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Spring Preview

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Southern Culture on the Skids play Rims on the River, April 21! Courtesy photo

Spring has sprung, so the saying goes. Judging by the green-dusted porches, white speckled trees and early-blooming azaleas—along with runny noses, watery eyes and incessant sneezing—the warm season indicates quite a few things along our southeastern shores aside from massive allergies. One, it’s tourist season: high time for insane amounts of traffic, and crowded restaurants, shops and bars. Two, the multitude of events getting ready to kick off in our area can’t be matched among larger cities across the U.S. We may not have a metropolis skyline, but we certainly have the caliber of talent expected from such a demographic.

Spring in Wilmington isn’t just gorgeous—whether enjoyed by Claritin or not! It’s actively engaging. Here are quite a few events we are most looking forward to in April and May.

4/20, 6 p.m. at the Brooklyn Arts Center
Grab your girlfriends and head down to Brooklyn Arts Center for a chicks’ night out. Fun will be had, of course, but more importantly, it will give back to women in need. LUNAFEST is a traveling film festival, brought to you by the makers of those tasty LUNA bars, all to benefit the Breast Cancer Fund and the local Women in the Center charity. Up-and-coming female filmmakers, who connect women, their stories and causes, directed all nine films. The films cover a wide range of topics from the tough-as-nails rugby-playing ladies in Laura Green’s “Lady Razorbacks”—to Shideh Faramand’s hilarious “Reluctant Bride, A” about an unmarried Persian women dodging would-be suitors and nosy relatives at her younger sister’s engagement party. There’s a good mix of fine films for everyone to enjoy at this event entirely organized by local moms. Tickets: $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

4/26-29 • Venues across Wilmington!
They’ve been doing this for 12 years now! That means the Cape Fear Independent Film Network has quite a handle on what it means to celebrate the art of filmmaking. More importantly, they put a focus on local talent, and recognize the greats who are making strides in our community and in the industry.

Taking place April 26th through the 29th across town (Browncoat Pub and Theatre, Nutt St. Comedy Room and City Stage), the festival has secured celebrity hosts, including Julianna Guill (“One Tree Hill,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”). They’ll showcase regional shorts throughout the weekend and end the event with their 2012 Wilmington Film Awards, with trophies, prizes and cash in 10 different categories, including Best Local Film. Best Picture nominees and a Creative Spirit Award—in honor of local radio DJ and actor Wayne Bradley—will be given to an “individual who exemplifies a fierce creative spirit partnered with a sense of community.” Nominees include Hank and Jed Movie Pictures, Chad Keith and Don Payne, with local film nominees including “Dale Archdale” by Matthew Warzel, “Under the Kudzu” by Claudia Stack, “Zombie Wrangler” by Michele Seidman and “When Nicole Meets Oliver” by Karen Labbe.

Festival passes are $60 for the whole weekend;


4/11- 4/15, all across the city
It’s that time of year again—the gorgeous bright pink azaleas are in full bloom and the port city is ready for its most famous springtime celebration. The 65th annual festival features five days of fanfare which celebrates the history, arts and culture of southeastern North Carolina. Country crooner and “American Idol” sweetheart Scotty McCreery will perform at Trask Coliseum (4/13 at 8 p.m.) and the legendary Kenny Loggins will make everybody cut loose on the 12th at Trask Coliseum. Other highlights include Cape Fear Garden Club Azalea Belles and Azalea Garden Tour (4/13-15), 2012 Azalea Home Tour (4/14-15), and a two-hour celebrity-filled parade on Saturday morning. Tickets for concerts and individually priced events can be bought by calling 910-794-4650, or stopping by the ticket office at 5725 Oleander Drive, Unit B7.

5/19 at 101 N. Front St. • $25-$35
Downtown Wilmington
Gearing up to play host to the best breweries from North and South Carolina for this special one-day event is the county’s own Good Vibes Brewing. A ticket provides you unlimited sampling from 20 high-end microbreweries that will be sure to please even the pickiest beer aficionados. Live music from Selah Dubb, Moon Taxi and The Features will provide the soundtrack to the day’s festivities while food from local hotspot Catch fills bellies. Local arts and craft vendors will be on site as well. Tickets are $25 in advance; $30 through 5/18; $35 day of.


4/21: Capt’n Bills Backyard Grill
4240 Market Street
Capt’n Bills gives you the chance to rock out and flaunt those secret volleyball skills at the 10th annual Port City Rock Against Rape Benefit Concert. Proceeds from all the day’s fun go toward the pivotal services offered by the Rape Crisis Center of Coastal Horizons Center in Wilmington. It’s sexual assault activism month, and you can show your support for a center that offers free and confidential 24-hour support to local rape victims. The day will include live music, raffle prizes, volleyball and cornhole tournaments, RAR Olympics and so much more!

Rims on the River • Riverfront Park
4/21 • Free! •
Ain’t nothing gonna beat this musical romp, which hits our riverfront just in time for Rims on the River, Wilmington’s largest car show, taking place all weekend long along downtown streets, April 20th-22nd. Aside from seeing tons of rip-roaring hot rods, this year’s concert is free! Second of all, it’s Southern Culture on the Skids—the silly trio with a heapin’ of rockabilly flair, steeped in sweet tea and biscuits, and served with a bucket of fried chicken for good measure. They play it all: surf, Americana, rock and what they call “swamp pop.” They croon with the most Southern pride in songs like “Zombiefied,” “Camel Walk,” “My Neighbor Burns Trash” and “Eight Piece Box.” Their outrageous style and raucous good-nature will make it a party not to miss. Oh, and it’s F-R-E-E for goodness sake!


Thalian Hall • 310 Chestnut St.
4/19, 8 p.m. • $14-$50
Who hasn’t dreamt of hitting the streets of a city like New York or Toronto, hailing a taxi and seeing lights illuminate across the top of the van, as the announcement hits home in sheer excitement: “Welcome to Cash Cab!” The Discovery Channel’s Canadian version of the TV series features stand-up comedian and host Adam Growe (not to be confused with New York’s Ben Bailey), a licensed taxi-cab driver and stand-up comedian who’s been on Comedy Central. He heads to Wilmington on the 19th as part of his current comedy tour, “The Adam Growe Quiz Show.” Essentially, he’s gonna crack up the audience in his comedic-trivia fashion, and he’ll even pay out a few members with cash directly from his pocket! Tickets can be purchased at

5/17-20, 24-26, 8 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. • $22 •
Thalian Hall • 310 Chestnut St.
Oh, boy—what a ride this will be! Thalian Association is bringing the ground-breaking 1983 Broadway musical “La Cage aux Folles,” with book by Harvey Fierstein, and lyrics and music by Jerry Herman, to Thalian Hall mid-May! A 10-time-plus Tony Award winner, as well as Drama Desk and Laurence Olivier winner, the show follows a gay couple’s hijinks and adventures between family and the everyday hilarity that comes with running a nightclub of drag queens. This most certainly will be the most flamboyant romp of spring!


Thrive Studios • 6622 Gordon Rd.
5/12, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. • Free!
The funky and outrageous art studio that brought “The Streets are Littered with Art” to Wilmington is busy creating a new collection for the non-traditional art lovers. “Mythos,” opening on Saturday, May 12th, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., will feature pieces by the studio’s co-owners, Gaeten Lowrie and Scott Ehrhart, as well as local artists who rent space: Zak Duff, Zachariah Weaver, Mike Watters, Rob Fogle and Rob Hassler. They collaborated on the theme “Mythos” to showcase diversity. Various pieces will be big, small, three-dimensional, hung on walls, cascading from the ceilings, etc. As long as there is some element of mythology or legends (whether those be the more common Greek myths, involving gods and goddesses; religious aspects; or Native American traditions), anything goes.

4/28-8/19 • $3-$8
Cameron Art Museum • 3201 S. 17th St.
North Carolina and the textiles industry have always gone hand-in-hand. The first cotton mill was created by Michael Schenck in North Carolina around 1815. Up until about 20 years or so, the manufacturing of clothing had greatly helped stabilize this state’s economy. Recently, however, the trend has been to send unfinished products and goods originally produced in North Carolina overseas, as to more efficiently turn them into finished products of clothing. The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) of Winston-Salem, NC, is bringing a textiles showcase to Wilmington’s Cameron Art Museum, titled “Out of Fashion,” from April 28th to August 19th. Thirteen artists and designers from all over the state have collaborated to combine art and fashion, giving hope to a rebirth of this once thriving industry.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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