Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Li’l Friday: Leftover Salmon, FlowILM, ‘Jane Eyre’ ballet

“The Color Purple” opens at Thalian Hall Thursday night. (Courtesy Techmoja)

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 Oct. 19 

“The Color Purple”
Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. • Tickets start at $32

Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about Black women overcoming oppression, misogyny, racism and abuse has had various incarnations of success beyond the page. It became a Steven Spielberg’-directed film in 1985 and 20 years later a Tony Award-winning musical. A new movie-musical is slated for a Christmas Day release this year, directed by Blitz Bazawule and produced by Spielberg, as well as Oprah Winfrey, who starred in the first film.

Locally, however, Techmoja Dance and Theater Company is staging “The Color Purple” on Thalian Hall’s main stage for the next two weekends. The story centers on Celia and the women who are part of her life, including Nettie, Sofia, and Shug Avery. Through numerous hardships and heartaches — rape, abuse, incest — the story follows Celia’s resilience and rise to triumph in the turn-of-the-20th-century South.

It is directed and choreographed by Kevin Lee-y Green, and stars Adrienne DeBouse, Denise Jackson, Rayana D. Briggs and Diedre Parker. Green told Port City Daily the show will bring to life Black voices told through Black actors who, though different than the play’s characters, still have lived-in cultural experiences that help steer the emotional depth of “The Color Purple.”

“We’re always taught to just keep pushing through,” he said of the Black community. “It took me a long time for me to get to the point where I understood being authentically you is important. That’s what ‘The Color Purple’ is all about.”

A live orchestra will perform ragtime, jazz, gospel and blues through more than two dozen songs, with choreography including Lindy Hop and African dance. The show opens Thursday evening, 7:30 p.m., and runs through Saturday, with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m., for the next two weekends. Tickets start at $37.

‘Waiting for Godot’ Irish playwright Samuel Beckett’s 1950’s play, “Waiting for Godot,” has one more weekend at Thalian Hall. A leap into the absurd, the show follows the story of two acquaintances, Estragon and Vladimir — performed by Jon Wallin and Randy Davis — who await the arrival of a man named Godot. The two stop at a country road by a tree and engage in a day’s long wait, while waxing existential philosophy, covering everything from religion to the mundane activities of day-to-day life to suicide. They engage in a few games and encounter some people during their wait. Yet, Godot never shows. The stripped-down tragicomedy has been considered one in which very little happens, but instead leads audiences to stir in emotions, ask questions and conclude what they think happens. It also gives them a jumping off point to discuss finding meaning in the otherwise meaningless. The show, produced by Big Dawg Productions, runs Thursday through Saturday, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, 3 p.m., through Oct. 22.

Leftover Salmon will perform as one of Greenfield Lake Amphitheater’s final concerts of the season. (Courtesy photo)

Friday Oct. 20 

Leftover Salmon
Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, 1941 Amphitheater Drive • Tickets: $29.50 

It’s the final weekend of shows for Greenfield Lake Amphitheater’s concert season, kicking off with Leftover Salmon.

Formed in Boulder, Colorado, this American jam band has been touring together for more than  30 years. Combining elements of bluegrass, rock, country, and more, Leftover Salmon has released seven studio albums and three live albums. Its most recent, “Grass Roots,” came out this year, featuring covers of Seldom Scene, Bob Dylan, David Bromberg and Grateful Dead, with guest artists Billy Strings, Oliver Wood and Darol Anger.

The band consists of members Vince Herman (guitar), Drew Emmitt (electric guitar), Greg Garrison (bass), Andy Thorn (Banjo), Alwyn Robinson (drums), and Jay Starling (keyboard/guitar). 

Fireside Collective, a bluegrass group emerging from Asheville, North Carolina, will open for Leftover Salmon. The band is made up of Joe Cicero on guitar, Alex Genova on the banjo, Jesse Laquinto on mandolin, Tommy Maher on the resonator guitar, and Carson White on the upright bass. 

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $29.50, available here

Corey Hunt and the Wise — Hailing from Asheboro, North Carolina, this country music group is preparing for a show at Bourgie Nights. Founded in 2010, the band — Corey Hunt, Eric Wise, and Todd Allmon — has spent the majority of its time touring the country. They have released two EPs, an album, and a number of singles. Combining sounds of country and Southern rock, the group has landed on the top 100 of the iTunes country album charts. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 here or $15 at the door. 

Langston Kerman — Dead Crow Comedy Room will have four shows this weekend featuring the return of Langston Kerman. Based out of L.A., Kerman is a writer, comedian, actor, and producer who has been featured in a number of different comedy shows and sitcoms including “Insecure,” “The Boys” and “Not Dead Yet.” He has written for the Academy Awards in 2016 for Chris Rock and Kerman is also a co-host of the podcast “My Momma Told Me,” where he jokes about a variety of Black conspiracy theories. Kerman’s stand-up homes in on life experiences, race and politics. In his Comedy Central half-hour special, he muses on being in love. “My girlfriend’s mom is single,” he said. “It’s hard, she’s 60. So we made her an OK, Cupid account — right, it didn’t help at all, but it has been the thrill of my life. I love how older people talk to each other online. They’re so honest and raw in ways young people aren’t. The website asks: List 10 fun facts about you. They just list the first that pop into their head: construction worker, lonely, hemorrhoids, love me.” Kerman will perform four shows, Oct. 20-21, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. nightly. Tickets are $18 to $28. 

Carolina Surf Film Festival — A two-night festival featuring surf flicks will take place at Waterman’s Brewing Company located on Pavilion Place near Wrightsville Beach. This year’s films include “Groundswell: The Other Side of Fear” on Friday, followed by “The Last Great Beach Day” and “The Greatest Surf Movie In the Universe” on Saturday. The festival has been around since 2014 and tickets are $15 for each night or $25 for both, with movies showing from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. The event is also family-friendly and children under 5 are admitted free. A portion of the festival proceeds benefit Surfers Healing Foundation, which works to help people living with autism experience riding the waves.

Halloween Fest — A community festival will get underway at Maides Park Davis Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Activities include trick-or-treating, games, a costume contest, plus food and music. A limited number of Wilmington Parks and Recreation bags will be available for kids, though the city encourages families to bring their own. If it rains, the event will be rescheduled to Friday, Oct. 27.

‘The Other Mozart’ — Most people have heard of classical musician Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but what about the famed composer’s older sister, Nannerl Mozart? She also was a prodigy, but lost to history. Her life’s journey has been captured by performer Sylvia Milo, who wrote “The Other Mozart.” Milon will perform at Kenan Auditorium Friday night at 7 p.m. exploring Nanneri’s vast talent and how she was limited in a society that didn’t allow women as many chances to get ahead as their male counterparts. Elaborate costumes and musical score add to the story, which presents an homage to women that have helped shape the arts. Tickets are $25-$40, available here.

An event that intersects arts, science and technology, FlowILM explores various organisms of the Cape Fear and how they affect the environment via creative educational activities and live performances, featuring dance, sculpture, installation and light-and-sound work produced by UNCW’s Coaction Lab. (Courtesy photo)

Saturday Oct. 21

Cameron Art Museum, 3201 S. 17th St. • Free

An illuminating art installation is returning to Cameron Art Museum from 4:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. Originally scheduled for Earth Day but postponed due to inclement weather, FlowILM marks year three of bringing together various multimedia artists, scientists, area nonprofits and UNCW labs to highlight global water issues. 

An event that intersects arts, science and technology, FlowILM explores various organisms of the Cape Fear and how they affect the environment via creative educational activities and live performances, featuring dance, sculpture, installation and light-and-sound work produced by UNCW’s Coaction Lab. It’s all inspired by biological and ecological research done in the area revealing stable and unstable relationships among organisms.

At 4:30 p.m., organizations and labs will share with audiences research via family-oriented activities. Then at 6:30 p.m. the live performances and art and sound installations come to life. To learn more about the participating artists, click here. CAM Cafe and Sealevel City Vegan Diner’s food truck will be serving food and drinks from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Should it rain, the event will be moved to Oct. 28. To see the exhibits inside CAM, regular admission applies.

(Port City Daily covered 2021’s Flow ILM, which can be read about here; though this year’s artists and happenings have varied from previous iterations.)

Burgaw’s Autumn Fest  — Pender County’s small town square of Burgaw is celebrating autumn with a 5K and kids 1-mile fun run, arts and crafts vendors, games, trick-or-treating, a costume contest, pumpkin decorating, and lots of live music from bands such as The Smokey Dunes and Massive Grass. It takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free. Also taking place during the festival is the next round of the Own Your Own’s Competition, which is hosting a Town Square Cookoff. Own Your Own has 24 finalists vying to win a $1 million startup investment and a restaurant space in Burgaw’s historic district as part of Richard Johnson’s quest to renovate the area. The contestants will prepare a signature dish to be voted upon by Burgaw locals and restaurateur judges; the top eight will move forward. 

Paul Cauthen — Greenfield Lake Amphitheater will welcome Texas musician Paul Cauthen, whose talent is family-bred. Raised in a church where his dad sang a cappella, Cauthen learned to sing harmonies from his grandfather and got his start in a rock duo called Sons of Fathers before turning solo. The indie folk artist has released three individual albums and an EP. “My Gospel,” Cauthen’s first solo record released in 2016, was listed as number 23 of Rolling Stone magazine’s top 40 country records of the year. He released “Country Coming Down” in April 2022. Nicknamed Big Velvet for his distinctive baritone voice, Cauthen often plays with and has collaborated with Cody Jinks, Orville Peck, Margo Price and others. Tickets to his show are $25.

Burlesque Nights Halloween Show — Puppie Buffé teases, tantalizes and tickles all the fancies of audience members for a special Halloween Burlesque show at Bourgie Nights. The show is hosted by Magnolia Jackson Pickett Burnside and feature Lextacy, Rusty Dawn, Honey Glaze and Sweet D. The audience is encouraged to join in costumes and “romp and run amok” with the performers who are promising to “unwrap adult tricks and treats.” Doors are at 7:30 p.m. with the show at 8 p.m. It’s for ages 21 and up only.

Halloween Movie Night — The Town of Belville is hosting a movie night at the Riverwalk Park (580 River Road) at 6 p.m. It’s free and blankets and chairs, as well as picnics, are welcome (no alcohol). Screening will be Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and there will be food vendors, prizes and trivia ahead of the screening.

City Balley presents an original performance of “Jane Eyre,” based on Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel. (Courtesy photo)

Sunday Oct. 22

“Jane Eyre”
Wilson Center, 703 N. Third St. • Tickets: $31 and up 

A ballet bringing to life the famed Charlotte Bronté novel, “Jane Eyre,” is coming to the Wilson Center this weekend. And it’s a masquerade event.

Local dance organization City Ballet will have its performers bringing to life through movement the romanticism and heroism of the protagonist of the novel, Jane. An orphan who turns governess, Jane has fallen in love with her employer. However, he is married and through much strife, she has to overcome oppression — patriarchal and familial — to find her happy-ever-after.

The performance will include elaborate costuming and musical score, and the audience is encouraged to dress up in a masquerade for Sunday’s performance. It takes place at 3 p.m. and tickets start at $31.

Autumn with Topsail — The small beach town in Pender County will celebrate fall on Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Historical Society of Topsail Island and the Assembly Building where the Missiles & More Museum is located (720 Channel Blvd.) on Topsail Beach. There will be more than 100 artist vendors, plus live music, food, beer and wine. Kids are welcome, as inflatables and crafts will be available. No pets are allowed unless they’re certified service animals. A free shuttle will ferry folks from various parking areas in Topsail (learn more here). Tickets are $7 for one day or $12 for both. Children 12 and under and military with ID receive free entry. Proceeds help maintain the historic Assembly Building and the Missiles and More Museum. 

Cargo East Halloween Market and Movie Night — Wilmington’s only dog bar, Ruff Draft, and nearby home goods store, The Refillery Co., are welcoming the public to Cargo East’s Pop-up Fall Vendor Market and Halloween Movie Night. Local artisans and crafters will be on site from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. There also will be a mini pumpkin patch and a pumpkin-painting station for kids. A food truck, Tasty Tee’s Snack Shack, will be parked from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Around 6 p.m., a family-friendly movie, “Frankenweenie,” will screen in the dog park at Ruff Draft. Chairs, blankets and movie snacks are welcome.

The Cat Empire — Since 1999, Melbourne, Australia-based The Cat Empire has been bringing the funk, rock and jazz to music lovers through its nine-disc catalog. Adding to it in 2023 is “Where the Angels Fall,” released in August. It was recorded by original members Felix Riebl and Ollie McGill and their new ensemble including Seychelles singer Grace Barbe, Cuban-born trumpeter Lazaro Numa, and Neda Rahmani. The band has been on tour through summer and is preparing to drop its 20th anniversary edition of its debut track, “How to Explain,” next week. “This wild new version pays respect to the original version (check out the tip-of-the-hat to Harry’s blistering trumpet intro), yet bursts forth with new energy and musical life provided by some of our glorious new members and some exciting special guests,” the band noted on social media. Tickets to the final concert in Greenfield Lake Amphitheater’s season are $25.

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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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