Friday, March 1, 2024

Li’l Friday: St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, Beer, Bourbon and BBQ

“Two Jews, Talking” has one more weekend run at Thalian Hall’s Ruth and Bucky Stein Theater. (Courtesy Big Dawg Productions)

WILMINGTON — 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 9

Two Jews, Talking
Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. • Tickets: $32

Big Dawg Productions has opened its second production of the year with “Two Jews, Talking,” to take  place one more weekend at the Ruth and Bucky Stein Theater in Thalian Hall. The show ran off-Broadway with Tony Award-winner Hal Linden (“You People,” “The Samuel Project”) and Bernie Kopell (“The Love Boat”) as the leads.

The show, a premiere for Wilmington, was written by Ed. Weinberger (“The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” “The Bob Hope Special,” “The Bill Cosby Show”), a Peabody, Golden Globe, and Emmy award winner. “Two Jews, Talking” consists of two one-acts — one follows the story of Lou and Bud in the Biblical past, and the other features Phil and Marty having a chat in modern-day Long Island. 

“I’m always looking for new shows to add to future seasons, especially shows that might appeal to more diverse audiences,” Big Dawg artistic director Steve Vernon told Port City Daily. 

The Big Dawg production, directed by Holly Saperstein, stars Jamey Stone and Lee Lowrimore.

“It’s not just two guys talking,” Stone explained. “It’s discussions on belief, faith, religion, philosophy, love, sex, loss, and loneliness, tackled in both hilarious and serious ways.”

Aside from the humor derived in it, the show can be a reminder for others to learn how to overcome divisive world views in civil conversation. It’s something Stone said the Jewish people he grew up around managed to perfect.

“They had a way of debating and arguing that could be both simultaneously combative and hilarious, but somehow often ended up in mutually begrudging respect,” Stone explained. “What happens when you engage in discussions with someone you don’t have anything in common with or may not even agree with on everything? Occasionally, you might be surprised by how much less distance there is between the two of you than you originally thought.”

His concentration has been on voice, mannerisms, and quirks of influential people, including Jewish comedians and character actors Stone followed throughout the years, to flesh out his character.

The show is dialogue-heavy, something Stone said he approached with “extreme terror.” Challenges have risen in the conversational loops, one piece eventually connecting back to another — phrases and themes constantly on repeat. Yet, Stone admitted the cues are similar in numerous places to help the actor stay on track.

“Zone out for a millisecond and you’re hopelessly lost in the wilderness, like Moses in the desert!” he quipped.

Stone’s wife, Saperstein, also admitted knowing these characters and their quirks. She said their interactions lead to “funny and poignant” moments beyond merely waxing women, food, and faith. The show basically is a strong tale of companionship and friendship, and connecting to others despite cultural disparities or backgrounds. 

Previous iterations of “Two Jews, Talking” have cast men in their 90s; Saperstein has gone with younger talent just over 50. As the acts take place 3,000 years apart, she said the fact the Jewish characters still manage to struggle with the same questions is hopeful. 

“[They cover] timeless subjects each of us look at in our own lives, especially as we get older,” she said.

“There’s a saying, ‘history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes,’” Lowrimore added. “That’s what happens with these two one-acts. You’ll be going along talking about Mt. Sinai, and suddenly you think, ‘Am I talking about the mountain or the hospital?’”

Tickets to the show can be purchased here; it takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and on Sunday at 3 p.m.

In Conversation Series — Cameron Art Museum will host two North Carolina artists, Juan Logan and Michael Williams, to discuss how artwork can drive conversations regarding the American experience. Logan is a multimedia artist working in paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, and videos. His abstract pieces often touch on power, politics and race. Williams is the founder of the Black on Black Project, showcasing artists of color and highlighting topics of the African-American experience and its impact in communities. Williams has hosted previous exhibits “Lost in Reflections,” surrounding Black educators in Wilmington, and “Continuum of Change,” showcasing portraits of prominent Black people in the Cape Fear, in business, education and politics, pre-1898. Cost is $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers; the event takes place at CAM, 3201 S. 17th St.

Hustle — The 1970s dance that hit the disco floors is making a comeback at Babs McDance and Social Club. All levels of dancers are welcome to the class, which covers basic instructions followed by social dancing. It takes place from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 6782 Market St.

Friday, March 10

Matt Braunger
Dead Crow Comedy Room, 511 N Third St. • Tickets: $20-$30

A comedian from Portland, Oregon, Matt Braunger studied theater in New York and Chicago before launching into the comedy scene in 2007. He has appeared on multiple TV shows — ABC’s “Agent Carter,” NBC’s “Up All Night,” and Amazon’s “Upload.”

He event touches on his “celebrity”: “Yes, i was on the Halloween episode of ‘I, Carly’ in 2007 — yes, it’s really me, I walk among you, i know. I’ll let you touch me later, I’m just a man.”

Braunger then launches into a diatribe of celebrity now being dead, though he’d still “geek out” over seeing Tay Diggs.

In 2009, Braunger was named by Variety as one of the Top 10 Comics to Watch, and Comedy Central’s Hot 9. He released his debut, “Soak Up the Night,” on Comedy Central Records and in 2012 “Shovel Fighter,” based on his hour standup special. In 2017, Braunger recorded “Big, Dumb Animal” at The Bell House in Brooklyn and in 2019 “Finally Live in Portland.” Last year “Doug” was released, which has Braunger dissecting fatherhood and his appreciation for hot dudes.

Tickets to the show start at $20 and can be purchased here

Skylar Martin, left, and his mom, Jennifer Joye Phillips during the Steve Haydu Lo Tide Run on St. Patrick’s Day. (Photos courtesy Jennifer Joye Phillips)

Saturday, March 11

Steve Haydu St. Patrick Lo-Tide Run
Carolina Beach Elementary School to Carolina Beach State Park • Registration: $45

After its cancellation last year due to weather, the annual Steve Haydu St. Patrick Lo-Tide Run returns in 2023. It welcomes thousands of runners decked in green to descend upon Carolina Beach. There are multiple levels of participation, including both timed and untimed 5Ks, as well as a timed 10K and a virtual event. 

Registration opens at 6:30 a.m., with the 10K starting at 7:30 a.m. and the 5K timed race beginning at 8 a.m. and untimed at 8:10 a.m. Runners start at Carolina Beach Elementary School and end at Carolina Beach Lake Park, with awards announced at 9:20 a.m. Runners are encouraged to wear their best St. Pat’s costumes. 

All funds from the Steve Haydu Lo Tide Fund, Inc. go to New Hanover County residents who need financial help due to a cancer diagnosis. Registration is $45. 

After the race, an afterparty will take place at SeaWitch Cafe with two bands performing: Many Everythings, from noon to 3 p.m. and OMG from 8 p.m. to midnight. Free swag and green beer will be served.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival — Downtown Wilmington’s parade kicks off at 11 a.m. along Front Street, featuring placeholder kicker Connor Barth as the grand marshal. Also featured will be the 82nd Airborne Division Marching Band from Fort Bragg and the North Brunswick High School Marching Scorps from Leland. Joining will be Wilmington Police Pipes and Drums, Walsh Kelley Irish Dance Group, and Sudan Drum and Bugle, as well as other organizations and businesses. After, the festivities continue at Waterline Brewery (721 Surry St.), with live music from Banna and The Blarney Brogues, with Irish dancing and beer. It’s free to attend.

Beer, Bourbon and BBQ — Taking place at Riverfront Park, the annual Beer, Bourbon and BBQ event features more than 60 beers and 40 bourbons. Plus, a lot of barbecue, bacon, biscuits and smoked meats will be served. Live bluegrass is played throughout the day, with games onsite, including Connect Four, giant Jenga and cornhole. Tickets are $39 for general admission from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and include a souvenir tasting glass for all beer and bourbons plus live entertainment; food priced separately. Designated driver tickets are $25.

Dead Cool — Wilmington’s goth rock outfit Dead Cool will perform at downtown’s Opera Room (119 Grace St.) on Saturday at 8 p.m. Formed by husband-and-wife team Johnny and Angela Yeagher, their sound is an amalgamation of darkwave, post-punk and synthpop. Last year they released a cover of Real Life’s synthetic pop hit “Send Me An Angel”; Dead Cool also released a locally made video for it. They’ll be joined by Cyanbaal, a German-American dark electro duo, and Jihad, electronic soundscapes created by James Mendez. DJ Ivo Oost also will be spinning tunes.

Eagle’s Dare St. Patrick’s Day Party — At the 1950s gas-station-turned-bar on the corner of Red Cross and Third streets, Eagle’s Dare is also getting into the St. Patty’s Day vibes. They’ll be hosting a parking lot party with three bands, starting at 10 a.m. with Folkstone String Band, noon with Juno and 4 p.m. with Volk. Food trucks Webo’s and Mommiez will be parked on site, and beer will be served. 

Curated on Castle Vintage Market — Each March through November on the second Saturday, Castle Street businesses and local makers and vendors set up a market from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the open lot at the corner of Castle and Sixth streets. The 2023 season is in full swing this weekend. Vendors sell clothing, records, home decor and more. It’s free to attend; everything is priced individually by vendors.

She Rocks Donation Drive — A donation drive for Domestic Violence Shelter and Services is taking place from noon to 4 p.m. at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater (1941 Amphitheater Drive). There will be raffle prizes, women-owned vendor booths, games, food trucks, free exercise class, music, and more. Monetary donations will be accepted as will items needed for the shelter; the wishlist can be accessed here.

4th Annual Dean Day — Broomtail Brewing (6404 Amsterdam Way) is celebrating its former employee Dean Goodyear, who unexpectedly passed away in 2019. A scholarship was launched in his honor for CFCC students, so the celebration benefits the fund, with proceeds also going to The Bee Conservancy. All proceeds from the special batch of Honey Nut Beerios, a honey-infused brown ale, will be donated, plus $1 from every memorial beer, Bee Kind Honey Kölsch, served. The kolsch was created in Goodyear’s honor as well. Mac OG’s food truck will be parked from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  

Port City Comicon — The new Citizens Studio, a gathering space for creatives and storytellers on Carolina Beach Road, is hosting the inaugural Port City Comicon. It will welcome comedians, actors and pro wrestlers, including Trish Bulinski (“Naked & Afraid”), Carlos Jimenez (“60 Days In”), wrestlers Marcus “Buff” Bagwell and Mean Marc Ash, as well as EJ Snyder, Gary Golding, Jay Darrell and Seymour Snott. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.

“Safe Haven” in Southport — Cinephiles flock to the sleepy town of Southport often to see where films like “I Know What You Did Last Summer” and “Safe Haven” had cameras rolling. This weekend the coastal community is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Nicholas Sparks’ novel-turned-film. “Safe Haven” stars Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel in a romantic drama that has the lead trepidatiously trusting in love after leaving an abusive relationship. A guided tour with Brooke Barnhill, locations manager for “Safe Haven,” will take place at 11 a.m and 2 p.m., with participants meeting at Fort Johnston Visitor’s Center. Movie memorabilia will be on display from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the center as well. A free screening of the film will take place on the Fort Johnston lawn at 6:30 p.m. Blankets, chairs, and picnics welcome; the food truck Chocolate and S’mores will be on site as well.

Bike race takes place as part of the Azalea Sprint Triathlon taking place on Sunday, starting on UNCW’s campus. (Courtesy photo)

Sunday, March 12

Azalea Sprint Triathlon
UNCW, 720 Hamilton Dr. • Registration: $75 – $160

The Azalea Sprint Triathlon will take place at 8 a.m., welcoming hundreds of racers in the 27th annual event. 

The race will consist of a 300-yard swim, 12-mile cycle and 5K run on UNCW’s campus and surrounding areas. The bike course, for example, starts on campus and migrates Riegel Road, Rose Avenue, Hooker Road, Wrightsville Avenue, and McMillan Avenue before returning to UNCW.

Packet registration pickup takes place Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. A 30-minute orientation meeting will be held for participants at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday at the race site on UNCW’s Hamilton Drive in the Set Up Events trailer at the race finish line.

Registration is $75 to $160, depending on the level of participation; more information can be found here.

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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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