Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Li’l Friday: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, ‘Spring Awakening’

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong return to Greenfield Lake Amphitheater this weekend. (Tom Dorgan/MoonFrog Media)

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

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, July 6

Dorothy Gillespie Art Exhibit
Art in Bloom Gallery, 6866 Main St. • Free

A painter, sculptor, and installation artist, Dorothy Gillespie will be celebrated at Art in Bloom Gallery in a new exhibit on display through August.

Her colorful, abstract metal pieces can be seen cascading in Wilson Center, UNCW, CFCC, Cameron Art Museum and Thalian Hall. Gillespie was a close friend of former Thalian Hall executive director Tony Rivenbark, who passed away last year. Rivenbark worked as her assistant in New York for years and was integral to bringing her art to Wilmington.

Gillespie taught art at Radford University, was a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow, and spoke at universities and colleges worldwide about creating.

The Art in Bloom show is being hosted in collaboration with the Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation, with pieces curated from the late artist’s New York studio.

It’s on exhibit through August 13.

Pawsi-tive Partnerships — Two local organizations are coming together at Independence Mall this weekend, Going Beyond the Pink and paws4people. The latter works with assistance dogs and will be bringing the pups to showcase demonstrations and how they can help breast cancer patients and survivors. Going Beyond the Pink works to support breast cancer patients through treatments. The public can drop in to see the demos from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The Sea and All That Is In It — In more visual arts news, an exhibit by Kristin Logan is being held at the Leland Cultural Arts Center, with a meet and greet from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. “The Sea and All That Is In It” are acrylic paintings of marine life. Logan’s work is on display through July 27. The Thursday reception is free and open to the public to get to know the artist and her inspiration.

James Davis performs four shows at Dead Crow Comedy Room this weekend.

Friday, July 7

James Davis
Dead Crow Comedy Room, 511 N. Third St. • Tickets: $18-$28

“Joe Biden’s presidency is like smoking on OK weed — you’re grateful, it’s doing its job, but you know in your heart, there’s better out there; this Biden pack is pretty mid.”

That’s only one of James Davis’ recent bits from a winter gig. He will be bringing his standup to Dead Crow Comedy Room for four shows this weekend, taking on relationships, zombies and more. 

Davis has been an executive producer and writer on the HBO Series “Game Theory with Bomani Jones” and also hosted a 10-episode series “Adorableness” on MTV. He wrote for “The Late Late Show with James Cordon” and was a recurring character on Kevin Hart’s hit show “Real Husbands of Hollywood.”

The comedian premiered “Hood Adjacent” on Comedy Central in 2017, bridging contemporary urban topics with mainstream points of view.

Tickets to his show are $18 to $28.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong — With a sound and vibe that brings high energy, Baltimore’s PPPP are bringing the dance party back to Greenfield Lake Amphitheater at 7 p.m. The band — lead vocalist and guitarist “Scrambled” Greg Ormont, lead guitarist and vocals Jeremy Schon, bassist and vocals Ben Carrey, and Alex “Gator” Petropulos on drums — performs psychedelic and funk and played through almost 20 songs at last year’s show, including fun covers by NSync and The Weeknd. Tickets are $29.

ALSO: In Photos: Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at Greenfield Lake

Airlie Gardens Concert — Enjoy sounds under the 400-year-old live oak at Airlie Gardens summer concert. It will feature ‘70s and ‘80s pop-rock Motel Soap. Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome, as are picnics. Tickets are $10 per adult and $3 per child (ages 4-12). Parking is offsite at The New Hanover County Public Library – Northeast Branch, 1241 Military Cutoff Trail, with free shuttle service offered to the gardens beginning at 5 p.m. Onsite parking is by permit only. Concerts are 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. with gates opening at 5 p.m. More information is available here.

Mat Kearney takes over the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater stage on Saturday.

Saturday, July 8

Mat Kearney
Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, 1941 Amphitheatre Dr. • Tickets: $32 

Folk-pop artist Mat Kearney will be performing at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater at 7 p.m.

Kearney has released seven albums in his almost 20-year career, blending his singer-songwriter style with various forms of music, from hip-hop to EDM. He has toured with John Mayer, Sheryl Crow, Train and The Helio Sequence.

Originally from Oregon, but now living in Nashville, the musician’s work has landed in the top 20 U.S. charts and appeals to contemporary adult listeners. His music has appeared on shows like “30 Rock,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Parenthood,” and more.

His latest release is 2021’s “January Flower,” which he wrote isolated in the desert of Joshua Tree and was produced by Robert Marvin.

Tickets to the show are available here.

Cape Fear Pop Culture Fest — It’s the debut event taking place at the Elks Lodge 532, 5102 Oleander Drive. There will be vendors set up selling comic books, toys, video games, vinyl records, movies, Pokémon cards and other pop-culture-related items. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with $3 entry; kids 12 and under are free.

Curated on Castle — Castle Street’s outdoor vintage market takes place the second Saturday every March through November, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This weekend it’s set up in the lot at Sixth and Castle streets, across from Michael Moore Antiques and adjacent to Luna Caffe. Vendors include Second Skin Vintage, Gravity Records, and Jess James + Co., as well as up to 20 local independent vintage collectors selling clothing, records, home decor and more. Free to attend, items priced to purchase.

‘Shrek‘ — Families that want to take in a free matinee can head to the Leland Arts Center (1212 Magnolia Village Way) at 12:30 p.m. for the screening of “Shrek.” Blankets, chairs, snacks welcome, but no pets or alcohol. There will be free popcorn provided. And “Shrek”-themed crafts will be available to make during the movie. 

Summer Showdown 2023: Where It All Began — Pro-wrestlers will return to the East Coast on July 9, 7 p.m., at 7207 Ogden Business Lane. The 18th anniversary event welcomes heavyweight champion Jake Logan who will defend the title against Snooty Foxx. A match between best-friends-turned-foes will also take place between Mark James and Victor Andrews. Carolinas champion Steven Strick will defend against Scotty Mathews, plus a new Lightweight Champion will be crowned. New members will be inducted into the UPWA hall of Fame as well. Doors open at 7 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. bell time. Tickets — from $11 to $60 — are here.

“Spring Awakening” opens for one weekend only at Thalian Hall, produced by Opera House Theater Company. The story follows school-aged kids coming of age. (Courtesy OHTC)

Sunday, July 9

Spring Awakening
Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St. • Tickets: $28

A coming-of-age rock musical, “Spring Awakening” opens for one weekend only at Thalian Hall, produced by Opera House Theater Company.

It’s been decorated with numerous awards from the mid-2000s, including eight Tonys, multiple Drama Desks, a Grammy, and others. The music is by American singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik, with book and lyrics by Steven Sater. 

Based on the 1891 German play “Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind, the show covers a multitude of heavy topics from the point-of-view of school-aged kids, who are dealing with abuse, suicide, abortion, rebellion, and more. It takes place in the 1890s as the group goes through puberty and is trying to make sense of society’s mores and how it affects their lives. 

The show takes place from July 7 to 9, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are available here.

Porch Planter Workshop — Looking to brighten up the front porch with a new decoration? Eagle’s Dare, a bar located at the corner of Third and Red Cross streets with an expansive beer garden, is hosting a porch planter workshop. Led by The Plant Ecologist at 1 p.m., the class includes providing the right tools to students who want to add Southern charm via foliage. Tickets range $15 to $35 — $15 for “bring your own” 8-inch planter and three plants provided; $25 for an 8-inch planter and three plants provided; or $35 for a 12-inch planter and four plants provided. The guided workshop will cover premium soil to use, how to arrange the planter and care for it. Venmo payment accepted to @ThePlantEcologist, with name, email and ticket option(s) in the note.

Jigsaw Puzzle Competition — Think you have what it takes to put a jigsaw puzzle together in record time? Neapolitan, a beer and wine shop in Carolina Beach, challenges you. The Jigsaw Puzzle Competition will pit teams of two to complete the same 500-piece puzzle within two hours; top three finishing teams win prizes. It takes place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 800 St. Joseph St. There’s an entry fee 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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