Sunday, February 25, 2024

Li’l Friday: Boyz II Men, Sierra Ferrell, Orange Street Arts Fest

Boyz II Men is headed to Riverfront Park this weekend. (Courtesy photo)

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

READ MORE: Outdoor concert guide: More than 100 (mostly free) summer shows in tri-county region

It’s wise to check in ahead of attending any one happening to ensure it’s scheduled as normal. Inclement weather and unforeseen circumstances may shift for organizers at the last minute.

Thursday, May 25 

“The Silent Treatment” 
Hannah Block Arts Center/USO, 120 S. Second St. • Tickets: $5-$25

From Theatre For All — a group of thespians that give all-ability actors a chance to experience the power of theater and work beyond any limitations — is hosting its spring show. “The Silent Treatment” is inspired by 1930s cinema, when silent film was being ushered out by the new “talkies.” Actors now must find their voices to continue reaching their dreams. 

Thursday’s show is also a gala, with refreshments and music in the lobby. There will be opening numbers from performers in other facets of TFA, such as the choir and dance company. Doors open at 6 p.m.

TFA welcomes actors of any race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation in any of its activities or operations. The  nonprofit operates from grants and donations. 

Tickets are available here

St. Paul and the Broken Bones — The eight-piece soul outfit, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, returns to Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, performing its signature Southern rock-and-funk soul-fueled music. The band is touring in support of 2022’s “The Alien Coast,” with a tour for its fifth record, “Angels in Science Fiction,” released last month, taking place in the fall. Read PCD’s interview with frontman Paul Janeway here. Tickets to the Wilmington show are sold out but resales, if available, can be purchased here.

On the Road to Find Out — Local artist Elizabeth Darrow has a new art exhibit on display at Art in Bloom Gallery (6866 Main St.). Darrow is a figurative and abstract expressionist artist, who has been creating and living in Wilmington since 1977. Darrow’s inspiration is born from the process of creating art, working with patterns and bright colors, each part indicative of the final image. Darrow says the figures that appear in her work seemingly “hatch on its own accord.” The show runs May 25 to July 2, with an artist reception on June 1, 5 p.m.

Karaoke Dance Party — From 8 p.m. to midnight, Burnt Mill Creek is welcoming all music lovers to pick up the mic and give their best at Thursday’s karaoke dance party. The event is hosted by DJ Don Jewell and free to attend.

The Hatch Brothers — Wilmington rock brothers will be performing at Blue Surf Arboretum (414 Arboretum Drive) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The band has been playing since 2010 and released its debut album, “Twelve Bar Grievances,” in fall 2021. The band’s set includes covers across various genres of music along with originals. The show is free.

“Silence Behind the Faces” — Local, self-taught artist Shira Kendare will feature new work at Flytrap Brewing (319 Walnut St.). “Silence Behind the Faces” opens at 5 p.m. Thursday and will remain on display through July 23. Kendare, inspired by street and Cubist artists like Picasso and Basquiat, noted in a statement her work is inspired by becoming an immigrant, emoting raw authenticity via layers of imagery, sometimes including words. “When I create, I rely heavily on intuition and spontaneity,” she said in her statement. “Most of the time, I start painting without a sketch, allowing my feelings and energy to guide my brushstrokes.” During the free event, live music will also be performed by Hank Barbee and Mommiez Food Truck will be parked onsite, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Friday, May 26 

Boyz II Men
Live Oak Bank Pavilion, 10 Cowan St. • Tickets start at $29

Philly is headed to Riverfront Park this weekend with soul artists Boyz II Men performing Friday night. 

The quartet started in the ‘90s with baritone Nathan Morris, bass singer Mike McCary and tenors Wanyá Morris and Shawn Stockman. McCary left in 2003, due to health issues. Today, the American singers continue performing three-part harmonies on well-known hits “End of the Road,” “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” and “I’ll Make Love to You.” 

Boyz II Men have released 12 studio albums and won multiple American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Soul Train Music Awards, and Grammys. 

Tickets to the Live Oak Bank Pavilion show start at $29.

Fireworks by the Sea — Carolina Beach will kick off its official summer of fireworks and free live music Friday night. Events normally take place Thursdays from Memorial through Labor Day, aside from the kickoff and close out of the season. Friday’s show features live music from local party band Jack Jack 180. See the full summer lineup here. Shows take place at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; fireworks start at 9 p.m.

Goat Yoga — It’s the ultimate way to relax and stretch, with snugs from baby and adult goats. Downward facing dog became a bit more fun at Edward Teach Brewing, with goat yoga hosted by Zen Hooves. The class, $30, is appropriate for ages 8 years and older. No experience is needed; all participants should bring their own yoga mat. All goats are handled with care during the event. Learn more about Zen Hooves and see the calendar here.

“The Wedding Singer” — Thalian Association is wrapping its run of the ‘80s smash “The Wedding Singer,” based on the movie starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. With music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and a book by Beguelin and Tim Herlihy, the show tracks the life of Robbie Hart, a wedding singer down in the doldrums after getting dumped. He falls in love with a catering waitress Julia Sulliva, engaged to be married to Glen Guglia. The score is ‘80s bent and the humor is intact from the big screen version. The show takes through May 27, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday; tickets are $28 to $42.

“High Voter Turnout” — Local humor columnist Celia Rivenbark has a new production running in the Thalian Hall ballroom this weekend. “High Voter Turnout” takes on the political hubbub permeating the world currently, as written by Rivenbark and Kevin Parker. The show follows the townsfolk in rural North Carolina, who are up in arms over the legalization of marijuana. Directed by Zach Hanner, who also performs in the production as Pastor Doug, the show is timely as the state Senate has attempted to pass a medical marijuana bill for six years. “The whole legalization part of the plot is just the hook,” Hanner said. “As the show progresses, you see that it’s about much more than just issues or politics but more so about media perception, relationships and having integrity in the face of a changing cultural landscape.” The show will take place weekends through June 4, Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $32-$37.

Lipbone Redding — The one-man orchestra, known for his vocal reach to mimic sounds of trombones, throat-singing birds, and fantastic animals, Lipbone Redding will be performing at Live at Ted’s at 8 p.m. The artist, originally from Greenville, North Carolina, got his start busking in Manhattan and to date has released eight albums. His sound envelops soul, blues and Americana and roots rock, intertwined with storytelling and folklore. He engages the audience with claps, dancing and vocal interaction. Tickets are $25.

Saturday, May 27 

Bo Johnson 
Dead Crow Comedy Room, 511 N. Third St. • Tickets: $18

From Seattle, Washington, Bo Johnson will be performing four shows at Dead Crow Comedy Room Memorial Day weekend. The comedian has appeared as part of Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival and was a finalist in the Seattle International Comedy Competition. 

He also caught a break on season two of “Kevin Hart Presents: Hart of the City.” Johnson has toured the festival and club circuit. His comedy is self-deprecating, often pulling from life experience and observation.  

“Both of my parents are massage therapists,” he said during one set captured by Don’t Tell Comedy. “That’s why I sound like this.”

Johnson’s voice has a soothing lull.

“Whenever I start talking people think it’s an NPR pledge drive,” he quipped. “I was made fun of as a kid. They would ask, ‘Does your dad give you massages, does he?’ I was like, ‘yeah, of course.’ ‘Well, isn’t that weird?’ ‘No, ‘cause I don’t want to bang my dad — but thanks for telling me a little bit about you, Caleb.’”

Johnson performs at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Orange Street Arts Festival — Thalian Association hosts one of its largest fundraisers of the year with the Memorial Day weekend arts festival. Set up inside the Hannah Block Historic USO and Cultural Arts Center building, as well as on Orange Street, between Front and Second and Second Street between Orange and Dock, the event features upward of 80 artists, selling their handmade works. The event is juried by painter and printmaker Benjamin Billingsley, with cash prizes awarded to first, second and third place. The event takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Solstices — For folks who love ambient and experimental music, Elsewhere Salon, 511 Castle St., is hosting a group of artists at 6 p.m. Performing will be Odd Person, Carl Kruger, EXERCISE, Goodyear and subterrene; there is a $5 to $10 suggested donation for admission. The show is open to all ages, pet-friendly and guests can bring their own beverages. Doors are at 6 p.m. and the show starts at dusk. 

Brad Heller and the Fustics — Wilmington Americana rockers Brad Heller and the Fustics will play Waterline Brewing Co. (721 Surry St.) at 7 p.m. The band has released five albums including 2019’s “The Sentence,” which tackles topics of personal and social justice. The show is free in the beer garden.

Kidstock Festival — Families are welcome to attend Wrightsville Beach Brewery (6201 Oleander Drive) for Kidstock. There will be food, live music by Revolver Entertainment, face painting, fairy hair and other kids activities from noon to 2:30 p.m. 

Cape Fear River Watch Book Club — The local nonprofit that oversees the environmental stewardship of the Cape Fear River is hosting a book club. It meets at Pomegranate Books (4418 Park Ave.), 10:30 a.m., to discuss David Kirby’s “Animal Factory.” The book explores the health and environmental impacts of large-scale farms, as the author follows three families, including one from North Carolina. The book club meets the fourth Sunday of every other month to discuss what its members are reading. 

Sunday, May 28 

Sierra Ferrell
Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, 1941 Amphitheater Drive • Resale tickets available

Debuting her brand of country, folk and gypsy jazz, West Virginian artist Sierra Ferrell is headed to the amphitheater at 6 p.m.

Ferrell blends Latin rhythms with sultry mid-1920s jazz and taps into her home state’s bluegrass roots. She leans into a theatrical, even modern-day Vaudeville vibe, apparent in the video for her song “Why’d Ya Do It.”

The 34-year-old gained a following on YouTube before releasing her debut album “Long Way Coming” in August 2021. It received critical approval from music publications like Paste and Pitchfork, and includes collaborations with bluegrass musicians Sarah Jarosz and Billy Strings. 

She will come to Wilmington as part of her Long Time Going Tour, which includes roughly 50 dates. Ferrell just performed at Willie Nelson’s 90th birthday party, doing a rendition of his ‘80s hit with Ray Charles on “Seven Spanish Angels.”

The After Brunch Show — Can’t get enough laughter out of your weekend? Local comedian Louis Tee can put the “fun” in Sunday Funday with his After Brunch Show at Dead Crow Comedy Room. Parked in the club’s adjacent Lush beer garden will be Il Tano Food Truck, serving Argentinian sandwiches, empanadas and more. DJ Battle and Maja League will host the event and spin tunes before Louis Tee takes the stage. Tickets are $14 ahead of the event or $20 at the door; doors open at 4 p.m.

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