Ever consider saying to hell with it, I'll drive a cab? Consider, first, the following statements:
1) "Whew! Those people are crazy."
2) "What is this place?"
3) "Where did Jesus live?"
4) "Knmlknas, nonss wjosl and mpoi, cvosie." And ...
5) "My son is crazy."
Now consider the source: It's cab driver Eddie Tucker quoting from the tales that Tucker tells at taxistory333.blogspot.com. (Tales, some of them, that were also featured in a Memphis Flyer cover story in February 2011.) Those tales have now been collected in a book Tucker calls Taxi Tales from the Streets of Memphis (CreateSpace, in paperback for $19.95).
What's it take for Shlemiel Crooks the musical to arrive, the perfect fit, on a Memphis stage? Anna Olswanger grew up the daughter of "Mr. Music of Memphis" himself, Berl Olswanger.
"We're hoping that after this second performance we — the playwrights, the composer, the lyricist, and I — will be happy with the script and can consider it finalized. Then we'll submit it to play publishers so that other theaters can license Shlemiel Crooks directly," Olswanger wrote earlier this week by email.
"But even before we get it published, I hope to contact Memphis theaters to see if I can interest one of them in a production. It would be great fun to present the musical in Memphis, because my dad, who was greatly loved in Memphis and dubbed 'Mr. Music of Memphis' by the local press, is the major character (as a kid)."
For some background on Shlemiel Crooks (the book), see Anna Olswanger's recent article in the Jewish Standard. For information on Shlemiel Crooks (the musical), go to the Poppy Seed site at kaufman-center.org/mch.
Now's your opportunity to get to hear Anne Sebba when she speaks on the life and times of Wallis Simpson as guest of the Decorative Arts Trust at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art on Saturday, March 31st, at 10:30 a.m.
No reason to think Sebba won't be a great crowd-pleaser. She was when she spoke before the Decorative Arts Trust in 2008. And she's looking forward to revisiting the city.
As she said when I spoke to her by phone from her home in London: "I've seen a little of Memphis based on my last visit. Not as much as I'd have liked. But when I was there, I had such a lovely time."
Anne Sebba's lecture is free for members of the Decorative Arts Trust and the Brooks; for others, your ticket is the cost of museum admission. For further information, go to the Brooks website.