Monday, March 4, 2024

The Scene: Two female powerhouses perform this weekend

Ani DiFranco will come to Wilmington Friday in support of her latest album. Courtesy photos.
Ani DiFranco will come to Wilmington Friday in support of her latest album. Courtesy photos.

Two female performers with big voices and powerful lyrics are coming to the Port City.

98.3 FM The Penguin and Huka Entertainment present legendary singer/songwriter Ani DiFranco and bluesy and soulful Grace Potter live in concert this weekend.

DiFranco will play Brooklyn Arts Center at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22 in support of her latest album, “Allergic to Water.” Anti-folk hero Ed Hamell’s one-man punk project, Hamell on Trial, will open the show. Doors open at 7 p.m.

For more than two decades, DiFranco has been championing originality–and encouraging her dedicated growing fan base to do the same.

Over the years, she has evolved beyond her acoustic solo roots in intimate settings to create a unique blending of jazz, soul, electronica and even more distant sounds. That mixture is prevalent on “Allergic To Water,” an album that also lends voice to her personal reflections on life in New Orleans, where she is raising two children with her partner, producer Mike Napolitano.

Also in support of a new album, solo debut, “Midnight,” Potter will hit the stage of Cape Fear Community College’s Humanities and Fine Arts Center at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, with special guest Eliza Hardy Jones.

Grace Potter’s epic musical journey reaches a new milestone with the arrival of her solo debut, Midnight (released August 14 on Hollywood Records), an inspired work that is surprising, revelatory and wildly original.

Grace Potter performs Sunday on the heels of her debut solo album, 'Midnight.'
Grace Potter performs Sunday on the heels of her debut solo album, ‘Midnight.’

“Midnight” was recorded and mixed with producer Eric Valentine, whose own diverse discography—from Queens of the Stone Age to Nickel Creek—hints at Potter’s own varied style on the newest release. In addition to Potter and Valentine playing most of the instruments on the album, members of her longtime band The Nocturnals joined the studio to record some tracks, as did Noelle Skaggs of Fitz & the Tantrums, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips and Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age, among others.

Tickets to see DiFranco are $25 for general admission and $40 for balcony seating. A limited number of tickets to Potter’s show are available for $32.50-$67.50. Click here to purchase tickets or call CFCC’s ticket office, (910) 362-7999, for more information about seating for Potter’s performance.

The cold weather hasn’t slowed down area happenings any. You’ll find a full list of things to do this weekend–from original plays to art exhibits, and much more in between–in our weekly arts and entertainment round-up.

You’ll find these items, and so many more, on The Scene, our free community events calendar.


Morning Glory Coffee House holds an open mic night from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight (Thursday). Local musicians are invited to play on a fully equipped sound stage in Wilmington’s largest cafe setting. Admission is free.

Country/rock musician Heather Rogers plays a free show at Flytrap Brewing tonight.
Country/rock musician Heather Rogers plays a free show at Flytrap Brewing tonight.

Flytrap Brewing presents a free live show from country/rock musician Heather Rogers at 8 p.m. tonight. 2 Bros. Coastal Cuisine will be onsite from 7 to 10. Folk and bluegrass band Folkstone Stringband performs at 8 p.m. Friday, with Pepe’s Taco Truck serving up Mexican street food from 7 to 11. On Saturday, acoustic guitarist and singer Isaac Clowers goes on at 8, and Catch the Food Truck will be on hand from 7 to 9.

Local band The Other Guys brings its retro groove to The Seawitch in Carolina Beach Friday. The free show runs from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Wilmington favorite Mike Blair plays a free show from 9 to 11 p.m. Friday at Bombers Bev Co.

The Fustics plays Brooklyn Arts District’s The Goat and Compass at 9 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

Wilmington locals Exploding Math Lab and Foxbait playing their edgy original rock n’ roll tunes at the Whiskey Sunday. The free show gets underway at 9 p.m.


T23: It Takes Two Cubed” hits the Hannah Block Community Arts Center stage at 7 p.m. tonight through Saturday, and at 3 p.m. Sunday. The performance, a collaboration that aims to bridge the gap between youth performers and adult actors, is a followup to the successful “Duets from the Great White Way” and “Songs of the Silver Screen.” Tickets are $12.

Big Dawg Productions hosts the finale of its Youth Play Festival with a performance of “The Coffee House” at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at Cape Fear Playhouse. A matinee show is set for 2 p.m. Sunday. Shows are free, but donations at the door are welcomed.

The unique metal work of Sara Westermark will be on display and for sale at Port City Pottery and Fine Crafts Friday.
The unique metal work of Sara Westermark will be on display and for sale at Port City Pottery and Fine Crafts Friday.

At 8 p.m. tonight through Saturday, Big Dawg presents “Laughter, Loss and Light,” a performance of two original one-hour plays by Wilmington resident John Grudzien. A matinee will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday. The first, “The Curse of the Diamond,” is a mystery comedy about a famous diamond that carries a centuries-long curse and several train passengers who find themselves bound together by it. The second, “The Care-Full Moving Company,” is a drama about a man whose moving company helps with much more than just furniture. Tickets are $18 ($15 for students, senior citizens and members of the military).

Budding stand-ups can test their chops during Dead Crow Comedy Room’s weekly open mic night each Thursday. Sign-ups begin at 7 p.m., with comics taking the stage at 8. There is no cover charge.

Up all Night’s “The Holiday Wrighters,” an original play by UNCW graduate Z.F. Mims, continues at 8 p.m. tonight through Saturday at Old Books on Front Street. A matinee performance is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday. The play, starring Nick Reed and Arianna Tysinger, follows two struggling playwrights as they try to collaborate for the first time. Tickets are $6.

UNC-Wilmington presents a screening of the documentary, “Wilmington on Fire,” at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Kenan Auditorium. The film, which was shown during Cucalorus, explores the Wilmington Massacre, a bloody attack on the local African-American community by a heavily armed white mob–with the support of the North Carolina Democratic Party–in 1898. The historical event is considered one of the only successful examples of a coup d’état in the U.S., one that left countless numbers of black citizens dead and exiled from the city. It was also the spring board for the white supremacy movement and Jim Crow segregation throughout the state and the American South. Tickets are $15.


Port City Pottery and Fine Crafts in the Cotton Exchange features two artists from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday as part of Fourth Friday Gallery Nights. Louise Giordano, a fiber artist, makes unique wearable fiber art in knit, crochet, and felt, with a focus on freeform knit and crochet and Nuno felting. Sara Westermark is a self-taught metalsmith, whose newest items include enamel on copper. Admission is free.

Cape Fear Community College’s Wilma W. Daniels Gallery holds a free Fourth Friday reception for “We’ve Got Issues: Visual Responses to Environmental Writing” at 6 p.m. Friday. The exhibition will run through Feb. 19.

Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at

Related Articles