Sunday, July 21, 2024

Li’l Friday: Wanda Sykes, B.A.D Coffee Crawl, ‘Annie’

Emmy-winning stand-up comic, writer, and actress Wanda Sykes is performing standup at the Wilson Center Friday. (Courtesy photo)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Li’l Friday is a weekly roundup of events in art, music, theater, comedy, pop-up markets and more.

It’s wise to check in ahead of attending any one happening to ensure it’s scheduled as normal. Inclement weather and unforeseen circumstances may shift for organizers at the last minute.

Thursday, Jan. 26 

Museum After Dark: Dinos Take Flight!
Cape Fear Museum, 814 Market St. • Tickets: $12-$18

A new exhibition at Cape Fear Museum of History and Science near downtown Wilmington is centered on dinosaurs — and it’s welcoming adults 18 and up to visit after hours, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tickets include exploration of the exhibit, including games like a T-Rex baseball challenge or building a Pterosaur and flying it into a nest. A trivia station is open to test one’s dinosaur knowledge and an art station is set up for making Paleo creations.

There will be beer, wine, and non-alcoholic options by Mocksie for sale, plus Slice of Life pizza. 

“Dinosaurs Take Flight: The Art of the Archaeopteryx” is a traveling exhibit, organized by Silver Plume Exhibitions and the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, and on display through May 14. It includes 50 pieces of original artwork, murals, sculptures, research-grade replicas of Archaeopteryx, a collection of real fossils representing German flora and fauna, video interviews, interactive components and more. 

Benny Hill Quartet Fundraiser — CFCC music instructor and local jazz musician Benny Hill will be hosting a benefit concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Wilson Center. The Benny Hill Quartet will be joined by guitarist Randy Johnston. A member of the Lou Donaldson Quartet for 18 years, Johnston has released 14 albums to date and performed with Lionel Hampton, Houston Person, Etta Jones, Lonnie Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, and The Allman Brothers Band. Thursday’s concert is  free, except for orchestra pit seating, an intimate setup including tables for two. These ticket holders will receive dessert, complimentary drink, and butler service. All proceeds go toward the CFCC Music Department Scholarship Fund. Tickets, free or otherwise, can be reserved here.

Good Vibes Tribe Adult Skate Night — A group of people known as the Wanderlust Wilmington Roller Skaters, are meeting up to lace up their skates and take a few rolls around Scooters Skating Rink from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Cost is $8, plus $4 for skate rentals.The group often dresses in neon tie-dye during meetups. All levels are welcome in this “judgment-free zone.”

East Coast Shag Classic — Carolina Beach is hosting its 12th annual celebration showcasing the official dance of the Carolinas, the shag. Events take place from Thursday through Saturday and include shag and line dance lessons, live music from the Band of Oz, Blackwater Band, The Catalinas and Steadfast Quartet, and of course social dancing. Proceeds benefit Hope Abounds Cancer Network which helps families and patients facing the life-altering diagnosis; more information can be found here.

Friday, Jan. 27

Wanda Sykes
Wilson Center, 814 Market St. • Tickets: $32 and up

Emmy-winning stand-up comic, writer, and actress Wanda Sykes is performing standup at the Wilson Center Friday.

Sykes exited a career at the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Security Agency and began doing standup in the D.C. area before moving to New York. She got her start starring in Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jams. She received her break after opening for Chris Rock, which landed her on his team of comedy writers for “The Chris Rock Show.”

Sykes received her first Emmy for the work in 1999.

Ever since, the comedian has starred in multiple TV shows, including Comedy Central’s puppet sitcom “Crank Yankers,” as well as CBS’s “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” NBC’s “Will & Grace,” and HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Most recently, she has been seen in ABC’s “Black-ish,” Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” and Netflix’s “The Upshaws.” She also co-hosted the 2022 Academy Awards, sharing the stage with Regina Hall and Amy Schumer.

Sykes has had roles in popular films such as “Monster in Law,” “Evan Almighty,” and “A Bad Mom’s Christmas” and wrote numerous standup specials, many of which have streamed on platforms including HBO and Netflix.

The comedian is revered for championing LGBTQ rights and working with PETA on promoting anti-chaining legislation of canines in her home state of Virginia.

Sykes’ Wilson Center show will be technology-free — meaning no smartphones, smart watches or smart accessories allowed. Items will be placed and secured in individual Yondr pouches, only to be opened at the end of the event. Anyone using a device during the show will be escorted out.

Joe Praino — In more comedy news, Dead Crow Comedy Room is welcoming comedian, actor and podcast host Joe Praino to Wilmington this weekend. He will perform four shows at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Praino hosts “Dirty Sports” and has appeared on ESPN, College Sports TV and AXS TV’s “Gotham Comedy Live.” The New Yorker started his career as a 19-year-old, working as a program director for the campus radio station before launching his own show. He continued to work in radio and began doing standup post-college. He talks about his adoration for whiskey, homies commemorating his death on the back of a Chevy blazer, and dad bods.

Art by Trina Robinson — As part of the Art Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County’s Fourth Friday Gallery Night, Burgwin-Wright is welcoming a new exhibit from artist Trina Robinson. The self-taught artist has been painting since childhood and earned a degree in fashion merchandising. Robinson notes in her artist statement that inspiration comes from nature, especially living in the coastal region of southeastern North Carolina. It’s apparent in her abstract designs and watercolors. A meet and greet with the artist will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the exhibit on display through Feb. 18. Admission to the gallery is free, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Businesses in the North Fourth District are banding together to put a spotlight on java. Coffee crawl takes place Saturday in the BAD. (Courtesy Pexels)

Saturday, Jan. 28

One B.A.D. Coffee Crawl
Starts at Eagles’ Dare, 420 S. 3rd St. • Free

Businesses in the North Fourth District are banding together to put a spotlight on java. 

The B.A.D. (Brooklyn Arts District) Coffee Crawl will take place at noon Saturday — coinciding with National Irish Coffee Day nonetheless. Participating businesses include Three10, Bottega, Goat and Compass, Brooklyn Cafe, Flytrap Brewery, The Eagle’s Dare, Palate, and The Half. As well, there will be food trucks parked at Edward Teach, Flytrap, and Eagle’s Dare.

Each stop on the crawl will feature coffee-based drinks — both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Participants will check in at Eagles’ Dare at Red Cross and Third streets to pick up a voting card. Cards will be dropped off at the last spot to tally up everyone’s favorites.

It’s free to participate, but coffee drinks are individually priced at each location.

Ukulele Jam — From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Ukulele Academy is bring back its monthly jam to the Hannah Block USO/Community Arts Center. Anyone with a uke can join; songs will come from “Daily Ukulele 1 & 2” by Jim Beloff (click here for song list). Each song will be played twice the first hour; the second hour is open for players to choose by calling out page numbers. It’s free, but a “pass-the-hat” will take place to keep the music going.

Rumours — A Fleetwood Mac tribute act is taking the Thalian Hall stage at 7:30 p.m. The band, hailing from Atlanta, consists of Mekenzie Jackson (lead vocals), Doug Easterly (lead and backing vocals, guitar and percussion), Alex Thrift (lead guitar), Adrienne Cottrell (keyboards, lead and backing vocals), Jim Ramsdell (bass) and Daniel Morrison (drums). They perform tracks from the height of the British-American rock band’s popularity in the ‘70s, including “Dreams,” “Don’t Stop,” “The Chain,” and “Go Your Own Way.”

Love Grove Tree Planting — The Alliance of Cape Fear Trees is hosting a community event from 9 a.m. to noon to plant 35 trees in the Love Grove neighborhood off 11th Street in downtown Wilmington. Volunteers are needed to help with check-in, litter collection around planting sites and physical planting of trees. Sign up here.

Singles Night at Panacea — Looking to meet and connect with others? Panacea Brewing in Anderson Square is hosting a singles night. The event is open for those looking for relationships, romantic or platonic, and takes place 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 4107 Oleander Drive. Panacea serves homemade kombucha and specializes in vegetarian and vegan food options. 

Wrightsville Beach Birding — Sam Cooper is leading a bird-watching outing, with attendees meeting at the ocean end of Johnnie Mercer’s Pier in Wrightsville Beach; the fee is $2 a person to walk on the pier and parking is free. After birding on the pier, the tour will migrate to the north end of Wrightsville Beach and park in the northern public lot adjacent to to the southside of Shell Island resort. Watching will continue, possibly up to a 2-mile walk in soft sand. Dress appropriately for wind and weather and bring water for hydration. More information can be found by contacting Kaaren Slone at

Everyone’s favorite orphan will be taking over the Wilson Center stage for two shows this weekend on Saturday, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, 3 p.m., with the Broadway tour of “Annie.” (Courtesy photo)

Sunday, Jan. 29

Wilson Center, 811 N. Third St. • Tickets: $25 and up

Everyone’s favorite orphan will be taking over the Wilson Center stage for two shows this weekend on Saturday, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, 3 p.m.

The Broadway tour of “Annie” is coming through Wilmington. The musical — based on the 1924 comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” taken loosely from an 1885 poem of the same name — follows Annie as she is adopted by billionaire businessman Daddy Warbucks. It takes place in the 1920s and follows Annie from rags to riches as her former orphanage housemother, Miss Hannigan, a cantankerous alcoholic who hates children, tries to scheme to get her back and cash in on reward money Warbucks put out to find Annie’s real parents. 

The musical has scored seven Tony Awards, and is well known for its songs  “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life.”

Boards Across CB — The Carolina Beach Mural Project will be celebrating its latest community-wide art project. More than 50 artists have decorated used skimboards, surf boards and skateboards donated by locals, which are on display at 45 Carolina Beach businesses for three months. A family-friendly scavenger hunt to see the work takes place Sunday for $5 per participant. Clues are given to discover the boards at area locations, and the hunt ends with hot chocolate and a coupon for a free cone of ice cream at Celtic Creamery. Kids accompanied by adults must register here and meet at 2 p.m. in the Marriott lobby to receive challenge cards. A tour guide will lead the adventure at the nearby boardwalk. Once a board is located, kids will receive a sticker, with a goal to get eight stickers. 

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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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