier will make a rare Memphis appearance Wednesday evening, March 7, for a house concert in the Cooper-Young area. Attendance is by invitation/reservation only. For details, please send an email to that includes your name, phone number and email address. Performing with Mary will be Tania Elizabeth.

Orchestra to perform with rising opera star at First Congo
The Memphis Repertory Orchestra is proud to announce an upcoming collaboration with rising opera star Stafford Hartman, at 8 p.m. March 10 at First Congregational Church, 1000 S. Cooper St. The orchestra will present a monumental work, Mahlerís Fourth Symphony, orchestrated with a more intimate setting in mind and Tchaikovskyís famous Letter Scene from his opera ìEugene Onegin.î Both works explore the simple beauty of childlike innocence.  The concert is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted.

Idlewild Presbyterian to host series of organ symphonies
The first in a new series of organ concerts, ìThe Complete Organ Symphonies of Louis Vierne,î will be presented at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 4,  at Idlewild Presbyterian Church, 1750 Union Ave. Featured on the program will be organists Uwe Bestert, music director of the St. Gertrud Church in Hamburg, Germany, and Ted Gibboney, organist and director of Music at Idlewild. The concert is free and open to the public.  The series will consist of four programs presented over the next year. In this first program Symphony No. 3 and Symphony No. 5 will be performed by Bestert and Gibboney respectively. Subsequent programs will include not only two programs featuring the remaining organ symphonies, but a program titled ìThe Other Vierne,î which will provide a fanciful opportunity to explore Vierneís choral, chamber, and solo repertoire. The Idlewild pipe organ, built in 1988 by the Bedient Organ Company, is especially suited for the presentation of symphonic organ music. Modeled after instruments built in French cathedrals in the late nineteenth century, its 69 sets of pipes fill the Neo-Gothic sanctuary at Idlewild, with sound to match the magnificence of the architecture.  Louis Vierne was organist in the early 20th century for nearly 40 years at one of most famous cathedrals in the world, Notre Dame in Paris. Although nearly blind from birth, he was a prolific composer in symphonic, chamber, solo and sacred genres. As a performer, he was famous for his prodigious technique and abilities to improvise. Today he is chiefly remembered for his six monumental organ symphonies, which not only capture the magnificence and expressive vocabulary of late Romanticism, but also the pathos of the Great War, the struggles of his personal life and the rapid evolution of tonal practices of the 1920s-30s. Bestert and Gibboney met 25 years ago as students in Northern Germany and have performed concerts together in Germany, France and England. For information about the church, please visit or call 901-726-4681.

CY resident makes cover of Memphis Flyer
Check out Josh Spickler, CY resident and director of Memphis’ Defender Resource Network, on the cover of the Memphis Flyer’s  June 23 edition. Spickler addresses how the local public defender’s office is coping with the challenges of too many defendants and not enough funding.

New literacy campaign involves Twitter
Literacy Mid-South kicked off a Twitter campaign Feb. 15 to promote the upcoming Read Across America Month in March. The campaign, called “What are you reading, Memphis?”, will encourage people to tweet about books they are reading using the hashtag #ReadMemphis leading up to and throughout the month of March. “This is an exciting way to promote literacy and encourage people to share their love of reading across a very large social network,” said Kevin Dean, executive director of Literacy Mid-South, in a news release. “Our staff and volunteers work to encourage and further literacy in the Mid-South every day, and it will be exciting to have thousands of people doing the same thing during Read Across America Month.” Throughout the campaign, Literacy Mid-South staff will initiate conversations on Twitter about specific authors, suggested books, new releases and events pertaining to literacy and Read Across America Month, such as the organization’s book drops at area schools and programs in partnership with organizations such as International Paper, GiVE 365 and Homewood Suites by Hilton Hotels. The organization will promote the campaign through Facebook and Twitter, as well as on a banner displaying the message, “What are you reading, Memphis? Tweet about it! #ReadMemphis,” across its building at 902 S. Cooper St.  Booksellers of Laurelwood also will promote the campaign and hashtag through a special display of books recommended by Literacy Mid-South staff and volunteers. Additionally, a percentage of sales from these books throughout the campaign will benefit Literacy Mid-South.

Chucalissa Relic Run 5K set for March 3
The C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa will host its 14th Relic Run 5K to benefit youth programming on Saturday, March 3. All proceeds will go toward lowering the cost of educational visits to the Southwest Memphis site. Despite bad weather, last yearís Relic Run helped raise enough money to lower the price of field trips for more than 3,500 students in the Memphis area. The museumís education department reached an additional 1,000 students in 2011 through offsite visits which allow larger groups to experience select programming from Chucalissa. Sponsored and timed by the Memphis Runners Track Club, the race begins and ends at the C.H. Nash Museum. The paved course winds though the scenic woods of Chucalissa and T.O. Fuller State Park, making it easily navigable for wheelchairs, strollers, and children. For more information on the museum and registration, visit

‘Chicago’ to open at Theatre Memphis on March 9
Theatre Memphis will open Broadwayís longest running American musical, ìChicago,î on the Lohrey Stage March 9 through April 1. Modeled after real-life stories, the plot of ìChicagoî is set in the roaring ’20s. Chorine Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband to take the rap, until he finds out heís been duped. She and another ìMerry Murderess,î Velma Kelly, manipulate their lawyer and the system as they vie for the spotlight and the headlines. They ultimately join forces in search of fame, fortune and acquittal. The original production opened on Broadway in 1975 and the current production debuted in 1996, winning seven Tony Awards, including best revival of a musical, best direction and best choreography.  The Theatre Memphis production features two local women as the lead characters who made it their mission to perform in this show. Lindsey Roberts, a former company member at Playhouse on the Square and Alexis Grace, a top 11 finalist on American Idol, season 8 and current morning DJ host at Q107.5/96.1FM.What: ìChicagoîWhere: Theatre MemphisWhen: March 9-April 1. Wednesdays, March 21 and 28, and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m.Tickets: $30 for adults, $15 for students with a valid ID. Call 682-8323 to purchase tickets or go online
CMOM exhibit explores world of dinosaurs
Long before the Mid-South was populated by cows and cotton fields, dinosaurs roamed the land. Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice, a new traveling exhibit at The Children’s Museum of Memphis, allows children and adults to explore dinosaur habitats to better understand how these mysterious animals lived and use  examine what they left behind.  The exhibit transports families back to the Cretaceous Period (145 million to 65 million years ago), the time when dinosaurs last lived on earth. Children go face-to-face with the prehistoric world and meet dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes. The exhibit features two distinct environments and a variety of activities.The steamy “Land of Fire” connects visitors with the prehistoric home of the Triceratops and T-Rex.  No coats are needed for a trip across the “Land of Ice” where visitors meet two dinosaurs, a Troodon and Edmontosaurus, who made their homes in the cold climate of Alaska. Activities include: climbing rocky steps, breezing down an icy slide, and hopping across stepping stones in an icy river. Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice is the first child-centered exhibit in the country dedicated to expanding the understanding of dinosaur habitat and range. The exhibit will be at the museum through May 13, 2012. For more information, visit

SpringAwakening to hit stage in March
The Circuit Playhouse will perform Spring Awakening, winner of eight Tony Awards in 2007, March 2 through 25.  The hit musical adaptation of the 1891 play by Frank Wedekind is the story of teens coming of age in a socially and sexually repressive village in 19th-century Germany. ìSpring Awakeningî is a powerful celebration of youth and rebellion infused with rock music in what Entertainment Weekly proclaimed ìThe most gorgeous Broadway score this decade.î  Spring Awakening is directed by Dave Landis and features Playhouse on the Square associate company members Ben Laxton (Avenue Q; next to normal), Sarah Hoch (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Annie), Nick Mason, Andrea Rouch, Kelsey Hopkins and Kyle Blair.What: ìSpring AwakeningîWhere: The Circuit Playhouse, 51 S. Cooper St.Dates: March 2- March 25Times: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m.Tickets: $20, opening weekend (March 2-4); $33, Thursdays and Sundays; $38, Fridays and Saturdays; $20, seniors/students/military. Show not recommended for children.Box Office:901-726-4656Web:
Playhouse presents Tony-winning play
God of Carnage,  a 2009 Tony Award Winner for Best Play, runs at Playhouse on the Square March 16 through April 1.  A playground scuffle between two boys brings their parents together for a friendly meeting to deal with the incident. The evening begins with all on their best behavior but tensions mount, the liquor flows, and fuses blow as the couples pick apart each otherís marriages, and their own, with enough name-calling and chaos to suggest they have more in common with their children than they might suspect. 2009 Tony Award Winner for Best Play.What: God of CarnageWhere: Playhouse on the Square, 66 S. Cooper St.When: March 16-April 1, 2012. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m.Tickets: $20 opening weekend (March 16 – 18), $28 Thursdays and Sundays; $33 Fridays and Saturdays; $20 Seniors/Students/Military. Pay-What-You-Can performance is March 22. Show not recommended for children.Contact: 726-4656; web:

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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