16 things to do in Wilmington, NC including concerts, comedy, and more

Judging by the warm weather this week, we’ll call this weekend the (unofficial) first weekend of summer in Wilmington. Lots of great options to keep you entertained as well.

Let’s start with marriage. The most complex of social institutions. A big one is what we’re all looking for (right?), but if you count marriages that are unhappy or end in divorce, saying “yes” isn’t for the faint hearted, like many of us know it.

“The Last Five Years” is a 2002 musical by Jason Robert Brown that examines a fleeting and doomed marriage in particular, scrolling through its key moments of love and betrayal in time to melodious soft rock songs and Brown piano; his fiery sense of humor; and the only two characters in the series: rising, self-absorbed novelist Jamie Wellerstein and struggling, kind-hearted actress Cathy Hiatt.

“The Last Five Years”

Jordan Davis and Paul Teal star in a musical

Under the direction of Justin Smith for Opera House Theater Co., a well-directed, great-sounding production of “The Last Five Years” runs through Sunday in the upstairs theater studio at Thalian Hall and makes bring the timeless tale into the age of Instagram, complete with projected status updates and text messages.

“The Last Five Years” something of a cult favorite in the musical theater world.

Jordan Davis and Paul Teal star in a musical

Paul Teal plays Jamie, and he’s not only a strong singer, but he also gets Jamie’s relentless self-focus while nailing the unfortunate humor of songs like “A Miracle Would Happen,” in which Jamie begins to mentally justify cheating. on Kathy.

Jordan Davis, whose soft voice sends chills on lilters such as “Still Hurting,” plays Cathy, and the character is more One Of Us-like as opposed to Jamie’s success-obsessed alpha-human. She’s not exactly a belter and doesn’t hit all of her notes, but Davis creates and portrays a character who is more likable and relatable than the emotionally brutal Jamie, whose love for Cathy often seems to depend on her ability to achieve her definition. of success.

In the end, they’re a mismatched pair, which makes “The Last Five Years” feel all too sadly real.

After:North Carolina artists conquer the Cameron Art Museum: 776 pieces flood the space

A compact and efficient set from Terry Collins gives the cast plenty of nooks and crannies to roam, and it has to be said that without the stellar playing of musical director and pianist Brian Whitted (his excellent band includes guitarist J. Robert Raines, violinist Danielle Stewart and bassist Vince Bove), the show wouldn’t sound as good, or as easily polished, as it does.

“The Last Five Years” is very sad and beautiful, and, depending on your perspective – and I’m speaking as someone who is zero for a lifetime in terms of relationships – more than a little sobering. If you really need a reminder that marriage is tough, “The Last Five Years” is sweet enough.

Details: 7:30 p.m. May 6-7, 2 p.m. May 8 at Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St., Wilmington. 910-632-2285 or ThalianHall.org.



Widespread panic

Widespread Panic performs in front of thousands of people at the new Riverfront Park Amphitheater on Friday, July 16, 2021. This was the first of 3 shows the band will perform in Wilmington over the weekend.   [KEN BLEVINS/STARNEWS]

At the Live Oak Bank Pavilion: Expect an extremely busy weekend in downtown Wilmington as fans of longtime jam band Widespread Panic descend on our beautiful city for a three-night adventure. It’s the second time the band, who inherited their musical mantle from The Grateful Dead, have played a three-night stand in Wilmington in less than a year, having opened the new Live Oak Bank Pavilion last July. . 7 p.m. May 6-8, general admission $65, plus fees.


Bloodkin will perform RiverMusic on June 10.

At The Palm Room: Billed as the after-party for the downtown Widespread Panic show, it will be performed by those longtime rockers from Athens, GA who have collaborated with the Panic over the years. The group’s co-founder, Danny Hutchens, died last year, but Bloodkin continues to bond with a revamped lineup led by co-founder Eric Carter. 11 p.m. May 6-7, $15.

Best Port City Comic

At Dead Crow Comedy Room: This contest is back for the first time since the pandemic and is being held for the first time at Dead Crow’s new location on North Third Street. Some of the best comics in Wilmington, as well as the entire state and region, will compete for the title of Funniest Person in Wilmington. Playoffs Friday and Saturday, finals Sunday. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. May 6-7, 8 p.m. May 8. $13-$23.

Wilmington Dance Festival

The Wilmington Dance Festival will take place May 6-7 at UNCW's Kenan Auditorium.

At the Kenan Auditorium, UNCW campus: The Wilmington Dance Festival returns from the pandemic with dances from 12 different choreographers, including Nancy Carson, Sue Meier, Kate Muhlstein and Tracey Varga from Wilmington. Presented by the UNCW Office of the Arts with The Dance Cooperative, a Wilmington group that has been part of the local arts community for over two decades. 7:30 p.m. May 6 and 7, $10 to $23.


DJ logic

DJ Logic plays Bourgie Nights on May 6.

At Bourgie Nights: Another Widespread Panic after-party, this one headlined by the legendary DJ who, since the 1990s, has used jazz as a starting point for all kinds of musical explorations. 10:30 p.m. May 6, $20-$25.

end of line

At Live at Ted’s: Wilmington, old-time, Americana and bluegrass favorites bring their local sound and solid musical chops to this listening room on Castle Street. 8 p.m. May 6, $7 at the door.

Lost room

Stray Local plays live at Ted's on August 14th.

At Waterline Brewing: Former Wilmington duo of married couple Hannah Lomas and Jamie Rowan bring their mix of rock, pop and folk back to town for this show at one of downtown’s coziest hangouts . 7-9 p.m. May 6, free.


Free comic day

Wilmington comic book stores, including Memory Lane downtown and FanBoy on South College Road, will be giving away tons of free comics and holding special sales for non-free items. Plus, see the work of local artists, including Bryan Ashley Jacobs at FanBoy and HP Fangs at Memory Lane. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 7, free.

‘Azalea Suite’ from the Wilmington Symphony

Steven Errante conducts the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra in 2014 at Kenan Auditorium in Wilmington.

At the CFCC Wilson Center: Steven Errante, longtime conductor of the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra, concludes his 35th season with the WSO with the premiere of his original composition “Azalea Suite.” The concert will also feature works by Debussy, as well as the overture to Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet”. 7:30 p.m. May 7, tickets start at $25.

Acme Revue

Louis, hip-hop artist from Wilmington.  the rapper.

At the Salon de l’Opéra: You won’t find a cooler spot in downtown Wilmington on Saturday night than the Opera Room on Grace Street, home to the Acme Revue, the multidisciplinary brainchild of Wilmington comedian (and host) Julia Desmond. This weekend’s show is headlined by Wilmington icon Louis the Rapper and also features the comedic styles of Caleb Elliott, Andrew Gleason, Megan Cook, Wills Maxwell and Bridget Callahan. While you’re there, check out the exhibits by Wilmington artist Celia Donovan. 8 p.m., $7.

After:How Wilmington’s hip-hop scene is navigating the ‘love-hate relationship’ with the city

materialistic girls

At the Thalian Hall: traveling show presenting tributes to the music of Madonna, Cher, Lady Gaga and Adele. 7:30 p.m. May 7, 910-632-2285.

Carolina Beach Street Arts Festival

At Carolina Beach Lake: More than fifty painters, potters, musicians, jewelers, dancers and more come together for this festival showcasing the performing, visual and culinary arts. 10am-4pm May 7. Free

Saturday Sunset

At the Marina Grill: A weekly live, outdoor music series featuring Wilmington songwriter David Dixon, who performs a mix of rock, pop and blues as a solo artist, but gets a complete sound thanks to his mastery of the loop pedals. 5-7:30 p.m., free.


Iron Front Comedy Show

At The Lookout at Iron Front: Monthly series hosted by Wilmington stand-up Ellie Coleman at one of the coolest venues downtown. Features local favorite Wills Maxwell, Shane Browne and touring comedian Caleb Elliott. 8 p.m. May 8, $15-$20.


The ABBA ABBA Fab tribute act plays at UNCW's Kenan Auditorium on May 8.

At UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium: The ABBA tribute act brings their versions of the Swedish pop group’s indelible hits to the stage. 7:30 p.m. May 8, $45-$55.

Contact John Staton at 910-343-2343 or [email protected]

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