Saturday, January 28, 2023

Li’l Friday: BLDM unveiling at CAM, ‘Kinky Boots’ last weekend run

Opera House Theatre Company’s “Kinky Boots” has one more weekend of shows before closing. (Art Sublimina Photography/Bryan Putnam)

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, Jan. 12

Kinky Boots
Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. • Tickets: $35

A story of acceptance is told through glitz and glam in “Kinky Boots,” the Tony Award-winning musical with a Grammy-winning score, written by Cyndi Lauper. 

Opera House Theater Company is putting it on at Thalian Hall. The production tells the story of Charlie Price, a young man who inherits an almost-bankrupt shoe factory after his father’s sudden passing. He becomes transfixed with saving the company to honor his dad’s legacy, but to do so he must take a different approach to its business plan. 

Rather than focus on drab, well-made and expensive men’s shoes, he fills a niche market after an unlikely friendship blossoms with a drag queen, Lola. The factory becomes a success at making flashy shoes for cabaret performers — specifically, boots that can hold a male’s weight. 

“Kinky Boots” is being staged at Thalian Hall for its final weekend run, Jan. 12-15. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $35.Read more about it here from PCD’s previous coverage.

OTHER THURSDAY HAPPENINGS
Boards and Brews — The Sideboard, located at 4107 Oleander Drive, Ste. C, is hosting a night of board games and camaraderie over beer from Voodoo Ranger. Five party games will be selected from which to choose. For every game played, participants will receive a card from a plain playing deck and whoever has the best poker hand at the end of the night wins swag from Voodoo Ranger. Food and drink specials will be offered; games are free to play.

Line dance lessons — Always wanted to be a part of the syncopated choreography often seen on the dance floor during “Cha Cha Slide,” “Electric Boogie,” and “Macarena”? Welp, beginner lessons start at 7 p.m. at Pantana Bobs, 149 S. College Road.

Shag lessons — And in more dance madness, those who prefer to partner dance rather than go at it solo can sign up for shag lessons at Babs McDance, 6782 Market St. Group classes are open to all levels — beginner, intermediate, and advanced dancers. No partner is needed to take lessons. Learn more here.

Friday, Jan. 13

John Hastings
Dead Crow Comedy Room, 511 N. Third St. • Tickets: $18-$28

For 16 years, Canadian stand-up comic John Hastings has toured the circuit, appeared at all the top-hitting comedy festivals, and has been on Comedy Network, Comedy Central, BBC aplenty. He’s even scored a Canadian Organization of Campus Activities Comedian of the Year award.

Hastings wears a badge of honor for the time he heckled Dennis Rodman at his first L.A. standup gig in 2017 — to which Rodman returned the quips while on a date with two chicks.

“I feel like I’m a karmic response to something fucked up he did in the ‘90s,” Hastings said at the time.

Hastings’ sharp tongue and casual gags about daily life are relatable to the everyman. His observational humor can be self-deprecating.

“I’m always thinking about the worst thing that can happen and I’m never prepared for anything bad that happens,” he said, referring to the first time he shat himself … near a toilet.

Hastings last appeared at Dead Crow over the summer of 2022. He performs four shows this weekend, Friday and Saturday nights, at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 to $28.

OTHER FRIDAY EVENTS
Friday the 13th Live Music — Known as a harbinger of bad luck, Friday the 13th comes with plenty of superstitions that have launched horror franchises, multiple phobias and at Broomtail this Friday (7211 Market St.), a bill of hard rockers will be leaning into its silliness. The Explainers and Street Clones will perform on the back patio. And Broomtail is inviting all people named Jason — or who dress up as in hockey masks as the famed movie franchise serial killer — to enter to win a Broomtail gift card. Free show!

Saturday, Jan. 14

Black Lives Do Matter Art Installation
Cameron Art Museum, 3201 S. 17th St. • Free

The Black Lives Do Matter art installation was on display at Jervay Memorial Park for two years until city council voted in the fall for it to come down by the end of December 2022. Its new home over the next six months will be at Cameron Art Museum, which will have an opening celebration on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The art will be on display through May 28.

The opening Jan. 14 will be a free community day as well, with admission open to all museum exhibits and events. 

The 18-letter installation was created by a team of artists from Eighteen Forward, founded by Janna Robertson and Grayson Davis. Every letter represents cultural and historical references to Wilmington’s community. Designs depict an homage to the area’s premier Black artist Minnie Evans and illustrations of the 1898 Memorial. Portraits of luminaries like Maya Angelou and James Baldwin and messages of acceptance, such as “Love Somebody,” are included.

Festivities unveiling the installation begin at 11 a.m., with remarks by CAM board of trustees chair Greg Miller, Mayor Bill Saffo, Councilman Clifford Barnett, Councilman Kevin Spears and Eighteen Forward’s art director, Davis. 

Afterward, Davis and the other Black Lives Do Matter artists will provide tours and  discuss the installation. 

Events continue at 1 p.m., including a community line dance and lesson of  “Jerusalema,” led by Rebecca Trammel, advocate and founder of Community Conversations. The dance bridges the gap of community camaraderie and awareness for equity and excellence in education. 

The BLDM installation also coincides with Peace Flag Weekend, celebrating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his “I Have a Dream” speech. Community members can purchase flags to hang around the pond, near the BLDM artwork. 

Flags will be created in CAM’s Pancoe Education center, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., both Saturday and Sunday.

Black Lives Do Matter art installation will be installed on CAM’s grounds for six months and celebrated at its opening on Saturday, with free admission to the museum and programming. (Port City Daily/File)

The CAM also has various programming scheduled around BLDM. 

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with [Davis] on programming surrounding Black Lives Do Matter because he can educate our community about the process of creating the installation, the artists involved, and the message,” Georgia Mastroieni, Cameron Art Museum’s director of Outreach and accessibility, said in a press release.

The first scheduled will be a Feb. 23 book talk with author Bertha Todd, who will be discussing “Reflections on a Massacre and Coup.” Todd wrote the book to show how Wilmington citizens banded together to create a commission to formally recognize the 1898 Centennial Commission (now the 1898 Memorial Foundation). March will celebrate both a Resiliency Day and panel discussion with the BLDM artists.

OTHER SATURDAY EVENTS
FrogWatch — A free volunteer training workshop gauged to protect aquatic habitats and amphibians takes place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Halyburton Park. No previous scientific background or knowledge of amphibians is required. Volunteers learn how to conduct listening sessions four times a year in order to distinguish regional frog and toad species. Participants will join a community of citizen scientists nationwide that record data and monitor amphibious behaviors to help scientists study various populations, habitat ranges, and environmental impacts. Registration is required here.

MLK Fun Day — From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the City of Wilmington’s MLK Community Center is hosting a free community day with games, activities, bounce houses, and refreshments. The center is located at 401 South 8th St.

Live Music at Fermental — One of Wilmington’s most prolific and creative singer-songwriters, Justin Lacy, will perform at Fermental (600 S. 17th St.) on Saturday at 5 p.m. Lacy brings a blend of folk, rock, Flamenco, soul and eccentricity played in every chord and sung in every note. He’s released four albums — and has completed two films scored and three EPs — which can be accessed here. The Rico’s Mexi-Tacos Food Truck will also be on site. 

Air guitar competition and fundraiser — Big Dawg Productions, which hosts six shows a year at Thalian Hall’s Ruth and Bucky Stein Theater, is hosting a fundraiser to help pay for its first show of the upcoming season, “Airness.” On Jan. 14, 7 p.m., all are encouraged to enter its air-guitar competition at Reggie’s 42nd St. Tavern. The event is especially seeking those who can bring the “airness” — the quality of a performance transcending the imitation of guitar playing into an art form. The fundraiser goes hand-in-hand with “Airness,” by Chelsea Marcantel, to be staged at Thalian on Feb. 9 to 19. The show centers around air guitar competitors who tap into their inner rockstar, yet also highlights community-building. Tickets and competition entries are $10 and can be purchased in advance here or at the door.

A Bourgie Night Art-fueled Dance Party — Electronic music lovers will be swept away by the sounds of BEXXIE. Durham’s underground artist Treee City (who recently released “Good Job”) and other regional talent like Light Blue Lights of Wubadelic, and Johan Yardan of Between2Clouds will also be on hand. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the show. There also will be live painters and visual artists.

Family Promise Feud — A local fundraiser masked in the event of a game show featuring local celebrities and politicians will take place at downtown’s Community Arts Center at 6 p.m. Family Promise Feud will be set up in the style of the famed game show that launched in 1976. Team captains will be Mayor Bill Saffo and Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County executive director Rhonda Bellamy. Saffo’s teams consist of Rebecca Trammel, Dallas Brown Jr., Tru Spit, Travis Stewart, and Chakema Quintan, while Bellamy has stacked her team with Rev. Clifford Barnett, HT Hill, Dennis Vee, Atiba Johnson, and Rev. Jermaine Amour. Tickets to watch the feud are $48 and benefit Family Promise of the Lower Cape Fear. The nonprofit provides case management and transitional housing for families experiencing homelessness.  Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; tickets can be purchased here.

Sunday, Jan. 15

National Mocktail Week Celebration

921 Princess St. • Free

Two local female bosses are coming together to celebrate “Dry January” with their respective businesses putting flavor into mocktails to a degree you’ll forget it’s missing alcohol.

Carter Jewell Hamerski of Mocksie — a non-alcoholic retail shop and bartending service — and Bethany Carpenter of Pomona Shrub Company — a handmade mixer business— are both located in the Soda Pop District. They have concocted a special menu of drinks for folks to sample, such as the Ginger Bomb. It combines zero-proof Three Spirit Livener from Mocksie with Pomona’s blackberry-orange ginger shrub mixer and is topped with Fintemans pink ginger and a blood-orange citrus wheel.

Also on the menu will be Mocksie-rita, Cranberry Buzz, Citrus Dream and Purple Magic. Attendees will be able to shop through the companies’ offerings while sipping on the samples and learning more about the non-alcoholic trends and products available for those pursuing healthier alternatives to alcohol.

The event takes place from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 921 Princess St.

OTHER SUNDAY EVENTS
Drag Brunch — Hi-Wire is hosting a drag brunch, featuring five queens — Brenda the Drag Queen, Tara Nicole Brooks, Dana St. James, Jean Belle Bleu and Chloe Cassidy — with food by Point Break NC. Plus, there will be a DJ. Tickets are $15 for the show only and $30 for the brunch and show. The events are popular and often standing-room only; tickets don’t guarantee a seat.

Eagle’s Dare Oyster Roast — All-you-can-eat oysters and live music is on the menu Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Eagle’s Dare, the latest downtown bar from Pour House and Tacobaby owner Joe Apkarian. Located at 420 N 3rd St., tickets are $35; beer, wine and cocktails sold separately. Live music will be performed by Cary Benjamin.

The Wolfe Gang — Michael Wolfe has been playing the blues on the Wilmington music scene for two decades. He blends Zydeco, rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues, reggae, jazz, swing, funk, soul, folk, country, second-line, and blues all into one sound. He and his band will perform at Live at Ted’s at 2 Castle St. from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $7.


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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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