Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Li’l Friday: ‘Steel Magnolias,’ Second Chance Prom, Bagpipe Festival

Charles Williams’ new work will be on display in “Stay in the Light’ opening at CAM on Thursday. (Courtesy photo)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Li’l Friday is a weekly roundup of events in art, music, theater, comedy, pop-up markets and more.

Thursday, Feb. 8

Cape Fear Museum, 814 Market St. • Tickets: $25-$30

Cape Fear Museum is celebrating science, technology, engineering, and math in a night-time exhibit and party for ages 18 and up. There will be food, drinks and cocktails by Pine Valley Market, as well as live music by the local band The Hot Flashes. The group consists of all women, performing pop, rock, and R&B. 

The event will feature the grand opening of the Science + You traveling exhibition and feature the Hubble space telescope. Tech chats from astronaut Lawrence J. DeLucas and GE Hitachi nuclear energy company are also planned. 

There also will be a preview on Project Grace — the new combined library and museum in downtown Wilmington.

Advanced tickets can be purchased at $25 for museum members and $30 for non-members here. Some tickets will be available for purchase at the door for $35. 

Proceeds from the event will go toward bringing more STEM-related features to the museum’s education programs, like field trips and virtual learning projects. 

Stay in the Light — Cameron Art Museum is opening a new exhibit Thursday, featuring works by Durham-based artist Charles Edward Williams. Williams is bringing to life his own story within Black history and doing so in a larger framework of moments in civil rights. It features more than a dozen paintings and childhood memorabilia, tying in personal moments from Williams’ life, homing in on family and strength, while also showcasing people in protest, anguish and power struggles by stalwarts in the social justice fight. The exhibit opens in time for Black History Month. Williams said in an interview last week that delving into Black Americans’ history helps mold his own sense of identity  (read PCD’s full coverage here). The exhibit opens to the public at 6 p.m. It’s free for CAM members and $15 otherwise and will be on display through May. 

‘Dearly Departed’ — A farce by playwrights David Bottrell and Jessie Jones is opening at Thalian Hall’s Ruth and Bucky Stein Theater, produced by Big Dawg Productions. It takes place in the Bible Belt and follows the Turpin family. The comedy centers on Bud Turpin, who happens to drop dead at the breakfast table while reading the morning paper. His sons, Ray-Bud and Junior, now must step up to the plate to help their mother, Raynelle, and sister, Delightful, get through the grief and funeral. The show isn’t necessarily subtle in its comic portrayal of Southern stereotypes, but it is a (chicken) bucketful of laughs, complete with trailer parks, funeral fainting and fire-and-brimstone preaching. The show runs Feb. 8 through the 18, Thursday through Saturday, 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, 3 p.m. Tickets are $35.

Thalian Association Community Theater will present ‘Steel Magnolias’ at Thalian Hall the next two weekends. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, Feb. 9

Steel Magnolias
Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, 301 Chestnut St. • Tickets: $41.73

Thalian Association Community Theater will open a heart-wrenching play-turned-Oscar-nominated film to the stage this weekend.

Playwright Robert Harling wrote “Steel Magnolias” in 10 days  in homage to his sister, whose health was compromised by type 1 diabetes after the birth of her son. The story goes beyond Shelby’s health battles, though, and delves deep into the relationships of a tight-knit group of Southern women from a small parish of Chinquapin, Louisiana. They gather in a beauty parlor to share stories about life and help each other through hardships. 

The comedy and drama was first performed Off-Broadway before becoming a feature film in 1989. It earned Julia Roberts, who played Shelby, an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

The play has been produced internationally from the UK’s West End to Australia’s York Theatre at Sydney’s Seymour Center (starring Nicole Kidman as Shelby). It eventually made its Broadway debut in 2005.

TACT will stage the show Feb. 9 through 18, Friday through Saturday, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets are $41.

Caleb Caudle — A North Carolina mountain musician is bringing his acoustic strings to Live at Ted’s at 8 p.m. Caleb Caudle has released a few LPs, including 2020’s “Better Hurry Up,” followed by 2022’s “Forsythia.” The latter was recorded at Cash Cabin and produced by John Carter Cash — son of Johnny and June. The work includes session players Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Dennis Crouch and Fred Eltringham, and the vocals of Carlene Carter, Elizabeth Cook and Sarah Peasall McGuffey. Caudle recorded “Forsythia” amid the pandemic, when a lot of uncertainty loomed in the entertainment world as to when live music would return. Caudle retreated to the wilderness which included a fishing trip with Carter Cash, and from there “Forsythia” was born. The release centers on self-reflection, with its 10 songs rooted in traditional Appalachian folk and legendary country sounds. Tickets are $25.

Saturday, Feb. 10

Matt O’Brien
Dead Crow Comedy Room, 511 N. Third St. • Tickets: $18-$20

A mustachioed comedian, animated in his delivery will perform four shows this weekend at Dead Crow Comedy Room — Friday and Saturday at both 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Time Out Magazine named Matt O’Brien as one of their “Top 10 Comics to Watch” and he’s performed on Comedy Central, Conan, Fox Sports and more. He had his own hour-long special on The Comedy Network in Canada.

O’Brien often riffs on everyday normal life, from visits to Costco with his wife, to everyone’s obsession with ghosts in mountain towns. He also takes pride in being goofy rather than  political.

“I was at a show recently, and a guy said: You know comedians are the last line of defense for free speech,” he said. “I don’t know about that … and then I went onstage and did a joke about how I thought coleslaw should be milk salad. He got out of there pretty quick.”

Tickets to his shows are $18 to $20, available here.

Dead of Winter — Celebrations of the Dead’s music and reggae will combine Saturday evening at Bowstring Burgers & Brewyard, 1002 Princess St. Doors open at 5 p.m. and featured the sounds of The Casserole Band, who will play Grateful Dead tunes before local reggae act Signal Fire takes the stage. There are $10 suggested donations at the door, with proceeds going to the Plastic Ocean Project. The group works to eradicate the plastic pollution crisis, by focusing on science-based solutions. 

‘90s Crush Mixtape Valentine’s Day Party — The Beehive Blondes are hosting a Valentine’s Day Dance at downtown’s cocktail lounge, Underfront (265 N. Front St.) from 9:30 p.m. to midnight. The two-blonde DJs, Jess James and Hannah Stewart are well-known for bringing vintage sounds and looks to the party, and encourage everyone else to do the same with a night of fun. The theme is ‘90s does ‘60s vibes, with tracks spanning the decades, including love-themed 90’s dance tracks. Tickets are $20 to $30 and attendees are asked to dress in their favorite red and pink; there will be a prize for best dancer and best dressed.

Persephone’s Pandemonium Cabaret — Bourgie Nights is hosting a cabaret just in time for Valentine’s Day. It takes place on Feb. 10, with tickets at $20 to $25. The story follow Hades, king of the Underworld, who gifts his wife Persephone an escape from the underworld: her own cabaret. Gods and Goddesses —  Aphrodite, Dionysus, Nyx, Demeter, and the Dread Queen — round out performers to entertain the mortals. Doors are at 7 p.m. 

Galentine’s Tea — Looking to celebrate the Hallmark holiday with a group of like-minded gal pals? Leland Vintage Tea Party is hosting its first gathering at Far From France for Galentine’s Tea at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The group was founded as a place for ladies to gather and enjoy tea, treats, and camaraderie, while donning vintage attire. Cost is $28 per person plus gratuity; check here to learn more and RSVP.

Second Chance Prom — For those who missed the rite of passage in their high school junior and senior dances, Island Montessori FSA and True Blue Events have just the way to celebrate Saturday night. The Second Chance Prom takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Cargo District’s Azalea Station (1502 Castle St.). There will be an open bar (beer, wine, cocktails, mocktails), snacks and desserts from True Blue, plus prom photos and a crawl through the Cargo District. Tickets are $75, with proceeds benefiting Island Montessori School.

Victorian Courting Tour — The Latimer House is getting into the lovey-dovey spirit by looking to the past to celebrate Valentine’s Day. A Victorian Courting tour is planned for three days, Feb. 10, 13 and 14, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or during the evening from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. It will include guests guided through the fully furnished 1850’s mansion to learn about Victorian courtship practices, etiquette and customs. The house — located at 126 S. Third St. — will be decorated for a Victorian Valentine’s Day, with tour guides also donning Victorian costume. On view will be decades-old love letters, engagement gifts, and romance novels from the Latimer archives. Tours are by reservation only and tickets, $17 to $20, are available here.

Bagpipe Festival takes place at UNCW this Sunday. (Courtesy photo)

Sunday, Feb. 11

Bagpipe Festival
UNCW, Beckwith Recital Hall, 601 S. College Rd. • Tickets: $10

A festival celebrating bagpipes returns to UNCW’s campus this weekend for its third year.

Bill Caudill, professional bagpipe player, graduated from St. Andrews University and is vice president of the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association and founder of Scottish Heritage Center. A 28-time winner of the Best Carolinas Piper at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, Caudill will perform a recital at 4 p.m. 

The event includes background information on the instrument, including its historical and cultural connections.

Tickets to the concert are $10.

Wilmington Valentine’s Day Market — The Downtown Wilmington Market will be set up at Waterline Brewing in time for Valentine’s Day shoppers. There will be multiple artisan and craft vendors on site from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Philly Invasion food truck will be parked on site at noon and the brewery will be open, selling beers. 

Super Bowl — Looking for a place to watch the big game, as the San Francisco 49ers face off against the Kansas City Chiefs? Goat and Compass in the Brooklyn Arts District will have a free pig and potluck party. The bar will provide the barbecue pork and attendees are encouraged to bring a side to share. The event takes place from 4 p.m. until the game ends; kick off is at 6:30 p.m. A few blocks away at Eagle’s Dare (420 N. Third St.) will be a party with a full spread from Taco Baby, including snacks and giveaways. Tickets are $30. Across town at By the Beach Brewing (104 Old Eastwood Road), the game will screen with complementary food.

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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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