BIG ART NIGHT
Two galleries in Midtown and three out East have openings Friday. Only one exhibition is devoted to a single artist, "Memphis Iconography" by Michael Stoughton at Gallery 56, reception from 5 to 8. The others fall into the Holiday Group Exhibition category; these receptions are at David Perry Smith Gallery, also 5 to 8; Harrington Brown Gallery, L Ross Gallery and Lisa Kurts Gallery, all 6 to 8. It's a way to see a great deal of art by many local and regional artists in one night.
Fifty Six, 2256 Central; call 901-276-1251. David Perry Smith, 703 York; call 901-606-9690. Harrington Brown, 5179 Wheelis; call 901-590-3008. L Ross, 5040 Sanderlin; call 901-767-2200. Lisa Kurts, 766 S. White Station; call 901-683-6200.
Every time a bell rings
The Golden Age of radio and a classic holiday film combine nostalgic forces when Tennessee Shakespeare Company performs "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" at the Dixon Gallery. A handful of voice actors create all the characters from Frank Capra's film about a banker who gets to see what life would be like if he'd never been born.
7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Dec. 12-15; 3 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 16 at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens, 4339 Park Ave. Tickets are $25 advance, $30 day of show, children 17 and under are free. Call 901-759-0604.
Actor Steve Swift once again dons the hilarious ecclesiastical garb of an overbearing mega-church deaconess this weekend for a Christmas karaoke session that raises funds for theater company Voices of the South. At "Sister Myotis's Karaoke Smackdown," wannabe gospel singers can be criticized — er, auditioned — by the biggest lady in church "evangelitainment."
7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Theatre South, 1000 South Cooper. Tickets are $25. Call 901-726-0800.
A fresh nut to crack
New Ballet Ensemble's"Nut Re-Mix" re-imagines Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" ballet as a multicultural trip around the world, via Beale Street in Memphis. Instead of visiting a sweet land of classical ballet, the program features traditional music and dances from America and abroad, including Flamenco, hip-hop and authentic African dance.
7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Germantown Performing Arts Centre,1801 Exeter. Tickets are $15-$35. Call 901-751-7500.
It's fine dining and fine music Friday at the Holiday DinnerStage with the Tony Thomas Trio and Marcela Pinilla, 7 p.m. at Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center, 3663 Appling.
Tickets: $35 (dinner and show). Call 901-385-6440.
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra's annual Home for the Holidays Pops Concert Saturday heralds the season with nightingale Alexis Grace, the U-Dig Dance Group, the Memphis Symphony Chorus and an appearance by former MSO associate conductor Stilian Kirov.
Performances at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, 255 N. Main. Tickets: $15 and up; student tickets $5. Call 901-537-2525 or go to memphissymphony.org.
Country, rockin' at the Bucc
Local alternative country-rock outfit Dead Soldiers, with special guest Paul Taylor on pedal steel guitar and other instruments, lead a bill at The Buccaneer Saturday that also includes Chattanooga "garage grass" band Strung Like A Horse and Memphis' Travis Cantrell of the bands Youniverse, Apex Manor playing a solo set.
1368 Monroe. Doors: 9 p.m. Cover: $5. 901-278-0909.
Take Your Medicine
At Medicine Factory, the industrial-scale art and performance venue in the hinterlands southwest of Central Station, there will be a spectacle/light-and-sound show by >mancontrol< (Dave Shouse and Robby Grant) as well as a performance by "super-hacker/visual artist" John Markham and the presentation of Gabe Martin's site-specific mural.
7 p.m. 85 W. Virginia. Call 901-581-5815.
Perhaps taking a cue from Harry Knowles' annual Butt-Numb-A-Thon movie marathon in Austin, several Malco theaters will screen the extended editions of Peter Jackson's 2001-2003 "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, to whet fans' appetites for the Dec. 14 release of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." The back-to-back-to-back movie event begins with "The Fellowship of the Ring," continues with "The Two Towers," and concludes with Oscar's Best Picture of 2003, "The Return of the King."
Noon, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Paradiso. Tickets: $20. Visit malco.com.
Admission to the National Ornamental Metal Museum is free for Sunday's "Holiday Show and Sale Open House." Features include a hot chocolate bar, the 2nd annual holiday treat contest, a reception for the opening of the "Exhibition in Print: Gothic Jewelry" and "Tributaries: Lola Brooks," and a gallery talk by Brooks at 4 p.m.
Noon to 5 p.m. 374 Metal Museum Drive. Call 901-774-6380.
Rip It Up
New Orleans roots-rock veterans Dash Rip Rock return to Memphis for a concert Sunday at the Downtown location of Huey's. The long-running combo will be highlighting songs off its just-released new album, Black Liquor.
77 South Second. For more information, call 901-527-2700
One of the bright lights of the '80s Memphis music scene, singer-songwriter John Kilzer hasn't released a record under his own name in 21 years. Now the musician-turned-minister is back with Seven, an appropriately philosophical release on the resurgent Madjack Records label. Kilzer will play a free record-release show Sunday with label mates Kait Lawson and Delta Joe Sanders at the new Neil's.
5727 Quince Rd. 7 p.m.; 901-682-2300.
Luna Nova Ensemble's Winter Concert on Monday evening features works by Purcell and Vaughan-Williams plus the premiere of a work by 14-year-old Memphis composer Max Friedman. The free concert is at Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal Church.
7:30 p.m.; at 1720 Peabody Ave. Go to lunanova.org.
Voices in the gallery
The galleries of Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Overton Park will ring with the sounds of BealeCanto, A Men's Chamber Chorus Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. It's included with museum admission; free for museum members.
Maybach in Mississippi
The stars of hip-hop label the Maybach Music Group — including rappers Rick Ross, Meek Mill, Machine Gun Kelly, and Wale — will be performing at the Landers Center in Southaven Wednesday night.
Tickets are $38-$64; available at all Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000. Landers Center is located at 4560 Venture Dr.
Motor city movie
Sometimes characterized as a sort of sister city to Memphis (they had Motown, we had Stax; they have poverty, we have poverty), Detroit is profiled as a place of paradoxical beauty and decay in the acclaimed, Impressionistic documentary"Detropia," which visits the blues clubs, community halls, hipster haunts and almost post-apocalyptic landscapes of a legendary post-industrial metropolis trying to reinvent itself for the 21st century.
7 p.m. Thursday, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Tickets: $8 or $6 for museum members. Visit brooksmuseum.org.
Memphis' Good Luck Dark Star likes to play up the sci-fi angle with their name and one of the better — if lo-tech — light shows in town. But their great new EP, New Black Sea, with its shades of '80s British post-punk and '70s soul, shows that they are picking up some earthly transmissions as well. The band celebrates the EP's release Thursday with a show at Murphy's, featuring special guest Milktooth from Nashville.
9 p.m., 1589 Madison Ave. Cover: $7; 901-726-4193.