Entertainment, On A High Note

S&E recommends this weekend: Celebrate Nashville!

As autumn brings changes to the landscape, one thing about Nashville never changes: Our city’s calendar is consistently full of choices for weekend activities . . . and Sports & Entertainment Nashville is here to help you to make your plans.

The Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival returns to Centennial Park on Saturday. PHOTO COURTESY CELEBRATE NASHVILLE

The Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival returns to Centennial Park on Saturday. PHOTO COURTESY CELEBRATE NASHVILLE

Headlining this weekend’s recommendations is the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival, the annual Saturday-long event in Centennial Park where the colors and customs of many countries allow you to explore the world in a free family event. The celebration of cultures will continue next week (October 8-12) in several Notably Nashville events at different venues throughout the city, featuring a diverse array of fashion, music and art.

We’re bound and determined to inform you of the annual Handmade & Bound Nashville arts festival at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. The event will feature handcrafted zines, artist’s books, mini-comics—everything to do with “book arts.” Opening reception is Friday from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.; the festival continues on Saturday from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

The Porch Writers Collective offers another artful event that’s bound to please: Yoga for Writers, featuring poet Leslie LaChance and yoga instructor Rachel Mathenia. Slots still are available for Saturday afternoon’s workshop (2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.) and people at all levels of curiosity and skill are welcomed.

We also think it would be a genius idea to see Einstein is a Dummy at the Nashville Children’s Theater. Rooted in Einstein’s own musings about applying creative thought to the scientific method, the play celebrates the courage to think differently. (What more appropriate place than Nashville would a play like that have an impact?) Performances conclude this weekend (Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.)

Also concluding this weekend is Lakewood Theatre’s production of the Agatha Christie thriller, Black Coffee, featuring the quirky and quintessential detective, Hercule Poirot. Showtimes at the popular Old Hickory venue are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Meanwhile at the Looby, Tennessee Women’s Theater Project launches its new season with a production of The Taming, where—no joke!—a conservative, a liberal and Miss Georgia are locked in a hotel room together the night of the Miss America pageant. The play’s a must-see for fans of television’s most unforgettable Miss Georgia, Suzanne Sugarbaker—and all of us in need of a good laugh.

Einstein is a Dummy, brought to you by Nashville Children’s Theater. PHOTO COURTESY NASHVILLE CHILDRENS THEATER

Einstein is a Dummy, brought to you by Nashville Children’s Theater. PHOTO COURTESY NASHVILLE CHILDREN’S THEATER

Show times this weekend are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Another enticing production, brought to you by Act I, is Deathtrap, which opens at the Darkhorse Theater Friday at 7:30 p.m. and continues Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. (and Sundays at 2:30 p.m.) through October 17.

While Tchaikovsky and his publicist were unavailable prior at press time, we have it on good authority (i.e., the blogger’s music minor finally put to good use!) that the composer’s First Piano Concerto arguably was his finest and in the best of hands with Joyce Wang, who will be playing the concerto with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

Additionally, classical guitarist Manuel Barrueco and the NSO will record Jonathan Leshnoff’s Guitar Concerto live. Performances take place Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. at the Schermerhorn. For another opportunity to experience the virtuosity of some of the world’s finest players, check out the next performance in Nashville Public Library’s classical guitar series at the main branch. Finland’s Otto Tolonen performs this Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. On Sunday at 7:00 p.m. at the Schermerhorn, enjoy “A Night of Music and Storytelling”—and the satisfaction of helping a neighbor in need—at The House that Music Built, a benefit for Habitat for Humanity that features local and international writers, singers and musicians.

Lynyrd Skynyrd will play Ascend Amphitheater this weekend. PHOTO COURTESY LYNYRD SKYNYRD

Lynyrd Skynyrd will play Ascend Amphitheater this weekend. PHOTO COURTESY LYNYRD SKYNYRD

Other entertainment options on the calendar include evenings with popular entertainers: If you prefer jazz, Ramsey Lewis performs in TPAC’s Polk Theater on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. The concert highlights the 50th anniversary of two albums: The ‘In’ Crowd and Hang on Ramsey! If nothing but classic rock will suit, you can see quintessential Southern Rockers Lynyrd Syknyrd at Ascend Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m., Friday night.

Love Skynrd, but hate crowds? Stay home and cozy up to Scott Bomar’s Southbound: An Illustrated History of Southern Rock. Trust us: Going through the pages of this volume will make you feel as though you’re at the Ascend. If you care to leave home and take a chance, you might be able to pick up a ticket for alt-country artist Brandi Carlile’s sold-out show (Saturday at 8:00 p.m.) at the Ryman.

For a quieter Friday evening, there may be spaces left for Blue Bird on the Mountain at the Dyer Observatory. The event begins at 8:00. This weekend’s performances in Nashville also include two free-of-charge shows: Emperor & the Nightingale, presented by the Nashville Ballet Belmont University School of Music (Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in Belmont’s Massey Hall) and Musicians Corner (Saturday from noon-5:00 p.m. in Centennial Park).

We have several picks for day-trip fun things to do:  The Fall Mile-Long Yard Sale in Watertown; Twelve Angry Men at the Cannon County Arts Center; the Main Street Festival in Gallatin; the Granville Fall Celebration; the Art in the Park Festival in Springfield; the Muletown MusicFest in Columbia; and the National Banana Pudding Festival in Centerville.

During your down time this weekend, why not plan which authors you want to meet at the upcoming Southern Festival of Books or the remaining days of Artober Nashville?

Finally, don’t forget the art crawls: In Franklin on Friday and Nashville on Saturday.

Get out and about and make your weekend count!