Monday, September 26, 2022

Li’l Friday: Weird Al, ‘Newsies,’ JJ Grey and Mofro

The cast of ‘Newsies’ from Opera House Theater Company — which opened this week. (Courtesy OHTC)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Li’l Friday is a weekend roundup of events featuring things to do across the region in art, music, theater, comedy, pop-up markets and more.

All events featured were a go as of Thursday; however, it’s wise to check in ahead of attending any one. Inclement weather, changes in schedules and unforeseen circumstances may shift for organizers at the last minute.

Thursday, Aug. 11

Newsies
Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. • Tickets: $35 and up

Opera House Theatre Company is presenting “Newsies” — a Wilmington theatrical premiere based off the 1992 hit movie.

With music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and book by Harvey Fierstein, “Newsies” is ripped from the pages of Bob Tzudiker and Noni White’s screenplay, set in the summer of 1899. Orphaned and homeless newsboys who post up in a lodging house in Lower Manhattan, protest against the rising cost of papers and unionize a strike. 

The show contains hit songs including “Seize the Day,” “Santa Fe,” “Carrying the Banner” and “The World Will Know” and is led by musical director Brian Whitted. It stars local actors including Paul Teal, Jakob Gruntfest, and Emilia Torella, and is directed by Shane Fernand with choreography by Carson Hobbs.

The show will run at Thalian Hall, August 11 to 21, Wednesday through Saturday, at 7:30 p.m., and matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.  

OTHER THURSDAY HAPPENINGS
“Remember Yesterday” — Local writer and director J.R. Rodriguez is debuting his first feature film at The Pointe’s Stone Theaters on Thursday evening. “Remember Yesterday” is a love story about second chances and rekindling old flames and life’s passion. Rodriguez worked for five years with all local crew and producers to bring the film to its premiere. “Remember Yesterday” also won the Best Feature Film category at the Florence Romance International Film Festival earlier in the summer. Tickets are $12, and there are two screenings at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session. Read an interview with Rodriguez, producer Jon Landau and the local cast here.

Moon Taxi — Nashville’s indie-pop rockers will perform at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater at 6 p.m. The band is touring in support of new music, including 2021’s “Silver Dream.” Tickets are $30. Read an interview with the band here

Weird Al Yankovic in New York, May 17, 2016. Accustomed to a career mix of recognition and indifference, the musical comedian says he’s eager to give IFC’s “Comedy Bang! Bang!”, his first steady television gig in nearly 20 years, a whirl. (Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

Friday, Aug. 12

Weird Al Yankovic
Wilson Center, 703 N. 3rd St. • Tickets: $38 and up

The musician best known for his parodies will be touring back through the Wilson Center on Friday. Only this time around, it’s with his “Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour” — a follow up to 2017’s Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour.

The shows will feature Weird Al and his band only, no bells or whistles, “no costumes, no props, no video screens.” Also, no parodies. Instead, it puts full attention on Yankovic’s original songs that haven’t been as recognized in pop culture.  

“The Vanity tour is the most fun I’ve ever had on stage,” Yankovic said in a statement, “so I’ve been dying to get back out there and torture everybody with it once again!”

Opening the show will be comedian Emo Philips, who starred in Weird Al’s 1989 film “UHF.”

OTHER FRIDAY HAPPENINGS
“Company” — The 50-year Stephen Sondheim classic opens at Kenan Auditorium on UNCW’s campus this weekend. Presented by Thalian Association Community Theater, the show follows the story of Robert on his 35th birthday. A bachelor, Robert begins to contemplate his bachelorhood while his friends, all married, weigh the pros and cons of married life. The show opens Friday and runs through Sunday.. Tickets are $22 to $32. Read more about the show here

Summer Book Sale The annual summer book sale at the New Hanover County northeast library is a fundraiser featuring hundreds of thousands of items on sale, from adult and children’s books to audiobooks to DVDs. Items are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Hardbacks and audio/video are $3 and paperbacks are $2. Members of Friends of the Library are invited to a private preview sale Friday at 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Memberships are $20 a year, available at the door). The sale takes place one final weekend: Aug. 12 and 13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Aug. 14, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 13

Ismael Loufti
Dead Crow Comedy Center, 511 N. 3rd St. • Tickets: $18-$28

The acerbic humor of Ismael Loufti — a Muslim who was reared in rural North Florida — will take over the Dead Crow stage for four shows this weekend. Loufti has written for NPR’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” and Netflix’s “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.” 

He has appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Sarah Silverman-produced “Please Understand Me,” and Comedy Central’s “Ahamed’s Ramadan Diary.” In March, a half-hour special, “Sound It Out,” aired on Comedy Central.

The comedian, writer, and actor hones in on observational humor, often self-deprecating, but also touching on current events. 

OTHER SATURDAY HAPPENINGS
Masonboro Island Yoga — Terra sol sanctuary is pairing up with Wrightsville Beach for a boat cruise and 45-minute yoga session with Alexis Abbate. Yogis will need to arrive by 7:45 a.m. at the wildlife ramp under the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge in order to depart by 8 a.m. Bring a beach towel, sunscreen, water, snacks and comfortable shoes. Cost is $50 and seating is limited, with reservations required.

Curated on Castle — Castle Street’s outdoor vintage market takes place the second Saturday every March through November, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This weekend it set up in the lot at 6th and Castle streets, across from Michael Moore Antiques and adjacent to Luna Caffe. Vendors include Second Skin Vintage, Gravity Records, and Jess James + Co., as well as up to 20 local independent vintage collectors selling clothing, records, home decor and more. Free to attend, items priced to purchase.

Summer Lover’s Market — Casa Blanca is hosting a pop-up market at 7409 Market Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local vendors — Villa Isla, KBSWIM, Edge of Urge, Nova Luna Jewelry, Carleigh Sion and Green Compass/Jessica Gibbs — will be set up on the grounds.

“Unrequited Versus” Book Release — Poet Crucial and Miss Story are having a book release and signing party for “Unrequited Versus: Honest Deception, Painful Growth,” at Funkshun at the Junkshun (1604 Market St.) from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. There will be vendors on site and giveaways, as well as light refreshments. Tickets are $30; bring a book to sign for a discount. The event is hosted by Tim Shuford and will feature special guest appearances, as well as music by DJ Mike.

Battleship Bingo — The Sideboard, located at 4107 Oleander Dr. in Anderson Square, is hosting a mashup game name: Battleship Bingo. The first three players to have their ships sunk by the Sideboard team will walk away with prizes, including food and drink from Sideboard cafe. The game will run like this: Every participant gets a free grid and Sharpie to set up their fleet of ships; additional papers are handed out for every $5 spent at Sideboard to increase chances of winning. Staff announces coordinating points at random; if they sink a ship, participants must let them know. Once all ships have been sunk, participants yell “Bingo!” Sign up begins at 6 p.m., and battle gets underway at 7 p.m.

Wine Bar and History Stroll — A new tour has landed downtown, offering exploration and wine. For $30 per person, tourists stroll one-and-a-quarter miles to learn Wilmington history, from its settlement to present day. It includes stopping at notable homes and locations. Meetup is in the South Front District at The Fortunate Glass, then the tour travels to The Vine on 3rd Street and makes a final stop at Wine Knot Sky Bar (all drinks are purchased separately at each stop). The Wine Bar and History Stroll takes place both Thursdays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. Sign up here; tour is limited to 12 people.

Free School Supplies — TRU Colors Taproom (715 Greenfield St.) is offering a free school supply giveaway, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Families of K-12 students are invited to drop by to collect school supplies for the 2022-2023 school year, play water dodgeball, and enjoy snacks from a local food truck. The taproom will be open selling adult beverages, including TRU Colors beer, seltzers and more.

Sunday, Aug. 14

Filmmaker Series: ‘Radioland Murders’
Stone Theaters in Barclay Pointe, 2223 Blockbuster Rd. • Free

Filmed in Wilmington and directed by Mel Smith — though the brainchild of George Lucas — “Radioland Murders” will be featured as part of the N.C. Filmmaker Series at the cinema at Barclay Pointe on Sunday, 4 p.m. The series features a screening of a locally made film and welcomes locals who worked on it to speak to its creation after the viewing.

A free program, Sunday’s event will feature the 1994 comedy thriller “Radioland Murders,” set in 1939. The film is a whodunnit tale in the era of old-time radio, featuring performances by Mary Stuart Masterson, Brian Benben, Rosemary Clooney, Bobcat Goldthwait, Jeffrey Tambor, Christopher Lloyd, and George Burns.

Wilmington’s own Nine Repeta (“The Black Phone,” “Dawson’s Creek”) also appeared in the film and will attend the screening for a question-and-answer session following the  movie. Repeta will be joined by makeup artist Kelley Johnson who worked on “Radioland Murders.” 

MORE SUNDAY HAPPENINGS
JJ Grey and Mofro — Known for his Southern soul-rock, blues, and funk, JJ Grey and Mofro will return to Greenfield Lake Amphitheater on Saturday. The band has released nine albums in 21 years and gained a loyal following from fans of the jamband scene. The show starts at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.


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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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