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, March 2
North Carolina Rice Festival
Various locations in Brunswick County • Free
Taking place March 2 through the 4, the annual rice festival celebrates the heritage crop that once grew in Brunswick County, cultivated by the Gullah Geechee people. Its history and culture is celebrated for three days with presentations and activities.
On March 2, an “Ancestry Reveal” will take place at Navassa Community Center (338 Main St.), free and open to the public at 6 p.m. It explores ancestral origins of residents through DNA testing that connects some to the rice-growing regions of West Africa’s “Rice Coast.”
A sold-out Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Dinner takes place March 3, featuring dishes created by Chef Keith Rhodes (Catch) and an educational performance by the folklore troupe Gullah Kinfolk. It takes place at Leland Cultural Arts Center, address.
A free festival takes place 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson Historic Site (8884 St. Philip’s Road SE). There will be tours and demonstrations, live entertainment, family fun and children’s events. It’s free to attend and the full schedule can be accessed here.
OTHER THURSDAY EVENTS
2023 Port City Taste — It’s the final weekend of Port City Daily’s annual restaurant weeks. With more than 20 options to consider, Port City Taste showcases local prix-fixe menus and specials offered for 14 days every winter. Items include brunch, lunch and dinner, with prices starting as low as $8 and going up to $45. Check out all the menus here.
Pop-up Bookstore — There will be brews and books at Hi-Wire Brewing on March 2, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Roasted Bookery is setting up a pop-up shop with selections for both adult and young adults. There will be graphic novels and hard covers for sale for $10, with paperbacks priced at $5. The book “Unraveling” by Karen Lord also will be for sale ahead of The Roasted Bookery’s first book club read; the club meets the first Thursday of April.
Friday, March 3
Dead Crow Comedy Room, 511 N. Third St. • Tickets: $18-$28
A singer-songwriter and comedian, Marcia Belsky blends music into her show, taking to the keys while singing about her proclivity for internet stalking ahead of a date or aging. Her hit song “100 Tampons” — about Sally Ride, the first woman who went to space — went viral on TikTok in 2020 after debuting on Comedy Central.
Belsky is the lead singer of the comedy duo Free the Mind; their song “All Older White Men Should Die (But Not My Dad)” has been hailed a feminist anthem. She currently co-hosts with comedian Rae Sanni the podcast “Misandry with Marcia and Rae” and wrapped a role on Joel Kim Booster’s Hulu film “Fire Island.”
A creator of the Headless Women of Hollywood project — taking on the objectification of women in media — Belsky has written full-length musical parodies: “Fiddler on the Rooftop Bar” and “Handmaid’s Tale: The Musical.”
Tickets to her show can be purchased here.
OTHER FRIDAY EVENTS‘
‘Ring of Fire’ — A jukebox musical surrounding the life and music of country’s most beloved rebel rouser, Johnny Cash, continues at Thalian Hall. Opera House Theatre Company presents “Ring of Fire,” created by Richard Maltby Jr. and William Meade, with music by Steven Bishop and Jeff Lisenby, through Sunday. Seven cast members sing and play instruments on songs like “I Walk the Line,” “A Boy Named Sue” and “Folsom Prison Blues.” The story follows the Man in Black’s triumphs and tribulations, from his rise to fame to his struggles with drugs. It covers his journey of love and faith, rowdiness and redemption, and the healing power of home and family. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here.
Junior League Bargain Sale — For 69 years, the local Junior League has hosted a weekend bargain sale, with monies raised going to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women, and improve communities. More than $1 million has been donated back to projects and organizations in the area. This year the exclusive sip and shop event will begin a day early from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, giving people a first chance to buy items. It’s $15 per person and includes entry into Saturday’s event taking place from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. New and pre-owned items, including home decor, housewares, clothing, books, sporting goods, furniture, and children’s clothing, will be for sale. On Sunday, all remaining items will be sold half off. Entry is $5 per person, and cash and credit cards are accepted.
The Fritz with Empire Strikes Brass and Rebekah Todd — Funk-rock will pump through the Palm Room Friday. Asheville’s soul-driven psychedelic band The Fritz will bring its brand of dance music, featuring the horn section from Empire Strikes Brass. Joining will be Wilmington’s own rocker songstress Rebekah Todd. The music starts at 9:30 p.m. at 11 E. Salisbury St. in Wrightsville Beach.
Saturday, March 4
Wilmington Record Show
Waterline Brewing, 721 Surry St. • Free to attend
Vinyl lovers can stock up on their favorite music at the third bi-annual Wilmington Record Show, slated to take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the brewery adjacent to the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.
Waterline will be lined with more than 20 vendors selling records. Gravity Records, Fort Lowell Records, Squidco, Phil’s Magic Exchange, School Kids Records, Fuzzy Needle, Record Bar, Eccentric Pop and others will be vending, with all goods individually priced.
Music will be spun by DJ Robb Starr from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Mars in Spring from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. A&M and 2 Bros Coastal Cuisine food trucks will also be on site.
OTHER SATURDAY EVENTS
Free ice cream — It’s PJ Day at Brusters, located in the Pine Valley area at 4414 S. 17th St. The customer appreciation day welcomes the community to its PJ party. Anyone who comes to the store (walk-up only, not drive-thru) dressed in their favorite pajamas will receive a free waffle cone (no substitutions) for free. All ages welcome and only one cone per person is allowed.
‘Once Upon a Time‘ — The Cape Fear Museum (814 Market St.) will host a theater performance at 10 a.m., perfect for the kiddos. Two fairy tales, “Cinderella” and “Jack and the Beanstalk,” will be presented by Bright Star Touring Theatre. The show, 45 minutes, covers Cinderella’s dance at the ball and Jack’s challenge against the giant; the show is interactive and geared toward younger audiences. The show takes place at 10 a.m. and is free with museum admission.
Roast of Wilmington — Come and boast with the best of the roasters as they take on their beloved Port City, with jokes aplenty about its fast-track growth and overabundance of car washes, storage units and Dollar Generals. The Roast of Wilmington features Ellie Coleman, Lex Hunt, Randy Slack, John Felts, Izzy Burger, and Lew Morgante, and takes place at Bill’s Brewing (4238 Market St.). Tickets, $25, include dinner — Bill’s house-smoked BBQ, fried chicken, mac-n-cheese, pinto beans, slaw and hushpuppies. There also will be a special IPA on draft, “Kerr” beer — you can suss out its proper pronunciation with a vote taken at the bar upon ordering. The event takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Fermental 10 Years — It’s been a decade since Wilmington’s beloved bottle shop opened its doors, first in Ogden. Last year it relocated to the Cargo District in the 17th and Castle street area. There will be music, beer and wine, giveaways and food trucks parked on site, as festivities take place from noon to 10 p.m. Bill’s Brewing’s Tricycle Dust IPA will be on tap throughout the day. Smash N Dash Burgers will be parked at 1 p.m., followed by Wilmiricans Puerto Rican Cuisine at 6 p.m. Live music will be played by Haley Heath and Justin Lacy at 2 p.m., Mike Blair at 4 p.m., The Casserole at 6 p.m. and Slick Mahoney’s at 8 p.m.
Country Music Festival — Lazy Pirate is welcoming country music fans — donning their spiffiest Western duds — to enjoy an afternoon of music, line dancing and a cornhole tournament. Music begins at 3 p.m. with Kenny Reeves and Trainwreck, followed by Steel Rail Express at 7 p.m. At 6 p.m., the Wilmington NC Line Dancers will teach a beginners class. At 9 p.m. votes will be tallied for the person with the best Western attire. Lazy Pirate is located at 701 N. Lake Park Blvd.
Annual Hobby Greenhouse Tour — If you’re planning your spring garden or want to learn more about gardening in North Carolina, the members of the Hobby Greenhouse Club can be of help. This Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. it will host its annual free, self-guided tour. Gardeners will visit around a dozen local greenhouses throughout New Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick counties. The tour starts at the New Hanover County Arboretum at 6206 Oleander Drive; a map of locations can be accessed here.
Casino Night Beauty of Hope Gala — A high-stakes, high-style and high-rolling fundraiser will be hosted from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. to benefit Lumps to Laughter, a nonprofit that provides support to ovarian and breast cancer patients. The night will include poker, craps, blackjack and roulette games, as well as an open bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Players don’t win money but tickets for raffle items. There is also a silent auction. The event takes place at Aloft Wilmington Coastline Convention Center, (501 Nutt St.). Tickets are $150 with proceeds benefitting the nonprofit.
Free trees — The Alliance for Cape Fear Trees will distribute hundreds of free trees in partnership with Arbor Day Foundation’s Community Tree Recovery program and Verizon. More than 300 3-gallon trees will be available March 4, 9 a.m. to noon, or until the inventory runs out. The giveaway will take place at Hugh Morton Amphitheater at Greenfield Lake. The selection is first-come, first-serve and there is a limit of two trees per person. Read more here.
Sunday, March 5
Wilson Center, 701 S. Third St. • Tickets start at $25
A Broadway touring group is ready to razzle-dazzle audiences in the jazz-infused musical “Chicago.”
The 1975 American musical — music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Ebb and Bob Fosse — has received multiple Drama Desk, Tony and Laurence Olivier awards throughout its almost 50-year history. It’s well-known for its jazz choreography by Fosse, featuring hip rolls, pigeon toes, jazz hands and smooth finger snaps
The show takes place in the height of 1920s entertainment scene and follows two women, Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, who cross paths in Chicago’s Cook County Jail. The penitentiary houses many women who have been implicated in the death of their husbands.
Kelly, a nightclub sensation, can’t live without the limelight and with the help of an easily bribed warden, Mama Morton, and a slick lawyer, Billy Flynn, remains a sensation in the headlines. Yet, when Hart is locked up, she gives Kelly a run for her money, as she, too, yearns for celebrity and manages to gain the spotlight, overshadowing Kelly.
“Chicago” has doled out numerous hits, “All That Jazz,” “Cell Block Tango,” and “Mr. Cellophane,” each based on a vaudeville style of sound and performance. The musical was the longest-running in London’s West End history and is the second-longest on Broadway.
Wilson Center’s touring show takes place Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., with an additional 2 p.m. show on Sunday. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased here.
OTHER SUNDAY EVENTS
Wilmington Women’s Market — In celebration of Women’s History Month, a special market highlighting local women makers will take place at Waterline Brewing Company (721 Surry St.) from noon to 4 p.m. There will be more than 30 vendors, plus the Philly Invasion food truck will be parked from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. After the vendor market, there will be music by Nick Black from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Drag Brunch — If you’re looking for a little color and energy for Sunday brunch, look no further than Hi-Wire Brewing (1020 Princess St.). The brewery hosts a monthly drag brunch with music by a local DJ. It takes place from noon to 3 p.m., featuring five drag queens: Kirby Kolby, Celeste O’korr, Kayla LaShay, Prwincezz Malaysia Kay, and hostess and MC Brenda. Tickets to the show only are $15, though to include a boxed brunch by Point Break, it’s $30. All are welcome, however, the show is not censored; start time is 1 p.m.
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