8 Must-See Entertainment Events to See in Wilmington NC Jan. 21-23

It’s yet another eventful weekend in Wilmington, which, given that it’s January, is a good sign for what’s to come this spring and summer. Warm up to a mix of local and touring talent, from Broadway shows to Port City comics and musicals.

Music from the queen of disco is coming to Wilmington this weekend in the form of “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” which runs for three performances at the Wilson Center at Cape Fear Community College. The jukebox musical’s Broadway tour not only features Summer’s well-known hits, including “On the Radio,” “Bad Girls” and “She Works Hard for the Money,” but also samples of gospel, soul, and pop that she blended into her signature, danceable style.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 and 22 and 2 p.m. Jan. 22 at CFCC Wilson Center, 703 N. Third St., Wilmington. Tickets start at $25. 910-362-7999 or WilsonCenterTickets.com.

Longtime Wilmington saxophonist and jazz educator Benny Hill performs his annual concert to benefit music education at Cape Fear Community College. This year, Hill’s guest star is jazz pianist Dr. Brad Merritt. Merritt has collaborated with Hill for years, and in 2021 he was a star performer on “Samba de Maracatu,” an album by Wilmington jazz musician Joe Chambers released on famed Blue Note label. As part of the Benny Hill Quartet, Merritt will perform a mix of jazz standards and his own compositions.

Benny Hill

Details: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at CFCC Wilson Center, 703 N. Third St., Wilmington. Tickets are free, but donations are accepted. Live streaming option at CFCC.edu/foundation/benny-hill. 910-362-7999 or WilsonCenterTickets.com.

Brad Merritt of the Benny Hill Trio in 2011.

Actor and comedian Orlando Jones is known for starring in TV shows such as “American Gods” and local filming “Sleepy Hollow,” but he’s also been a big supporter of the stand-up comedy scene in Wilmington, where he has been based for several years now. Starting Friday, Jones will host a series of Port City Comedy Jam performances at Thalian Hall downtown. With a mix of local and touring comics, the Jam has one performance this weekend and two more in February. Friday’s performers include Dallas Brown Jr., Charles Ozuna, Natasha Locklear and Wilmington’s Brain Granger.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21, Feb. 4, and Feb. 26 at Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St., Wilmington. $35. 910-632-2285 or ThalianHall.org.

Orlando Jones in 2017 at the premiere of

As part of the UNCW Presents series, Durham’s Gaspard & Dancers troupe will bring their brand of athletic and emotional movement to the stage. Founded in 2019 by dancer and choreographer Gaspard Louis, former member of the acrobatic and metamorphosed troupe Pilobolus, Gaspard & Dancers is a motley group that combines inventiveness and art. This weekend’s performance is the culmination of a week-long residency at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Details: 7:30 p.m. on January 22 at the Kenan Auditorium, UNCW campus. $25. 910-962-3500 or UNCW.edu/arts.

Gaspard & Dancers perform at UNCW on January 22.

First of all, if you haven’t been to the Dead Crow Comedy Room in Wilmington for their weekly Wednesday night improv show, you have to. Along with several troupes under the umbrella group DareDevil Improv, including Knievel and Black Market Bologna, they kill him. This weekend, however, it’s a Friday night special featuring not only DareDevil’s top improvisers, but also Harvard’s very smart and very funny immediate gratification players (i.e. l University, Massachusetts). It’s local improvisation + touring improvisation in what should amount to a thunderous evening.

Details: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at Dead Crow Comedy Room, 516 N. Third St., Wilmington. $13 and $23. 910-399-1750 or DeadCrowComedy.com

Wilmington rock band Starlight Speedway is something of a local supergroup whose members have played in more area acts over the years than we can list here (Swashbuckler, The Carvers, and the Beau Rikkis, just to name a few). to start). Suffice it to say, they have chops and experience as they bring a mix of originals and covers to the stage, ranging from soul and blues to surf, garage rock and country. The band includes Jason Delamar on guitar and vocals, Steviemack Harrington on percussion, Kevin Graham Wilson on bass, and double vocalists Callan Trippe and Sam Carradori.

Details: 6-9 p.m. Jan. 22 at Waterline Brewing, 721 Surry St., Wilmington.

The Wilmington Starlight Speedway band plays Jan. 22 at Waterline Brewing.

Self-described Appalachian rock band The Kind Thieves come to Wilmington from West Virginia for a show at Burnt Mill Creek. They have a driving country-rock sound with a touch of Americana thanks to instruments such as mandolin and fiddle. Wilmington Medicated Sunfish Act opens.

Details: 8 p.m. Jan. 22 at Burnt Mill Creek, 2101 Market St.

The Wilmington Symphony Orchestra presents this concert featuring Decca Classics artist Randall Goosby, a protege of famed violin master Itzhak Perlman. Goosby will perform a program that includes Max Bruch’s “Violin Concerto No. 1” and Gabriel Fauré’s “Dolly Suite”, as well as selections from Bizet’s opera “Carmen”.

Details: 6 p.m. Jan. 23 at CFCC Wilson Center, 703 N. Third St., Wilmington. Tickets start at $25. 910-362-7999 or WilsonCenterTickets.com.

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

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