2014 Fall Rundown: Events abound this season in art, music, fundraising, and more!

Sep 9 • EXTRA! EXTRA!, Feature, FEATURE BOTTOMNo Comments on 2014 Fall Rundown: Events abound this season in art, music, fundraising, and more!

Though the tourists have packed up their umbrellas and coolers to head home for the next few seasons, it doesn’t mean our town will hibernate along with summer vacation. Fall in Southeastern NC brings more activities for local yokels to enjoy than any other time of year. Numerous culinary happenings, concerts, fashion shows, fundraisers, theatre productions, art exhibits, and the like provide cultural and philanthropic engagement on multiple levels. Let’s take a look at some of the top not-to-miss events taking place over the next few months.

great gatsby

Style Girl Jess James’ Great Gatsby Gala gets underway in year four at City Club on Sept. 18th. Photo: Bella Rose Photography. Hair: Rosalinda Bathon and Bee Young at The Rockin’ Roller Salon / Makeup by Amy Kennison / Wardrobe Styling: Jess James

Sept. 12th and 13th • $17.50-$20

Choreographer Tracey Varga is constantly pushing the boundaries of artistic expression when it comes to dance. Her company, Forward Motion Dance, will hold their annual multi-media showcase on Friday, September 12th, and Saturday, September 13th at 8 p.m. (with an additional 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday) at Thalian Hall. “Quartets, Pirhouettes, Silhouettes” is a collabroative performance, featuring live music and a multitude of artistic mediums, including film, visual art, and dance. Sounds will be played across various genres, including that of NC Guitar Quartet’s Justin Hoke, Robert Nathanson, Ed Stephenson, and Chris Wear, along with local cellist Jude Eden, and even local legend Willliam Paco (who passed away in 2013) and the Flying Flamenco Brothers. Patrick Ogelivie’s film will screen simultaneously among dancers during one performance, and another showcase will feature “a cross-cultural celebration of dance from all corners of the globe” with sounds coming from Quango World Groove. 

Likewise, Forward Motion will do an encore piece, featuring a duet performed as part of The Big Read 2014 at Cameron Art Museum, which highlighted F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.” “The Last Flapper” will celebrate the life of F. Scott’s wife, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. Original costuming, set design, and lighting effects will be helmed by local hands Rachael Goolsby, artist Kristin Gibson, and former Wilmingtonians Lee Wainwright and Miko Green. 

Dancers from Forward Motion, as well as teen dance students from DREAMS of Wilmington, The Dance Cooperative, The Dance Element, and The Wilmington School of Ballet will perform a new piece with music from Paul McCartney’s 1986 release “Press to Play.” Tickets are $17.50 to $20 and can be purchased online at www.thalianhall.org.

Sept. 18th • $60-$150

Now in year four, The Gatsby Gala has become one of the premier fashion events locally, thanks to its host Style Girl Jess James. James will team up with the City Club once again to offer a party only to be described as “The Bee’s Knees.” There will be food served, Prohibition-era cocktails enjoyed, and a load of music boasting that 1920’s swinging sound with Nnenne Terzian and the Justin Lacy Swingtet. 

As well, a speakeasy will be set up for a members-only burlesque show (must sign up that night to enter), and Jazz Age dancers and Gatsby models will showcase the best moves and looks of the era. A charity raffle will be held to benefit Make a Wish Foundation, and portraits will be set up in the garden with artist Kat Christian, as well as a photo booth from Bella Rose Photography. A best dressed contest will take place and folks will be able to shop through vendor offerings from aMuse, A Second Time Around, Lumina Gem, and Cape Fear Formal Wear. Plus, City Club (23 S. 2nd St.) will offer an extensive 80 percent discount for membership signup.

But the party doesn’t stop at 10 p.m. All revelers will move over to The Blind Elephant  (21 N. Front St.) to keep it roaring at the official Gatsby Gala Afterparty, beginning at 10:30 p.m. 

Tickets to the gala are $60 in advance at www.stylegirljessjames.com or $70 at the door, and include hors d’ouevre and two drink tickets. VIP tickets are $130 in advance or $150 at door and include a cocktail hour in the gardens and entertainment. (As well, City Club will waive a $1,500 initiation fee for VIP guests!)

Sept. 20th • Free

The State of the Art/Art of the State exhibit will showcase works by North Carolina artists from September 20th through February 12th, 2015. Participating artists are invited to bring a single piece artwork of any medium to be displayed. The non-juried show began in 2011 in order to extend the museum’s reach to the vast pool of regional talent. There are no required fees, which maximize artists’ ability to have their work seen. 

The event kicks off with a 24-hour period for visionaries to drop off their works starting September 19th at noon. It will give artists the unique opportunity to have their work viewed by nationally renowned curators, such as Nora Burnett Abrams (associate curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver), Peter Eleey (curator and associate director of exhibitions and programs at MoMA), Laura Hoptman (curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA), and Heidi Zuckerman Jacobs (the Nancy and Bob Magoon CEO and director at the Aspen Art Museum). 

An opening reception will take place on Saturday, September 20th at 6 p.m., at the Cameron Art Museum (3201 S 17th St.). Folks will be able to view the artwork, as well as mingle with the talented art-savvy team of curators and planners. 

Sept. 23rd • $40

The vast culinary offerings around downtown Wilmington make Thalian Hall’s A Taste of the Town one of the most delicious fundraisers of the fall season! Taking place September 23rd, visitors are able to mosey between 17 restaurants in order to taste a little bit of the extraordinary cuisine offered locally. Folks will be given a map of all the spots and can trek by foot or by the provided trolley service to taste hors d’ouevre and vote on Best Overall, Best Appetizer and Best Entree. Participants include: Aubriana’s, Buzz’s Roost, Canapé, Caprice Bistro, Cousin’s Italian Deli, Delphina Dos, Elijah’s, Fork n’ Cork, Happy Bowls, Little Dipper, 9 Bakery and Lounge, Shuckin’ Shack, Stuffedwich, The Dixie Grill, The George on the Riverwalk, The Greeks Mediterranean Deli, and The Pilot House. 

The event lasts from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and tickets cost $40, with all proceeds benefitting Thalian’s constant output of cultural enlightenment and educational outreach. Only 300 tickets are available for purchase at www.thalianhall.org.

Oct. 2nd-Nov. 6th • Free

Beginning on October 2nd, Bellamy Mansion (503 Market St.) will come alive with the spirit of burgeoning artistry. In the inaugural event, they will host a five-week celebration in which artists can submit works based on the “Beauty of Bellamy.” Works will come inspired by the mansion’s deep history and unique architecture. Those interested in participating must submit their applications and photos to jurors Gale Smith Joanne Geisel by Sat., September 27th. Fees are $10 for students and $20 for adults. 

They also will play host to a plethora of enlightening lectures each Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Wilmington Basket weaver Melanie Walter will jumpstart the series on October 9th. Other speakers will include clay sculptor Justin Ferren (Oct. 17th), photographer Gordon Webb (Oct. 23rd), African art quilter Hattie Schmidt (Oct. 30th).For more information visit www.bellamymansion.org.

Oct. 3rd-5th • Free

Presented by the Friends of the Arboretum and the New Hanover County Cooperative Extension in conjunction with the Wilmington Art Association (WAA), Art in the Arboretum has extended to three days this year, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the New Hanover County Arboretum (6206 Oleander Dr.). 

The juried art show will feature paintings, jewelry, glass, textiles, ceramics and sculptures. There also will be woodwork and pieces by photographers. Artists interested in purveying their works can still apply for submission until September 19th on the event’s website (www.wilmingtonart.org/index.php) or by contacting Anita Jacques at 910-409-4064 or anitajacquesart@gmail.com

As well, the event will include live performances by local bands. The gardens will be decorated with original painted banners from the imaginative young artists at the Children’s Museum of Wilmington. The kiddies will enjoy a scavenger hunt held on the Arboretum grounds and will be able to make their own art at the activity area provided by the Children’s Museum of WIlmington. 

The celebration will occur in conjunction with a sale organized by the Ability Garden. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Arboretum’s programs. Folks can learn more: www.facebook.com/ArtInTheArboretum2013

Oct. 11th • $25-$250

Come October 11th the third annual Taste of Wrightsville Beach will welcome around 650 guests to enjoy the delectable eats of their island. Held at MarineMax (130 Short St.), Taste will showcase more than 30 tasting booths, which will dole out everything from fresh seafood to cool yogurt, to North Carolina craft brews and seasonal wines. Restaurants participating in the event include: 22 North, South Beach Grill, Banks Channel Pub & Grille, Bluewater Grill, Oceanic, Robert’s Grocery, Tower 7, Bridge Tender, Fish House Grill, King Neptune, Holiday Inn’s Oceans Restaurant, SurfBerry, Mellow Mushroom, Sweet and Savory, Martino’s, Port City Chop House, and Causeway Café. The returning 2013 champion, East Oceanfront Dining of the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, also will be on hand.

Aside from local eats, North Carolina beer will be represented, thanks to companies like Kind Beers and Ironclad Brewery, White Street Brewing Company (Wake Forest), Carolina Brewing Company (Holly Springs), and Aviator Brewing Company (Fuquay Varina), among others. Copa Di Vino, Duplin Winery, Juice Wine Purveyors, ONEHOPE Wine, and Windham Distributing Company will offer vino samplings.

Judges will decide upon Best in Show, while the participants choose the People’s Choice winner. Music will be played by Blue Tang Bandits. 

Tickets for ages 21 and up are $65 before Oct. 5th or $75 after. Ages 21 and under are admitted for $25. VIP packages will include prime parking, express check-in, and exclusive access to VIP area for $250 at www.wrightsvillebeachfoundation.org. Proceeds will benefit the Wrightsville Beach Beautification Project and Weekend Meals on Wheels Program that delivers food to seniors and homebound persons in New Hanover County. 

Opens Oct. 2nd • $15-$20

Yes! That famed ‘70s B-movie (or as some may call it, “the worst movie ever made!”—right, Patton Oswalt?) is coming to life! Full Belly Project founder Jock Brandis worked in the film industry for years, which included being the gaffer on George Barry’s 1977 flick, “Death Bed: The Bed That Eats.” Brandis built the famed bed and even made an appearance in the movie as a priest. His current life-love, Gwenyfar Rohler, has written a script of the cult-classic, which is set for its world premiere at Cape Fear Playhouse on October 2nd. The story is of a man, a dream, and a struggle to the death with killer furniture. Theatre-goers can expect an “Oklahoma!” style dream sequence to add to the play’s quirks. Rohler also has added the making of the movie as part of Act I. 

“[It was difficult] not losing the thread of the story for the ‘making of’ component while still integrating the film [into] the script,” Rohler says.

Rohler worked to capture the film’s zaniness while still being respectful to those involved with the production. As well, writing a play in which Brandis is a charachter proved a difficult challenge—especially sonsidering she didn’t know him during the timespan in which “Death Bed: The Play that Bites” took place. 

Don’t miss the show, along with original works by Stephen Raeburn based on Edgar Allen Poe’s writing and more, as part of Big Dawg Productions’ Halloween Horror Theatre Festival. Shows run October 2-5, 9-12, 16-19, 23-28, and 29-31, with tickets clocking in at $15 to $20. 

Opens Oct. 16th • $16-$20

City Stage Company ushers in their season just in time for Halloween with “Carrie: The Musical.” The production is based on the Stephen King’s novel about Carrie, a young, ridiculed high-school student with a staunch religious mother, who discovers she has telekinesis. She utilizes her powers to exact revenge at prom. The novel inspired the 1976 Brian De Palma film, “Carrie,” and its subsequent 2013 remake. 

The tongue-in-cheek stage version debuted in 1988 at Stratford Upon Avon in the U.K., before making its way to Broadway the same year. It was penned by screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen, with lyrics by Dean Pitchford and music by Michael Gore. Locally, it will be directed by one of City Stage’s newly appointed artistic directors, Nicholas Gray. Musical direction will be helmed by Bryan Putman, with choreography by Wilmington theatre-darling Kendra Goehring-Garrett.

The show premieres Thursday, October 16th and runs Friday through Sunday through November 2nd at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 3 p.m., at City Stage (21 N. Front St.). 

Oct. 25th • $6-$27

Hosted by UNCW’s Department of Music and co-sponsored by First Citizens Bank and the Thursday Morning Music Club, famed local pianist and member of the Cape Fear Music Teachers Association Domonique Launey will accompany the Wilmington Symphony on October 25th at UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium. Launey, whose Wilmington studio is on Robert E Lee Dr., is the winner of Gold Medal at L’Academie de Musique for Piano Performance. She’s traversed the globe with her musical stylings, performing as a stand-alone soloist and chamber musician.  

Launey will  perform the Third Piano Concerto from Russian composer Rachmaninoff, alongside the symphony. As well, they will perform “Four Sea Interludes” from “Peter Grimes,” an opera by English composer, conductor and pianist Benjamin Britten. 

The concert starts at 8 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at www.wilmingtonsymphony.org/tickets.html

Nov. 1st • Free

The 17th annual Polish Festival at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church (4849 Castle Hayne Rd.) once again will bring Eastern European flair to the Port City. It takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 1st. The cultural celebration will feature live entertainment from Karolinka, a Charlotte-based children’s Polish folk troupe. As well, the Chardon Polka Band from Ohio will be entertaining guests, too. 

Most importantly, a vast spread of traditional Polish food—kielbasa, pierogi, golabki, placki ziemiaczane, kruschiki, kolachki, nut rolls, poppyseed rolls, and strudel—will sate all appetites.  A dinner plate runs $10 and includes kielbasa, stuffed cabbage, three pierogi, a dinner roll, and sauerkraut. Folks can also purchase take-home plates for $6. 

Brewed specially by Front Street Brewery, St. Stan’s Baltic Porter will be the featured beer. Domestic beer and other Polish brews will be on tap, too. The event also will feature games, crafts for sale, raffles, and a silent auction. 

Nov. 7th • $20

Wilmington’s fourth annual hometown variety show will take place this November at Thalian Hall (310 Chestnut St.). Proceeds from the event will benefit She Rocks, which raises awareness about Ovarian Cancer. The organization will use monies to supply wigs, scarves, research materials, and journals to the Ovarian Cancer Research Room at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. 

Currently, event organizers are seeking singers, dancers, musicians, magicians, and other talents willing to take the stage. Performers must reside in New Hanover, Pender or Brunswick counties. Participants must commit by September 26th. 

Nov. 12th-6th • $10-$300

The warped minds behind Cucalorus have concocted the 20th installment of their annual cinematic celebration. They’ve recently solidified the 89 films that made the cut for their early selections, which they will announce soon. 

This Sunday, September 14th, they will hold a brunch at Jengo’s Playhouse (815 Princess Street) to introduce Wilmington to this year’s resident artists. The free event will take place at 11 a.m., and will allow locals to get to know Ruth Paxton, Rozalind MacPhail and Addison Adams. Badminton and cornhole will be played. The event will also debut some of this year’s waffle-inspired monsters, too. 

Likewise, the festival currently is gaining momentum with reduced price passes.  The Pegasorus pass, which includes access to all screenings, the filmmakers’ lounge, Jengo’s backyard, and admittance to the midnite brunch, and opening party, is currently going for $270 (normally $300). The Megasorus pass is going for $150, and the Digasorus pass now is $85.

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