We Recommend 

April 6-12, 2006

thursday April 6

The Devil's Music: The Life and Times of Bessie SmithTheatre Memphis Next Stage,

7:30 p.m., $25The talented Joyce Cobb takes the title role in this musical biography of influential blues singer Bessie Smith, one of the most popular black performers of the 1920s and '30s. Among the songs Cobb will perform are "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight," "I Ain't Got Nobody," and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out."

friday April 7

Jami SieberBuckman Performing Arts Center,

8 p.m., $20In 2002, classically trained cellist, vocalist, and composer Jami Sieber spent two months in Thailand working with elephants, an experience that served as inspiration for her 2004 release, Hidden Sky. On this album Sieber collaborated with the Thai Elephant Orchestra, which, as the name suggests, is an orchestra made up of elephants performing on specially designed instruments.Sieber's music is a mix of jazz, avant garde, rock, and world music.

saturday April 8

Mud Island River Park Opening DayMud Island River Park, 10 a.m.The first day of Mud Island's season will be celebrated with hot-air balloon rides and more. 2006 Nike Hoop SummitFedExForum, 12:30 p.m., $10-$75First peek at basketball's next greats, the Nike Hoop Summit is an exhibition game pitting a team of the best high school players in the U.S. against a team of players 19 or younger from around the world. The Grizzlies' Shane Battier played the summit in 1997. Also of local interest, on this year's U.S. team is Thaddeus Young of Mitchell High School.

Opening Reception for

"Pictures Tell the Story"Joysmith Gallery, 1-4 p.m.Ernest Withers has chosen Joysmith as the gallery in Memphis to show his photographs. This exhibit coincides with the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

"Hollywood South" GalaPlaza Club, 8 p.m., $50Fund-raiser for MPACT programs, this gala is a nod to Memphis' rising status as a filmmaking center. There will be appetizers from area restaurants, music by the Bo-Keys, a Texas Hold 'Em poker tournament, and a silent auction with items such as recording time at Sun Studios.

sunday April 9

Opening Reception for

"Pattern Recognition"Power House, 1-3 p.m.First of two retrospective exhibits for the late Memphis artist Ted Faiers. "Pattern Recognition" explores Faiers' development as an artist, featuring portraits from the 1950s through the 1970s.   

tuesday April 11

A Talk About Memphis ArchitectureBenjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 6:30 p.m., $10Architect Keith Kays talks about local architecture of the 1960s and '70s, a heyday for design in Memphis. Cirque DreamsThe Orpheum, 7:30 p.m., $15-$55Cirque brings its collection of aerialists, contortionists, and acrobats for a new production called "Jungle Fantasy." The show runs through April 16th.

weDnesday April 12

Booksigning by Elizabeth BergDavis-Kidd Booksellers, 6 p.m.Elizabeth Berg signs her newest novel We Are All Welcome Here, which is set in 1960s Tupelo and follows a mother paralyzed by polio and her 14-year-old daughter who takes care of her as she tries to find her own way in the world. Bikes on BealeBeale Street, 7 p.m.Up to 400 motorcycles gather on Beale Street on Wednesday nights during the summer. To kick off the first event of the year, freestyle motorcross star and X-Games gold-medal winner Tommy "Tom Cat" Clowers will join Jeff Tilton and the TNT Freestyle Motorcross Team for a demonstration.

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