The Wilmington area will get its first real taste of winter this weekend, but whatever your cold tolerance, there are plenty of fun events going on indoors and out.
One of the best bands to ever combine rock, blues and pop, the Texas trio known as ZZ Top brings its pandemic-delayed concert to Wilmington this weekend. Known for such epic rockers as "Legs," "Gimme All Your Lovin'" and "Sharp Dressed Man," the band has continued to tour since the death last summer of founder and bassist Dusty Hill. Before he passed, Hill had encouraged the band to continue playing. Singer/guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard will be joined by new bassist Elwood Francis, who is the band's longtime guitar tech.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at the CFCC Wilson Center, 703 N. Third St., Wilmington. Tickets start at $59, plus taxes and fees. 910-362-7999 or WilsonCenterTickets.com.
Wilmington band Happy Pill has been perking up ears recently, with with poppy songs whose catchiness can mask lyrics about subjects such as loneliness and addiction. Led by the singer and writer Adam Fenton, the tunes on Happy Pill's new album "Decent Descent" also feature, on some tracks, the angelic lead vocals of Julia Rothenberger, including on the bouncy, ethereal slice of pop perfection that is "Stain Home." This weekend, Happy Pill will play a show at Bourgie Nights downtown; opening act is Wilmington soul, R&B and rock singer Rebekah Todd.
Details: 9 p.m. Nov. 20 at Bourgie Nights, 127 Princess St., Wilmington. $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Saturday: Pickles, Pigs & Swigs
If you feel like making a drive out to the country this weekend, head out to Mount Olive in Duplin County for the first-ever Pickles, Pigs & Swigs festival. Centered on a N.C. Pork Council-sanctioned whole hog cooking competition, the festival will also feature live music, craft beer from Mount Olive-based R&R Brewing and plenty of the Mt. Olive pickles the town is known for. Vendors will be set up, and attendees can ride something called the Pickle Train. Wilson-based country band Shannon Baker & Sometime Soon plays at 11 a.m., followed by Mt.-Olive-based group The Harmony Boys at 1:30 p.m. Riggsbee Road, an all-female Raleigh country and bluegrass band led by Mount Olive native Shelley Kelly, plays at 4 p.m.
Details: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 20 at Southern Bank Park in Mount Olive. Barbecue pork plates are $10 each.
Find out all about how to care for camellias, look at some stellar examples on display and even purchase one to take home at this annual flower-focused event of the Tidewater Camellia Club. Make sure to get there early if you want to purchase a camellia, because available plants often sell out.
Details: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 20 at the New Hanover County Arboretum, 6206 Oleander Drive, Wilmington.
Open to the public for the first time since the pandemic, the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Cultural Arts Building Gallery opened its "Senior Exhibition, Fall 2021" last week. It features the work of 14 senior art majors employing a wide variety of media and styles. The artists are Kylie Baker, Micah Bland, Joe Calascibetta, Lindsey Carlton, Matt Epperly, Jenn Fincannon, Ann Miller, Devon Hamerski, Cassie Jenks, Taylor Whisnant, Anderson Puckett, Leanna Ruffin, Meredith Templeton and Cameron Walsh.
Details: The show will hang through Dec. 11. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday in the UNCW CAB Gallery.
The drama department of Cape Fear Community College presents the final weekend of this play by by Melanie Marnich, the program's first indoor production since the pandemic. Under the direction of theater instructor Benjamin Lishner, the student cast will perform the heartbreaking story of "the Radium Girls": watch-making employees of the Radium Dial Company who died after being exposed to radiation in the 1920s, an exposure the company knew about but allowed to continue. The women fought back against their treatment to help make working conditions safer for those who came after them.
Details: 8 p.m. Nov. 18-20 at the CFCC Wilson Center's studio theater, 703 N. Third St., Wilmington. $12, $10 for CFCC faculty and staff, $5 for students. 910-362-7999 or WilsonCenterTickets.com.
On the heels of last month's Bluegrass Jam concert, Thalian Hall keeps the local theme going but switches up the musical genres when the historic venue presents its Reggae Jam on Sunday afternoon and evening. Things start off outdoors, with music by Wilmington's OMNI Percussion Ensemble, along with beer from Waterline Brewing and food from Tasty Tee's. Then the concert moves indoors with performances by Wilmington reggae acts Paleo Sun, DHIM and Amani Smith & The Give Thanks Band. Wilmington's reggae queen Kimberly "The Night Nurse" McSmith will host, and artist Cammeron Batanides will do a live painting of the event to commemorate the occasion.
Details: 2:30 p.m. at Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut St., Wilmington.
As part of its "emerging artists" concert series, Chamber Music Wilmington presents the 17-year-old Durham cello player Marcus Gee performing with Wilmington pianist Elizabeth Loparits of UNCW's Department of Music. Gee, who attends the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University and has studied under well-regarded cellist Amit Peled (who has himself performed in Wilmington), will perform a program of works by Dvořák, Rachmaninoff, Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolla and French romantic composer Saint-Saëns.
Details: 2 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Cameron Art Museum, 3201 S. 17th St., Wilmington. $10. 910-395-5999.
It's the last weekend for the University of North Carolina Wilmington theater department's production of "The Christians," a play by Lucas Hnath that looks at what happens when a megachurch pastor begins to lead his congregation in a direction not all of them want to go. Theater professor Christopher Mario directs an all-student cast. In his review for the StarNews, Bob Workmon writes that "this is more than a play about Christians for Christians, even if the mystery of faith gets a workout. 'The Christians' goes a journey into the dilemma of what happens when the people around us — people we think we know, and who we love —change."
Details: 8 p.m. Nov. 18-20, 2 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Mainstage Theatre in the Cultural Arts Building, UNCW campus. Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors and $6 for students and children. Masks required. 910-962-3500 or UNCWarts.universitytickets.com
Contact John Staton at 910-343-2343 or John.Staton@StarNewsOnline.com.
This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Events this weekend include The Christians, ZZ Top, Happy Pill & more