Heroes, Villains, Monsters and More
Described as a place where “you can escape from the ordinary and let your inner geek shine,” the Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention — a celebration of superheroes, science fiction and fantasy — takes place through Sunday at the Hilton Memphis. Events include concerts, costume contests and panels with professional authors and artists. A large “exhibitors room” will offer new and vintage books, movies, posters, action figures and other collectibles.
939 Ridge Lake Blvd Admission: $15 a day, or $35 for the three days. Visit memphiscfc.com.
MFA Show on South Main
If you’re Downtown, drop by the Hyde Gallery at Memphis College of Art’s Nesin Graduate Center for a reception for the opening of the MFA Exhibition for Justin Bowles and Katie Whitfield. If you time your visit right, you’ll catch a “happening” performance by Whitfield at 7:30. The show will be displayed through Dec. 14.
6-8 p.m. 477 S. Main. Call 901-722-5100, or visit mca.edu.
Walk on the Wild Side
Well-known local photographer Saj Crone dispenses with landscape images in exchange for raucous and revealing pictures of gay parades and parties in Key West. This is the 15th installment of the 16-part “Circuitous Succession” series curated by Jason Miller at Gasoline and opening with a reception Friday night. After this event, “Fantasyfest — Key West” can be seen by appointment through Tuesday.
6-9 p.m. 2493 Broad. Call 901-229-1041, or visit facebook.com/circuitoussuccession.
Hall Gets Heavy
Rising British metal band Asking Alexandria bring their “From Death To Destiny” tour to Minglewood Hall. The bill also features All The Remains, Emmure, For Today and Atlanta hard-rockers Sevendust, who announced earlier this week they would be leaving the tour after the Memphis date due to a “personal family matter.”
Doors: 5:30 p.m. 1555 Madison. Tickets: $25 in advance, $31 day of show. Advance tickets available at the box office and online at minglewoodhall.com. 901-312-6058.
Former Memphian and country-soul singing great Ronnie Milsap returns to the region for a concert at the Resorts Casino in Tunica. The venerable Grammy-winning hit-maker — whose signature songs include “Smoky Mountain Rain,” “(There’s) No Gettin’ Over Me” and “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It for the World” — is preparing a new album, Summer #17, for release in January via Sony’s Legacy label. The album of covers touches on Milsap’s roots across a variety of genres, with covers of artists from Ray Charles to Hank Williams Sr. to Bobby Darin.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets: $25. Call 866-706-7070 to purchase or for more information.
Urban Planning at Sears Crosstown
Chicago-based artist, performer and social critic Theaster Gates will be at the Sears Crosstown Building for a reception, lecture and panel discussion that will touch on issues of creative community engagement and redevelopment. The long-abandoned local landmark is an appropriate site for the event, as the Crosstown Development Project begins renovation on the vast edifice early in 2014. Gates is director of arts and public life at the University of Chicago. This event is free and open to the public.
Reception at 5:30 p.m., lecture at 6, discussion at 7. Sears Crosstown, 495 N. Watkins. Call 901-507-8030, or visit crosstownarts.org.
Fit to Play
Acclaimed clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein is back in town to perform Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto with the IRIS Orchestra. This is his debut with IRIS, but he performed in January with the Goldstein-Peled-Fiterstein Trio as part of Concerts International programming.
8 p.m. at the Germantown Performing Arts Center, 1801 Exeter. Tickets are $65. Info: 901-751-7500 and gpacweb.com.
Rocking for a Cause
Mississippi rockers 3 Doors Down return to Tunica this weekend for their 10th annual Better Life Foundation fundraiser, benefiting a variety of children’s charities. The festivities start Friday with a charity shoot at Harrah’s Tunica Casino’s The Willows Sporting Clays and Hunting Center (13615 Old Hwy 61 N.). Saturday begins with the “Ride For A Cause” motorcycle ride, which also features a raffle for a custom bike. That’s followed by a silent auction from 2 to 4:45 p.m. in the lobby of the Horseshoe Hotel Lobby (1021 Casino Center Drive). The weekend culminates at 6 p.m. with a concert at Horseshoe’s Bluesville by 3 Doors Down and special guests Black Stone Cherry and Kris Ford from the Discovery Channel reality series “Sons of Guns.”
Concert tickets: $50 and $150, available through Ticketmaster. Charity shoot: Suggested donation $750 per four-person team; for more information call 251-586-2208. “Ride For a Cause”: $30 donation. For more information on the ride and raffle, visit dixiethunderrun.net.
Author and Memphis music historian Robert Gordon celebrates the publication of his new book, “Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion.” Gordon will be reading from and signing copies of the book at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free, and will include refreshments and entertainment from the students of the Stax Music Academy.
926 E. McLemore. For more information, go to staxmuseum.com, or call 901-942-7685.
Ellen Cockerham recently wowed the audience as guest concertmaster for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra on Richard Strauss’s “Ein Heldenleben.” Now she’s back for the Belz-Parker Artist Ascending series, performing works by Brahms, Debussy and Mozart.
7:30 p.m. at Baron Hirsch Congregation, 400 S. Yates. Admission is free. For more information: 901-683-7485.
Philadelphia-area alternative-pop artists Juston Stens and Pete Donnelly strut their solo stuff on their current co-headlining tour that stops at the Hi-Tone. Stens, the former drummer for Dr. Dog now playing with his own band the Get Real Gang, is preparing the release of his second solo album, Share the Road, which was recorded on a cross-country motorcycle ride documented in the upcoming documentary “I Lay Where I Fall.” Donnelly is a founding member of cult favorites the Figgs as well as a recent incarnation of NRBQ. He recently released his second solo record, Face the Bird, with his group the Wise Easy.
8 p.m. 412-414 N. Cleveland. Admission: $8; advance tickets available online at hitonememphis.com. 901-278-8663.
“Genetically modified organisms — Oh, my God!” That’s more or less the translation of the title of “GMO OMG,” a documentary that asks the provocative question: “Who controls the future of your food?” The film examines the “health and environmental risks” that accompany the growth of the global “food monopoly,” as genetically engineered food products and crops grown from corporate-controlled seeds becomes more and more dominant on our grocery shelves and dinner tables. Director Jeremy Seifert will attend and participate in a Q&A. The film is presented as part of the ongoing “Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers.”
7:30 p.m., Studio on the Square. Tickets: $8, or free for students and Indie Memphis members. Visit indiememphis.com.
Tennessee Shakespeare Company brings back last year’s holiday production of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” for a run through Dec. 8. The recreation of the beloved story as a radio broadcast takes place at the Dixon Gallery & Garden’s Winegardner Auditorium.
4339 Park. Tickets: $30 except Wednesday’s preview performance, which is $15. For a complete schedule and more information, call 901-759-0604, or go to tnshakespeare.org.