Go Out This Weekend: Jon Batiste at GPAC, Tiempo Libre at the Buckman, Chocolate Fantasy at Oak Court Mall and more

New Orleans jazz pianist Jon Batiste brings his band to the Germantown Performing Arts Center Saturday.

Photo by Peter Lueders/ Courtesy of Razor and Tie Publicity

New Orleans jazz pianist Jon Batiste brings his band to the Germantown Performing Arts Center Saturday.

Ten things to do in Memphis this weekend:

1. Jon Batiste & Stay Human at Germantown Performing Arts Center, Saturday: Twenty-seven year old Jonathan Batiste comes from a long, distinguished line of New Orleans musicians that also includes jazz clarinetist Alvin Batiste, and Lionel Batiste of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. But Jonathan, who performs here with his band Stay Human, has followed a different path from his Big Easy kin, one that took him to New York City, where he studied at Juilliard and where he is currently artistic director at the Harlem Jazz Center. Like Delmond Lambreaux, the character from HBO’s recently completed series “Treme” that is partly modeled on him, Batiste has sought to straddle his two worlds particularly in his conception of “social music,” an amalgam of bridge-building styles that also provides the title for his most recent record. -- Mark Jordan

8 p.m. 1801 Exeter Road. Tickets: $27.50, $36.50, and $40; available at the box office, by phone at 901-751-7500, and online gpacweb.com.

2. International Blues Challenge Finals at The Orpheum, Saturday:

The Blues Foundation’s 30th annual International Blues Challenge wraps up on Friday and Saturday in downtown Memphis. The 2014 edition is the biggest IBC yet, with a record 255 artists performing. The competition’s growth has been a national and international phenomenon. This year, acts will be representing 40 different states and 16 countries, including locales as far-flung as Colombia, Croatia and the Philippines. There’s lots of talent from the Memphis and Mississippi as well. The Bluff City’s Ghost Town Blues Band and Vicksburg guitar man Mr. Sipp “The Mississippi Blues Child” are returning finalists from 2013 looking to make their mark again. -- Bob Mehr

For a full list of acts, venues and more information, go to blues.org. Friday: Semifinals in both the band and solo/duo competitions will take place in Beale Street clubs. This also includes the Youth Showcase, which begins at 4:20 p.m. Wristbands are $15. Saturday: Doors open at 11 a.m. for the finals of band and solo/duo competitions at the Orpheum, 203 S. Main. Tickets: $42.50.Those can be purchased at orpheum-memphis.com.

Grammy-winning Cuban band Tiempo Libre performs at the Buckman Arts Center on Friday.

Courtesy of the Buckman Arts Center

Grammy-winning Cuban band Tiempo Libre performs at the Buckman Arts Center on Friday.

3. Tiempo Libre at the Buckman Arts Center, Friday: The island nation of Cuba has been cut off from the United States since Fidel Castro rose to power in 1959, but not even official sanctions could keep American music from sneaking into the country. As teenage conservatory students in Havana, the members of the band Tiempo Libre would fashion aluminum foil antennas so their radio could pick up Miami radio broadcasts. Once the septet relocated to Miami, those sounds formed the backbone of the band’s timba sound, a combination of Cuban folk and salsa and American funk and R&B. The band honored those roots on their most recent record, 2011’s Grammy-nominated My Secret Radio. -- MJ

8 p.m. 60 Perkins Ext. Tickets: $28, available by phone at 901-537-1483 and online at buckmanartscenter.com.

Felicity Jones is Nelly Ternan and Ralph Fiennes is Charles Dickens in “The Invisible Woman.”

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Felicity Jones is Nelly Ternan and Ralph Fiennes is Charles Dickens in “The Invisible Woman.”

4. “The Invisible Woman” at Ridgeway Cinema Grill, starting Friday: “The Invisible Woman” is a chaste yet unsettling depiction of the flirtation, love affair, resulting scandal and yearslong relationship between Charles Dickens, world-famous writer, and Nelly Ternan (, an intelligent if not particularly talented actress some 25 years younger than the man whose attentions would enrich yet limit her life. The film was directed by its top-billed actor, Ralph Fiennes. As Dickens, Fiennes is alternately exuberant and melancholy; as a director, he is thoughtful and discrete. He eschews the corset-shedding and bodice-ripping that might have attracted some filmmakers to this tale of 19th-century passion in favor of more elusive effects. For more, see here. -- John Beifuss

Rated ‘R’ for sexual content. 111 minutes.

5. Chocolate Fantasy at Oak Court Mall, Saturday:Ready for a little indulgence? Head over to Oak Court for Chocolate Fantasy, a fundraiser for the National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee. Bring your sweet tooth and make the rounds of more than 30 vendors, including Dinstuhl’s and Godiva Chocolatiers, and newcomers Nothing Bundt Cake, Frost Bake Shoppe and Weaver’s Slice of Heaven Bakery. Live music, games and an auction are part of the fun in the food court. -- Jennifer Biggs

Tickets are $18 at the door, or you can purchase through Friday for $16 at Dinstuhl’s, TCBY and Smoothie King. It starts at 11 a .m. and continues through 5 p.m. For more information, call 901-683-6185.

6. “Spamalot” at Playhouse on the Square, starting Friday: Why does Bill Andrews get such cool roles? “It has to do with being the tallest guy in the room,” he cracks. The 6-6 actor is assuming the august role of King Arthur, King of the Britons, in the Monty Python musical. Andrews can certainly bring a lot of gravitas to the role, although that’s not a particularly essential characteristic in a Monty Python production. “He’s really the straight man,” Andrews says, “and he has to get all the others to stay on the quest.” To learn more, go here. -- Jon Sparks

Through Feb. 16 at Playhouse on the Square, 66 S. Cooper St. Show times: 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays (no performance Sunday, Feb. 9). Tickets: $22 Opening Weekend (Jan. 24, 25, 26), $35 Thursdays and Sundays, $40 Fridays and Saturdays. $22 seniors/students/military. $15 Children under 18. Pay What You Can Thursday, Jan. 30. Info: 901-726-4656 and playhouseonthesquare.org

When he’s not a faculty member at the Berklee School of Music, Livingston Taylor is a touring singer-songwriter. He performs at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

Courtesy of livtaylor.com

When he’s not a faculty member at the Berklee School of Music, Livingston Taylor is a touring singer-songwriter. He performs at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

7. Livingston Taylor at Bartlett Performing Arts Center, Saturday: Rock & Roll Hall of Famer James Taylor is only the most famous member of a prodigious musical family that includes his children, Ben and Sally, and his three siblings, including little brother Livingston Taylor. Like his brother, Livingston got his musical ability from their mother, a former opera singer. He made his recording debut at age 18 in 1970, just two years after James. Since 1989, he has been a professor at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, recording and touring on the side. His most recent outing is 2010’s Last Alaska Moon. -- MJ

8 p.m. 3663 Appling Road. Tickets: $25available at the box office, by phone at 901-385-6440, and online bpacc.org.

8. “Ghosts of Crosstown” at Crosstown Arts, Friday: Often forgotten in the hubbub of redevelopment are the people who formerly populated an upcoming neighborhood. Opera Memphis addresses this issue in “Ghosts of Crosstown,” an original cycle of five short operas based on the lives of people who worked in or near the Sears building. There will be a free workshop performance tonight at Crosstown Arts; the audience may offer ideas and suggestions about this work that officially debuts in April. -- Fredric Koeppel

7 to 9 p.m. 430 N. Cleveland. No admission fee but registration is recommended; visit crosstownarts.org.

9. “Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?” at the Brooks Museum, Saturday: “Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?” focuses on celebrated linguist, philosopher and political firebrand Noam Chomsky, a strong critic of American capitalism and foreign policy. The film sounds heavy, but is constructed to extract a maximum amount of fun from dense, thought-provoking ideas. Subtitled “An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky,” “Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?” is as much an animated film as a documentary. The movie was directed and essentially illustrated by Michel Gondry (director of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”), whose colorful drawings are the source of the film’s far-out animation, which interprets a long, wide-ranging conversation between Gondry and Chomsky. -- JB

2 p.m. Saturday. Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Admission to each movie: $8, or $6 for museum members. Visit brooksmuseum.org.

10. Justin Moore at Landers Center, Saturday: Country up-and-comer Justin Moore, who comes from Poyen, Arkansas, is out supporting his third album the chart topping Off the Beaten Path, which features the singles “Point At You” and “Lettin’ the Night Roll.” Josh Thompson and Randy Houser open. -- MJ

7 p.m. 4560 Venture Dr., Southaven, Miss. Tickets: $36.40, $47.65, and $53.30. Tickets available at the box office, by phone at 888-280-9120, and through Ticketmaster. 662-342-4842. Visit landerscenter.com.

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