Li’l Friday Roundup: 25 events taking place in the Port City this weekend

Charly Lowry will perform as part of Cucalorus 2021 at 8 p.m. at Hi-Wire and will appear in the film “RUMBLE” at 4:15 p.m., screening at Jengo’s Playhouse. (Courtesy photo)


Charly Lowry
Hi-Wire Brewing, 1020 Princess St. • Free

A Lumbee/Tuscarora musician, Charly Lowry will perform a free show at Hi-Wire Brewing as part of the 27th annual Cucalorus Film Festival. A semi-finalist on “American Idol,” Lowry plays acoustic and electric guitar, as well as Native American hand drums, and is inspired by the sounds of Motown, southern gospel and and indigenous singer-songwriter Pura Fé.

Lowry is from Robeson County, N.C., and has led the spiritual rock and soul band Dark Water Rising, as well as played with The Ulali Project — a reincarnation of a First Nations female acappella group, Ulali. 

An ambassador for the Lumbee people, Lowry will perform after the screening of a movie she appears in, “RUMBLE,” shows Thursday at Jengo’s Playhouse at 4:15 p.m. The Emmy-nominated doc delves into the influence of indigenous music on rock ‘n’ roll — from Jimi Hendrix to Robbie Robertson to Buffy Sainte-Marie. It features an interview with Quincy Jones, Iggy Pop, and Martin Scorsese. Tickets to the movie are $10; Cucalorus passholders welcome. 

The concert at Hi-Wire starts at 8 p.m. 

Calpulli Mexican Dance Company — Wilson Center in downtown Wilmington will welcome NYC-based Calpulli to perform an interpretation of the 1862 Battle of Puebla, when the French Army entered Mexico — the last time an army invaded the Americas. “Puebla: The Story of Cinco de Mayo” will highlight history, culture and movement during two showtimes, 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; tickets are $25.

Veterans Day Exhibit Opening — The Cape Fear Museum will open a new exhibit in honor of Veterans Day. “MacMillan: Artist as Soldier” will include 50 paintings and illustrations, based on WWII soldier Henry MacMillan. A Wilmingtonian, MacMillan was also an artist who “detailed paintings of hedgerows in Normandy, France, that helped the Allied forces navigate the difficult terrain,” according to the museum. The opening will feature activities including painting a watercolor postcard and writing a message to a veteran. Veterans receive free admission; the museum is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday. 

Visual/Sound/Walls — It’s one of the best events at Cucalorus Film Festival, quite honestly. Visual/Sound/Walls features multiple screens — this year, around six to eight — showing on a loop music videos throughout the night. This year’s event is curated by RacerTrash, a collective of filmmakers that bring a vaporwave cut treatment to film, meaning they remix original films, or in this case music videos, and blend it with trippy audio and overlapped visuals. V/S/W kicks off at Jengo’s Playhouse (815 Princess St.) at 10:15 p.m. Thursday. $10 entry or passholders welcome.

Cape Fear Country Boil will provide the grub at DREAMS of Wilmington’s fundraiser, Groove and Grub, taking place Friday evening. (Courtesy Cape Fear Boil Co.)


Groove and Grub
DREAMS Center for Arts Education, 901 Fanning St. • Admission: $25-$125

DREAMS of Wilmington supports youth development through equitable arts programming in a variety of media: dance, film, writing, visual arts, graphic design, theater, and music, among other disciplines. In order to provide the classes to youth for free, DREAMS hosts fundraising events throughout the year. 

On Friday evening, the organization will throw a low-country boil at its Fanning Street campus, prepared by Cape Fear Boil Company. Jared Sales with Medicated Sunfish and The Cajammers will perform at the boil, and Waterline Brewing is bringing the beer.

Tickets are $25 for entertainment and one drink ticket or $125 for dinner for two, which also includes two drink tickets and entertainment.

Holiday Art Exhibit and Sale — Art in Bloom is opening a new holiday exhibit and sale featuring many works — some new — from gallery artists, such as Elizabeth Darrow, Bradley Carter, Karen Paden Crouch, Brian Evans, Dianne Evans, Curtis Krueger, Dave Klinger, Kirah Van Sickle and others. Also on display is “Jeff Chase: Night,” showcasing original photography and paintings capturing under-the-radar moments in time. The gallery is open Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

“Charlotte’s Web” — Thalian Association Youth Theatre will be performing “Charlotte’s Web” at the community arts center, Hannah Block USO, at the corner of Orange and 2nd streets this weekend. Adapted by Joseph Robinette and based on the 1952 book by E.B. White, the story follows the friendship of Wilbur, a livestock pig, and Charlotte, a spider. Tickets are $15, and the show will be staged Nov. 12 – 21, Friday – Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. 

Comedian Michael Ian Black — The well-known comedian is bringing his dry wit back to the Dead Crow stage both Friday and Saturday nights, performing two shows each evening. Black has appeared in numerous films (“Reno 911: Miami,” “Wet Hot American Summer”) and TV series (“The State,” “Ed,” “I Love The…”), author books and continues to tour the standup circuit. Tickets are $25.

Porcupine — Cucalorus 27 has almost 130 films screening through Sunday. Friday night will feature “Porcupine,” by director M. Cahill, starring Jena Malone (“Donnie Darko”). “She is a young adult who signs up to get adopted parents,” Cucalorus executive director Dan Brawley said. “Which is a thing, I guess. If you are in your 20s or 30s, and you don’t have a family, you can sign up. She’s great and it’s set up is pretty cute.” Tickets are $10 or passholders are admitted; it will screen at Thalian Hall’s main stage at 7:15 p.m.

The Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Fest gets underway Saturday at Riverfront Park in downtown Wilmington, featuring local, regional, and national brews and spirits, plus barbecue, cigars, cornhole tournaments and live music. (Courtesy photo)


Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival
Riverfront Park, 10 Cowan St. • Tickets: $39

This culinary escapade sells out annually in Wilmington and only has a few tickets left for Saturday. Beer, Bourbon and BBQ is an all-inclusive ticket for patrons to enjoy over 60 beers, 40 bourbons, and a lot of ‘cue.

The beer garden and distilleries will highlight local, regional, national and international sippers, while the hogs will come smoked, pulled, chopped and of course will bring the bacon. Biscuits, chickens, sausages, ribs, brisket and more will be up for grabs. Plus, cigars will be available on site and there will be a cornhole tournament.

Music will be performed by Folkstone String Band from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. and Thurston Howell from 3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Feel Good Fest — Carolina Beach is bringing the good vibes to the island in the form of Feel Good Fest at 1328 Lake Park Blvd. North. Gates open at 11 a.m. for a day of music from local bands including: Medicated Sunfish, Signal Fire, Kind Thieves, Rebekah Todd, Alternative Vision, Dubtown Cosmonaut, Amani Smith and Give Thanks Band, Entangled Dreams, and Drifting Roots. Tickets are $27.

Port City Vendor Rodeo — Taking place at 803 Dawson St., the Port City Vendor Rodeo celebrates local shopping. Onsite will be three food trucks and an ice-cream truck, and well over 35 local vendors to shop through just in time for the holidays. It’s free to attend; purchases individually priced.

Leland Homecoming — A new event hosted by the Town of Leland is a Homecoming of sorts, welcoming residents to Founders Park on Saturday, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. There will be live free music by The Graes and The Hatch Brothers. Also parked will be food trucks, a community art project, a fireworks show, and games for the family. It’s free to attend.

Holiday Maker’s Market — Vendors will line up at Peace Rose Montessori School (2173 Wrightsville Ave.) to sell handmade wares for the holiday season. Also, a silent auction will take place, with proceeds benefiting the school, a nonprofit organization. There will be a donation toy swap, as well as sip-and-shop mimosa bar, and a cash prize raffle drawing.

The Rest of Us — Over seven years, documentarian Florencia Krochik followed the rise and fall of DACA and America’s broken immigration system. Krochik centers “The Rest of Us” on five undocumented students who work, study and live in a country “that doesn’t recognize them as its own.” The doc screens at Jengo’s Playhouse (815 Princess St.) at 10:45 a.m. and tickets are $10 or open to passholders.

Bus to Lumberton — Perhaps one of the coolest events at Cucalorus will come Saturday evening when the Wilmington-filmed “Blue Velvet,” David Lynch’s neo-noir classic, gets a vaporwave-cut treatment from the filmmaking collective RacerTrash. The group basically re-edits movies with various imagery and sound, often times making them trippy and in Lynch’s case of “Blue Velvet” perhaps a little stranger. Tickets are $10 or passholders welcome; the movie will screen on the main stage at Thalian Hall, 7 p.m.

Stay Prayed Up — Another Cucalorus documentary worth a watch on Saturday begins at 7:15 p.m. at Thalian’s black box theater. D.L. Anderson and Matt Durning tell the story of Lena Mae Perry, who for 50 years led The Branchettes. The gospel group was legendary North Carolina, touring and packing churches throughout the South. The film “demonstrates that music, like faith, ain’t nothing without some fire inside.” Tickets are $10 and passholders are welcome.

Carolina Beach Astronomy Program — The Cape Fear Astronomy Society will welcome participants to the Carolina Beach State Park Visitor Center (1010 State Park Rd.) on Saturday around sunset to view all the stars, planets and constellations in the sky. The event ends at 7 p.m., the park’s closing hours, and is subject to cancellation upon inclement weather or if there are poor viewing conditions. 

Carolina Beach Beer and Wine Walk — Want to engage in a little day-drinking while exploring Pleasure Island? The Carolina Beach Beer and Wine Walk will get underway on Saturday from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. It’s a 21-and-older event, with two samples given at each of the five stops: Hurricane Alley’s, The Dive Food and Spirits, Nollies Taco Joint, Seawitch Cafe & Tiki Bar, and Nauti Dog. Tickets are $16.

Cape Fear Chorale Concert — Enjoy a free choral performance at Kenan Auditorium Saturday evening with the Cape Fear Chorale. “Sing Together, Always” takes place at 4 p.m. The 71-member choir will perform work by composers Whitacre, Rutter and Forrest, including “Carol of the Bells” and “Lord’s Prayer,” among others.

“The Christians” is the latest theater production from UNCW’s theatre department and will open Thursday night, Nov. 11, and run through next Sunday, Nov. 21. (Courtesy UNCW)


The Christians
UNCW Mainstage Theater, 5270 Randall Dr. • Tickets: $6-$15

UNCW’s Department of Theatre is producing its second show of the season with Lucas Hinath’s “The Christians,” directed by Christopher Marino. The play challenges notions of faith in America, as it follows the story of Pastor Paul who begins to cast his religious doubts to a diverse congregation. His church has grown from its modest beginnings into a worshipping mass of 2,000 parishioners at a megachurch. Yet, at the pinnacle of his faith, the pastor starts exploring the cracks appearing in organized religion and questioning his beliefs that could create a schism in the church.

A gospel choir will be part of the show, which is staged, produced and performed by UNCW theater students. The show runs at 8 p.m. ​​Nov. 11-13 and 18-20, and at 2 p.m. on the 14 and 21. Tickets are $6 for students, $12 for seniors and UNCW faculty and staff, and $15 for the general public.

Folkstone StringBand — If you missed their bluegrass shindig at Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Fest on Saturday, here’s another chance to catch the roots quartet. They’ll be playing Seven Mile Post on Sunday, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Jamaican food will be served by the onsite restaurant Rude Bwoys Jerk BBQ. Show is for 21 and up; free admission.

Convulsions: Secret Screening — Every year Cucalorus Film Festival ends it five-day festival with a secret screening of a film that won’t be named literally until the last minute. Sunday’s event takes place at 8 p.m. at Thalian Hall’s black box theater. All Cucalorus is revealing is that it’s for “adults only — this unique, sexy, wild new film is from another planet. What could it be? We ain’t sayin!” Tickets are $10 and passholders are welcome.

Will Easter and the Nomads — Known as “Grunge Grass” or “Sauratown Mountain Folk,” the music coming out of Will Easter and the Nomads will be a soul-stirring experience at Ted’s Live on Sunday. Easter grew up in the North Carolina mountains and has performed with bluegrass and folk greats, including Jim Avett, David Childers, Time Sawyer, and Brooks Forsyth. He released a nine-track digital album on Bandcamp in March. The band will be performing with Julia Rothenberger at Ted’s from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.; there is a $7 cover. 

Battleship Half Marathon — For the runners out there, Sunday will provide a chance to flex those calves in the Battleship Half Marathon, kicking off at 7 a.m. in downtown Wilmington. Registration is $40-$95 and welcomes runners to partake in a 10K or 5K. One of the oldest certified marathons in the South, the route goes through historic downtown, around Battleship North Carolina, over both downtown bridges, and through Greenfield Lake Park. Packet pickup is at the Embassy Suites; it’s free for spectators.

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