Be the first to see the stunning creations of celebrity designer Monique Lhuillier

Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 1:00am
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This is one of the fall fashions by celebrity designer Monique Lhuillier, which will be on the runway at the Nashville Symphony's annual fund-raiser and fashion show Tuesday.

Ben Vereen Sings Sammy!
Schermerhorn Symphony Center, One Symphony Place
$40-$125, 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday

For more than four decades, Ben Vereen has excelled in every facet of show business, from theater to film, television to live performance as a singer and dancer. While many people remember his epic role in Roots, Vereen cites the influence and impact of the late Sammy Davis Jr., also an extremely versatile performer, as critical in showing him it was possible to do many things well. Vereen pays tribute to his mentor and idol this weekend as the program “Ben Vereen Sings Sammy” comes to the Laura Turner Concert Hall in the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Vereen, who will be accompanied by the Nashville Symphony orchestra and Albert-George Schram as the conductor, will perform many of the show tunes and standards that were popularized by Davis throughout his extensive career. Check out The City Paper’s extensive interview with Vereen Friday at
— Ron Wynn

Record Store Day
Grimey’s New and Preloved Music
1604 Eighth Ave. S., 254-4801
free, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Avett Brothers kickoff an impressive lineup of bands performing Saturday at Grimey’s New and Preloved Music in honor of Record Store Day. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with Grimey’s offering an array of exclusive releases with the Avett Brothers taking the stage at noon. Joining the Avett Brothers, who will make their major label debut later this year, are Del McCoury, the Ettes and Mute Math, among others. The full lineup looks like this: Avett Brothers, noon; Stardeath & White Dwarfs, 12:45 p.m.; Michigan City Vandals, 1:45 p.m.; DeRobert & the Half-Truths, 2:30 p.m.; Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, 3:15 p.m.; Charlie Louvin, 4 p.m.; Del McCoury, 4:45 p.m.; Royal Bangs, 5:15 p.m.; the Ettes, 6 p.m.; Mute Math, 7 p.m. For more information on the festivities or to check out some of the exclusive Record Store Days releases visit
— Nate Rau

Susan Tedeschi/2009 Nashville Earth Day Festival
Centennial Park, 2600 West End Ave.
free, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Singer/songwriter Susan Tedeschi is among the most dynamic and powerful on the blues and rock circuit, and she’s won Grammy nominations and critical praise for her recordings and concert performances. She’s just one of the headliners providing musical entertainment Saturday as part of the 2009 Nashville Earth Day Festival, a free event Saturday at Centennial Park. There will be many exhibits and activities designed to promote more awareness of and education about environmental issues. Some 60 family-friendly booths hosted by community groups as well as environmental organizations and government agencies will be on hand offering fun activities. Others scheduled to perform include area artists Caitlin Rose, Jeremy Lister, AutoVaughn and the Dynamites featuring Charles Walker.
— Ron Wynn

Loretta Lynn’s Grand National Cross Country Race
Loretta Lynn Ranch, Hurricane Mills, (304) 284-0084
$15, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Who would have thought that the world's largest off-road motorcycle and ATV racing series would make annual visits to the Midstate and be hosted by Loretta Lynn's Ranch?
Well, the little secret that is expected to draw 1,500 riders around the globe is out now and you’re invited to attend this Saturday and Sunday. Both dirt bike and four-wheel ATV riders will compete for a share of the $130,000 prize purse at the Acerbis/Loretta Lynn Grand National Cross Country Race, which takes riders over jumps, mud, rock, hills and trails on the custom-built course. “Loretta Lynn's is the most prestigious event on the tour," says Jeff Russell, the 1991 AMA National Enduro Champion who builds the GNCC courses. "We've been racing here for nearly 25 years, and the trails and terrain are some of the toughest in the country.” If you want to check it out, it’s right off Interstate 40 at exit 143, then north on Route 13 to the ranch. Spectator passes run $15 for the full weekend, with pro pit access and pro autographs at no additional charge.
— Vincent Troia

Ted Dekker will sign copies of new novel
Barnes & Noble Cool Springs
1701 Mallory Lane, 377-9979
free, 3:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Long a mainstay on the roster of Nashville’s Thomas Nelson, novelist Ted Dekker is garnering plenty of praise for his latest, BoneMan’s Daughters, his first on Center Street - Hachette. Dekker has written almost two dozen novels that have sold more than 3 million copies. BoneMan’s Daughters, said the Library Journal Review, showcases his skills at “unraveling stories of good and evil at a nail-biting pace.” The novel centers on military intelligence officer Ryan Evans, who returns from Iraq seeking to build better relationships with his estranged wife and daughter. Instead, his daughter becomes the latest victim of BoneMan, a serial killer who breaks all his targets’ bones without breaking their skin. Evans, who embarks on a mission to find BoneMan, instead becomes a person of interest in the FBI’s investigation. Attendees of Saturday’s signing also will have the chance to be part of a video being shot for the Gathering, a one-day Dekker fan event that will take place June 6 at the Factory in Franklin. For more on that event, go to
— Geert De Lombaerde

Sixth Annual LIVE IT UP! Downtown Home Tour
Downtown Nashville
$10, 12 to 6 p.m.

Don your walking shoes and explore Nashville’s eye-catching urban residences during the LIVE IT UP! Downtown Home Tour. Co-sponsored by the Nashville Downtown Partnership and the Nashville Civic Design Center, the event features 12 stops, each offering distinctive apartment and condo homes in both vintage and new buildings. Within the downtown core, eight buildings form the bulk of the tour, their units highlighted by inviting lobbies, exposed mechanicals, soaring ceilings, brick walls and hardwood flooring. Also on the tour is sleek SoBro tower Encore (check the view from the pool deck) and three cutting-edge buildings in The Gulch: Icon, Terrazzo and Velocity. House-hunters — whether cosmopolitan young professionals, empty nesters or “simple living movement advocates” — will be thrilled to see the selection downtown Nashville offers. But even folks happily established in their current homes can take design and lifestyle ideas from these urban residential jewels.
— William Williams

The Road to Bonnaroo
Mercy Lounge, One Cannery Row
free, 9 p.m.

BMI, the Mercy Lounge, Bud Select and Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival present The Road to Bonnaroo, which will is offering 24 up-and-coming bands the chance to win one of three open slots at the 2009 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival June 11 through 14 in Manchester, Tenn. As part of BMI's “8 off 8th” free weekly showcase held at 9 p.m. every Monday at Mercy Lounge, this April 20 show — the second of three planned concerts — features eight bands. A combination of industry judges and audience participation will determine a winner. This week’s lineup includes KS Rhoads, How I Became the Bomb, And the Relatives, Reno Bo, Pico vs. Island Trees, Mike’s Pawn Shop, Protomen and AutoVaughn.
— Drew Ruble

Monique Lhuillier Symphony Spring Fashion Show
Schermerhorn Symphony Center, One Symphony Place
$125 and $300, 6 p.m.

Monique Lhuillier has made a name for herself designing exquisite bridal gowns worn by the likes of Britney Spears and red carpet masterpieces donned by Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba and Debra Messsing. The Nashville Symphony took note of the designer’s elegant look and tapped her to be the headliner for their annual fashion show fund-raiser. This Tuesday, the Los Angeles-based, Philippines-born Lhuillier will show off her latest creations at the event, dubbed the Monique Lhuillier Symphony Spring Fashion Show. Country band Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott will emcee the runway presentation. (It’s fitting to note Scott recently joined the rarified ranks when the singer wore Lhuillier to the Grammys back in February.) A $300 ticket will secure you a spot at a cocktail party with Lhuillier, dinner and the runway show (if you ante up an extra $100, they’ll give you front row seats!). And, if you are among the under-40-year-olds deemed the “Young Fashionable Crowd,” you can get a $125 ticket that includes the pre-party and the show. Lest you start feeling a tad guilty about investing in one of these golden tickets, remember that this is fashion for a cause: proceeds benefit the Symphony’s continued education and community outreach as well as the Thor Johnson Scholarship Fund.
— Libby Callaway

Nashville4Africa benefit concert
Schermerhorn Symphony Center, One Symphony Place
$33-$203, 7 p.m.

People from every corner of the music industry will come together for the inaugural Nashville4Africa benefit concert with the critically-acclaimed African Children's Choir. Hosted by Big Kenny (of Big & Rich) and Damien Horne, the music event will also include performances by Faith Hill, Dierks Bentley, Martina McBride, Brad Arnold (3 Doors Down), Ashley Cleveland, The SteelDrivers and Michael Rhodes, among others. J. Tayloe Emery of the JTE Creative Group founded the Nashville4Africa concert. It is produced and promoted by the Messina Group, a partner of AEG Live.
— Drew Ruble