Thursday, Feb. 17
“Movie and a Message” Documentary Screenings
CFCC, Union Station Auditorium • Free
As a celebration of Black History Month, Cape Fear Community College is hosting free documentary screenings all day Thursday, 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., in its Union Station Auditorium.
At 1 p.m. “John Lewis: Good Trouble” will screen. The documentary follows the life of the departed U.S. Representative and civil rights leader, from his march on Selma in the ‘60s with Martin Luther King Jr. to his legislative work in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Following will be “Freedom Summer” at 3 p.m., which covers the 1964 voter registration drive in Mississippi to increase Black voter turnout, despite intimidation and discrimination at the polls.
The final film of the day will hit home as Chris Everett’s “Wilmington on Fire” will screen at 5:30 p.m. Everett’s 2015 film covers the events of the 1898 coup d’etat and massacre, wherein a mob of white supremacists launched an attack on Black citizens. After the screening, Everett will show a trailer for “Wilmington on Fire II” and will host a question-and-answer session.
OTHER THURSDAY HAPPENINGS
Kazim Ali + Wiley Cash Reading — Two authors visiting the UNCW Department of Creative Writing will host a reading Thursday at 7 p.m. in Morton Hall 100. UC San Diego professor Kazim Ali has a variety of work — novels, poetry, essays — encompassing multiple genres, including his most recent releases, three poems entitled “The Voice of Sheila Chandra” and a memoir of his Canadian childhood, “Northern Light.” Cash is a NYT bestselling author of “When Ghosts Come,” “The Last Ballad,” “This Dark Road to Mercy,” and “A Land More Kind Than Home.” Cash teaches fiction at UNC Asheville as the alumni author-in-residence.
Jazz Night with Jonathan Hill Trio — Downtown’s New Anthem (116 Dock St.) will welcome the three-piece jazz group of Jonathan Hill from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. The trio features Benny Hill on sax, David Canning on bass, and Jonathan Hill on drums. It’s free to watch and listen.
“The Tempest” — UNCW’s Department of Theater is performing two weekends of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” a shipwrecked fantasy following the story of newfound love on an enchanted island full of majestic creatures, sorcery, fantasy and revenge. Shows are performed by UNCW theater students, Feb. 17-20 and 24-27, 8 p.m., except on Sundays, 2 p.m. Performances take place at the Cultural Arts Building or can be livestreamed; tickets are $6-$15.
Friday, Feb. 18
Drew Harrison Album Recording
Dead Crow Comedy Room, 511 N. Third St. • $15-$25
A Wilmington comedian is circling back to his roots to capture the humor that inspired his career.
Drew Harrison will be recording four shows this weekend at Dead Crow Comedy Room for an upcoming album. Harrison first got his start in the comic world at Dead Crow and won Port City’s Top Comic in 2016. His observational stand-up revolves around absurd and ridiculous events that shaped his life.
Harrison now lives in Nashville and when he isn’t touring, he hosts “My Funny Friends” podcast with fellow comic Will Abeles and “Nickel & Dime Football Show” on YouTube with childhood friend Shawn Sudler.
There will be two shows on Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are $15-$25.
OTHER FRIDAY HAPPENINGS
“Footloose” — Opera House Theatre Company is getting “Footloose” after having to postpone their first musical of 2022 in January, due to Covid-19 surges. Opening night is Friday, with a group of local actors, performing as rebellious teenagers fighting the town council for their right to dance — specifically, to throw a prom. The show contains numbers like “Footloose,” “Holding Out for a Hero” and “Almost Paradise,” performed by a live band and orchestra. Tickets are $40 and the show takes place at Thalian Hall Friday through Sunday through Feb. 27. Showtime is 7 p.m. with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Write Wilmington — The second season of Write Wilmington gets underway and will continue every Friday morning through Apr. 29. Local writers gather via Zoom from 9 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. for free writing sessions. The event is led by a creative writing professor at UNCW, graduate student or alumni, who offers a prompt and everyone writes together. The purpose of the meet-up isn’t to critique or workshop the writing, but rather get the creativity and inspiration moving to start the writing process. Register here.
Folkstone Stringband — Waterline Brewery (721 Surry St.) will have bluegrass sounds permeating under the Cape Fear Bridge. The Folkstone Stringband, founded by Ben Chontos and Jones Smith, will perform at 7 p.m. Music is always free in the beer garden.
Saturday, Feb. 19
Piaf! The Show
Wilson Center, 703 N. Third St. • Tickets: $45
The life and music of French chanteuse Édith Piaf will be celebrated at the Wilson Center Saturday in “Piaf! The Show.” Piaf was a cabaret performer and songstress whose ballads about love, loss, sorrow and life — ”La Vi En Rose,” “Milord,” “Padam, Padam…” — were regarded worldwide, but especially in France.
“Piaf! The Show” halted for two years because of the Covid pandemic but returns on its world tour to celebrate Piaf’s 60th deathiversary in 2023. Originally slated to take place at Thalian Hall, the performance has moved to Wilson Center, where tickets will be honored.
Directed and conceptualized by Nice-based Gil Marsalla, “Piaf!” stars Nathalie Lhermitte as Edith, who brings the rags-to-riches story to life. The show premiered in 2015, inspired by the award-winning movie “La Vie En Rose.” It includes never-before-seen photos and images of Edith from the 1940s and ‘50s.
Tickets are $45 and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.
ALSO TAKING PLACE SATURDAY
Wilmington Symphonic Winds — A free concert, “RISE,” will take place at UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium at 4:30 p.m. The musical program is centered around optimism and a renewed spirit, featuring selections that embody hope and resilience. Conducted by Paul Murtha, the concert will have guest artists, including vocalist Alexis Raeana, a UNCW alumna and “American Idol” contestant. Also joining will be Stephen Luck, former player for the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point, who will perform a trumpet solo. Free tickets are available through the Kenan Auditorium box office at 515 Wagoner Dr.
River Tramps and Jack Marion & the Pearl Snap Project — Live at Ted’s welcomes two Americana acts to the stage at 8 p.m. Nashville-based River Tramps plays acoustic folk, and their latest album, “Like to Be Lonely,” harkens back to the sounds of old-school Loretta and Dolly. Jack Marion and the Pearl Snap Project — a Blue Ridge Mountains crew — turns up the sound with a more electric country vibe. Tickets are $16.50 and can be purchased here.
Living History Battle of Forks Road — At the Cameron Art Museum, a celebration of Stephen Hayes’ “Boundless,” which memorializes the soldiers of the United States Colored Troops, will take place. “Living History Battle of Forks Road” is free and open to the public both Feb. 19 and 20 (regular gallery admission applies). There will be USCT re-enactors giving demonstrations, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., on the museum grounds. Storyteller Carolyn Evans will host a special performance next to Hayes’ sculpture at noon, with spoken word by Johnny Lee Chapman, “Powhatan,” following at 12:30 pm. At 2 p.m. a panel discussion will take place between the artist Hayes, Dr. Tamara Brothers of the N.C. Arts Council, Deborah Dicks Maxwell of the NAACP, and CAM’s executive director Anne Brennan (ticketed event, register here). There also will be kids events through Kids @ CAM, including a dance performance from DREAMS of Wilmington students at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, a lecture by historian Dr. Chris Fonvielle (register here), who has written about the Battle of Forks Road, will take place. The full schedule can be found here.
The Fritz with Rebekah Todd — Taking over the Palm Room at Wrightsville Beach will be local songstress Rebekah Todd performing with Asheville-based The Fritz. The five-piece performs a blend of soul, funk and psychedelic rock.
Operation Warm Hands and Feet — At Kingdom Impact Church (4825 Randall Parkway), 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., a free community outreach event is taking place. Anyone in need of gloves, coats, shoes, hats, and scarves can come by and pick up the clothing for free. Soup and coffee also will be served.
Disc Golf Tournament — Pros, amateurs, women and recreational divisions are open Saturday for the New Hanover Disc golf Club tournament at Castle Hayne Disc Golf. Tee time is at 9 a.m. with sign up starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 8:45 a.m. Fees are $5-$13, depending on division, with an additional $2 fee if not current on dues. There are also optional buy-ins: CTP, $1 and Ace Pool, $1.
Sunday, Feb. 20
Wilmington Symphony Orchestra 50 Years
Wilson Center, 703 N. Third St. • Tickets start at $25
The Wilmington Symphony Orchestra celebrate 50 years of serving its southeastern N.C. community with a show at 6 p.m.
The performance will include WSO’s Richard R. Deas Young Artists Concerto Competition winners — Luis Barragan Higuera (UNCW division; piano) and Aria DiLoreto (high school division; violin). Wilmington’s renowned saxophonist Benny Hill, the 1992 Concerto Competition winner, will perform “a movement from Oboe Concerto in C minor by Alessandro Marcello,” according to WSO. A special guest conductor will make an appearance as well.
Soirée ticket holders ($75) can enjoy a pre-concert celebration at 4 p.m. with food and wine, as well as backstage access after the concert to meet with WSO musicians. Otherwise, tickets begin at $25.
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