SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Li’l Friday is a weekly roundup of events in art, music, theater, comedy, pop-up markets and more.
All events featured were scheduled 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, Nov. 10
‘Monologues that Matter’
Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center, 120 South 2nd St. • Free
Presented by Port City Playwrights’ Project, “Monologues that Matter” showcases original works penned by local writers featuring historical figures across the state. The Nov. 10 event is the last showcase of the year.
It features two works, including “Tom Brown: The Apple Hunter,” written and directed by Drina Kay, and “Perseverance: Felice Sadgwar, Baha’is, and an Omitted History of Anti-Racism,” written by Alain Norman and directed by Kayla Hager.
“The Apple Hunter” takes place in western North Carolina and follows the tale of a man who saves 1,200 heritage apple varieties from extinction. Victor Gallo is performing the monologue through the role-play of half a dozen characters. The real Tom Brown, of which the story is based, will be in attendance to answer questions after the show; he has been featured in magazines such as Southern Living and Mother Earth.
“Perseverance” tracks the history and influence of the Bahá’í family, dating back 200 years in Wilmington. It will be performed by Brandy Lowry, who will weave the history of the Sadgwar family’s roots, preceding slavery, into how they became associated with a faith that focuses on “unity of humanity” transcending the racial divide.
Dr. Herbert Harris will lead a question-and-answer portion after the show, including his personal insight into the Sadgwars and their impact on Wilmington.
Admission is free; register here. It takes place at the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center at 7:30 p.m.
OTHER THURSDAY EVENTS
‘Rhinoceros’ — Cape Fear Community College is presenting a play by Eugene Ionesco and translated by Derek Prouse. Written in 1959, the play is an absurdist take on challenging social mores. It follows a small town of residents, who one by one become rhinoceroses. The only one who doesn’t metamorphosize is the central character, an alcoholic who goes against the grain with his apathetic outlook and slovenly lifestyle. The focus of the play is existential: Must one commit to something of importance to give life meaning? It has been described as an artful response to the rise of Nazism and Fascism in post-war France. “Rhinoceros” is being staged at The Wilson Center’s studio theater, 7 p.m., Nov. 10 through 12 and Nov. 17 through 19. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for staff, and $15 for the public.
Friday, Nov. 11
Wilson Center, 703 N. 3rd St. • Tickets: $25 and up
19 pop songs, 22 dancers, one artistic director.
The Chase Brock Experience, known for its modern approach to dance, is debuting a performance at the Wilson Center inspired by Brock’s own hometown in the foothills of North Carolina. “Big Shot” takes place at a drive-in, Brocks of Hendersonville, open from the mid-20th century to 1972; it serves as the center of the show, a meeting point where dancers come to turn up the jukebox.
The work follows a story of two families with the goal to attain the American Dream, as “America herself was losing her innocence,” its playbill notes.
The show features direction and choreography overseen by Travante S. Baker and Brock, who founded the dance troupe. Brock works in theater, dance, opera, ballet, film, television and video games. His choreography has been seen in Broadway’s “SPIDER-MAN: Turn Off the Dark,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for Shakespeare in the Park, and “Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette” for The Metropolitan Opera.
OTHER FRIDAY EVENTS
He Is Legend — Wilmington’s darling thrashers are returning to the stage for the first time in three years with a new album, “Endless Hallway.” He Is Legend recorded in Nashville amid the pandemic. Band members Schuylar Croom, Adam Tanbouz, Matty Williams and Jesse Shelley will debut 10 tracks at Reggie’s on Friday. Also on the bill is metal band Valient Thorr and punk outfit Gay Meat.
Holiday Show and Sale — At the Hannah Block USO/Community Arts Center a weekend bazaar will take place showcasing the handmade ceramics of the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild. Bowls, cups, vases, sculptures and more will be for sale by artists including Lincoln Morris, Bev Haley, Maureen Black, Donna Duschek and others. The sale is open Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 12
Veterans Day Parade, Fair and Concert
USO Hannah Block/Community Arts Center, 120 S. Second St. • Free
The annual Southeast N.C. Veterans Day Parade is scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. along 3rd Street in downtown Wilmington. It features veteran-owned businesses and organizations, as well as music from area high school marching bands, the East Carolina University Marching Pirates, the 208th Army Band, the 2nd Marine Division Band and over 75 other units.
The parade committee has also put together an information fair for veterans hosted on Second Street between Market and Orange. There will be a Battleship replica on display and kids that donate a dollar to the “Save the BB55 Battleship Replica Fund” will receive an identification card naming them Honorary Admiral of the BB55.
Plus, Striking Cooper and the Clams will perform, and food trucks will be parked until 2 p.m.
One block over, at the corner of Orange and Dock streets, the USO Hannah Block/ Community Arts Center is hosting more live music from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. First up will be the 208th Army Band, founded in 1956 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Comprising 40 musicians from the U.S. Army Reserve, it will perform from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
At 2:30 p.m., Wayne Daniels Contra Band will take the stage, performing Big Band sounds. It focuses on tracks made popular by Duke Ellington to Count Basie, Stan Kenton to Maynard Ferguson — music that entertained troops during World War II.
Seats can be reserved by calling 910-341-7860.
OTHER SATURDAY EVENTS
Ballet Hispanico — Pairing modern dance with Latinx culture and influence, Ballet Hispanico will bring color and vivacity to UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium, 515 Wagoner Drive. The company, founded in New York by Puerto Rican-Mexican-American choreographer Tina Ramirez, focuses on artistic expression for underrepresented voices. Tickets start at $35, and the show gets underway at 7:30 p.m.
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 +Amit Peled — Internationally renowned cellist Amit Peled will perform with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. at the Wilson Center, 703 N. 3rd St. He will be performing Brahms Symphony No. 4, Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C and Bruch’s Kol Nidrei. Tickets start at $25.
Family Fun Festival — Hi-Wire Brewing will be hosting an event from noon to 4 p.m., including games for all ages.Game tickets will cost $1 with money donated to area nonprofits. Fairy hair, face-painting and a petting zoo will be set up, with live music from a Revolver Music Productions Kids Band (1 p.m.). Plus, there will be goat yoga at 11 a.m. Hi-Wire is located at 1020 Princess St.
Fall Fest at Watermans — Another local brewery near Wrightsville Beach will be throwing a fall festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Around 30 local artisans will be set up to sell jewelry, candles, beauty products and more. Pumpkin painting, a photo opp with a fall backdrop and a succulent workshop will take place. Watermans is located at 1610 Pavilion Place.
Neon Bike Brigade — A fundraiser is being held in Carolina Beach in support of Ocean Cure, which gives surf lessons to people who face challenges or disabilities. The Neon Bike Brigade costs $25 to $100 and welcomes riders to gather at sunset for a cruise around Carolina Beach, lighting up the island with their glowing wheels. Before the event, everyone will meet at Carolina Beach Lake at 3 p.m. to enjoy food vendors, wine and beer, plus live music from Courtney Lynn and Quinn. After the ride takes place around 6 p.m., there will be an afterparty at SeaWitch Cafe and Tiki Bar, featuring ska rockabilly from Phantom Playboys.
‘Bah Humbug!’ — To get you into the giving spirit this holiday season, a production about Charles Dickens’ most villainous character, Scrooge, will be presented at Thalian Hall’s Ruth and Bucky Stein Studio Theatre. Acting Up Productions presents “Bah Humbug!” adapted by Rebecca Ryland with music and lyrics by Bill Francoeur — takes place Nov. 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 14 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $21-$26.
Sunday, Nov. 13
Comedian Cliff Cash
Bourgie Nights, 127 Princess St. • Tickets: $20
North Carolina standup comedian Cliff Cash will host a show at downtown’s Bourgie Nights at 8 p.m., with opener Willis Maxwell. Cash’s humor is embedded in Southern culture, family and politics, all available on his 2021 album “Half Way There,” recorded in 2016 at Dead Crow Comedy Room in downtown Wilmington.
This show, dubbed “The Comedy Campaign,” will focus on politics, from “don’t say gay” to gun laws and the Proud Boys.
Cash made a social media video “campaigning” for Herschel Walker earlier this week, noting: “Some people try to be carbon neutral by offsetting their carbon emission with positive environmental impacts. Herschel Walker is abortion neutral! He’s had more babies than he’s snorted so that’s good. I mean, he doesn’t take care of them or act as a father but he let ‘em live so I think he’s a patriot, Christian hero!”
OTHER SUNDAY HAPPENINGS
Community Day USCT Park — Cameron Art Museum will be officially unveiling a new park surrounding the sculpture “Boundless” by Stephen Hayes, cast to showcase those who fought for their own freedom in the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. It’s free to attend, as are all the exhibits inside the museum, including 60 Years, celebrating the six decades the art museum has served Wilmington. Included in the community day activities, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., are performances by Carolyn Evans, Johnny Lee Chapman, and Mouths of Babes Theater, as well as living history on the historic grounds of Federal Point Road. The road is where the USCT marched in their final battle to help turn Wilmington and contribute to the fall of the Confederates in the Civil War.
‘What the River Knows’ — The stage play from local filmmaker Alicia Inshiradu will wrap its final performance at 3 p.m. The 20-person cast performs Inshiradu’s fictitious tale based on historical events of the 1898 Wilmington Massacre. The show moves through a century in its timeline, from 1898 to 1998 to 2022, as a family, the Futrelles are dealing with generational trauma and other violent events, rising above the past for redemption and healing. Tickets are $42, and the event takes place at Thalian Hall. Read more about the production from PCD here.
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