News in the arts: Hattiloo Theatre showcases classic drama for 2010-11

Ekundayo Bandele

Ekundayo Bandele

The classic drama "A Raisin in the Sun" wasn't a title that Ekundayo Bandele was in a hurry to produce when he founded the Hattiloo Theatre.

"It's such a classic black play that I think a lot of audiences think it represents the scope of black theater," he said. "We've got to continue to show people what black theater can be."

Ekundayo Bandele

Ekundayo Bandele

But for the theater's fifth season, Lorraine Hansberry's drama about segregated housing is just one of the "classics" that Bandele hopes will get audiences coming to the small Downtown theater. Other familiar titles include the musicals "The Wiz" and "Crowns," and the August Wilson play "Joe Turner's Come and Gone."

"So our season is a little like the carrot on the stick, Bandele said. "We hope things like 'The Wiz' and 'Raisin in the Sun' will get people back to see shows like Moliere's 'Tartuffe.'"

Season tickets go on sale next week and are $108 for eight shows, with a $15 discount if purchased before July 15. Call 525-0009.

Hattiloo Theatre's 2010-11 season:

Aug. 19-Sept. 12: "The Wiz"

Sept. 23-Oct. 17: "Joe Turner's Come and Gone"

Oct. 28-Nov. 14: "Tartuffe"

Dec. 2-26: "If Scrooge Was a Brother"

Jan. 6-23: "The Old Settler"

Feb. 3-27: "A Raisin in the Sun"

March 24-April 10: "The Trial of One Shortsighted Black Woman Vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae"

April 28-May 22: "Crowns"

-- Christopher Blank

A 'Hell' of a DVD

Writer-director Mark Jones' "Fraternity Massacre at Hell Island" -- which safely can be described as the first made-in-Memphis gay teen indie slasher spoof -- makes its DVD debut Tuesday on the Ariztical Entertainment label.

Shot mostly on Mud Island (dubbed "Riverpark Island" in the film), the movie premiered here in 2006. Tyler Farrell stars as a college student whose first fraternity "hell night" turns bloody when a clown-masked, knife-wielding stalker begins murdering his fellow pledges. The cast includes Michael Gravois, Jim Eikner, John Pickle and Kaleo Quenzer.

Most recently, Jones created "On the Edge of Happiness," a campy online episodic melodrama that can be viewed at

"Fraternity Massacre" is available at and through most outlets that sell DVDs, including

-- John Beifuss

Happy 'Happy' joy joy

Mumblecore meets stumblebum when Memphis filmmaker and golf fan Kentucker Audley (director of the acclaimed indie "Team Picture") pays homage to Adam Sandler by hosting a screening of the 1996 golf comedy hit "Happy Gilmore" at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

Is Audley revealing a source of his sometimes opaque screen persona? Find out when he introduces the film, which he describes as "my favorite film in high school." The screening is the latest offering in the museum's ongoing "Reel to Real" series, in which notable local people choose a movie for public exhibition. Picking "Happy Gilmore," Audley said, fulfills his ambition "to cause collisions between high and low art."

Audley also will debut his own new movie next week. "Holy Land," the follow-up to his acclaimed "Team Picture," screens at 9:15 p.m. Friday at the Malco Ridgeway Four, during the On Location: Memphis International Film & Music Fest. The movie stars Cole Weintraub as a young would-be novelist on a meandering cross-country odyssey.

Admission to "Happy Gilmore" is $8, or $6 for museum members. Visit, or call 544-6208.

"Holy Land" admission is $7. Visit

-- John Beifuss

Winning composition

Henry L. Dorn, a composition major at the University of Memphis' school of music, was one of 25 recipients of the 2010 Morton Gould Young Composer Awards.

Established in 1979, the awards are a juried national competition for composers age 30 and younger. Dorn, from Little Rock, was among 730 people to enter the contest this year.

U of M music professor Kamran Ince, who sat on the panel of eight composer/judges, said Dorn was the top-ranked undergraduate in the competition.

The awards are presented by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and the winners split a pot of $45,000.

-- Christopher Blank

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