Saturday, April 1, 2023

Li’l Friday Roundup: Grand Funk Railroad, Herb and Garden Fair

The New Morse Code will perform Thursday at UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium. (Courtesy photo)

Thursday, Mar. 31

The New Morse Code
Kenan Auditorium, 515 Wagoner Dr. • Tickets: $30-$40

Musical duo New Morse Code creates out-of-the ordinary sounds. Cellist Hannah Collins and percussionist Michael Compitello push orchestral boundaries by connecting their music to causes of social and environmental justice. 

“[They] find innovative ways to interact with communities while spreading awareness of the issues that mean the most to them,” UNCW Office of the Arts director Fidias Reyes told Port City Daily last summer when announcing the roster of shows for the new season. 

Collins and Compitello’s original compositions feature recorded audio of the cities they play in, the crinkling of crushed plastic bottles, and synthetic materials audience members wear as they’re playing.

Tickets are $30-$40.

RESCHEDULED: The Wood Brothers
— Playing Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, American roots band The Wood Brothers will take the stage with their blend of blues, gospel, jazz and folk. Tickets are $38; gates open at 6 p.m. Update: Thursday afternoon, Greenfield Lake Amphitheater noted the show has been rescheduled to Oct. 2 due to inclement weather. All previously purchased tickets will be honored for the new date.

Queen of Wines Dinner — Monthly, Floriana downtown hosts a wine dinner as part of its wine club. March’s event features pairings from Queen of Wines with an Italian dinner for $75. The event takes place from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The menu can be acquired, along with reservations, by calling 910-504-0160. 

Spring Succulent + Flower Wreath Workshop — Spring has sprung and the Rocks n Roots Plant Co. is hosting a beginners class on wreath making at Catawba Brewing. Participants can choose between a 14- or 18-inch grapevine wreath, with decorative moss, fresh greenery, and flowers, plus a variety of succulent cuttings, all led with step-by-step instructions. Catawba will have food and drinks from the brewery for purchase. Pre-registration is required, as there is limited space, and tickets are $54-$65. 

Shag Dance Workshop — Want to learn the official dance of the South? Babs McDance (6782 Market St.) is hosting a shag dancing workshop from 7:30 – 8 p.m. Cost is $15 per person, and the lesson will cover beginner and intermediate lessons, including the eight-count basic and turns.

Charlie Smith provided instruments to over three dozen homes last Christmas through his program Play It Forward, which will have a fundraiser this weekend at Dead Crow Comedy Room. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, Apr. 1

Play It Forward Comedy, Concert and Fundraiser
Dead Crow Comedy Room, 511 N. Third St. • Admission: $10-$20

On both Friday evening and all day Sunday, two fundraisers will help provide instruments to kids who want to learn how to play music.

Local musician Charlie Smith founded Play It Forward five years ago and dedicates his free time to refurbishing guitars, drums and other instruments for kids who have the desire to learn an instrument but can’t necessarily afford a new one. Smith is hosting a night of comedy on Friday, featuring Mat Millner, Steve Marcinowski, Timmy Sherrill, Chad Fogland, Jack Nelson, and Bridget Callahan. There are shows at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and tickets are $10-$20

On Sunday, the fun continues with a day of live music starting at 1 p.m. Taking the stage will be musicians from School of Rock, Free Drinks, Audiomelt, The Swelliansm Hyperloops, Cool Jerk, Jared Cline, and Cary Benjamin. Plus, Latin Foodies food truck will be on site starting at 3 p.m.

Play It Forward started in 2015 and has grown, with its largest giveaway happening each holiday season. Smith was able to gift/donate instruments to over two dozen homes last Christmas. Read more about the program here.

State of the Art/Art of the State — The Cameron Art Museum is welcoming artists across North Carolina to hang or display one piece of artwork in State of the Art/Art of the State. The exhibit allows artists an opportunity to present their work to one of three renowned curators for feedback and showcase it in a museum through September. The line opens at 5 p.m. for 24 hours, with the last artists accepted at 5 p.m. Saturday. All work is hung on the spot and the exhibit officially opens to the public Apr. 9. Read more about the exhibit here.

“With Love, Marilyn” — Two local actresses will bring to life Hollywood’s beloved blonde bombshell, Marilyn Monroe, during her final three months of life in an original cabaret, penned by Erin Sullivan. Sullivan will perform as Monroe during two performances, with Sydney Smith Martin taking over the final performances through next weekend. The six shows take place at Thalian Hall, Apr. 1-10; tickets are $32. Read the interview with the actresses here.

Herb and Garden Fair will be set up at Poplar Grove this Saturday and Sunday; $5 admission. (Courtesy photo)

Saturday, Apr. 2

Herb and Garden Fair
Poplar Grove Plantation, 10200 US-17 • Admission: $5

Gardening season has officially arrived in southeastern North Carolina, and Poplar Grove is celebrating with its herb and garden fair. The 30th annual event takes place this Saturday and Sunday in Hampstead.

There will be over 100 plant, herb, nursery, and garden vendors, as well as artists and artisans selling wares. Plus, food trucks and concessions will be on site.

Admission is $5 (12 and under free) and all proceeds benefit the historic site. Advance tickets can be purchased at and are available at the gate. The event hours are Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Grand Funk Railroad — The ‘70s rockers are headed to the Wilson Center Saturday night, marking 50-plus years on the road. The band blends soul and rock, complete with “muscular instrumentation and forceful pop melodies” in songs like “The Loco-Motion,” “I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)” and “We’re an American Band.” Former The band features Don Brewer (vocals, drums, songwriter), bassist Mel Schacher, Max Carl (.38 Special), lead guitarist Bruce Kulick (KISS, Meatloaf, Billy Squier), and keyboardist Tim Cashion (Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Robert Palmer). Tickets start at $42. Watch them perform at Shea Stadium in 1971 here.

Cruise in the Barn — The Barn at Rock Creek in Leland is hosting a car and truck show, outdoor vendor market and live entertainment this weekend. There is a $5 entry at the gate (children under 12 are free). Music will take place throughout the day, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., featuring DJ Flame-On, Dirty Laundry, Da All-Starz and WOOD, and Band on Fire. Vehicles entering the car show must check in between 8 a.m. and noon (registration is $30) and trophies are awarded to the top 50 vehicles, with cash prizes for the top 10. Awards are announced at 4 p.m.

UNCW Brass Fest — Taking place at UNCW’s Beckwith Recital Hall, brass musicians will convene Saturday for a festival of sounds at 7:30 p.m. High school and college players are welcome to register for a master class at 9 a.m. There will be brass choir rehearsals and sectionals at 10:30 a.m. The performance will be led by music director Daniel Johnson, UNCW’s Department of Music brass faculty and students, and guest artist and trumpeter Stephen Luck. Tickets are $10 to the general public.

White Elephant Yard Sale — The Burgwin-Wright House in downtown Wilmington is hosting a White Elephant Yard Sale from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Inside the visitor center and on the porch will be items for sale, including antiques, furniture, art, home goods and more. Proceeds benefit the museum; masks are required.

Bric-a-Bac Sale — The Latimer House in downtown Wilmington is hosting a bric-a-bac sale from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday. The historic museum notes “Victorians loved their bric-a-brac: odds and ends.” For sale will be local history books and other finds. The event is being held in conjunction with Burgwin-Wright’s White Elephant Sale. All proceeds from the sale benefit the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society.

Spring Blossom Art Sale — Morning Glory Coffee House on Dawson Street is hosting an art sale, featuring art vendors, live music and food for sale. Also, attendees are encouraged to bring plant cuttings to swap with others. There also will be vendors selling plants and pots. The event is free to attend and takes place from 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

Final Four Watch Party — It’s been a long time coming: The ultimate rivals are matching up for the first time in NCAA history in the final four this weekend in New Orleans. The Carolina Tar Heels will face off against the Duke Blue Devils, and Wild Wing Cafe is throwing a party, welcoming fanatics to its Landfall sports bar. There will be specials on wings, beer and endless shrimp. The game starts at 8:45 p.m.

Free Drinks is one of six bands performing at the Crafted Waves Art and Music in The Cargo District this Sunday. (Courtesy photo)

Sunday, Apr. 3

Crafted Waves Art and Music
Old Boys and Girls Club, 1502 Castle St. • Tickets: $15

The Cargo District is hosting its first music festival, in collaboration with UNCW’s Plastic Ocean Project. There will be six bands, including Dubtown Cosmonauts, Lawn Enforcement, The Queens Giant, Louis, Pleasure Island, and Free Drinks. Bands will perform from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.; tickets are $15. 

Before the concerts start, the Crafted Makers Market will set up throughout the Cargo District near 16th and Queen streets. Local artists and creators will sell handmade wares from noon to 4 p.m. It’s free to attend.

Wheelz Pizza will be on site with its food truck, and Alcove Beer Garden will be open. 

All proceeds from the concert benefit Plastic Ocean Project. Through outreach and collaboration, the nonprofit researches ways to prevent and remove plastics from marine habitats on and off-shore.

WSO’s Classical Kids Education Concert — At the Wilson Center in downtown Wilmington, Wilmington Symphony Orchestra will perform “Beethoven Lives Upstairs” as part of its education concert program, “WSO Classical Kids.” The show is the culmination of a 10-week curriculum that introduced youth to Beethoven. An arts fair will take place in the lobby ahead of the performance, beginning at 2:30 p.m., featuring the Orchestra Discovery Zone. Kids will be introduced to instruments and other youth-friendly community nonprofits will be on site. Tickets are $10 for adults and kids under 17 are admitted free.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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