If you don't love music, you might need to have your Memphis citizenship revoked. Because music is really the heart and soul of the Bluff City. And this weekend shines a bright light on its evolution — from past to present.
Live at The Orpheum through Sunday is Memphis, the colorful musical inspired by the story of Dewey Phillips, the manic disk jockey at WHBQ radio, who became hugely popular for playing a dizzying mix of country, boogie woogie, rhythm and blues, and records from Sun Studio. Phillips is considered one of the pioneers of rock 'n' roll and the musical, which won a Tony for Best Musical, is a racous, riveting celebration of music and dance. I saw it Tuesday night and it's a great time. Perfect for date night.
This weekend is also the 10th anniversary of Stax Museum, which tells the story of Otis Redding, Rufus and Carla Thomas, The Bar Kays, Isaac Hayes, and many other soul artists who recorded on the Stax label in the 1960 and early 70s. To celebrate, they're hosting a street party on Saturday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (926 E. McLemore). Performing live will be Stax artists, as well as students from the Stax Academy. There will be a moon bounce and other fun activities for kids. Best of all, it's free. Admission to the museum is $2. If you haven't been yet, it's a fascinating story worth hearing.
Finally, Bristerfest unfurls its flag at Overton Park on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to midnight, and brings together much of the music that's percolating in the city today. Old, new, funky, fresh, this collection of bands (15 each day) runs the gamut from hip-hop and Latin, to blues, rock, and retro. There will be a moon bounce for kids as well as food trucks and vendors. Tickets are $15 or $30 for a 2-day pass. Kids are free. Proceeds go to GrowMemphis.