Five things to do in Memphis this weekend — July 22-24

The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, 4339 Park

Sunday July 24, 2-3 p.m.

One hundred and 25 years ago, a few hundred miles away in Atchison, Kansas, Amelia Earhart was born on July 24 and 83 years ago she disappeared somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, sparking many theories from the plot – from Earhart being abducted by aliens to his spying on the Japanese at FDR’s request. I guess it’s easier to think that such a badass in life met a fate of badass proportions, instead of a low fuel supply or a foggy sky. Regardless of her fate, Earhart was a trailblazer, unafraid to push the boundaries of social mores in the 20th century.

Also, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the girl had style, not to discredit any of her other very impressive accomplishments, but, man, could she throw a fit. She even created a clothing line called Amelia Fashions for “working women”. (Some of Earhart’s designs incorporated parachute silk and textile from airplane wings into their materials! 😱) It’s a shame that Earhart’s efforts on the fashion catwalk were much less successful than those on the podium of the plane (well, maybe excluding this last expedition, no offense to Mrs. Earhart). Remember, this was a time before athleisure, but if you like that kind of 20th century sports fashion, you should check out Dixon’s exhibit and lecture for “Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960 “, which coincides. with Amelia’s big 125! So go on and celebrate her b-day in style.

The exhibition explores 19th and 20th century women’s sports and show wear, with 65 ensembles for a range of activities from walking and sailing to basketball and motorcycling. On Sunday, Kevin L. Jones, curator at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, will talk about the show and the history of sports fashion. Additionally, this exhibit is complemented by “Flowerful: Fashioning the Armored Feminine,” which features a selection of couture dresses and charcoal drawings of fantastical women by local artist Romona Sonin, whose subject, as Dixon writes , “walk[s] the boundary between hardness and softness, contemporary and timeless, cutting edge and grace. And I would argue that Amelia Earhart would fall into precisely that category (or lack thereof?).

“Flowerful” will be on display until October 23 and “Sporting Fashion” until October 16. Admission to the Dixon is free.

[email protected] Square, 2085 Monroe

Performances until July 24

I think my favorite conspiracy theory is that Amelia Earhart survived her global flight, moved to New Jersey, and took on a new name and identity as Irene Craigmile Bolam. In fact, McGraw-Hill published an entire book about this sequence of events, only to be sued by the real Bolam who said something like, “I’m not Amelia Earhart, and I can prove it.” And to prove it, she did. Turns out a guy saw Bolam, a banker, at a gathering of retired pilots and thought she looked too much like Earhart not to be her. Logically. But what a great story it would have been, like something straight out of a Greek epic, like Ulysses returning home but wanting no glory for overcoming the near-death moments he faced to get there. If only this writer had been smart enough to market his story as fiction and change a few names and facts, he could have gone elsewhere.

But do you know who had the intelligence to transform the model of a Greek tragedy into something more modern? Playwright Mary Donnet Johnson, who wrote Shanktown, which features a kind of homecoming, with characters of different ages, races, economic classes, and abilities all drawn to the same little house outside of Nashville. Set in December 2019 with the 2020 presidential election looming over the characters’ heads, this play, writes Playhouse on the Square, “is an emotional processing arena that harbors the potential for everything from hate to hope”.

Playhouse on the Square will have its last performances of Shanktown this weekend, with shows Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets ($40) can be purchased online.

Overton Park Shell, 1928 Poplar

Friday-Sunday, July 22-24

Obviously, Amelia Earhart isn’t the only famous person to disappear after going on the run. I say “obviously”, but I didn’t realize it until today. There’s Glenn Miller – have you ever heard of him? I hadn’t, but maybe I would have known about the musician if he hadn’t disappeared on his way to Paris in 1944. I mean, according to Wikipedia, he was the best-selling recording artist from 1939 to 1942, leading one of the best-known big bands and scoring 16 number one records and 69 top 10 hits – that’s more than Elvis Presley and the Beatles did done in their career. Maybe I’m just uneducated in music history or maybe Miller left too soon. Either way, I know I need to broaden my musical horizons, and it seems like this weekend’s DreamFest is the perfect start.

A free event for all ages, the three-day festival aims to promote Memphis artists in a range of genres. Full programming can be found here, and there will be music, food, voter education, a kids’ corner, community conversations, yoga, and more. Friday events begin at 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday events at 2 p.m.

Audubon Park, 4145 South

Saturday, July 23, 10 a.m.

There’s a place in this world I couldn’t be caught flying over – literally, since people who fly there tend not to be found, dead or alive. And that place, my friends and my enemies, is the Bermuda Triangle. We could get into the natural explanation of why so many planes and ships could disappear into this devil’s triangle, but I don’t get it and frankly, I’d rather explore the paranormal – especially how it could be a wormhole that sucks objects around it into a parallel universe. Still, I don’t understand much about wormholes; in fact, I don’t know, but I imagine them to stretch the space-time continuum (whatever that is) the same way yoga stretches the body. I don’t know much about yoga if you can’t tell. Do you?

Well, whether you know yoga or not, I bet you’ll enjoy the free 45-minute, outdoor, low-stakes yoga class under the Greely Myatt sculpture. Everyone talks. Wear comfortable shoes and breathable clothing. Bring your own mat or use one from DRIP Yoga Mats (mats are limited). Oh, and you can never go wrong bringing your own bottled water. Donations are appreciated. Register here.

Malco Summer 4 Drive-In, 5310 Summer

Saturday July 23, 7 p.m.

After hearing about Amelia Earhart in fifth grade, I don’t care about Charles Lindbergh, who made the first solo transatlantic flight. Amelia was cool, and the picture of Lindbergh in my US history textbook gave me goosebumps. But what I found fascinating was that the Lindbergh baby was kidnapped, and I used a few computer hours at home to find out more about said baby’s abduction and subsequent murder. Talk about a bedtime story for a 10-year-old Nancy Drew-wannabe.

At least it wasn’t as dark as The young Sherlock Holmeswith its plot about a cult with a penchant for human sacrifice, or as sad as To hang upwith her reflection on the loss of her inner child, or as heartbreaking as The never-ending story with its Nothing, manifestation of the loss of hopes and dreams. It just so happens that those three movies, not the Lindbergh baby story, are reserved for this weekend’s Time Warp Drive-In, where moviegoers can watch all three for $25/car.

About Norma Wade

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