Friday, March 1, 2024

Li’l Friday: Hip-hop legend Rakim, CF Festival of Trees, CB Skate and Art Fest 

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.

Cucalorus Film Festival is also taking place this weekend, featuring 136 films and performances. Click here to read more.

Thursday, Nov. 17

Wilson Center, 703 N. Third St. • Tickets: $25 and up

Regarded as one of the top emcees of all time — nailing intricate word patterns and rhythms — Rakim hails from the golden age of hip-hop, when he made up one-half of the duo Eric B. & Rakim. MTV ranked their 1987 release “Paid in Full” — created in only a week — one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time, while Rolling Stone tracked it at number 60 out of the greatest 500 albums ever. Its sounds — featuring samples aplenty, with Rakim’s cadence compared to jazz great Thelonious Monk — was certified platinum by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1995. 

The nephew of famed R&B singer and actress Ruth Brown, Rakim pursued a solo career in the mid-’90s, releasing three more albums, none of which sold nearly as much as the million-plus “Paid in Full” sold. The rap artist has collaborated with multiple music industry peers, including DMX and Linkin Park.

Rakim will make his solo debut in Wilmington at the Wilson Center, 7 p.m., with opener Omar Wilson. Tickets start at $25.

Tiny Tim’s Beer Release — A fundraiser for NourishNC will get underway on the third floor of Front Street Brewery’s taproom at 6 p.m. Tiny Tim’s Christmas Porter will be tapped, with $1 from every pint donated to NourishNC — a nonprofit organization that focuses on fighting hunger in schools and feeding students throughout the year, including during weekends, breaks and holidays. Entry is a $5 donation or nonperishable food from the nonprofit’s wish list. There will be live music, silent auction and games.

Recipe Faire — The New Hanover County Library welcomes the community to swap recipes from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the downtown branch, 201 Chestnut St. Staff will give recommendations on cookbooks on the shelves, which cover low-cost, diet-friendly and easy-to-make meals, just in time for Thanksgiving. No registration required, just show up.

Women of Wilmington Standup Comedy — At 8 p.m. at Hop Yard (108 Grace St.) in downtown Wilmington, four female comedians will take to the stage: Lindsey Adydan, Bridget Callahan, Lisa Ramsey, and Annie Witter. Hosted by Chelsea Connor, it’s $10 at the door.

Fermental’s Beaujolais Nouveau — The Cargo District bottle shop Fermental is celebrating the harvest of France’s Gamay grape with the release of 2022’s Beaujolais Nouveau, out for purchase the third Thursday each November. The wine, with bright berry notes, is meant to be enjoyed at a young age, as the juice is quickly fermented, bottled and delivered worldwide. Fermental will have WilmyWoodie on site at 5 p.m. and Jim Ferris Trio will perform at 6 p.m.

UNCW Senior Art Exhibition — An exhibition from students in UNCW’s art department will open with a reception from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. It will feature works from 12 graduating seniors across multiple mediums. “Contemplative animations” are created by Kevin Paradis, while Kase Call tackles intergenerational trauma through incarceration in mixed-media designs. Olivia Froelich’s self-portraits, Hannah Iovanna’s still-lifes and others will be on display through Dec. 16. The exhibition takes place at the Cultural Arts Building gallery.

The Cape Fear Festival of Trees takes place through Jan. 2 at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher. (Port City Daily/File)

Friday, Nov. 18

CF Festival of Trees
N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher, 900 Loggerhead Road • Tickets: $3-$12.95

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher has transformed into a winter wonderland with the return of the Cape Fear Festival of Trees, an annual fundraiser for Lower Cape Fear LifeCare. 

For over 30 years, the annual holiday attraction has drawn thousands of visitors to walk through and view uniquely decorated trees, trimmed and dressed by area businesses, organizations and individuals. More than 50 have been sponsored this year, with proceeds benefitting the nonprofit. LCFLC supports patients with life-limiting and serious illness with health services and programs through various levels of care, including hospice and palliative care.

Visitors can also add a name to the Memory Dove Tree to honor and remember loved ones who have passed.

The trees are viewable with aquarium admission through Jan. 2 during the museum’s hours, Sunday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; reservations must be made online. The aquarium is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas days. LCFLC does not receive ticket proceeds, so donations are welcome. As well, festive handmade wreaths will be available for purchase.

Nate Craig — You may recognize him as Phil on Netflix’s “Maniac,” but come Friday and Saturday, the Dead Crow Comedy Room stage will be home to Nate Craig’s standup. The nationally touring comedian has performed at Hollywood Improv, NY Comedy Cellar, and LA’s Largo. He discusses everything from politics (“I may have voted for Donald Trump if he promised I never had to download an Adobe flashplayer ever again”) to questionable inventions (self-flushing toilets) to mass shootings (“you don’t need two assault rifles to raise two kids in the suburbs”). Having written for NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion” and with a newly released special, “Preferred Customer,” on All Things Comedy, Craig will have two shows on Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; tickets are $18 to $28.

CFCC Faculty Art Show — Wilma W. Daniels Gallery at the Hanover Center parking deck will host the opening reception of an exhibit featuring artwork Cape Fear Community College’s fine arts and graphic design faculty.  Light refreshments, live music and artist meet-and-greets will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; sculpture, paintings, illustrations and more will be on display.

‘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. 17 through 19. Tickets are $5 for students, $10 for staff, and $15 for the public. 

Port City Blitz Twenty-two22 rock bands over two nights on two stages. That’s how Port City Blitz, taking place at Reggie’s 42nd Street, is being billed. Individual tickets have sold out for Saturday’s show, but Friday night is still available for $8; two-day passes also remain on sale for $18 (click here). A dozen bands play both nights, including A Bottle Volcanic, Reason to Ignite, and Creekwood Adjacent on Friday, and Loony, Monkey Knife Fight, and Rocket 77 on Saturday. 

Carolina Beach will host a skate and art festival Nov. 19. (Courtesy photo)

Saturday, Nov. 19

Carolina Beach Art and Skate Festival
Mike Chappell Park, Carolina Beach • Donations welcome

A benefit is taking place Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., to help fund the phase two expansion of one of the largest skate parks in the greater Wilmington area. The 8,000-square-foot skate park at Mike Chappell Park in Carolina Beach features ramps, rails, and bowls. It’s looking to add 7,000 square feet with four new areas, including a new sidewalk connecting to a shaded area, an expanded street course section, a new 3-to-4-foot deep mini bowl and a new pumptrack.

The Friends of CB Parks and Greenway is aiming to raise $150,000 of its $350,000 master plan cost, to be shared with the Town of Carolina Beach. So far, it is almost a quarter to its goal.

The art and skate fest will feature local artists, food trucks and a silent auction. There  will also be a skate contest for beginner and advanced skaters, as well as a category for “old farts.” 

A celebration of life is planned for Nolan Muxworthy, one of the park’s biggest patrons, who passed away earlier in the fall.

Learn more about the park here.

Christkindlmarkt — A traditional German Christmas, Christkindlmarkt will take place at St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The celebration traditionally takes place during the four weeks of advent. It will have handmade arts, crafts and baked goods for sale from more than 30 vendors. Plus, there will be German food and beer — including bratwurst, knackwurst and currywurst, sauerkraut, and more. Live music will be performed by the Harbour Towne Fest Band.

Pack the Pantry — Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, 315 Red Cross St., is packing the shelves for the holiday season to feed people in need.It will collect dry food, fresh and frozen meats, and grocery store gift cards in increments of $10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A drive-thru will be open for easy access and drop-offs are welcome. Items accepted can be seen here.

Kure Beach Holiday Market — The 10th annual Kure Beach Holiday Market will take place the next two Saturdays, Nov. 19 and Nov. 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Kure Beach Ocean Park. The ocean view will be the backdrop as attendees shop through over 50 artisan and food vendors. The event also serves as a fundraiser for Toys for Tots, with a $5 donation accepted or an unwrapped toy. A raffle is also being hosted to win a gift basket of items donated by vendors. 

DREAMS 25th Anniversary Concert — An area nonprofit organization that has helped at-risk youth gain access to arts education in dance, theater, visual art, writing and more is hosting a fundraiser at 7 p.m. The night includes a performance by New Orleans-based brass band The Soul Rebels performing jazz, funk, hip-hop and soul. Food trucks will be parked onsite and drinks will be sold. Tickets are $35 and up, and the event takes place on DREAMS campus at 901 Fanning St.

Kevin Vernon as Gree Gree, Elizabeth Montgomery as E-V, Lilly Ferguson as Zookeeper and Tanner Batts as LC-4 in “Fight Girl Battle World.” (Port City Daily/Brenna Flanagan)

Sunday, Nov. 20

“Fight Girl Battle World” 
Cultural Arts Building, UNCW campus, 601 S. College Rd. • Tickets: $5-$15

The UNCW theater department’s latest production brings together intergalactic combat with sight gags and comedic quips in Qui Nguyen’s “Fight Girl Battle World.” 

A sci-fi romp, the story follows the last human in a galaxy far away, who has to fight for survival against a two-headed reptile in an attempt to revive the extinction of humanity. The show features a colorful universe made up of a 20-person cast, directed by Elizabeth Wellman.

“I think it is a challenge to stage a show with this many moving parts,” she told Port City Daily last week. “There’s puppets. There’s a ton of fight choreography. There are multiple giant set pieces and there’s a lot of complex lighting and sound cues. And some surprises.” 

The last weekend of shows run Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. on the main stage of the Cultural Arts Building on UNCW’s campus. Tickets are $15 for the general public, $12 for UNCW faculty and staff, $12 for seniors and $5 for students. Read previous PCD coverage here.

Great Bowls of Fire — Burnt Mill Creek is hosting a family-friendly neighborhood chili cookoff from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Those who live in the Carolina Place, Ardmore, Brookwood and Forest Hills area are welcome to go head-to-head over the best chili — meat, seafood and vegan varieties included. The community is welcome to sample and judge, with bronze, silver and gold awards given out around 7 p.m. Johnson’s Corner Bluegrass Band will also take the stage at 6 p.m. Questions can be directed to

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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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