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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Li’l Friday: Wallflowers, Earth Day Festival, VegFest

UNCW students Cole Warren as Jack Worthing and Victoria Hope Gibson as Miss Prism in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest.’ (Courtesy UNCW Theatre Department)

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, April 18

‘The Importance of Being Earnest’
UNCW Cultural Arts Building, 601 S. College Road • Tickets: $11-$14

Oscar Wilde’s famed satire of mistaken identities, multiple marriage proposals, and the trivial pursuits of Victorian high society takes place for the next two weekends on UNCW’s campus. 

“The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People” is full of madcap romps. Wilde debuted the play in 1895 and even its opening night was embroiled in scandal as the Marquess of Queensbury — whose son was involved in a tryst with Wilde — was denied admission. It led to the playwright’s eventual two-year imprisonment for being gay.

The play closed at the St. James Theater in London after 86 performances, and was published eventually as Wilde was released from jail and in exile in Paris.

Since, “Earnest” has been revived, adapted for film and continues to be revered — among Wilde’s other works, such as “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” The story is about two men, Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, both of whom take on the identity of a fictional Ernest, fall in love and find themselves in a problematic situation.  

UNCW’s show will be directed by Robin Post, and run April 18 to 21 and 25 to28, Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $11-$14.

OTHER THURSDAY EVENTS
Infamous Stringdusters — The GRAMMY-winning jamgrass quintet — Andy Hall, Andy Falco, Chris Pandolfi, Jeremy Garrett, Travis Book — will return to the lake. Nashville’s Infamous Stringdusters have been performing bluegrass together since 2006 and have released more than a dozen albums to date. The latest is 2023’s “A Tribute to Flatt and Scruggs,” an homage to the powerful impact of singer and guitarist Lester Flatt and banjo player Earl Scruggs and their influence on American music. Tickets are $42 here.

Paul Taylor Dance Company — Dance will be celebrated at Wilson Center Thursday with the Paul Taylor Dance Company taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. Led by Michael Novak, the second artistic director in the Company’s 70-year history, performances include Taylor’s “Mercuric Tidings” from 1982 and “The Word” from 1998. The program will also include Amy Hall Garner’s “Somewhere in the Middle,” which Novak commissioned in 2022. Themes covered in the performance range from heartbreak to joy, war to love. Tickets start at $40.

The Wallflowers will perform at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater April 19. (Courtesy photo)

Friday, April 19

The Wallflowers
Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, 1941 Amphitheater Drive •  Sold out but resales start at $70

Jakob Dylan is making his way through the Port City this weekend with his band The Wallflowers.

Dylan formed the band in L.A. in the late ’80s, The Wallflowers gained acclaim in 1996 for the release of its alt-rock album “Bringing Down the Horse,” which included hits like “One Headlight,” “6th Avenue Heartache,” and “Three Marlenas.”Since, the group, with a continuous lineup of members, has released five more albums, including 2021’s “Exit Wounds.”

Dylan has said regarding the band’s rotation of musicians: “There’s never been one lineup that’s made two records. So the constant is myself. If you think there’s a sound of the Wallflowers, I’m making that with my choices in the studio and with my songs and voice.”

The show is sold out, however, resales are available here.

OTHER FRIDAY EVENTS
420 Reggae Party — Smoke ‘em if you have ‘em — it’s 4/20 and Reel Cafe is hosting a reggae party in celebration. Sons of Paradise will be headlining and FeelFree will play, with tickets costing $12. Sons of Paradise are a reggae-dub band from Raleigh, who have played with artists like Beres Hammond, Julian Marley, Inner Circle and others. FeelFree, out of Virginia, brings high energy and has played festivals like FloydFest and LOCKN’. Doors are at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. 

‘Dorothy Gillespie: Courage, Independence, and Color’ — The world-renowned painter and sculptor will have a documentary debuted about her work twice this week at Thalian Hall, with the filmmakers and family in attendance for a question and answer session after the film. Gillespie’s work can be seen in various places across the country, with the Port City homing the most work than any other place. Gillespie’s ties to the city run strong. The screenings will take place April 19, 7:30 p.m., and 21, 2:30 p.m., with tickets available from $37 to $58.

Wilmington Earth Day Festival takes place Saturday, noon to 6 p.m., and is free. (Courtesy photo)

Saturday, April 20

Wilmington Earth Day Festival
Long Leaf Park, 314 Pine Grove Drive • Free

From noon to 6 p.m., the Wilmington Earth Day Alliance is hosting its annual event in Long Leaf Park. The festival celebrates sustainability and environmental movements with various businesses, organizations, nonprofits and residents. 

There will be food trucks and beer sold on site, as well as more than 50 vendors and exhibitors.

Live music will be performed and families are welcome; there will be a Kids’ EcoZone. Dogs are allowed but not in the vendor or EcoZone tents.

Learn more about the event here.

OTHER SATURDAY EVENTS
Trailblazing Women of Country — A celebration of the sounds of Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline will be heard in Thalian Hall on Saturday evening, 7:30 p.m., as “Trailblazing Women of Country” takes the stage. Each female musician harnessed the power of storytelling through song in the 20th Century, earning her spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame. The show is performed by soloists Miko Marks, CMT’s 2022 “Next Woman of Country,” and Nashville-based singer, Kristina Train. They are supported by a five-member all-female band and perform tracks like “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “The Pill,” and “Coat of Many Colors.” Tickets are $64.

Signal Fire — Also in celebration of 4/20, local reggae act Signal Fire will perform at Seven Mile Post for a night of jam-packed music. Opening will  be Oc3ans and Randy McQuay, with the latter taking the stage at 5 p.m. McQuay is well-known for his bluesy, soulful sounds, both original and cover music. Oc3ans is a three-piece, also performing original soulful rock tunes, and will perform at 6:15 p.m. Signal Fire, currently on a spring tour, will rock from 7:15 to 10 p.m.  Doors are at 4 p.m. and tickets are $15.

Battleship Alive! — World War II history interpreters are bringing Wilmington’s most famous attraction to life by re-enacting its daily duties and drills on Saturday. The US Marine Corps Historical Company will join the BB55 Living History Crew to showcase how the USS North Carolina operated when commissioned at sea. The event is free with Battleship admission, and memorial services are planned at 10 a.m. on the Battleship fantail. Tickets are $6 to $14 and free for kids under 5.

Stone Street Band — At downtown Wilmington’s newest bar, Exchange Barbershop and Lounge, 104 Grace St., Stone Street Band will perform. The six piece consists of Christy Demory (keys), Les Britt (lead guitar), Marco Vivaldi (lead vocals, guitar), Paul Canady (bass) and Tom Robbins (sax, harp). They perform covers from famed bands like Talking Heads, Beatles, Elton John and Tom Petty. Show starts at 8 p.m.

Healthy Kids Day — The City of Wilmington is pairing up with the YMCA to host a kid-friendly event Saturday at Althea Gibson Tennis Complex. The free fair features health and wellness activities, active play time, educational opportunities and various sports stations set up. There also will be a 1-mile fun run or walk, face-painting, bouncy houses, community booths, Zumba dance lessons, free giveaways and prizes, plus food provided by local food trucks. It takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is free to attend; first 300 kids receive a free shirt.

Record Store Day — It’s a day in celebration of vinyl and specialty releases. Plenty of local stores are getting in on the action. Some are carrying special Record Store Day titles, such as Modern Legend, Record Bar, Fuzzy Needle and School Kids Records. Gravity Records does not have special titles, but will mark down vinyl. 

Sunday, April 21

VegFest 
Legion Sports Complex, 2149 Carolina Beach Road • Tickets: $10-$35; $15 at the door

Annually, VegFest comes to Wilmington to celebrate vegan and vegetarian lifestyles, bringing together 50 or more health-conscious vendors also to celebrate Earth Day.

There is live music with a DJ and emcee, as well as food trucks parked on site. Free face painting is offered and a family zone welcomes all ages to participate in life-sized games, coloring and more. 

A yoga class is planned at 11 a.m. and there will be contests and prizes. Leashed pets are welcome in grassy areas and there is free onsite parking, with a trolley ferrying attendees to and from the festival grounds.

Learn more here.

OTHER SUNDAY EVENTS
9th Tinted Turtle Trot — A 5K and 1-mile run to benefit Island Montessori FSA will take place at Mike Chappell Park in Carolina Beach at 9 a.m. The event — with registration open for $5 to$35 — will include pops of color. Participants are encouraged to dress with protective eyewear as  paintballs made with a soft seaweed cover so they are biodegradable, non-toxic, and the paint is washable will be detonated throughout. An awards ceremony is held at Good Hops Brewing after the races. 

Umphrey’s McGee — Indiana’s jam-band rockers blend funk-pop grooves, metal-rock riffs, blues-bending sounds and reggae-bouncing percussion. Brendan Bayliss, Joel Cummins, Ryan Stasik, Andy Farag, Jake Cinninger, and Kris Myers have spent 22 years on the road, recording more than a dozen live albums and more dozen studio albums, all to be played through over two nights this weekend. Umphrey’s McGee performs Saturday and Sunday; tickets here. Last year’s show photos by Tom Dorgan can be seen here.


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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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