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Monday, May 20, 2024

Li’l Friday: Mardi Gras celebrations, Made in NC, Polar Plunge

Michael Bublé, three performers will entertain audiences from the Thalian Hall stage, crooning through classics including “Feeling Good,” “Moondance,” “Come Fly With Me,” “Fever,” and “Save the Last Dance for Me.” (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.

READ MORE: Trombone Shorty and Ziggy Marley co-headline tour with Mavis Staples, Robert Randolph Band

Thursday, Feb. 16

Shades of Bublé
Thalian Hall Main Stage, 310 Chestnut St. • Tickets: $57-$85

In tribute to Michael Bublé, three performers will entertain audiences from the Thalian Hall stage, crooning through classics including “Feeling Good,” “Moondance,” “Come Fly With Me,” “Fever,” and “Save the Last Dance for Me.” The three vocalists from New York will present new three-part arrangements. 

The setlist comprises tracks that have been recorded or performed live by Michael Bublé, with a show that homes in on retro style and high-energy fun. It combines big-band standards from the jazz era, classic hits from the ‘50s through the ‘70s, and modern-day Billboard chart toppers.

Tickets start at $57 here.

OTHER THURSDAY EVENTS
“Serving Herself” — A new biography about tennis champion and Wilmingtonian Althea Gibson will be presented through UNCW at 7 p.m. as part of Black History Month.  Ashley Brown, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, wrote the book “Serving Herself: The Life and Times of Althea Gibson.” Gibson — who attended Williston High School and trained under physician and tennis expert  Hubert Eaton — was the first Black woman to compete and win titles at Wimbledon and in opens worldwide. She also was the first to compete on the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour. The discussion will be held over Zoom here; preregistration isn’t required.

“Airness” — Big Dawg Productions presents Chelsea Marcantel’s “Airness” in Thalian Hall’s Ruth and Bucky Stein Theater, to run two more weekends, Feb. 16-18 and 23-25  at 8 p.m. and Feb. 19 and 26 at 2 p.m. The play centers around air guitar competitors who tap into their inner rockstars. The play won the 2018 American Theater Critics New Play Award. Tickets are $34 and can be purchased here; read PCD’s coverage from last week here.

Pecan Praline King Cake from T’Geaux Boys, which will be serving at the Island Arts Council Mardi Gras event this Friday.

Friday, Feb. 17

Island Arts Council Mardi Gras Art Auction
300 Harper Ave., Carolina Beach • Tickets: $30 and up

Mardi Gras officially kicks off Friday, Feb. 17, with Fat Tuesday falling on Feb. 21. This weekend in Carolina Beach, the arts council is celebrating with an auction to help raise funds that keeps its mission propelled forward: funding grants to island organizations and schools’ arts and music programs.

The auction will include original artwork from local creators, including Felice Kite, Christine Higgins, Mo Linquist, Rhonda Lee Marsh, Sheila Amato, Scott Miller and others. There will be live music from Rhythm Bones, a Louisianian duo known to play jazz, blues, funk and soul music. New Orleans food will be served by T’Geaux Boys. 

The event takes place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Community Center on Harper Avenue at Seaside Shenanigans, located inside Celtic Creamery.

More information is available here.

OTHER FRIDAY EVENTS
Frederick Douglass Reenactor — Nathan Richardson, a published author and performance poet, will present The Frederick Douglass Speaking Tour. The living history performance captures the physical and spiritual essence of the former slave, writer, orator and abolitionist. Douglass was an advocate for a woman’s right to vote as well, and his works have served as fundamental guidance throughout history, including the civil rights movement. Richardson’s performance will take place at the MLK Community Center, 401 S. Eighth St.; doors open at 3:30 p.m. Call 910-341-7866 or 910-795-8597 for more information.

Live music with Clem Snide — Indie and alt-country band Clem Snide — a name taken from William Burroughs’ character in “Naked Lunch,” and other novels —  is heading to Bourgie Nights, 127 Princess St., with doors at 7 p.m. The band has released 16 albums since its founding in 1991 and garnered high-profile fans along the way such as Bon Iver and Ben Folds. Its latest release “Forever Just Beyond,” produced by Scott Avett, captures the essence of the last decade — a “rollercoaster” of highs and lows, said frontman Eef Barzelay, who lost his home and filed bankruptcy.  “The only way to survive was to try to transcend myself,” he wrote in the liner notes — “find some kind of deeper, spiritual relationship with life.” Songs explore  ope and despair, as well as identity and perception. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the show and can be purchased here

“The Philadelphia Story” — Thalian Association Community Theater opened the romantic comedy “The Philadelphia Story” this weekend at Thalian Hall. The show follows a socialite whose wedding plans fall into disarray when her ex-husband and a tabloid journalist covering the event shows up on the scene. The 1936 play spurred the film adaptation starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart. It will run through Feb. 19, with showtimes at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $22 to $34; read PCD’s coverage from last week here.

Ticket sale reminder — Three upcoming concerts in the Wilmington area will have tickets go live at 10 a.m. on Friday, including Dave Matthews Band at Live Oak Bank Pavilion here and Rodrigo y Gabriela and Sierra Ferrell here, both of whom will perform at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. The quadruple bill of Trombone Shorty, Ziggy Marley, Mavis Staples and Robert Randolph Band goes on sale next Tuesday; learn more here.

Boundless by Stephen Hayes on display at CAM in the USCT Park where the Battle of Forks Road Commemoration will take place all weekedn. (Port City Daily/Alexandria Sands Williams)

Saturday, Feb. 18

Battle of Forks Road Commemoration: Living History Weekend
Cameron Art Museum, 3201 S. 17th St. • $5 suggested donation 

The Cameron Art Museum not only houses great art from international and regional artists, but its location is also known as one of Wilmington’s most revered Civil War landmarks. The Battle of Forks Road skirmish took place roughly 250 feet from the museum’s front door.

After the fall of Fort Fisher in January 1865, around 1,600 Black soldiers marched to Federal Point Road — which runs through the forest and wooded area beside the art museum — to fight for their freedom against the Confederacy. A sliver of the road is still visible where the troops marched; it took them a month to make the 17-mile trek and upon arrival, they battled from Feb. 20-21.

It was one of the final battles to help propel the fall of the Confederacy. 

The troops are memorialized in Stephen Hayes’ sculpture “Boundless,” and CAM has the nation’s first United States Colored Troops park open, in commemoration of their service to country and civil rights.

READ MORE: CAM celebrates 60 years, opens first USCT Park to honor Black soldiers

ALSO: US Colored Troops honored in ‘Boundless,’ bronze sculpture to be unveiled on CAM’s historic grounds

There will be numerous activities taking place throughout the day, including reenactors from the 35th USCT and Battery B, and film screenings of the Gullah Geechee foodways in southeastern North Carolina, where the group of people harvest rice in Brunswick County. “Boundless” tours and an illustrated lecture also will be part of the day’s lineup from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

It’s a $5 suggested donation for lectures, and museum admission applies to tour the galleries.

OTHER SATURDAY EVENTS
“You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” — The Peanuts gang is back in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” featuring the local talent of members from the comedy and theater troupe Pineapple-Shaped Lamps and directed by Techmoja Dance Company founder Kevin Lee-y Green. The show runs Feb. 17-19, at Hannah Block USO/Community Arts Center at Second and Orange streets. Based on the famed comic strip, the group of friends — Charlie, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, Snoopy, Sally and others — ponder some of life’s biggest questions as they also do kid things, like play baseball, struggle with homework, sing songs, and swoon over their crushes. The high-energy musical contains dancing and singing and won  Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World awards in 1967, as well as two Tonys and three Drama Desk awards for its 1999 revival. Tickets are $13 to $26 and can be purchased here.

Second Chance Prom — The Island Montessori Family School Association is hosting a fundraiser that gives people a do-over for prom. The Second Chance Prom will benefit Island Montessori School and Skywatch Bird Rescue. Tickets are $85 and include light hors d’oeuvre, open beer and wine bar, with spirited cocktails available for purchase. Guests are invited to wear their best prom garb for pictures by Matthew Craviotto Photography; digital photos will be provided free, though 4-by-6 photos will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting both nonprofits. A DJ will spin tunes for participants to dance the night away. The event will take place Saturday, Feb. 18, 7 p.m., at Ironclad Brewery (115 N. Second St.). Island Montessori School is a private preschool and a public charter elementary (K-8) school — the only one in New Hanover that offers free public Montessori education. Skywatch Bird Rescue focuses on rehabilitating injured wild birds in and around Wilmington and southeastern North Carolina. It also engages education, promotion, preservation and conservation of birds and their habitats.

Polar Plunge and Run — To benefit the Special Olympics, the annual Polar Plunge will take place at Kure Beach on Saturday starting at 1:30 p.m. It’s $35 to take the plunge only or do one of the races, 5K or 1-mile run or walk; racers who choose to do both will pay $45. It’s open to all ages with proceeds benefiting the trainings, social events and camps for athletes with intellectual disabilities. Sign up is here and the race start and finish line is at 105 Atlantic Ave.; the plunge takes place beachside at the same address.

Circle the Wagens — Volkswagen lovers will convene on the Waterline Brewery grounds (721 Surry St.) for a car show this weekend. All proceeds collected from vendors ($40-$50) and car enthusiasts ($25) who enter will benefit the local nonprofit DREAMS of Wilmington, which provides arts programming to underserved youth. The show starts at noon and all VWs can enter. Vendors, some set up out of their VWs, will park in a designated area to sell various wares and creations. It’s free admission to all spectators; awards will be given to Best In Show, Best Stock, Best Paint, and Best Survivor, to be given out at 3:30 p.m.

Bags for the Barn Cornhole Tournament — The Cape Fear Equine Rescue is hosting a fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1146 Little Kelly Road in Rocky Point. It’s $20 to enter the competition, with proceeds benefiting the rescue of horses in North Carolina counties — Brunswick, Bladen, Columbus, Pender, New Hanover, Onslow, Duplin — and Horry County, South Carolina. Prizes will be awarded to first through third places, and bags will start flying at 11 a.m. Coolers, tents and chairs welcome; concessions will be available for purchase. 

Brooklyn Arts Center hosts Made in NC, featuring affordable creations from dozens of area artists, this weekend. (Port City Daily/File)

Sunday, Feb. 19

Made in NC
Brooklyn Arts Center, 516 N. Fourth St. • Tickets: $10

A handmade marketplace will celebrate North Carolina makers this weekend in the Brooklyn Arts District. The event features more than 50 regional artisans showcasing and selling their wares, including art, clothing, accessories and household and garden items. 

Food trucks will be on hand, and a cash bar will be open. 

Admission is $10 for both days and includes a raffle ticket: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday opens two hours later at noon. Children 12 and younger are admitted free.

OTHER SUNDAY EVENTS
The Past, Present, and Future of Giblem Lodge — A professor of history at UNCW and of the Prince Hall Freemasonry, Julius Jones will be speaking about Wilmington’s Giblem Lodge — home to the second Black Masonic lodge in North Carolina, founded in 1866 not long after the end of the Civil War. Created in partnership with the Historic Wilmington Foundation, audiences will learn about the lodge’s history and the restoration the building is undergoing. Read more about the lodge from PCD coverage here. The talk is free and takes place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the ​​New Hanover County Library downtown on Chestnut Street. 

Disc Golf Putting League — At Hi-Wire Brewing (1020 Princess St.), a putting league meets on Sundays from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. through March 26. Groups meet to improve their skills in the sport. Registration is at 3:30 p.m. each week; it’s $10 and open to anyone — bring your own putters. 

Waterline Brewing Mardi Gras Party — Under the bridge at 721 Surry St., the crew at Waterline Brewing is celebrating NOLA’s hottest party of the year with Randy McQuay and DJ Rob Lawson. They will be spinning New Orleans jazz, blues, funk, Cajun, Zydeco and more from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Local musician McQuay is well known for his acoustic guitar style, derived from claw-hammer picking styles and percussion and harmonica playing. This time around, however, he is pulling vinyl from his personal collection — Professor Longhair, Louis Armstrong, Buddy Guy, Clifton Chenier, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Buckwheat Zydeco, Wynton Marsalis, George Lewis, Trombone Shorty, Kermit Ruffins, John Hiatt, Irma Thomas and more. Audience members are also welcome to bring their fave albums to add to the mix. From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Paul Edelman — half of the Ashville-based roots rock outfit The Jangling Sparrows — will play a two-hour solo set of indie folk and singer-songwriter originals. Philly Invasion food truck will be serving up grub from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Then on Fat Tuesday, McQuay will return to the brewery, having culled local musicians for Port City Players to perform at 7 p.m. More N’awlins food will be available, including King Cakes. 


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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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