17 things to do in Wilmington this weekend, from film festivals to funk
It’s the first official full weekend of spring 2022 and, as you’d expect, Wilmington’s weekend seems to be off the hook as a result. Highlights include several events for the final days of the Lumina Festival of the Arts at UNCW, the NC Black Film Festival, a major concert at the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater and more.
Farewell to DocuTime
For two decades now, Wilmington has been featured in a wide array of documentary films through DocuTime, the annual film festival hosted and starred, if you will, by Wilmington filmmaker and impresario Paula Haller. (She once dressed like a bumblebee to present a movie and rode a tricycle down the aisle to present another.)
After skipping the festival in 2020 and doing a drive-in version last year, Haller, who is 86, will officially retire the festival on Sunday with a screening for UNCW’s Lumina Festival of the Arts at Kenan Auditorium that will include also a tribute to Haller herself.
Fittingly, the 19th and final DocuTime festival will screen a film about a trailblazing woman who, like Haller, made her mark in what was once a male-dominated industry. “Julia,” about celebrity chef Julia Child, examines how the cook, author and TV personality has, some say, transformed the way Americans think about food and eating.
The screening is presented with two of Haller’s longtime producing partners: public radio station WHQR (which makes the long-running Cinematique film series with Thalian Hall) and UNCW, whose film studies department hosted DocuTime for years. .
Haller is a filmmaker who has spent years making documentaries (for Disney and National Geographic, no less) in China, India, Japan and the former Soviet Union. From my 2019 profile: “Throughout her career, Haller hasn’t been one to ask permission. Rather, she’s shot first and asked questions later.”
She’s filmed in sub-zero temperatures and fended off government guards in China and Russia, not to mention launching the first and so far only Wilmington Film Festival devoted exclusively to documentary film.
Following Sunday’s screening, a reception with Haller will take place on the Kenan Auditorium stage.
Details: 3 p.m. Sunday, March 27 at Kenan Auditorium, UNCW Campus. $10. 910-962-3500 or UNCW.edu/arts.
Thusday: UNCW Symphonic Band, with Nois Saxophone Quartet – The Nois experimental saxophone quartet combines classical and improvisation to create a charming, subtle and dramatic sound. As part of UNCW’s Lumina Festival of the Arts. 7:30 p.m. March 24, Kenan Auditorium, $10
The whole weekend:NC Black Film Festival – This is the 18th year of this annual festival celebrating the best black films and filmmakers, featuring more than three dozen shorts and features at four locations over three days. Highlights include ‘Entanglement,’ a drama from Wilmington filmmaker Nakia Hamilton, which is this year’s festival winner, and ‘Becoming Black Lawyers,’ a documentary about black professionals who overcome discrimination in pursuit of degrees. and legal careers. March 25-27, details at BlackArtsAlliance.org.
Continued:NC Black Film Festival will honor Wilmington’s most prolific filmmaker
Friday: Whose Live Anyway at CFCC Wilson Center – Cast members of the popular “Whose Line is it Anyway?” The TV show is bringing its touring improv comedy act to town. 8 p.m. March 25, tickets from $35.
Friday:Billy Walton Band at Rusty Nail – The New Jersey blues-rock band brings their big, brass-filled sound to Wilmington’s juke joint for a show that’s bound to include some of Walton’s guitar pyrotechnics. 8 p.m. March 25, $10.
Friday: Great Dope! Art Exhibition at Memory Lane II – Celebrate the official opening of the second location of the Memory Lane comic book store on Princess Street with some super cool new artwork from HP Fangs, aka Happy Fangs, aka Haji Pajamas, the stylish artist and Wilmington teacher behind the “Black Lives Do Matter” art installation on North Third Street. Part of the Fourth Friday Gallery Nights art walk downtown. 6-9 p.m. March 25.
Friday: ‘Reggae Redemption Rising: We Are One’ at ACES Gallery – As part of Fourth Friday Gallery Nights and UNCW’s Lumina Festival of the arts, Wilmington artist Cammeron Batanides will open this show she curated, inspired by the sound of reggae music. 6-9 p.m. March 25.
Friday: Linda Flynn’s “Florals” at Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens — This new exhibition opening for Fourth Friday Gallery Nights is perfectly timed for the arrival of spring. Flynn is a Wilmington artist whose work centers around natural subjects. Although she has been visually impaired for several years now, her work bursts with color and vibration. 6-9 p.m. March 25.
Friday: Ric Williams with UNCW Student Jazz Combo at Beckwith Recital Hall – Williams, a guitarist for reggae band Mystic Vibrations, will sit down with some of the best student jazz musicians for this concert which is part of UNCW’s Lumina Festival of the Arts . 1:30 p.m. on March 25, free.
Friday:Wayne Wallace at Kenan Auditorium — Three-time Grammy-nominated jazz trombonist, teacher, and historian Wayne Wallace performs for UNCW’s Lumina Festival of the Arts. Wallace is the real deal, blending music from various cultures (Latin, Oriental, Afro-Cuban) into a jazzy stew. 7:30 p.m. March 25, $10.
Friday Saturday: Jordan Rock at Dead Crow Comedy Room – This comedian and actor, who you may have seen on Judd Apatow’s Netflix series “Love,” has plenty of great jokes about relationships and the dangers of using Tinder for dating. Rock was a new face of comedy at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival in 2016, which is pretty much the hallmark of the comedy world. He is also the younger brother of comedian and actor Chris Rock. 7 and 9:30 p.m. March 25-26, $18 and $28.
Saturday: ‘Menopause: The Musical’ at CFCC Wilson Center – Rescheduled several times due to the pandemic, this musical billed as “celebrating women and change” is finally making its way to Wilmington. A second show was added due to demand, so the Wilson Center is expected to roll. 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., tickets starting at $40.
Saturday:Shay Martin Lovette at Bourgie Nights – Laid-back folk and folk rock tunes from this singer, who is playing Wilmington for the first time since 2018. Local pickers The Smokey Dunes are opening things up. 8 p.m. March 26, $10 in advance, $15 day of show.
Saturday: Wilmington School of Rock House Band and the Wilmington Symphony “Rockestra” at Kenan Auditorium – Concert for UNCW’s Lumina Festival of the Arts features the School of Rock House Band, which features young players from the Wilmington School of Music . The Wilmington Symphony Rockestra is a youth ensemble of the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, in which young musicians play instruments normally used in a rock setting. Given the theme of this year’s Lumina Festival, they will be playing a range of Caribbean and reggae tunes. 3 p.m. March 26, $10.
Saturday:Reggae Ball at Ironclad Brewery – UNCW’s Lumina Festival of the Arts hosted this first-ever event, a dressed-up affair with a reggae twist. Musical acts include South Florida’s Artikal Sound System (which recently sued Dua Lipa for copyright infringement, btw) and Greensboro’s Pure Fiyah. 7:30 p.m. March 26, $45
Sunday: Lettuce at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater – Boston’s longtime funk/jam band bring their act to one of Wilmington’s most magical venues, a good fit for the band’s spacey sound, which transforms pop classics like “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” into a jazzy dream while delivering plenty of originals. 6 p.m. March 27, tickets start at $27.50.
Sunday:Laura McLean Songwriting Showcase at Live at Ted’s – Longtime Wilmington songwriter and guitarist Laura McLean has assembled a strong lineup with this month’s showcase. For starters, former local indie rock musician Kim Ware (of The Good Graces) is back in town for the show, and Port City guitarist Lincoln Morris (Lamont Skylark and Onward, Soldiers) will also be playing some songs. Annie McClelland completes the afternoon and McLean will play some songs of her own. 4-6 p.m. March 27, $5 at the door.
Contact John Staton at 910-343-2343 or [email protected]