Monday, September 25, 2023

Li’l Friday Roundup: Wilmington Geek Con, Easter hunts and brunch

The Algae Society’s “Confluence” art exhibit at Cameron Art Museum comes to light from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for Bioluminescent Thursday. The multi-media, light and sound experience includes map-projecting through the gallery space onto a window at the front of CAM. Above is seaweed wrapped around a 3D printed sculpture in the bioart lab at CAM. (Port City Daily/Shea Carver)

Ready to geek out this weekend? Wilmington Geek Con has you covered. Plus, live music with Mt. Joy and Shovels and Rope. Also, Easter egg and keg hunts, bounce houses and festivities, and brunch options galore.

Thursday, Apr. 14

Books and Brews Under the Oaks
Wrightsville Brewery, 6201 Oleander Dr. • Free to attend

From 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., local artist Cordelia Norris will celebrate the release of her third coloring book, “Backyard Pollinators.” 

The project was a collaborative effort between Norris, illustrator and writer Trudy Smoke Robbins and cut-paper sculptor Tiffany Miller Russell. Fifty drawings feature a wide variety of pollinators across North America —  bees, moths, butterflies, reptiles, bats — all interacting with plants they pollinate. 

The event is co-hosted by Luna Creative and Island Wildlife, a chapter of NC Wildlife Federation serving the lower Cape Fear region. The group hosts cleanups, community plantings, and oversees free educational events. A quarter of the book’s proceeds ($19.99) will be donated to its outreach. 

Samantha Fish — Bringing her own brand of blues and rock ‘n’ roll to the stage, Fish will perform at Kenan Auditorium (515 Wagoner Dr.) from her new work, “Faster,” produced by Martin Kierszenbaum (Lady Gaga, Sting, Sheryl Crow). Joining Fish on stage will be drummer Josh Freese (Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, The Replacements) and bassist Diego Navaira (The Last Bandoleros). Tickets start at $27 and are available here.

“Always a Bridesmaid” — The curtain will call on Big Dawg Productions’ first show of the year with Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten’s “Always a Bridesmaid.” The premise of the comedy surrounds four friends — Libby Ruth, Deedra, Monette and Charlie — who have promised to be in each other’s weddings, a vow they made the night of their senior prom. Thirty years later, they’re still following through on the promise. The show runs at Thalian Hall’s Ruth and Bucky Stein Theater (310 Chestnut St.), Apr. 14-17 and Apr. 21-24 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m on Sunday. Tickets are $28 excluding taxes and can be purchased here.

Final Bioluminescent Thursday — The Algae Society’s “Confluence” art exhibit at Cameron Art Museum comes to light from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for Bioluminescent Thursday. The multi-media, light and sound experience includes map-projecting through the gallery space onto a window at the front of CAM, showing algal images on a vinyl installation, “Pond Scum,” by Madison Creech. It can be viewed from inside and outside the building. An hour before the projections begin, co-curator Gene A. Felice II will give a guided tour of the exhibit, starting at 6 p.m. Read more about the exhibit here.

Mt. Joy — L.A.’s five-piece indie rock band Mt. Joy will land at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater at 6 p.m., with opener Flipturn. Mt. Joy has released two albums: a self-titled release in 2018, and “Rearrange us” in 2020, which charted on the Billboard 200. Tickets start at $35.

Thalian Association’s “Little Shop of Horrors,” a cult classic musical, will run one last weekend at Thalian Hall. (Courtesy Thalian Association)

Friday, Apr. 15

Little Shop of Horrors
Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. • Tickets: $32

Thalian Association is putting on the campy, cult classic “Little Shop of Horrors,” highlighting rock and R&B rhythms in songs like “Dentist” and “Feed Me (Git Lit).”

The stage musical by Howard Ashman (book and lyrics) and Alan Menken (music) follows the love story of Seymour and Audrey, who work in a flower shop. Seymour, secretly in love with Audrey, begins taking care of a Venus fly trap, “Audrey II.” The  singing, carnivorous plant gains local attention for its antics but eventually takes a dark turn as it can no longer survive from the blood of mere flies. Its monstrous growth has it moving on to larger “meals” and eventually world domination. 

Tickets are $32 to the musical, which will run one final weekend, Friday through Saturday, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Rebekah Todd and the Odyssey — Powerhouse rocker Rebekah Todd and her band the Odyssey are returning to her hometown to perform at Bourgie Nights (123 Princess St.). Americana alt-country musicians The Gone Ghosts will take the stage beforehand. Tickets are $10 ahead of time and $15 at the door. Read more about Todd, who plans on releasing another album in 2022, here

The Starling Whiskey and Wine Bar — The Cargo District has a new whiskey and wine bar, opening to the public Friday night. It boasts a list featuring 27 whiskeys and bourbons and hundreds of wines. Read more about the bar here.

Easter Bunny Horse-Drawn Carriage Tours — Springbrook Farms carriage tours of downtown Wilmington are in the Easter spirit. Learn about the history of Wilmington and enjoy free Easter treats for the kids. Narrated tours take place on the hour from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. but are closed Sunday. Prices are $6-$14 and tours are boarded at the foot of Market Street.

Rich Davis, former Wilmington resident, will be at Wilmington Geek Con this weekend promoting his Dracula series of comics. (Courtesy photo)

Saturday, Apr. 16

Wilmington Geek Expo
Wilmington Convention Center, 10 Convention Center Dr. • Passes: $10-$15

Comic book and graphic novel lovers, cosplay enthusiasts and gamers will be in their element on the downtown Riverwalk on Saturday. The Wilmington Geek Expo is kicking off at 10:30 a.m.

There will be more than100 vendors plus special guests, including Michael Copon (“Power Rangers Time Force,” “One Tree Hill”), comic artist Rob Retiano and ormer Wilmingtonian Rich Davis, author of “Cult of Dracula,” which is being optioned into a movie.

“When I set out to create my Dracula, I knew that I didn’t want to tell the same story of a weird Eastern European guy set in Victorian England,” Davis explained. 

While the story has been told numerous times in various ways, Davis honed in on all things that influenced Bram Stoker’s vampire mythology, something not just based in Western culture but globally, he said. Perhaps most interesting, Davis’ Dracula brings diversity to the comic-book pages. The fanged super villain is a female, something Davis found as a recurrence while researching worldwide folklore.

“Given Stoker’s interest in Lady Bathory and the Irish short story of Carmilla, it may even be close to what Stoker originally intended,” Davis said. “It didn’t matter what religion or culture or time period [I was looking into], this character showed up in almost all of them. It’s almost always a woman. She’s outcast and forced to live in the shadows on the fringes of society. To survive, she feeds off of the innocence of children or the essence of good people. Sounds a lot like a vampire to me. It’s been so very interesting to incorporate these global influences into my story.”

Davis has released three volumes in his Dracula world so far — “The Cult of Dracula,” “Rise of Dracula,” and “Reign of Dracula.” The monthly comics are available in hardcover and paperbacks. “Cult” is available now as a collector’s edition as well, while the fifth issue of “Rise” will come out later in the month. “Reign” finishes off the saga later in the year, and Davis will start a new series in the same universe in 2023, he confirmed.

Also in the works: adapting “Cult” as a screenplay with producer Jerry Carita of Sure Pictures. Davis met him while taking the job as comic-book buyer on Netflix’s “Swap Shop.” Currently, they’re sussing out two adaptations of “Cult”: one as an animated-motion comic, which will follow the book practically word-for-word. The second is a TV series that involves investigations into “strange crimes.”

“A prequel of sorts,” Davis said. “It will focus on a character I created for the book named Malcolm Bram. He’s an FBI agent in the vein of Scully from the ‘X-Files.’ He’s a skeptic, but open to the idea of the supernatural,” Davis explained. “Over the course of the show, he’ll uncover more and more about Dracula and her followers.”

Davis hopes to finagle Wilmington as a location for filming (Davis lived here for years and ran the former Browncoat Pub and Theater on Grace Street); though the project is in the early stages. He will be at Wilmington Geek Con all day Saturday, signing copies of his comics and will have collected editions and rare finds for sale.

Passes to Wilmington Con are $10-$15, with children under 10 admitted free. 

Ales and Tales — Paws Place will be set up at the Brunswick Beer Xchange (113 Village Rd. NE) in Leland from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. There will be fur babies to meet and beers available for purchase. 

Waterman’s Easter Keg Hunt — The annual Easter Keg Hunt with Watermans Brewing gets underway Saturday. Twelve sixtel kegs are decorated and hidden within a 5-mile radius of Watermans for participants to find. The first clue drops at 9 a.m. on Watermans’ and Penguin 98.3’s social media, and participants will have three hours to  collect tickets from as many kegs as possible. By noon, the kegs and hunters will need to be back at the brewery (1610 Pavilion Pl.) to place all their tickets in prize baskets. Winners will be announced at 1:30 p.m., and there will be live music by Cayle Fall, a magician, cornhole, and food and brews for sale. Prizes include two Watermans’ sixtels and prizes from Redix, Blue Shark Vodka, Riggs Yacht Sales, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Fleet Feet Running, Wrightsville Beach SUP, Ceviche’s, and others.

Easter Egg Hunt and Cookout — More Easter festivities will take place at Ogden Park from noon to 2 p.m., hosted by Kingdom Impact Wilmington Church. There will be ​​an egg hunt, climbing wall and slide, food, plus games and prizes. It’s free to attend.

Easter Egg Hunt — Pine Valley Baptist Church is hosting a family-friendly affair at 3940 Shipyard Blvd. There will be inflatables, games, giveaways, and other activities. Kids 12 and under are free and should bring their own baskets or bags to collect eggs; hunts take place every 15 minutes, starting at 10:45 a.m. and ending at 11:45 a.m. A free hot dog lunch will be served.

Shovels and Rope — The Charleston, S.C., folk duo is headed back to town and will land at the amphitheater on Apr. 16. Tickets are on sale now for $30.

Easter Kids Fun Day — Faith Life Fellowship welcomes families from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to 725 Wellington Ave. to enjoy kids’ crafts, games and prizes. There will be a bounce house, scavenger egg hunts (11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., bring a basket), fire truck display, and Kona Ice Truck. A hot dog lunch will be served.

Easter Egg Hunt — Wallace Park (2110 Market St.) is open to families to join an egg hunt at 10 a.m. It’s open to the public of all ages.

Crab cake Benedict from Savor Southern Kitchen, which is accepting call-ahead seating and reservations for six or more for Easter brunch. (Courtesy photo)

Sunday, Apr. 17

Easter Brunch
Various locations

With all the excitement of the Easter bunny’s arrival, egg hunts, church and family obligations, why not pass the buck on planning Easter dinner? Plenty of local eateries have Easter brunch covered this Sunday for those who want to relish more time with loved ones and less time over a stove. Here are a few places to consider:

Savor Southern Kitchen — From Red Velveteen doughnuts to Miss Crabby Patty Benny, the Savor menu is served from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 3704 Carolina Beach Rd. Plus, the Easter bunny will be on hand for photos. Reservations accepted for six or more; call ahead offered for other parties.

Sweet n Savory — The Wrightsville Beach eatery is serving all-you-can-eat family-style brunch from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Prices range from $14.99 – $29.99, featuring French toast, roast beef, pasta and more. A full breakfast menu will be served from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Reservations aren’t required.

Johnny Lukes — Easter Sunday brunch will be served from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. (restaurant closes at 3 p.m.), featuring Benedicts, chicken and waffles, huevos rancheros and other items. There will also be $4 Mimosas, $5 Bloody Marys ($10 top shelf). Reservations are recommended, though walk-ins are welcome. 

Nineteen Restaurant — Open to the public in Hampstead at Olde Point Country Club, Nineteen (513 Country Club Dr.) will serve brunch from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Items include quiche, omelets, crab cake BLT, and more. Reservations are recommended.

Floriana — Italian cuisine aplenty will be served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on an exclusive brunch menu, featuring items like frittata pomodoro and pork belly hash. Reservations can be made online or by calling 910-504-0160.

Buzz’s Roost — The Carolina Beach restaurant will host a free Easter dinner from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 8 Pavilion Ave. S. A traditional meal will be served to anyone who wants one. “If you are spending the holiday alone, don’t have any plans, or are a few nickels short due to the economy, don’t worry we got you covered,” the staff at Buzz’s Roost has noted.

Have an event to consider for Li’l Friday? Email

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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