SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — It’s a weekend of top-hitters in the area, as a ‘60s musical icon and famed NPR storyteller take the stage at UNCW, while in downtown Wilmington local comedian Cliff Cash is filming a special at historic Thalian Hall.
As well, multiple events are taking place to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the 1898 Massacre and Coup that changed the landscape in Wilmington. Nov. 10, 1898 marks the day when white supremacists killed and ran off numerous African Americans from the area, effectively flipping Wilmington’s bi-racially led government to more conservative leadership. It’s the only successful coup to take place in American history.
Li’l Friday features the commemorations in its weekly roundup of happenings in the area. LF is published every Thursday and includes events through Sunday 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. 9
Comedian Cliff Cash
Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. • Tickets: $50 – $165
After starting his career here in the Port City, comedian Cliff Cash has spent the last 12 years touring the country in a van, visiting 48 states and 45 national parks. He’s performed at comedy clubs and international cruise lines as well. Cash has performed for Comedy Central Upnext, standup NBC and Dry Bar.
But landing on the Thalian Hall stage has always been a goal — one Cash will utilize to record his first comedy special at the historic main stage.
Local production company Lighthouse Films is helping with the special; Cash has a goal is to pitch it to streamers like Netflix and HBO.
In 2021, Cash released a comedy album titled “Halfway There,” which rose to the No. 1 spot on iTunes charts. The album consisted of material from a show Cash did at Dead Crow Comedy Room, where he got his start.
Cash tackles a wide range of topics, such as Southern stereotypes, current events, and politics.
“People think that all Southerners are stupid and it makes me angry because at least 20% of us are not,” Cash joked in his Dry Bar comedy special.
Cash will take the stage at 7 p.m. at Thalian Hall on Thursday evening. Opening will be local comics Wills Maxwell and Drew Harrison. The special will include music by local artist Sean Thomas Gerard as well.
All attendees must sign an audience release form, as the show will be recorded. Read the PCD’s full writeup about the comedian here.
OTHER THURSDAY EVENTS
Beijing Dance Theatre — Founded in 2008 by choreographer Wang Yuanyuan, producer Han Jiang, and visual artist Tan Shaoyuan, Beijing Dance Theatre combines modern dance with contemporary ballet. BDT has traveled worldwide, performing to a variety of audiences, who have described the shows as unique, creative, and full of energy. The performance will take place at the Wilson Center, with $10 tickets for students of all ages (kindergarten through college). Regular tickets start at $28, available here.
“John Proctor is the Villain” — Written in 2018 by Kimberly Belflower, “John Proctor is the Villain” will be performed at the Wilson Center Studio Theatre for two weekends, Nov. 9 to11 and 16 to18 at 7 p.m. The play is set in a rural Georgia high school and explores maneuvering young love and scandals, as teens explore the theatrical classic, Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.” The comedy, put on by the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Cape Fear Community College, exhibits a generation in mid-transformation that begins to question who are the heroes and what the truth really is. Tickets are $15, available here.
Harper and Midwest Kind — Award-winning roots and blues singer-songwriter Peter Harper is making a stop at the Rusty Nail Thursday evening. Originally from Australia — and now based out of Detroit, Michigan — Harper uses the harmonica and didgeridoo, as well as his deep, soulful voice to produce a creative mix of roots music. Harper has received 14 blues and roots music awards from various countries and is backed by his touring band, Midwest Kind. It consists of Michael Howe Jr. on guitar, Caelin Amin on bass, Scott Veenstra on drums and Bobbi Llewellyn on backup vocals. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $15 at the door.
Friday, Nov. 10
Kenan Auditorium, 515 Wagoner Drive • Tickets: $60 – $90
Grammy award-winning and two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Graham Nash is coming to Kenan Auditorium Friday evening for a night of classic ‘60s and ‘70s hits.
A founder of The Hollies and Crosby, Stills, and Nash, the English musician is known for crafting poplar songs like “The Air That I Breathe” and “Teach Your Children.” He played with The Hollies from 1964 to 1968, and after departing, joined forces with David Crosby and Stephen Stills in the late 1960s to create hits including “Marrakesh Express” and “Lady of the Island.” Nash also wrote the famed “Our House” for his former partner and music legend Joni Mitchell.
Nash ventured into a solo career in the early 1970s, releasing albums including “Songs for Beginners” and “Wild Tales.” Upon his arrival in Wilmington, he will take the stage with longtime musical partners Shane Fontayne (guitar and vocals) and Todd Caldwell (keyboard and vocals), performing all the classics from his 60-year career.
The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $60 to $90, available here.
OTHER FRIDAY EVENTS
Sahib Singh — Hailing from the Baltimore and D.C. areas, Sahib Singh has grown a large following on social media, posting original, short and funny skits. In 2019, Singh won the Magooby’s New Comedian of the Year Competition and in 2021, he worked as a writer and producer for Comedy Central. Featured on the CBS Comedy Showcase and the digital series “As Seen on Adult Swim,” Singh will perform four shows at the Dead Crow Comedy Room on Nov. 10 and 11. His shows will be at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. nightly. Tickets are $20 to $30, available here.
Carlos Rising — From right here in Wilmington, Carlos Rising has been growing a tremendous fan base over the past 10 years. His music attracts crowds from all over the board, including fans of soul, R&B and pop. For the past two years, Rising has been mainly playing local gigs with his band Holy Heat, consisting of Christian Black on drums and Jonathon D’Amico on bass. Appearing on NBC’s famed “The Voice,” Rising performed with Team Blake Shelton last season. Live at Ted’s (2 Castle St.) will host Rising on Friday evening for a recorded show. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10, available here.
The Ford Project — This Brunswick County-based band will be making its way to Greenfield Lake Yacht Club (1756 Carolina Beach Road) at 7 p.m. Led by powerful vocalist Lorna Ford, the band specializes in female-driven rock, country and pop music. Ford is backed by Dennis Hetzel on bass, Steven Tabankin on lead guitar, and Norm Weiss on harmonica. A rotating cast of musicians fills in on keyboard and percussion. The show is free.
Monument — Cameron Art Museum is opening its latest exhibit, “Monument,” a continuation of the “Boundless” sculpture installed on the museum grounds in the United States Colored Troops Park. The historic site was the place where the 1,500 African American troops fought for their own freedom in the Battle of Forks Road. It was one of the final battles the Union Army won in a Civil War skirmish that led to the Confederates’ fall in Wilmington. In 2021, artist Stephen Hayes created a 2,500-pound bronze sculpture that stands 16 feet tall, and “Monument” continues his work, along with myriad other artists, to discuss what commemoration in the built environment in America means. It opens to the public on Thursday night but the museum is hosting Descendants Homecoming on Saturday, Nov. 11, welcoming USCT family members and USCT Civil War reenactors to share the living history with storytelling through gospel music, lectures and tours. DREAMS Center of Arts Education students will host a dance performance, “Fighting for Freedom,” on Sunday at 1 p.m. More information here.
Saturday, Nov. 11
Kenan Auditorium, 515 Wagoner Drive • Tickets: $36 – $65
American journalist, radio and podcast host Ira Glass is stopping by Kenan Auditorium to showcase a career in the art of storytelling.
Glass is the host and creator of the radio program and podcast “This American Life,” which airs on NPR and has more than five million listeners weekly. It highlights “little movies for the radio,” often centered on various themes, such as stories on people getting away with rule-breaking or on nonfiction Halloween scary stories.
The ideas presented often come with plot twists and are based in news. First airing in 1995, “This American Life” has won several awards, including seven Peabody Awards and the first Pulitzer Prize ever awarded for audio journalism.
In 2021, one episode titled “The Giant Pool of Money” was inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry. This was the first podcast to ever be honored there.
Glass has also worked as an editor for the podcasts “Serial,” “S-Town” and “Nice White Parents.”
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $36 and up, available here.
OTHER SATURDAY EVENTS
Red Not Chilli Peppers — Touring the globe since 2009, the Red Nots have developed a recreation of the alternative funk-rock sound, originally created by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Playing all the classic hits, like “Scar Tissue” and “Under the Bridge,” the tribute band gives fans high energy they expect of the 1990s rock act. The Nots have played some of the country’s most well known concert halls and bring the party to Bowstring Brewyard on Saturday evening. The show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $15, available here.
Veterans Day Parade — Wilmington’s annual Southeast North Carolina Veterans Day Parade will hit the streets Saturday morning to honor all who served and continue to be active in the nation’s military. More than 2,000 marchers from various groups around the region will be in attendance. Bands, dancers and organizations will take to the streets for this all-day event. At 10 a.m. performances will start by the Beaches & Boots Line Dancers, the U.S. Air Force Heritage Band, the National Anthem by The UNCW Seabelles, Reveille, the Bandit Flight Team, the U.S. Naval Academy’s Silent Drill Team, and the unfurling of a 40-by-60-foot American flag. The parade begins at Hanover and Third streets at 11 a.m. and simultaneously at The Eagles Dare (420 N. Third St.). A veterans information fair will take place for people to familiarize themselves with local services.
Project 1898 — The Wilmington Symphony Orchestra is commemorating the area’s Black history with “Project 1898,” a concert recognizing sacrifices of its victims from the historic events of November 1898. That was the month and year the massacre and coup took place, with white supremacists killing and running off numerous African Americans and flipping Wilmington’s bi-racially led government to a more conservative faction. Sphinx Violin Competition winner Adé Williams will take the stage with the WSO, performing a new piece commemorating the 125th anniversary of the 1898 Wilmington Coup d’Etat, the only coup in America’s history. He also will perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and more. Tickets start at $18.98, and doors open at 6:30 p.m. at The Wilson Center on Third Street.
Smoke — How about barbecue, bluegrass and beer for Saturday night? Ellipsis — the new event center from True Blue — is hosting Smoke. The backyard pig pickin’ takes place at the former Mariposa space in the South Front District, 1502 S. Third St. Tickets are $60 and cover food, beer and entry. There will be a whole hog, smoked chicken quarters and beef sausages served, alongside regional sauces and sides — bacon mac ‘n’ cheese, cabbage slaw, cheddar biscuits, farm vegetables, potato salad and banana puddin’. Beer is provided by local brewery Edward Teach, including Teach’s Peaches wheat ale, Devil’ Son American IPA, Pistol Proof German-Style Lager and Peach Cobbler Sour Fruited Sour Ale. Tickets are available here, but for an alcohol-free attendance, call 910-769-0763.
1898 Symposium — From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., a group of panelists will gather to discuss how the 1898 Massacre and Coup in Wilmington has affected the region and what it means today. The panel will welcome Bishop William J. Barber II, Inez Campbell-Eason, Dr. Timothy B. Tyson, Rev. Robert C. Parrish, Attorney Irving L. Joyner, and Dr. Bertha Todd. The symposium is covering the next goal among its ranks, which is to establish a Gregory Church and Wilmington Journal Historic District, to mark the importance of two civil rights destinations in the area (read more about Gregory Congregational Church here). The symposium is free and takes place at Williston Middle School from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Black Press Rising From The Ashes of 1898 — Wilmington’s The Daily Record, overseen by editor Alexander Manly, was the only Black-run newspaper in the state in 1898. Manley ran an editorial objecting to Black men raping women, rather stating the relationships were consensual. He was targeted by white supremacists, who ran off the biracial fusionist candidates elected to Wilmington’s mayor and council. Manly moved up North thereafter, and by 1901, R. S. Jervay started a printing company, leading to The Wilmington Journal publishing its inaugural edition in 1927 — in offices across the way from where The Daily Record was once located. The Wilmington Journal’s publisher and editor Mary Alice Jervay Thatch passed away in 2021 and a celebration in her honor will take place Saturday at Thalian Hall. Thatch was integral to the pardoning of the Wilmington Ten in 2012. Her celebration of life will be joined by area officials and descendants of 1898 victims, as well as area luminaries. Music will be performed by Sol Tree Reign, Violinist Christa Faison and Marva Robinson of the Williston Choir starting at 6 p.m. It’s free but tickets need to be reserved here.
Sunday, Nov. 12
Sustain Port City
Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, 1941 Amphitheatre Drive • Tickets: $25
An inaugural festival featuring music, nonprofit vendors and promoting sustainability through recycling and other efforts will be celebrated at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater on Sunday.
Sustain Port City takes place at the amphitheater from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. as part of America Recycles Week. The festival benefits Global Connections, Keep New Hanover Beautiful and the Coastal Composting Chapter of the North Carolina Composting Council (NCCC). Director of New Hanover County Recycling and Solid Waste Joe Suleyman will speak about recycling in New Hanover County.
Live music will be performed by local bluegrass outfit Masonboro Sound (1 p.m.) as well as The Possums (3:30 p.m.), which play covers by the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band. The Pink Talking Fish take the stage at 5:30 p.m., performing a blend of covers by Pink Floyd, Talking Heads and Phish.
The event takes place rain or shine and volunteers are still needed; sign up here.
OTHER SUNDAY EVENTS
Battleship Half Marathon — More than 2,500 athletes and spectators are registered in this year’s annual Parkway Subaru Battleship Half Marathon slated to take place Nov. 12. The event encompasses 10k and 5k races, an event expo on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with more than 20 vendors at Aloft Wilmington, and a post-race celebration Sunday evening with live music and beer provided by sponsor Wicked Weed. Further information about the event is available 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 follows Abraham Van Helsing on his 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’s final weekend is Nov. 9 to 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.
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