Local Color - Nov. 8, 2012

Uploaded by WKNOPBS on 09.11.2012

>> female announcer: This is a
production of WKNO, Memphis.
Production funding for this
program is made possible in part
>> (instrumental music)
>> Shannon: Hi, I'm Mamie
Welcome to "Local Color."
You know, this is such a weird
time of year.
The harvest is over.
The weather is getting cool and
we're moving indoors but I look
forward to the little nuggets of
outdoor events that are going
I've got Leslie Gower coming on
from the Downtown Memphis
We're going to talk about the
holiday tree and some things
going on out at Rockeyfeller
What do you have coming up?
>> Dacus: I've got my friends
Jaime and Ashley.
And they're going to come over
and talk about the Memphis Empty
Bowls project.
>> Shannon: That is such a cool
-- Now, it's a national
That is such a cool project.
>> Dacus: It is and they're
bringing it to Memphis for the
first time.
And it sounds fantastic.
>> Shannon: I can't wait to hear
about it.
What about you?
>> Davis: I'm talking to Brent
Davis about a new play called
"Twilight of the Gods" which has
a lot of characters ranging from
Mark Twain and Friedrich
Nietzsche to Annie Oakley and
Edgar Allen Poe.
>> Shannon: And my daughter has
given it two thumbs up with a
snap in a "Z" formation, I
>> Davis: If I was a mutant, I'd
give it three.
>> Shannon: Well, you know, this
time last year we talked about
this event called Curtains Up at
Playhouse on the Square.
It was the party of the year and
it's time for Curtains Up again.
It's coming up November 9.
They've taken all of the
different rooms at Playhouse on
the Square and made it like a
different destination.
So the upstairs is Mexico City.
They're going to have tequila
bar. margaritas, Mariachi, a
guitar player.
They've taken the café and
turned it into Franklin County,
They're going to have a
bluegrass band.
>> Davis: Well, the band, Nay-
Nay and the Do-Right Boys.
>> Shannon: I love that name.
>> Davis: Nay-Nay is Renee
Kemper and the Do-Right Boys are
the band they always put
together whenever she plays
Patsy Cline or whenever they do
the country music musicals.
So it will be her with.
You know, If you liked those
shows, this will be a group of
people you'll like to see play.
>> Shannon: And I really like
The trap door beneath the stage
is a Monte Carlo room.
But next on "Local Color,"
Leslie Gowers going to be here
to talk about some very cool
things happening soon in
Downtown Memphis.
Here are some other great things
to do this weekend.
>> (instrumental music)
>> Shannon: Leslie, how long
have we known each other?
>> Gower: Since 1999.
It's been forever.
>> Shannon: And you know what?
I'm so proud of Downtown.
It's all grown-up.
It's beautiful.
And you know that when we met
was during the Holiday Parade.
>> Gower: You were one of the
first people I met in 1999
because you were doing the
Holiday Parade back then.
>> Shannon: It was cool but you
know what?
I really like the idea of the
new event that you're going to
have at Rockeyfeller Plaza.
>> Gower: We are really excited
about it.
So instead of doing the parade
which I know everybody misses --
but we thought if we did
something that lasted the entire
season, that a lot more people
could enjoy it.
So we are starting Rockeyfeller
Center in Autozone Park Plaza
this year.
And it kicks off on November 16
with a lighting ceremony of a 35
foot holiday tree.
>> Shannon: Awesome.
And now that's going to be at
like 5:00?
>> Gower: 5:00 is when it kicks
off and we're going to have the
River City Concert Band there,
Downtown Elementary School
singing, and of course Mayor
Wharton will be there flipping
the switch on the lights.
And then Rocky, and McGruff the
Crime Dog, and hot chocolate,
and all sorts of fun stuff.
And it's free and open to the
So we hope that everybody comes
and enjoys it.
>> Shannon: But now the thing
that I like is it's going to
stay up through January 1 and
you've got other programming all
month long at Autozone Park and
Rockeyfeller Plaza.
>> Gower: Right -- And so, you
know, you're always looking for
fun things to do with your kids
on the holidays.
And this is a free thing to do.
You can always go and see the
Christmas tree.
But we are hoping that more and
more community groups want to
sign up and do caroling, and
dance groups, and all of that
So we're putting together a
schedule that will run the whole
season and anybody can come
anytime and see what's going on
and be a part of the fun.
>> Shannon: Hey, why don't we do
We'll put it on WKNO-dot-org-
We'll have your name and
Downtown Memphis Commission.
And we'll have a link to your
website so people that want to
participate and have their
church choir or their group come
and sing contact you.
How about that?
>> Gower: That's perfect.
That's perfect.
Thanks, Mamie.
>> Shannon: So tell me about
This is cool.
>> Gower: This is really cool.
Now this is going to be one of
the events taking place at
Rockeyfeller Center.
And it's actually a national
event done by the American
institute of architects.
And so what they're doing in
Memphis is the local
architectural firms get together
and they build these incredible
structures out of canned goods.
>> Shannon: So people come and
donate the canned goods?
>> Gower: Actually, we are going
to be donating the canned goods
to the architects.
And then they'll build these
incredible structures.
And then when the events done,
all of that food goes back to
the food bank.
>> Shannon: And now they're
going to stay -- They start at
How long do they usually -- How
long do they usually go?
>> Gower: Well, it starts on
December 8 at noon.
Actually, they're going to be
loading in and starting sort of
their preliminary building on
the 7th -- December 7.
And then anybody can come by on
December 8 and watch them build.
And then by the end of the day,
we'll have the structure for
everybody to see.
And they'll be up for a week.
>> Shannon: So that's cool.
And that's free, as well.
>> Gower: That's free and Star
and Micey will be playing.
So it will be a really cool
>> Shannon: Oh, that is cool.
Now tell me about 20 for 20.
>> Gower: 20 artists, 20 spaces
for 20 days.
This is Unveil South Main and
it's an art walk that we're
doing in South Main.
>> Shannon: When does that kick
>> Gower: That kicks off on
November 30.
And it's just a great event.
We had over 100 artists sort of
apply for this art walk.
And we had to narrow it down to
But the artists will be in
makeshift galleries throughout
South Main.
>> Shannon: I want you to tell
me more information.
We're out of time.
But thank you so much Leslie.
Please come back.
>> Gower: I will.
>> Shannon: Up next, Ashleys
going to talk about the Empty
Bowls Project with our guest
from the Church Health Center.
And here's some other things to
do downtown.
>> (instrumental music)
>> Dacus: These are beautiful
Did y'all happen to make these?
>> Winton: I wish.
I couldn't be less of a ceramics
I took a class in college in
And I worked harder than I've
ever worked on anything in my
life ever.
>> Dacus: And you're an artist.
>> Winton: Yes, I'm an artist.
And I was an art major.
And I made the worst grade I've
ever made on anything in my
>> Dacus: So it's safe to say
that you didn't have a hand in
any of this, did you?
>> Winton: No, I had no hand in
But I have crazy, mad respect
for those people who know how to
do that stuff well.
>> Dacus: Well, let's talk about
why we've got these bowls.
This is part of the Memphis
Empty Bowls project.
And this is not a new thing.
This has been happening across
the U.S. but this is fairly new
to Memphis.
Tell me more about how it
>> Winton: Well, as a pottery
fan, because I don't know how to
do it and think it's so
fabulous, I read this article
one time about an Empty Bowls
dinner that's being held in
Martin, Tennessee close by.
And essentially what they did is
they had a whole lot of bowls
that were donated and they had a
dinner event where people came
and used those bowls to eat soup
out of.
And then they were able to take
home a bowl as a reminder of the
empty bowls on the tables of the
people in poverty in that area.
And I thought -- Man, this would
be great for Memphis.
I mean, we're named the
hungriest city in America in
So we really need something like
So I immediately thought of my
friend Sarah Ranson who's also a
volunteer at the St. John's
United Methodist Church Food
And she's very active in the
hunger community.
So between the two of us, we
sort of started putting this
thing together and it became
what it is.
>> Dacus: So the collaborations,
the people that you've put
together to make this happen --
This is incredible because these
are artists, these are
restaurateurs, and these are
people who clearly are concerned
about the homeless and hunger
issues here in Memphis.
Tell me more about the people
who are putting this together.
>> Winton: Well, it's really
I think it's one of the best
things about this project and
what makes it unique is that we
have people from all different
sorts of backgrounds.
We have people from ten
different schools, over 150
students from across the county
all the way to Collierville.
And we also have like over 20
different types of artisans who
are creating bowls for this
event, as well.
All these people are making
We now have between 300 and 400
bowls for this event.
And the thing that sort of
impresses me about the groups of
people who are making these
bowls is they represent every
demographic you can imagine in
the area.
I mean, we have people who have
so many difference but they all
kind of come together under this
one idea of compassion for
people who need that compassion
right here in Memphis because we
certainly have some need here.
>> Dacus: That's fantastic.
It's really impressive that you
can get that many people
together to coordinate their
efforts for this.
So when people buy their tickets
for this event, what should they
>> Baker: I think they should
expect a celebration.
We've been talking about just
the momentum that has been
building from the people as they
catch on to the concept.
It's hard to anytime a new
concept comes around for people
to fully understand but one
thing we all understand is the
need to fight hunger.
And to see the uniqueness in our
bowls, the uniqueness in our
artists, we're going to have a
photography exhibit while we're
there called Focus on the Good
which will be really great for
people to see.
We're going to have live music.
We're going to have the art
sale, the silent auction.
I mean, there's just going to be
so many different ways to
celebrate Memphians who are also
just celebrating each other's
effort as we're really getting
together to fight hunger.
So I feel like this mission is
casting a vision that's going to
continue beyond just our Sunday
>> Dacus: And this is a great
takeaway for everyone to take
and be reminded of the empty
bowls that other people face.
Thank you Jamie and Ashley for
talking with me about this.
Next, Chris talks to Brent Davis
about "Twilight of the Gods,"
the latest play on stage at
Germantown Community Theatre.
>> (instrumental music)
>> Chris: We're talking about
"Twilight of the Gods."
This is a play that is brand new
to Memphis and most plays that
we get here have had the
pedigree of being performed in
Chicago, New York -- one of our
big theatre centers.
But this is new.
This is special.
It's different.
You guys have taken a real
chance with this.
Talk to me about that process.
>> Brent: How this all started
-- There was a theatre company
in Nashville called Blackbird
Theatre Company.
They perform on the campus of
Lipscomb University.
One of our board members had
gone to see the play there, Gary
And got to talking with the
writers after the play and they
were looking to explore possibly
producing this and marketing the
work in other places.
He goes, "You know."
He says," We've got a great
little theatre in Germantown,
just outside of Memphis.
"Why don't you let us look at
the script and have out play
finding committee go through
things together."
>> Chris: Halloween is over but
this is, you know, this is still
a tingler.
This is a bit of a thriller but
it's literary.
You have all of these characters
from history and literature --
Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain.
Help me out with who all is a
part of it.
>> Brent: H. G. Wells, Emily
Dickinson, Annie Oakley -- not
necessarily literary but
historical figure.
>> Chris: And a device has
allowed them to all be gathered
together in the same place and
they start dying, one by one.
>> Brent: It's an odd take on it
because it's not actually the
people themselves.
It is reincarnations of these
And Rudolf Steiner has assembled
these people to create a new
And he's bringing these people
in and convincing them that they
are these famous people.
And so they are one by one,
touting out their theories of
what their lives are about.
And one by one, each of them is
knocked off.
And so you have to come and see
who's at the very end left
>> Chris: Walking a fine line
between satire and murder
What was it when you're reading
the script that comes, you know,
with not a lot of name
recognition, with not, you know,
the pedigree, a lot of awards to
it ?
When you're reading this unusual
comedy mystery, what says --
"This is going to fit at
Because this environment isn't
always friendly to new work.
>> Brent: Right -- Because it is
a small space and only having
one stage, not having an
alternate stage to necessarily
take a risk.
In particular why this one was
such an appeal -- There's three
main reasons.
One -- It had kind of a murder
mystery feel to it which was
something that works well in our
Two -- It was very character
And three -- It was a unit set.
So all of these things work well
in our space.
>> Chris: And enough to where
you said, "Okay, we can take a
risk on this."
>> Brent: Absolutely.
>> Chris: You also have managed
to pull together I think one of
the best ensemble casts I've
seen in a long time.
Tell me a little bit about who
we've got, who they're playing,
and how they all work together.
>> Brent: Well, we'll start off
with our director.
We've got Justin Asher who is a
new director but is a very
experienced actor in the
We've also got Emily Burnett,
Emily Chateau, myself.
I play Edgar Allan Poe.
>> Chris: You do play Edgar
Allan Poe.
>> Brent: I do.
>> Chris: You're a little dark.
>> Brent: I am dark.
I actually died the hair.
Brian Everson plays H.G. Wells.
Angela Fredrikkson plays Annie
James Dale Green plays Mary
Baker Eddy.
Rob Hanford plays Rudolf
>> Chris: This is unusual for
Rob because Rob -- I think
everyone thinks about him as
being the go-to song and dance
guy, you know.
He is our Dick Van Dyke.
>> Brent: He is totally
slapstick in this which is
wonderful -- does a great job
with physical comedy.
Kinon Keplinger plays Rasputin.
Greg Krosnes does a hysterical
job playing Sir Arthur Conan
>> Chris: So you've got the
creator of Sherlock Holmes.
You've got the founder of
Christian Science.
You've got the famous female
sharp shooter.
>> Brent: And let's not forget
Jack the Ripper who's being
played by Annie Petzinger and
Nietzsche played by John
>> Chris: Right -- So you've got
this --
>> Brent: And Jerry Wakefield
plays Mark Twain.
>> Chris: The personalities are
all so famously different.
The urge in anything is to like
fit everyone's famous quotes in.
How do these characters play off
of one another?
>> Brent: It's more or less a
Tet-A-Tet type of thing because
the H.G. Wells character and
Friedrich Nietzsche characters
are kind of treated like
Tweedlee Dee and Tweedle Dum.
They come in together and they
play off of each other's being
contrary to one another's
But everybody has their own
It's dinner conversation.
>> Chris: Well, we're getting
close to the end.
So just really quickly, I would
like for you to maybe tell us a
little bit about what's
happening at Germantown
Community Theatre -- how you
guys are really trying to, you
know, expand what people think
of when they think of Germantown
Community Theatre.
>> Brent: One of the biggest
risks we've taken this season
moving forward, of course, is
this production.
But finding the balance between
doing new things and what we do
well -- working in with our
education outreach programming,
going in to the city schools and
public school systems with our
daytime touring show.
We're doing "Seuss on the
We're in rehearsal for that
right now.
>> Chris: It was a real pleasure
seeing "Twilight of the Gods"
but it was more of a pleasure
seeing a new work, an unknown
work in a theatre that was
absolutely full of people who
were having a very good time.
>> Brent: And thanks to Wes
Driver and Greg Greene of
Blackbird Theatre for giving us
that chance.
I don't want to leave out Stuart
Turner who plays Houdini in the
>> Chris: Well thank you, Brent
Davis from Germantown Community
Cleveland Street by the old
Sears Crosstown building is
usually empty but this weekend,
it's going to be full of life.
Next, Mamie will talk MemFIX
with our guests from Crosstown
>> (instrumental music)
>> Shannon: I love this --
celebrate the art of the
Tell me about MemFIX coming up
November 10, 10:00 to 10:00 on
Cleveland Street.
>> Pacello: That's right.
MemFIX is really about -- it's a
community event to rethink the
street, to activate the vacant
storefronts, and to test drive a
new neighborhood really.
>> Shannon: I love that.
So just like you go out and see
what car you like, and what
features you like, and what you
want to invest in, we're asking
people to come to MemFIX on
Cleveland and bring their
Look around at -- Now we've got
to talk about --
You've taken an empty
storefronts and actually put
vendors in them so people can
see what it can be.
>> Halpern: Right -- And all the
empty storefronts we're filling
in with popup shops, retail, art
We'll have a hair salon.
We'll have food trucks for
people to eat and drink.
We're taking all the empty space
and filling it with -- Yeah --
with one thing or another.
>> Shannon: So we don't even
need to bring a picnic basket,
pack our cocktails, or anything.
You got it there.
>> Halpern: We got it all.
>> Shannon: I love that.
So it's going to be form 10:00
AM until 10:00 PM.
>> Pacello: That's right.
>> Shannon: Okay -- Now, you're
going to have music throughout
the day and entertainment
throughout the day.
Can you give me just a little
sneak peak about who we're going
to see?
>> Pacello: Sure -- There'll be
two stages.
There's a main stage and then a
small satellite stage to get
people circulating throughout
the neighborhood.
Di Anne Price will kick things
The Sheiks -- Who else is
>> Halpern: Let's see.
We've got a few different solo
acts at the satellite stage and
then we'll also have some pop-up
performances through out the day
-- surprise performing arts.
>> Shannon: So when you talk
about the neighborhood, we're
talking about Cleveland from
Galloway to Overton Park.
And it's that shopping area
right now in the beautiful
shadow of the Sears Crosstown
Oh, I love that.
>> Halpern: So we're going to
transform -- The parking lot
around the Sears building will
become a plaza with food trucks
and an artists market, a kids
area that we're kind of making a
playground for people to come
and do more athletic activities,
even a skate park, as well as
the main stage that Tommy talked
>> Shannon: I love that.
>> Pacello: And then at the end
of the night, the whole thing
winds down from starting about
7:00 with a movie broadcasting
-- an outdoor movie theatre
that's broadcast on the wall of
the parking garage of the Sears
Crosstown building.
And we're going to show "The
Princess Bride."
>> Shannon: I love it.
>> Pacello: So come on out.
It may be a little chilly so be
sure to bring blankets and
chairs and all those kinds of
>> Shannon: We can bring our
Oh, that's so cool.
>> Halpern: Ride your bike and
park your bike in the bike
>> Shannon: Speaking about
riding your bike, you guys have
created a bike lane.
>> Pacello: Yeah -- So in a way,
this is kind of like a living-
planning workshop that's
disguised as a party.
>> Shannon: An event.
>> Pacello: or a party, right?
And city building and rebuilding
neighborhoods kind of ought to
be about throwing a party.
>> Shannon: Absolutely.
>> Pacello: And, so, the street
will be activated with bike
lanes temporarily.
There will be a bike valet.
So you can ride your bike down
to the event and have free bike
And somebody will keep an eye on
>> Halpern: We're going to add
crosswalks so people can
actually safely cross form one
side to the other right now.
>> Pacello: And slow the traffic
down so that it's enough that
it's good for pedestrian and
that it shows sort of what this
street could be like if it were
decided for the human.
>> Shannon: So you're not
blocking the traffic.
You're not blocking the street.
This is going to be just like a
Saturday afternoon once the
street is revitalized and we can
give you our input on what we
Oh, that is so cool.
>> Pacello: So rather than
trying something, this allows
you to test some things -- get
And then we can double-down on
those things that work.
And then if it doesn't work,
we'll do it different in the
real thing.
>> Shannon: Can you tell me some
of the vendors?
You've told me about the beauty
I love that.
Are they going to do mani-pedis?
>> Halpern: We're hoping.
We'll see.
>> Pacello: Well, Peddler Bike
Shop is opening up a pop-up
bicycle retail.
Sache from South Main will be
opening a sort of a second
location for the day.
Several others sort of crafters
and then existing retailers
experimenting with second
>> Shannon: Thank you guys so
much for coming.
>> Pacello: Looking forward to
>> (instrumental music)
>> Shannon: I'm really excited
about MemFIX.
That sounds like a cool event.
And also, the Empty Bowls
>> Dacus: I am, too.
And I encourage everyone to go
to WKNO-dot-org-slash-
We've got all the websites up
for everything that we've talked
about today.
And that's where you can find
info for tickets and all the
other great details.
>> Shannon: Yeah -- event dates,
times, places, everything.
And you know, Thanksgiving is
coming up and around the corner.
This time of year, we're out
shopping and getting ready for
the Holidays.
And my favorite thing to do is
go and grab a pizza, you know.
And by your suggestion, I went
to Hog and Hominy.
>> Peterson: How'd ya like it?
>> Shannon: I really loved it.
My daughters a vegetarian so we
got the Quattro Formagio pizza.
And I'm gonna tell you
This pizza is divine.
>> Petersen: I used to be a
thick crust girl but between
Trolley Stop, Majestic, and
everybody, and now Hog and
Hominy, I now like the thin
crust with a little but of chewy
And then, you know, the topics
that they're putting on the
pizzas -- They're so original.
They're making their own
And I love the one with the egg
on it because I'm a big fried
egg fan.
>> Shannon: Ashley, that's your
cup of tea.
>> Dacus: I've got to learn to
love this because it's a thing
>> Petersen: It's very much a
And they're the good farm-fresh
eggs and you cut the pizza
different and dip it in the
>> Shannon: I have to tell you
that with our pizza, we also
ordered collard greens.
We ordered the okra stufato
which is okra, carrots, tomato,
And it was so good, Ashley.
I mean, it was so good.
>> Petersen: Did you get the
peanut butter pie?
>> Shannon: No, we did not
because we were just stuffed.
We got polenta and we also got
the creamed corn.
I know it's going out of season.
I'm going to tell you something.
You have never eaten corn like
this corn.
I thought that it had coconut
milk in it.
It was a little -- It was just
the good cream and a little
>> Petersen: I could make a meal
just of that and the peanut
butter pie.
>> Shannon: Yeah, we did.
Well, we heard about the peanut
butter pie but we liked the
bowls on the sides -- on the
But now they also had one pizza
that had salmon or mussels -- or
maybe it was mussels.
>> Petersen: Could be.
I know they just switched things
up again because I tried a new
one called -- I'm going to
forget the name.
A red hot or something just the
other day and they're switching
up their pizzas all the time.
So don't fall in love with them
too much.
>> Shannon: Hog and Hominy is
over on Brookhaven Circle and
they're open for lunch 'til 2:00
and then at night for dinner.
And you've got to go and check
it out.
It's really good.
>> Petersen: And if all else
fails, get the hotdog.
They make their own hotdogs.
They started making their own
hotdogs with cheese inside just
like your mom used to do when
you were a kid.
And they're also making the
pretzel buns.
>> Shannon: Guys, thank you
so much for coming.
Come back and enjoy your local
But come back next week because
we're going to have a lot other
cool, fun things for you to do.
>> (instrumental music)