Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Li’l Friday: Comedian Irene Tu, B.A.D. Coffee Crawl, 3 Artists/3 Films

Abigail Dowd will perform as part of Soup to Nuts Live on Thursday at WHQR. (Photo by Angela Kerr)

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, Jan. 25

Soup to Nuts Live! Featuring Abigail Dowd
MC Erny Gallery at WHQR, 254 N. Front St. third floor • $10 suggested donation

WHQR’s live music experience, Soup to Nuts, welcomes singer-songwriter Abigail Dowd from the Sandhills of North Carolina. Dowd’s storytelling is paired with a soulful voice and classical guitar playing. Her music is an amalgamation of Celtic melodies and Southern gospel, creating sounds entrenched in folk, rock and blues.

Dowd has released three albums to date, the latest in 2021, “Beautiful Day.” She recorded it live with a full band in Kernersville at the Fidelitorium; it was produced by Grammy nominated engineer/mixer Jason Richmond.

The musician will be accompanied by bassist Jason Duff, who has been featured in “Acoustic Guitar Magazine.”

Bluegrass with The General Assembly — Bowstring is bringing forth a night of pickin’, grinnin’, singin’ and dancin’ with The General Assembly. The five-piece string band out of Wilmington encourages dancers to hit the floor as they play covers of Bela Fleck’s “Big Country” and “If It Hadn’t Been For Love” by The SteelDrivers. Joining the band, playing from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., will be special guest Daniel Jenkins. The show is free.

Shim Sham Lessons — Frankie Manning, who died in 2009 at age 94, left behind a legacy in his founding of the Lindy Hop. He was recognized with a Tony Award for his co-choreography on the Broadway musical “Black and Blue,” and was honored by the National Endowment for the Arts. His energetic moves continue to be danced worldwide, one of which can be seen in the Shim Sham. The Lindy line dance will be taught Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hannah Block USO/Community Arts Center (120 S. Second St.). Hosted by the Cape Fear Swing Dance Society, no partner is needed and there is a $5 fee.

Finding Nemo Jr. — Disney’s famed Pixar movie continues one final weekend as a musical adaptation at the Hannah Block USO/Community Arts Center. Youth performers are taking on “Finding Nemo Jr. the Musical” by award-winning songwriting team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (“Frozen”). The well-known story is about an anxious and over-protective clownfish, Marlin, who resides in the Great Barrier Reef with his child Nemo. Marlin wants to explore the aquatic world and gets to do so under unprecedented circumstances, as Nemo is captured and taken to Sydney, Australia. Along the way, meeting other colorful characters, the two overcome challenges to find each other and themselves. Produced by Thalian Association Community Theater, the shows take place through Sunday, Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available for $15.

Far From France Wine Dinner — A six-course wine dinner will take place with Laure Levesque of Queen of Wines. Tickets are $89 per person and each course is handcrafted to pair perfectly with the wines. Course one is mini pastry with smoked trout mousse to complement the Domaine Sick Dreyer Pinot Blanc from 2020, followed by a frisée salad with duck confit and poached eggs served alongside the 2021 calmel and Joseph Les Rocailles rouge syrah blend. A mushroom ragout with polenta fondant will be accompanied by 2022’s Domaine Sick Dreyer pinot noir and salmon with horseradish crust and butternut squash purée will come with 2022’s Metairie pinot noir. The final two courses will consist of veal stew with white rice and a 2022 Metairie Chardonnay, completed with a chocolate tart and 2019 Minimalist blend of Grenache, Syrah and cotes du Roussillon. Reservations can be made by calling 910-833-5002.

Friday, Jan. 26

Irene Tu
Dead Crow Comedy Room, 711 N. Third St. • Tickets: $20-$30

L.A.-based Irene Tu is bringing her standup to the Dead Crow stage for four nights this weekend.

The comedian and Berkeley graduate, originally from Chicago, centers her show on her personal life. She debuted “We’re Done Now” last spring, which hit No. 1 on the iTunes comedy charts. On it are bits about her personal life, such as coming out to her mom, and other life observations, including her youth obsession with famous dictators who killed the most people.

“When I learned it was Chairman Mao, I didn’t know whether to feel mad or proud,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh, he’s Chinese — of course, he killed the most people. We work the hardest, obviously — that’s my boy.”

Tu has played multiple festivals and tours the circuit regularly. She was named one of Vulture’s “Comedians You Should and Will Know” and singled out in The San Francisco Chronicle as an “artist on the brink of fame.”

Tickets are $20 and she will perform two shows on Friday and Saturday each, at 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

4th Friday Gallery Walk — Every fourth Friday, the Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County hosts its monthly gallery walk, featuring art venues that stay open later to showcase exhibits by visual artists. The ArtWorks will open 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with the Sea Pans duet playing live music and a small works exhibition and sale will take place. At WHQR’s MC Erny Gallery, the new show, “Cutting Edge,” will feature a pop art collection by Angela Fernot and Mavias Martini, with a meet-and-greet with the artists from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. In the Soda Pop District at 1120 Princess St., a multi-artist exhibit will take place featuring works by Mark Weber, Todd Carignan, Jean Dobbs Fonvielle, Sarah Rushing Doss, Jonathan Summit and Eleanor Gaynor. To see a map and all 14 participating galleries, click here.

Runaway Gin — Phishheads will flock to the Soda Pop District’s Bowstring Brewyard Saturday night to catch the Charleston, South Carolina, band pay tribute to guitarist Trey Anastasio, bassist Mike Gordon, drummer Jon Fishman, and keyboardist Page McConnel. Runaway Gin has been hailed as a premier Phish tribute project, bringing the sound, the energy, the vibe and every guitar noodle imaginable to life. Tickets are $15 to $35.

Flytrap Brewing is one of 12 participating businesses in the B.A.D. Coffee Crawl, featuring a brew made with coffee and many tasty treats for sale this Saturday. (Courtesy photo)

Saturday, Jan. 27

B.A.D. Coffee Crawl
Various venues in the Brooklyn Arts District • Drinks individually priced

Java lovers: This weekend is for you.

The second annual Brooklyn Arts District Coffee Crawl takes place Saturday, featuring 13 participating drinkeries in the North Fourth Street area of downtown Wilmington. The specials are non-alcoholic and alcoholic, including cocktails, beer and straight up java. Also there will be options of coffee-inspired food — pizza, anyone?

All participating businesses are within walking distance of one another:

  • Flytrap
  • Brooklyn Cafe
  • The Eagle’s Dare
  • Goat & Compass
  • Bottega Art & Wine
  • Change the Game
  • Boombalattis
  • Pineapple Studios
  • Three10
  • Pizzeria Don Luca
  • Palate Bottle Shop 

Coffee voting cards can be picked up at noon at Brooklyn Arts Center and the event lasts until 5 p.m., with votes to be dropped off at Palate.

It’s free to participate, but drinks and food are individually priced.

Azalea Festival Chef’s Showcase — Though the five-day springtime festival isn’t until the beginning of April, some of its preliminary happenings are getting underway — including one for foodies this weekend. Hotel Ballast will turn into a culinary experience with the Azalea Festival’s Chef Showcase, featuring a five-course meal by notable chefs, wine pairings, entertainment, and a silent auction. Email ticketoffice@ncazaleafestival.org for registration and pricing.

Tree Giveaway — Looking to score a few free trees to plant? A giveaway will happen in the Robert Strange Pool parking lot (401 S. 10th St.), from 9 a.m. to noon. Almost a dozen species will be available, including Sweetbay Magnolia, Chinese Pastiche, and American Elm, among others. All are turned over in 3-gallon containers and are available first-come, first-serve. See all the trees and instructions for their care here.

Laughs of Love Comedy Show — The Barzarre is hosting a comedy night at 7 p.m. and will feature headliner Tae Madden from Alabama. Also performing will be Charlotte comedian Gayle Murray, and locals Kaitlyn Rivenbark and Hunter Boyette. The hostess will be Steph Stigma and there will be Vermillion Heaux and her Drag Queen extravaganza after the show. It’s a $10 cover fee.

Bug Story — Pied Piper, the local children’s theater production company that’s been around since 1949, will present “Bug Story” by Wilmingtonian Steve E. Cooper for two performances, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The show is a “six-legged jazz age musical for children” and this year centers on themes of friendship and safety, with bug-related science included. The musical, featuring local actors, has been shown twice a day this week to New Hanover County students. At the beginning of the school year, teachers are provided with a synopsis of the play and selections of songs for the students to sing along to when they visit. It culminates in a performance open to the public; tickets are $21.

Holiday Tree Dune Replenishment and Beach Clean Up — Remember those disposed-of Christmas trees from the 2023 season? Many of them are going to be used to build natural dunes in Carolina Beach this weekend. Surfrider Foundation welcomes volunteers to help from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; meet at the Sand Dollar Public Beach access on Sand Dollar Lane. Participants are asked to bring a shovel, gloves and tape measure; do not bring the trees. They have been donated by the Town of Carolina Beach to help build up the shoreline and protect against erosion, as well as provide a habitat for vegetation and wildlife. Register here. A social gathering will follow at Four Hounds Distilling in Carolina Beach.

CAM is having a fundraiser as they open their new exhibit “Three Artists: Works of Elizabeth Darrow, Gayle Tustin, and Karen Paden Crouch,” on display through March. The artists were featured in a film made by Chrstina Capra. (Courtesy image)

Sunday, Jan. 28

3 Artists, 3 Films
Cameron Art Museum, 7201 S. 17th St. • Tickets: 

A new exhibit is open at CAM and to celebrate, it has an afternoon planned featuring visual art and filmmaking.

On Jan. 28, 3 p.m., Cameron Art Museum will screen three short films showcasing the work of local Wilmington artists Elizabeth Darrow, Gayle Tustin and Karen Paden Crouch. Each are the subject of films directed by Christina Capra — daughter to Frank Capra Jr., once president of Wilmington’s former EUE/Screen Gems. The movies were edited by Jessie Robertson and local gallery Art in Bloom produced the works.

“Elizabeth Darrow: Believing in the Process,” “Karen Paden Crouch In The Land of Make Believe” and “Gayle Tusting Seeking Freedom Through Art” will be shown, followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers and artists afterward.

In conjunction with the film series, Cameron Art Museum is featuring an exhibition titled “Three Artists: Works of Elizabeth Darrow, Gayle Tustin, and Karen Paden Crouch.” It opened Jan. 21 and is on display through March 3. Darrow’s work consists of oil and collage on canvas, while mixed media and collage is the focus of Tustin’s, and Crouch wields bronze sculptures.

Tickets to the Sunday event are $40 for CAM members, and $60 for non-members. All proceeds benefit CAM’s educational programming.

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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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