Just Like Mama Used to Make

Posted by Holly Whitfield | January 21st 2010 2510 0

Here’s a not-so-secret: I’ve always been a Memphis resident, but I haven’t always lived here. For four years, I attended Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. There weren’t very many Southern people in Muncie (and there were even fewer from Memphis).

My Hoosier friends weren’t quite sure what to do with me – I talked funny, thought that 50 degrees was unreasonably cold, and had no idea how to drive in the snow. There were a dozen small cultural differences that made me start thinking about how growing up Southern had influenced me.

That’s why I’m so excited about Voices of the South’s newest show, the J & K Self-Rising Cabaret. Veteran actresses Jenny Madden and Kim Justis will be singing songs, eating home-cooked meals and talking about what it means to be Southern.

J and K Cabaret at TheatreSouth

J and K Cabaret at TheatreSouth

The show is packed full of witty, fast-paced dialogue (written by Kim’s husband Flip Eikner), big musical numbers (including the Judds’ “Mama, He’s Crazy”) played by a live band,  and plenty of silly puns. The show was directed by Voices of the South’s incredible creative director Jerre Dye.

Jenny and Kim love Memphis

Jenny and Kim love Memphis

The show opens Friday night at TheatreSouth (in the basement of First Congregational Church) and runs through January 30th.

And here’s the best part: I’ve got two tickets to the show for the reader that best answers the question “What does it mean to be Southern?”. Leave your answers in the comments. A winner will be picked tomorrow.

**** Congratulations to Jane S. She won two tickets to the J&K Cabaret. Thanks for playing, everybody!

Show Comments


  1. Tundrea Lyons says:

    “What does it mean to be Southern?”.
    Being Southern means I can walk down the street, look you in the eye, say “HELLO!” with a smile on my face. It means I can give a courtesy wave to the car that just let me get in front of them on 240E. It means I know what a good glass of sweet tea is supposed to taste like. Being Southern means that at the age of 39, I still remember to say, “Yes Sir” or “Yes Ma’am” to my elders and still put the word “Mr.” or “Miss” in front of their FIRST names when I speak to them. Why, because I was raised by a strong Southern mother, who taught me true Southern values: “Speak when you’re spoken to”, “Remember your place, because you are NOT grown yet” and “Always remember to make a good first impression, because that’s the only one you’ll get.”
    Lastly, Being Southern means I know how to appreciate where I was born and raised, ESPECIALLY when I travel above the “Mason-Dixon Line”. There’s nothing like Being Southern!

  2. Anna says:

    As I am a born and raised Memphian – and consider myself to be a “true” southerner….in bullet point form I will share southernisms dear to mt heart:

    -Sweet iced tea
    -“Bless his/her heart”
    -Chicken & dumplins (made from scratch only!)
    – Ya’ll

  3. Jane says:

    For me, it means knowing when to turn the accent off (on bitter phone calls with Comcast or in meetings with my NYC vendors, for instance) and on (like when asking for free cover at Paula and Raiford’s, or for extra cornbread to-go at the Little Tea Shop).

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