13 things to do in the Wilmington NC area, July 21-24, including GRiZ
It’s been so hot and humid lately, and that doesn’t seem destined to change anytime soon. Let’s just accept that it’s summer and have fun accordingly.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do it in Wilmington this weekend, both indoors and outdoors in the sweltering heat.
For starters, there are two shows at Thalian Hall (a play, a musical), the city’s first live opera in over two years, a host of concerts big and small, and, if that’s not enough , a dozen or more art exhibitions to see as part of the Fourth Friday Gallery Nights.
For even more ideas, check out our list of outdoor summer concerts in the area (see link below).
Plus, I just toured a dozen mini-golf courses in the tri-county area, so check that out if you feel like clicking the little links anytime in the near future.
THE WHOLE WEEKEND
‘The Magic Flute’
At the UNCW Cultural Arts Building: Opera Wilmington returns with its first full production since the start of the pandemic. ‘The Magic Flute’ is probably Mozart’s most famous opera, with its beautiful (and thought-provoking) arias and themes of love, good and evil.
The plot centers around the mysterious Queen of the Night, who explodes after her daughter is taken from her (which, you know, is understandable). Chaos ensues. 7 p.m. on July 22 and 29, 3 p.m. on July 24 and 31; $60 and $25, $5 for students.
“The Curious Incident of the Dog During the Night”
At the Ruth and Bucky Stein Studio Theater in Thalian Hall: Big Dawg Productions presents this 2015 Tony winner for Best Play. Based on the best-selling book of the same title, it’s about a 15-year-old boy with autism who sets out to solve a crime – the gruesome murder of a dog – for which he has been wrongfully accused.
Longtime Wilmington comedian and radio personality Gina Gambony returns to town to direct, and the cast is filled with Wilmington’s top actors, including Eleanor Stafford, Lee Lowrimore and Chase Harrison. 7:30 p.m. July 21-23 and 28-30, 3:00 p.m. July 24 and 31. $28. 910-632-2285.
At Live Oak Bank Pavilion: Self-described “future funk” and electronic music artist GRiZ (aka Grant Richard Kwiecinski) returns to Wilmington for his second two-night adventure in as many years. His latest album is 2021’s 23-track epic “Rainbow Brain,” his seventh studio release, while recent singles like the slammin’, sax-infused “Feel No Pain” emphasize a vibe of complete feast as mind and (out of) body experience. The live show is a wild sound and visual ride, with a trippy light show to match the intoxicating music. 7 p.m. July 22-23, $55. The July 23 show is sold out.
At the Thalian room: Wilmington’s Opera House Theater Co.’s production of the classic musical proved so popular that last week two performances were added to the end of this weekend’s show. Solid performance and production values all aroundwith jaw-dropping dance sequences and an unmissable performance from musical director Brian Whitted as the heavenly Teen Angel. 7:30 p.m. from July 21 to 24 and 2 p.m. from July 23 to 24.
At the Dead Crow Comedy Hall: The former Wilmington Jones comedian, who left town in 2017, returns this weekend for a headlining spot at Port City’s premier comedy club. Now based in Charlotte, Jones specializes in such Southern fried stories as the best way to get kicked out of a Waffle House.
“I am very happy to be back in Wilmington,” Jones said in a statement. “I spent some of my favorite years in Wilmington and I’m so glad comedy brought me back here. It will be great to see everyone again.” 7 and 9:30 p.m. July 22-23, $18-$28. 910-399-1750.
There are dirty animals
At Iron Front Lookout: After-party for the GRiZ show at the Live Oak Bank Pavilion will be this two-night event featuring DJs and electronic music artists. Friday night’s headliner is Devious, with support from Golden Era, Cheap Thrills and Pixel Dust. The Saturday night festivities feature the sounds of Domii, with opening sets from Brewtal, Matt Lloyd and Irewl. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 22-23, $25.
At Barzarro: This two-day festival of art, music and community reigns this weekend at the Castle Street outpost in Barzarre, with the Liquid Culture Soundsystem collective presenting a range of electronic tracks each evening. The party starts at 2 p.m. Friday, with live music from Solar Animals (psychedelic jam) and Slick Mahoneys (space funk). Friday night is the electronic music of Tymellord, Konglo and Krispee Biscuits. On Saturday night, it’s more electronic tunes, from Psynatra, DJ GON and Audio Goblin. 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. July 22-23, $17 per night.
At Kenan Auditorium: It will be good times and nostalgic vibes when the lead singer and songwriter of pop group The Monkees hits the campus of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington this weekend.
Known for timeless hits like “I’m a Believer,” “Steppin’ Stone,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “Last Train to Clarksville,” and “Daydream Believer,” Dolenz has been a pop culture presence for years. 1960. 7:30 p.m. July 21, $58-$88. 910-962-3500.
At Bourgie Evenings: North Carolina-based singer and songwriter tampers with a deeply felt brand of folk, country and Appalachian music.
With a strong voice and introspective lyrics in a deep-rooted style, it will be a good listening room type show. 8 p.m. July 21, $15.
4th Friday Gallery Night
The Wilmington & New Hanover County Arts Council presents the July edition of this art exploration through downtown Wilmington’s galleries and art spaces.
At the top of this week’s long list of openings is “A Season of Lanterns” at Wilmington’s prestigious Acme Art Studios on North Fifth Avenue, featuring light sculptures by Wilmington artists Katherine Wolf Webb and some of her talented friends: Barton Hatcher, Fritzi Huber, Angela Rowe, Jan Wutkowski and Rebecca Yeomans.
At the Wilma Daniels Gallery at Cape Fear Community College, across from the Wilson Center, it’s “Eden Village: A Group Exhibit.” An art fundraiser for Wilmington’s Eden Village, a group that builds tiny communities of homes for the disabled and chronically homeless, it features the work of CFCC staff members Ben Billingsley, Geoff Calabrese, Jennifer Mace, Sharon Wozniak-Spencer and others. A silent auction of selected works will return 100% of profits to Eden Village, and artists will also donate a portion of all sales.
At the New Elements Gallery on North Front Street, the new exhibition “Bathing in Light” features Janet Triplett’s beach landscapes and Angie Sinclair’s paintings, which often depict figures or boats on the water.
And at the Burgwin-Wright House on Market Street in Third, Minnu Paul will debut his new show, “Emotional Visibility Project”, which primarily consists of intricate pen-on-paper drawings.
For a full list of participating galleries, visit ArtsWilmington.org. 6-9 p.m. July 22.
At the opera house: This is the last (and maybe the last?) installment of this bi-monthly do-it-yourself variety show orchestrated by Wilmington comedian Julia Desmond, who also hosts.
Always well attended, it’s a loving selection of some of the best art and artists Wilmington has to offer. Starring comedy by Brian Granger, Tareq Salameh, Trish Smart and Lew Morgante; music by Exercise; and the art of Liminal Relief and Chris Ponds. 6:30 p.m. gallery, 8 p.m. exhibition, July 23. $7.
Shay Martin Lovette
At Bourgie Evenings: This North Carolina singer and songwriter brings his roots tunes from the Boone Mountains for a show at this downtown Wilmington music venue.
Lovette is a veteran of the Watson scene at MerleFest. His latest album is “Scatter & Gather” from 2021.“Part one is Clint Roberts. Doors 8 p.m., show 9 p.m. July 23, $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
At Greenfield Lake Amphitheater: The South Carolina reggae band returns to Wilmington for a nearly sold-out concert on the shores of Greenfield Lake.
The first parts are Hip Abduction and Little Stranger. The after-party takes place at The Dubliner pub on Carolina Beach Road, with the Wilmington jam band Medicated Sunfish. 7 p.m. July 23, $85-$90.
Contact John Staton at 910-343-2343 or John.St[email protected]