Saturday, June 15, 2024

Li’l Friday: Polish Festival, Taste of WB, CF Kite Festival

The Fab Four will bring to life the sounds and likeness of the Beatles at Kenan Auditorium Thursday evening. (Courtesy photo)

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, Nov. 2

The Fab Four 
UNCW Kenan Auditorium, 515 Wagoner Drive • Tickets: $30 – $60 

Beatlemania is returning — at least to the Port City this weekend. 

The Fab Four, an Emmy award winning Beatles tribute band, will perform at Kenan Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. The group is known for performing note-for-note live renditions of Beatles classics, such as “Twist and Shout,” “Here Comes The Sun,” “Hey Jude,” and other hits. 

Through costume changes, makeup, and music, the performance represents the different eras of the Liverpoolians’ dynamic career. Touring across the United States and many other countries, The Fab Four gives audiences a taste of what it was like surrounded by the sounds of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

Tickets $30 – $60, available here

Brubeck Brothers Quartet — Founding members Chris and Dan Brubeck have been playing together almost their whole lives, releasing their first record in 1966. Now with guitarist Mike Demicco and pianist Chuck Lamb, the quartet performs jazz embedded with odd time signatures and integrating funk, blues and world music. Having collaborated with orchestras worldwide, Brubeck Brothers Quartet is performing in historic Thalian Hall at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $51, available here

Kyle Kinane — This Illinois-based comedian and actor will be performing five shows at the Dead Crow Comedy Room this weekend. Seen on “Conan,” “The Tonight Show,” and three of his own hour-length specials on Comedy Central, Kinane’s self-deprecating style of comedy is raw, honest, and at times uncomfortable. In his Comedy Central special titled “Shocks and Struts,” Kinane jokes about many of his wild life experiences, like the time he went on a cruise during the pandemic. “Nobody is tame enough to go for the bronze-tier drink package,” Kinane said. “Everyone is like, ‘Diamond package, baby! I will absolutely drink $975 worth of alcohol every day on this cruise.’” The five shows begin on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m., with shows at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 3 and Nov. 4. Tickets are $35 and $40, available here

An Evening with Eugenia Riot and Megan Alder — Wilmington native and Portland, Oregon-based singer and songwriter, Eugenia Riot, is coming back to her hometown for a show at Bourgie Nights. Riot released her first album this year, “Can’t Wait to Miss You,” blending folk, rock, and pop. Riot will be taking the stage with another folk artist, Megan Alder, hailing from the Columbia River Gorge region. Releasing her first EP last year titled “Dark Side,” Alder’s powerful voice is only matched by her strong flatpicking abilities. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, available here

Jazz at CAM — Internationally acclaimed flutist, singer and composer Rebecca Kleinmann will perform with her quintet as part of the Jazz at CAM series, hosted at the Cameron Art Museum. North Carolina-born Kleinmann studied jazz at Indiana University and has toured worldwide, playing to sold out audiences, including renowned events like the San Francisco Jazz Festival and Healdsburg Jazz Festival. Tickets are $35 to $55 and CAM Cafe is open Thursday evenings for dinner ahead of the show; CAM is located at 3201 South 17th St.

Port City Taste Taco Week — Tacos are getting the spotlight at numerous area eateries, thanks to Port City Taste Taco Week, underway through Sunday. With more than 30 tacos highlighted during Taco Week, there is something for every palate to enjoy at the 18 participating eateries. Prices start at $8; learn more about it here.

‘Dracula’ — Bram Stoker’s classic novel, “Dracula,” about a character who wreaks havoc on London, continues as part of the UNCW theatre department’s season of student productions. Written by American playwright Steven Dietz in 1997, the production brings to life the suspense and horror of the literary classic, following  Count Dracula, who lives in a castle in Transylvania but makes his way to Victorian London to terrorize the townsfolk. It leads Abraham Van Helsing on a quest to slay the vampire, making him enemy number one of Dracula. The production is being directed by UNCW professor Christopher Marino, who has 25 years of experience in the theater industry. Marino has also been teaching theater classes at UNCW for the last decade. He has summoned the help of guest artist and magician Matthew Holtzclaw (featured on the TV show “Penn & Teller: Fool Us!”) as a consultant on the special effects and blood work. It runs Nov. 2-5, and Nov. 9-12 with evening performances at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $6 to $15, available here

The Kite Festival on Pleasure Island added a night kite session Friday evening, taking place in front of the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. The festival continues Saturday and Sunday during the day at Fort Fisher. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, Nov. 3

Cape Fear Kite Festival 
Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, 1000 Loggerhead Road • Free

The 16th annual Cape Fear Kite Festival is returning to the skies this weekend on Pleasure Island.

Kites of all shapes, sizes, colors and styles will soar through the air, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3, at the Kure Beach Pier. Then, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., glow-in-the-dark and illuminated kites will fly above the sand dunes and ocean as part of The Night with Kites. Kites of all shapes, sizes and colors will fly near the Carolina Beach Boardwalk and Courtyard by Marriott Carolina Beach.

The festival will continue on Nov. 4 and 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Fort Fisher Recreation Center. There will be live music, food trucks, and vendors both Saturday and Sunday. The event is free for all, with food and drinks available for purchase. 

“Six Seconds” — President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas, 60 years ago. The assassination unfolded in roughly 6 seconds. Written by Rose-Mary Harrington, the play “Six Seconds,” follows the event and illustrates the assassination’s unfolding through the eyes of the women involved. This includes first lady Jackie Kennedy and second lady Lady Bird Johnson. Harrington’s play explores the era, including the social and political issues of the day. The play will run at Thalian Hall, Nov. 3 – 5, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m., and a Sunday Matinee at 3 p.m. Tickets are $35, available here.  

Greek Fest Drive-Thru — Though the annual Greek Festival takes place in May, a smaller offshoot event allows fans of baklava, spanakopita, gyros and more a chance to scoop up the culinary treats at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in the fall. The Greek Fest Drive-Thru event takes place all weekend, open Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The menu and prices are located here. The drive-thru is set up at 608 S. College Road.

Port City Blitz — Reggie’s is amping up the music scene this weekend at its 42nd Street Tavern, with 40 bands featured over two days on two stages. All variations of rock will be on deck — metal, doom, grunge, indie and ska. Acts performing include headliners Black Tusk, The Pentagram String Band and Howling Giant. Also performing are Queen’s Giant, Emergency Nothing, Orphan Riot, Yule, Heathensun, Microdose, Slomo Dingo, and Monkey Knifefight, among others. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Friday and noon on Saturday. There also will be a punk flea market taking place Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $16 for Friday’s show, $20 for Saturday’s or $33 for the whole weekend.

Wilmington Antique and Vintage Market — Presented by the North Carolina Junior Sorosis and North Carolina Sorosis, the Wilmington Antique and Vintage Market will take place at the Elks Lodge, 5102 Oleander Drive, Friday through Sunday. There will be nationwide antiques dealers, showcasing fine antiques, vintage items and collectibles. Admission is $10 for all weekend, with proceeds benefiting area charities and a silent auction, with monies funneled toward UNCW and CFCC student scholarships. The market is open Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday until 4 p.m.

The annual Polish Festival is held at St. Stan’s Church in Castle Hayne one day a year, featuring authentic Polish food. (Courtesy photo)

Saturday Nov. 4

Polish Festival  
St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, 4849 Castle Hayne Road • Free

The 23rd annual Polish Festival is returning to the Cape Fear region this weekend at St. Stanislaus Church in Castle Hayne. Visitors by the thousands — upward of almost 10,000, actually — descend on the area annually during the first weekend of November to indulge in Polish foods, deserts, drinks, music and more. 

The church ships in authentic kielbasa, pierogi, golabki, kruschiki, and more from Pennsylvania to sell. Homemade food prepared by parishioners will also be for sale, featuring potato pancakes, stuffed cabbage, sausage rolls, topped with homemade sauerkraut, and pastries, like chrusciki cookies and nut rolls, priced $8 and up.

Admission is free, but proceeds benefit the upkeep of the church and help subsidize its food pantry, Helping Hands.

Polish music will be played live by the Harbour Towne Fest Band, bringing pop-polka sounds, and Front Street Brewery will have its annual Polish beer for sale.

The festival will also feature a craft sale, a raffle with cash prizes, and will have a children’s area with games and inflatables.

Taste of Wrightsville Beach — The 10th annual Taste of Wrightsville Beach will take place Saturday evening in the parking lot of Bluewater Grill (4 Marina St.). Thirty-five tents will showcase the island’s diverse selection of food, beer, and wine. Judges will rate their favorite dishes and participants will be given the chance to vote on the People’s Choice Award for best beer, wine, and dish. Live music will be provided by Hagood Homes. Adult tickets are $100 and include tastings of each dish as well as beer and wine samples. Under 21 tickets are $25; tickets are available here, with all net proceeds going to the Weekend Meals on Wheels program. 

Festival Latino — The 22nd annual Festival Latino will land at Ogden Park (615 Ogden Park Drive) on Nov. 4 and 5, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A courtyard will have food from across Latin America. There will also be an arts-and-crafts market and plenty of activities for the kids, including inflatables, face-painting, carnival rides, and games with prizes. Live bands will take the stage, as well as a Latin folklore dance group. Dance lessons will be offered for those who wish to partake. The event is free for all to attend. 

John Brown Big Band A professional jazz ensemble, specializing in traditional compositions from the Great American Songbook, will be taking the stage at the Wilson Center Saturday night. The group plays a wide range of material, covering all eras of jazz, including arrangements from legends Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, and Ella Fitzgerald. The group was formed by North Carolina native John Brown, who performs as leader and band member. Grammy-nominated singer Nnenna Freelon will be taking the stage with the band. This show will feature $10 tickets for students; general admission otherwise starts at $35, available here

Alexis Raeana — Part of The Penguin 98.3’s rising star artist spotlight series, Alexis Raeana will perform her Southern soulful music at Bourgie Nights (full disclosure: The Penguin is Port City Daily’s sister station). Her only released single, “Keep my Memory,” spreads a powerful message about awareness for missing and murdered indigenous women. Raeana has performed at Live Oak Bank Pavilion with the Wilmington Symphony, as well as at the Smithsonian Museum of American Indians, North Carolina Governor’s Mansion, and as a contestant on “American Idol.” Raeana has a strong love for activism in protecting the earth’s land and boosting confidence in indigenous women. Doors open at 9 p.m. and the show starts at 10 p.m. Tickets are available here.

Spots are in season now and will be served at the NC Spot Festival this weekend. (Courtesy photo)

North Carolina Spot Festival — While the area churches are celebrating Polish and Greek traditions this weekend (see above listings), Hampstead is celebrating the return of spots — smaller members of the drum fish family. The North Carolina Spot Festival is turning 60 and celebrating fried spot platters all weekend long at 14221 U.S. Highway 17. The festival organizers prepare more than 5,000 pounds throughout the weekend, as the festival takes place both Saturday and Sunday, $5 each day (free for kids 6 and under). Chairs and blankets are welcome, though pets and coolers are not. The $12 spot dinners include two spot fish, hushpuppies, fries and slaw. There will be more than 100 arts, crafts and business vendors on site, and wine and beer — the latter by Surf City’s Salty Turtle — for sale. Plenty of live music is planned, including Saturday performances by Jeremy Wade, Chasing Sara Tonin, and Dustin Chapman and Ryleigh Madison, the latter of whom appeared on “American Idol.” On Sunday, the Band of Oz plays. Plus, there will be the Spot Festival Pageant crowning and visiting queen introductions. The festival takes place 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; schedule is here.

Hope Concert Series — A seven-week concert series celebrating sobriety continues into November. Started by Anna Mann, the series takes place at Hope Recovery Center, which provides a hub for recovery groups — such as Al-Anon — and offers help to the homeless community. This weekend will feature Smokey Dunes with Matt and Rae. Read PCD’s full writeup about the event here. Tickets are $10.

Veg-Out Festival — Postponed from mid-October, Live Oak Bank Pavilion is welcoming vegans, vegetarians and those who subscribe to a healthy lifestyle to attend Veg-Out. Returning for its third year with free admission, Veg-Out is about education and embarking on healthy fun. The event takes place at 10 Cowan Drive in downtown Wilmington from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be traditional medical providers, holistic health care providers, and vendors with organic, holistic, vegan, vegetarian, green, and cruelty-free products. Guest speakers, discussing the power of herbs or urban gardening with aeroponics, will be featured, as will cooking demonstrations. Arts and crafts, vegan and vegetarian food vendors — Sea Level, Well Fed Ed, Soul’s Kitchen — and nonprofit organizations will be on site, and there will be yoga taking place throughout the day. Learn more here

Spacegiving — A night of jamtronic sounds will be featured at Waterline Brewing from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. as part of Spacegiving. The fundraiser for NourishNC will have musical performances by four acts, including Spacefolks, Oh no! Casino, Krispee Biscuits and Jesse Stockton. There also will be food trucks, vendors and interactive performance arts featured. General admission is $10.

Walk to End Alzherimer’s — Held annually in more than 600 communities across the globe, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the largest fundraising event for the disease worldwide. Locally, the walk takes place at Wrightsville Beach Park, 321 Causeway Drive, beginning at 9 a.m. An opening ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. There are 1- and 2-mile walk options and participants are expected to raise funds to go toward the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. Registration is open here.

The Great Pumpkin Blowout —Now that Halloween is over, whatcha gonna do with that rotting pumpkin?  The North Carolina Historic Sites and Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site has an idea: blow it to smithereens. From noon to 4 p.m., for a $10 fee, participants can bring their Jack-o-lanterns to detonate with the same technology that was used during Civil War times to blow up torpedoes. According to the historic site, the gourds that don’t have as much carving will provide the best explosions. All proceeds fund educational programming at the site, 8884 Saint Philips Road SE. Learn more here.

Celtic Thunder will perform at Wilson Center Sunday. (Courtesy photo)

Sunday, Nov. 5

Celtic Thunder 
Wilson Center, 703 N. 3rd St. • Tickets: Starting at $32 

Internationally acclaimed Irish music group Celtic Thunder will step onto the Wilson Center Sunday evening. 

“Odyssey,” the group’s latest album, entails an exploration of Irish music and culture. It features 13 new recordings and classics like “Will Ye Go Lassie Go,” “The Parting Glass,” “Sailing” and “One More Day.”

Celtic Thunder will perform it live, taking audiences through an odyssey of its traditions and sounds. The show is rife with special effects, dramatic set pieces and choreography.

Pilobolus Dance Company — Play and creativity are explored in “Re:Creation” — the new tour from Pilobolus Dance Company. Founded more than 50 years ago, Pilobolus Dance Company has blended athleticism with creativity, often pushing boundaries and testing limits of human physicality. “Re:Creation” features collaborations among Darlene Kascak of Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, composer Jad Abumrad — also founder of “Dolly Parton’s America” on Radiolab — choreographer Madison Olandt and former Pilobolus dancers Derion Loman and Gaspard Louis, founder of Gaspard and Dancers. The performance takes place at Thalian Hall, with tickets costing $64.

Lysander Piano Trio — Chamber Music Wilmington presents the Lysander Piano Trio at Beckwith Recital Hall on UNCW’s campus. The concert presents composers from various backgrounds, including James Lee III’s Temple Visions. The musical commentary centers on scenes from the biblical book of Revelation. Also featured will be Beethoven’s Piano Trio in B Flat Major, Op. 97, “Archduke” and Rachmaniinoff’s Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G Minor. Tickets are $19 to $39, available here. The show begins at 4 p.m. 

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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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