Thursday, June 13, 2024

Li’l Friday: ‘The House That Gordy Built,’ Hi-Wire Pride Fest, CB Music Festival

‘The House That Gordy Built’ opens Friday at Thalian Hall from Techmoja Dance and Theater Company. (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, May 30

The Second-to-Last-Chance Ladies League
Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. • Tickets: $35

The playwright trifecta of Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten are known for their Southern humor — something Big Dawg Productions has highlighted in its many years of scaling plays for local audiences. 

It’s opening “The Second-to-Last-Chance Ladies League” — a followup to “Always a Bridesmaid” — on Thursday. The show will run for two weekends at Thalian Hall’s Ruth and Bucky Stein Theater.

The show continues the raucous escapades of four middle-aged Southern women, also best friends. Libby Ruth, Deedra, Monette, and Charlie return to their home of Laurelton Oaks and start an event venue business to host retirement parties, baby showers — and, yes, memorial services. 

The show stars local actresses Erin Hunter, Deb Bowen, Shannon Playl, Tamica Katzmann and Krista Rivenbark. 

It will be the North Carolina premiere; tickets are $35 and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. except on Sundays, with 3 p.m. matinees.

Friday, May 31

The House That Gordy Built
Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. • Tickets: $42.50

Techmoja Dance and Theater Company is bringing to life the sounds of Motown as directed by Kevin Lee-Y Green.

“The House That Gordy Built” revolves around 12 friends in Detroit in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The story is told through songs of the day, produced by Motown’s Berry Gordy and from famed groups Temptations (“My Girl,”), The Miracles (“Shop Around”), The Supremes (“You Can’t Hurry Love”) and Commodores (“Brick House”). The jukebox musical demonstrates the power of community coming together through trials and triumphs, including the Vietnam War and civil rights movement.

Green said in an artistic statement: “This production not only celebrates the rich tapestry of the Black experience, but also immortalizes a pivotal moment in history that resonates deeply within the nation’s identity … transcends barriers of race, connecting with audiences from all walks of life.”

The show opens Friday and runs through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. It continues June 7 through 9, with an additional Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are here.

OTHER FRIDAY EVENTS
Doodle Jams — Happyfangs, a local artist and art teacher known to his students as Greyson Davis, will be at Waterline Brewing (721 Surry St.) at 6 p.m. Doodle Jams welcomes the community to participate in drawing challenges and art prompts, enjoy good drinks and music with DJ Rizzy Beats. It’s free: “The goal is to posse up the community and have fun doing dumb art things!” 

Shakespeare on the Green — Starting tonight throughout the month of June, Cape Fear Shakespeare on the Green will present free shows at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. “Much Ado About Nothing” will be directed by Kendra Goehring and tells the Bard’s tale of two interconnected love stories in a humorous romp centered on town gossip — one features Benedick and Beatrice and the other love affair is between their cousins, Claudio and Hero. The free show will be performed May 31 throughJune 2, June 8 and 9, June 14 through16, June 21 through 23 and and June 26 through 28 at 8 p.m. The audience is welcome to attend early and enjoy a picnic at the lake; concessions are also for sale.

Same As It Ever Was — The music of the Talking Heads can be enjoyed at Eagle’s Dare this weekend. The tribute act Same As It Ever Was takes the stage at 8 p.m. with opener Ditch Kitty performing classic covers. It’s a free show as well and the venue is located at the corner of Red Cross and Third streets. 

The annual Flytrap Frolic takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (

Saturday, June 1

Flytrap Frolic
Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden, 3800 Canterbury Road
Free

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Flytrap Frolic will take place at Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden as an educational event regarding the carnivorous plants indigenous to the tri-county region. Participants will learn about several varieties, why they grow here, and how they trap prey.

There will be garden guides ready to answer questions, as well as activities including carnivorous plant-themed games, arts and crafts and face painters. As well, ethically-sourced flytraps will be for sale to benefit the Coastal Land Trust.
Volunteers are being accepted here.

OTHER SATURDAY EVENTS
Carolina Beach Music Festival — It’s the largest music festival on Pleasure Island and celebrates the birth of Carolina beach music — inspired by the R&B sounds heard in nearby Seabreeze back in the 1940s. Annually, Carolina Beach Music Festival hosts numerous beach bands and in 2024 it includes Jim Quick and the Coastline, Blackwater and The Main Event Band performing along the shoreline at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Tickets are available here, at the gate or at local businesses The Vault CB and Island Tackle & Hardware; children 10 and under are admitted free.

Docutime Film Festival — Though its founder Paula Haller retired the event in 2022, the Cucalorus Film Foundation and WHQR is relaunching Docutime Film Festival’s 20th year anniversary. The one-day event celebrates documentary filmmaking and will take place at Jengo’s Playhouse at 10th and Princess streets. The all-day pass is $35, with individual tickets costing $10. The festival will include four documentaries, including the Indigo Girls’ 2023 release “It’s Only Life After All” and Oscar-nominated “The Eternal Memory,” a Chilean film by Maite Alberdi centering on the relationship of a journalist and actress faced with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. See the schedule and score tickets here.

Pride Charity Trail — Love to run? Love to drink? Love supporting our LGBTQ+ community just in time for Pride Month? Some local hashers — a running group that gets together to run trails and drink beer — are meeting at 2 p.m. at the Rusty Nail to take on Cape Fear Trail #466. Dubbed “Who – Hares: Bye Fellatio, Bear Force 1 and Just Vas,” participants are encouraged to wear Pride gear, with stops along the way encouraged for donations to LGBTQ-friendly nonprofit organizations. Participants should bring $5 hash cash, ID and money for the trail, a drinking vessel, a spare liver, extra $ for donations, Pride flags and more. Learn more about Cape Fear House Hash Harriers — a drinking club with a running problem — here.

Belville Food Truck Rodeo — A Putt-Putt course, inflatables, fairy hair, face-painting, corn hole and more is part of the Belville Food Truck Rodeo, to take place at 11 a.m. at Riverwalk Park, 584 River Road, SE. There also will be a beer garden, with upward of 15 food truck participants. It’s free to attend, but bring money for food and drinks. 

Trash’n Fash’n Show — A local nonprofit will host a fashion show at the New Hanover County Arboretum to celebrate sustainability, with proceeds benefiting the mitigation of plastic pollution in the ocean. The annual Trash’n Fash’n Show will take place June 1, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at New Hanover County Arboretum (6206 Oleander Drive). It welcomes designers to create outfits from recycled and repurposed materials. There also will be refreshments from A&M’s Red Food Truck and live music by Gilligan’s Island. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs. Tickets are $10 or $5 for ages 17 and under, with proceeds benefiting Plastic Ocean Project. The nonprofit promotes sustainable practices and ways to keep the ocean free of plastic. More details can be found here

British Motor Club of the Cape Fear — Petrolheads, Anglophiles, and classic car enthusiasts: This event is for you! The British Motor Club of the Cape Fear will showcase automotive elegance, timeless design, and the British motoring heritage at 3600 Burnt Mill Drive from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is sponsored in conjunction with the the Scottish Society of Wilmington and the Port City Highland Games and will benefit paws4vets. The nonprofit places dogs with veterans, service members, and dependents. There will be dash plaques for the first 100 cars and all pre-registered vehicles will receive two passes ($40 value) to the Port City Highland Games. It’s free for the public to attend and there will be raffles.

Nancy Witter, Clifton Cash — Dead Crow Comedy will welcome two local comedians to the stage Saturday night. Nancy Witter will entertain audiences first at 7 p.m.; the New York transplant has traveled the country giving humorous motivational speeches and was a part of “The Antique Comedy Road Show” with fellow veteran comedians. Cliff Cash, who filmed a standup special at Thalian Hall last fall and released the 2021 comedy album, “Half Way There,” goes on at 9:30 p.m. Cash is known for his Southern impersonations and often tackles stereotypes others put on the South. He also doesn’t shy away from politics or current events ticking the headlines and prefers to punch up to those in power (Trump) and avoids punching down to marginalized voices (LGBTQ rights). His tickets are $15 to $25 here.

Hi-Wire Pride Fest will take place Sunday, noon to 3 p.m. (Courtesy Hi-Wire)

Sunday, June 2

Hi-Wire Pride Fest
1012 Princess St. • Free

It’s time to celebrate love in all forms at Hi-Wire this weekend. 

At noon on Sunday, the taproom opens on Princess Street and local vendors, both artisans and nonprofits, will have booths set up. Free HIV testing will be offered by SEEDS of Healing  and free information about Stonewall Sports will be available. A portion of Hi-Wire’s proceeds from the event will go to LGBTQ Center of the Cape Fear Coast.

By 3 p.m. local up-and-coming drag talent will perform onstage with Hi-Wire’s largest drag show to date taking place at 5 p.m. It will feature MC Brenda The Drag Queen and talent by Tatianna Matthews, Tara Nicole Brooks, Ebony Addams, Envyy Valentino, Jean Belle Bleu, Dana St. James, Coop De Vil Heaux, Rashmia Biosh, Prwincezz Malaysia Kay and Dezzy Monroe. 

DJ Bobby Zee will spin the tunes. 

OTHER SUNDAY EVENTS
City Ballet — UNCW is hosting City Ballet to perform two classics: Igor Stravinsky’s “Firebird” and Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter & the Wolf.” Characters come to life through movement and color, to tell whimsical stories. “Some and Others” will be featured as well by contemporary choreographer Lane Grosser. Tickets are $15 to $25 and the show takes place at Kenan Auditorium.


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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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