The Wilmington area offers a cornucopia of arts events this spring. Here’s a comprehensive overview.
ARDEN CONCERT GILD
Spring in Arden kicks off Saturday, April 11, with the global Afropop sensation Fatoumata Diawara—an explosive mix of funk and African dance with glorious costumes. Arden
Concerts next welcomes budding Nashville star Lera Lynn and her trio on Friday, April 17, fresh off her universally praised 2014 album The Avenues and a rousing performance on the The Late Show with David Letterman. On Friday, May 8, Arden will have critically acclaimed Baltimore indie/shoegaze/synth pop titans Lower Dens. Their new album, Escape From Evil, is an absolute breakthrough—think Beach House meets Future Islands, with Jana Hunter’s soaring vocals.
Arden Gild Hall, 2126 The Highway, Arden • 475-3126 • ardenconcerts.com
The region’s premier Early Music ensemble welcomes spring with Harpsichord Heaven. The annual early music festival highlights works performed on one of the largest private collections of antique instruments in the world. The festival runs April 24-26 and features such renowned international musicians as Arthur Haas, Luc Beauséjour, Janine Johnson, Adam Pearl and Davitt Moroney. A complete festival pass, including admission to three days of performances, the opening reception, all lectures and lunches, is $120. Details and tickets are available here.
The Barn at Flintwoods, 205 Center Meeting Rd., Wilmington • 877.594.4546 brandywinebaroque.org
CHRISTINA CULTURAL ARTS CENTER
Christina continues to produce first-rate live performances and creative programming for adults and youth. The Pivot, a monthly open mic night (second and fourth Fridays), draws some of the best local talent. On Saturday, April 18, Christina launches the First Annual Young People’s Festival of the Arts at the Laird Performing Arts Center of the Tatnall School. The Festival offers workshops on Songwriting, Modern Dance and Audition Techniques; live performances by faculty and guest artists; and the Delaware Premiere of Concrete Rose by choreographer Dara Stevens-Meredith, featuring Eleone Dance Theatre. Festival tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students. At CCAC’s Clifford Brown Performance Space, musical trio WeBe3 presents a performance and vocal workshop for regional singers on Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9, respectively. Concert tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Vocal workshop registration is $25 for students and $40 for adults; advance reservations are encouraged. 705 N. Market St., Wilmington • 652.0101 • ccacde.org
Cityfest, Inc., part of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, provides a variety of arts offerings for City visitors and residents to enjoy. Wilmington’s popular Art on the Town (artloopwilm.com)—a free self-guided tour occurring on the first Friday of each month—connects patrons with the latest visual art exhibitions and artists. Theatre N at Nemours (theatren.org) features weekly independent and foreign films in addition to special events and presentations by local filmmakers. The Visual Fringe Festival (fringede.org), May 20-24, will feature visual art exhibits and outdoor installations of non-traditional topics, materials or styles by visiting and local artists.
Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, 800 N. French St., Wilmington • 576.2100 wilmingtonde.gov/government/cityfest
CITY THEATER COMPANY
Delaware’s Off-Broadway closes out its 21st season with the Delaware premiere of Green Day’s American Idiot, running April 10-25. The two-time Tony Award-winning musical—based on the Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum album of the same name—is a multimedia rock opera following three friends as they search for meaning in a post 9/11 world. Songs include “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “21 Guns,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “Holiday” and “American Idiot.” CTC’s Fearless Improv team continues to deliver belly laughs to comedy fans on the second Saturday of each month at Penn’s Place in Old New Castle. Tickets for American Idiot are $25-$40; Fearless Improv tickets are $5. All are available now here.
Performance address: The Black Box at OperaDelaware Studios, 4 S. Poplar St., Wilmington • 220.8285 • city-theater.org
DELAWARE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The Symphony’s spring performances include the Chamber Concert at the DuPont Country Club (note the new venue) on Tuesday, April 14, at 8 p.m., and their Classics Concert at The Grand Opera House on Friday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. The Chamber Concert will feature works by Mozart and the piece Arcana by composer Kevin Puts, winner of the 2015 A.I. du Pont Composer’s Award. The Classics Concert celebrates works by Webern, Bach and Rachmaninoff. Tickets for both concerts are $66 and available at the Grand Box Office, 652.5577, or at ticketsatthegrand.org. Limited $10 tickets are offered for students under 21 with ID (by phone or in person).
818 N. Market St., Wilmington • 656.7442 • delawaresymphony.org
DELAWARE THEATRE COMPANY
This one gets two paws way up from Dewey the Art Dog! Delaware Theatre Company produces the new Broadway-bound musical Because of Winn Dixie (April 8-May 3), based on the award-winning children’s novel by Kate DeCamillo. A tale about the gentle and intimate friendship between a young girl and her dog, the production is poised to become the first Broadway musical starring a live dog as the main character. The show’s music is written by Duncan Sheik (Tony Award winner for Spring Awakening) with book and lyrics by Nell Benjamin (Broadway’s Legally Blonde: The Musical) and animal direction by Bill Berloni (Broadway’s award-winning dog trainer). Every Saturday during the production run, DTC will host adoption events in conjunction with Delaware animal shelters. In May, DTC joins forces with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra to present Stephen Sondheim’s Putting it Together. Stay tuned for more details!
200 Water St., Wilmington • 594.1100 • DelawareTheatre.org
THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE/THE PLAYHOUSE ON RODNEY SQUARE
April at The Grand is busy. On Thursday, April 9, David Sedaris returns to offer insightful observations delivered with his characteristic sardonic wit. Alt-rock singer-songwriter Johnette Napolitano brings her far-reaching vocals on Friday, April 17. Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals get things “Groovin” with feel-good ‘60s rock on Thursday, April 23. On Friday, April 24, spice up your spring at Grand Baile Latin Dance Night. End the month with The Grand’s Stage of Discovery show, The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley on Monday, April 27. The Grand also has announced several just-added shows: The Waterboys (Sunday, April 26); Ryan Adams (Tuesday, May 12); The Psychedelic Furs (Sunday, May 17), and Steven Wilson (Sunday, May 31).
Onstage at The Playhouse on Rodney Square, Camelot tells the legend of King Arthur as you’ve never seen it before, April 14-19. Then, laugh a little on Saturday, May 2, with Rich Little, the master mimic of more than 200 voices.
818 N. Market St., Wilmington • 800.37.GRAND
TheGrandWilmington.org for all Grand events
1007 N. Market St., Wilmington • 888-0200
ThePlayhouseDE.org for all Playhouse shows
DELAWARE ART MUSEUM
As Dewey the Art Dog and I say, there is no love like that of man’s best friend. The Art Museum proves it with Elliott Erwitt: Dog Dogs, on view through Sunday, May 24. The exhibit features photographs taken around the world by photojournalist Elliott Erwitt as he recorded the relationship between humans and their canine companions. Families are invited to the Dog Dogs Free Family Day on Sunday, April 19, from noon to 3:30 p.m., for dog-themed art activities and The Barker of Seville puppet show. Adult art lovers can stop by Art is Social: Dog Dogs on Friday, May 15, 7 to 10 p.m., for music by jazz band JD3, gallery games, dog-themed activities and treats, a cash bar and café. The event is free for museum members and $5 for non-members. Admission to the museum is free on Thursday evenings and Sundays.
2301 Kentmere Pkwy., Wilmington • 571.9590 • delart.org
DELAWARE CENTER FOR THE CONTEMPORARY ARTS
The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts will kick off April with a special Trailers, Tastes, and Trucks Art Loop on Friday, April 10 (note alternate Loop date), from 5-11 p.m., featuring WilmFilm Festival film trailers; wine, craft beer, and spirits tastings by Peco’s Liquor and Barry’s Events; a fantastic line-up of food trucks; and a DJ spinning movie soundtracks. At the Thursday, April 23, gala spring fundraising event make(r)evolution, the DCCA will highlight the work of artists exploring the medium of 3-D printing with on-site demos and a benefit sale of regional 3-D printed artworks. The DCCA’s Friday, May 1, Art Loop will feature the first Rolling Revolution Food Truck Rally and an album release party with Richard Raw performing from his new hip-hop album, Conversational Pieces. On May 3, contemporary and baroque ensemble Mélomanie will premiere composer Larry Nelson’s work “Moonbow.” Scheduled for Saturday, May 9, is the DCCA’s 2015 Gretchen Hupfel Symposium, Selfies and Social Robotics in the Digital Age, which will explore the historical, contemporary, and future contexts of the ways we both connect to and distance ourselves from face-to-face engagement in an age of social media. Exhibitions opening in April and May include Layering Constructs, with works by Margo Allman, Charles Burwell, and Antonio Puri; Relics by Drew Leshko; Whisper by David Slovic; and the Annual Members’ Juried Exhibition, New Eyes: Experimental Photography Today; as well as shows by DCCA studio artists Rachel Briggs, Hugh Atkins, Dan Jackson and Ken Mabrey.
200 S. Madison St., Wilmington • 656-6466 • thedcca.org
DELAWARE COLLEGE OF ART & DESIGN
Join the DCAD community for the opening reception of its 18th Annual Student Exhibition, on Friday, April 3, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Toni & Stuart B. Young Gallery. Enjoy the best student work from this past year, as selected by studio faculty. The work on display represents a variety of assignments and media from each of DCAD’s six majors: Animation, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design and Photography. The exhibition will be on display until April 24.
600 N. Market St., Wilmington • 622.8000 • dcad.edu
WORLD CAFE LIVE AT THE QUEEN
Musical spring has sprung in Wilmington. First up is the incomparable Sheila E., live on Wednesday, April 29; power-pop band Jukebox the Ghost on Wednesday, May 6; WXPN, AEG Live and World Cafe Live present Todd Rundgren on Saturday, May 16; Grateful
Dead tribute band Dark Star Orchestra hits the stage on Wednesday, May 27; and WCLQ and NOLAFUNK present Kermit Ruffins & the BBQ Swingers on Thursday, May 28.
500 N. Market St., Wilmington • 994-1400 • queen.worldcafelive.com
GABLE MUSIC VENTURES
Raise a glass for the City’s newest arts & culture happening—Wilmo Wednesdays—from Gable and World Cafe Live at the Queen. Every Wednesday at 7 p.m., Gable presents a curated variety show featuring live music, stand-up comedy, spoken word and slam poetry, storytelling and other forms of performance art. NOTE: This is not an open mic; interested performers should contact Jeremy Hebbel at email@example.com. Additional Gable projects include April 17 and May 15 Friday Singer Songwriter Showcases at the Queen; Betty & The Bullet at Cromwell’s Tavern on Saturday, April 18; and WilMusic Festival, a free event at Wilmington University featuring The Splashing Pearls, Nadjah Nicole, Minshara, Kevin McCove and more on Saturday, May 2.
Performance venues: World Cafe Live at the Queen, 500 N. Market St.; Extreme Pizza, 201 N. Market St., Wilmington gablemusicventures.com
Two Weekends, Three Programs = A Magical Spring Festival in Wilmington. The OperaDelaware series launches with Lakmé on Friday, May 8, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 16, 2 p.m. at the baby grand. Sharon Cheng stars as Lakmé, with the OperaDelaware chorus led by Maestro Anthony Barrese. For audiences who attend the performances of La Tragédie de Carmen, Peter Brook has transformed Bizet’s timeless classic, adding more passion, fresh blood and sexual fury than you’ve ever seen. Audrey Babcock’s portrayal of this seductive sorceress is irresistible. Shows are Saturday, May 9, and Friday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 17, at 2 p.m. at the Laird Center for the Performing Arts. On May 14-16 at 7:30 p.m., opera blends with the culinary arts in Wine, Women & Food. The event will feature Bon Appétit, a 20-minute, one-woman opera based on Julia Child’s famous chocolate cake episode, capturing all the joie de vivre of the original French chef.
4 S. Poplar St., Wilmington • 442.7807 • operade.org
MARKET STREET MUSIC
Market Street Music’s noted Thursday Noontime Concerts continue weekly through May 14, with lineups of jazz, bossa nova, choral music and an OperaDelaware preview. The final Festival Concert on Saturday, May 16, celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Gabriel Kney organ with a rare performance by concert organ virtuoso Nathan Laube. Laube has earned a place among the organ world’s elite performers with his brilliant playing and creative programming, which spans five centuries.
Performance address: First & Central Presbyterian Church, 1101 N. Market St., Wilmington • 654.5371 • marketstreetmusicde.org
Enjoy two art forms in one ticket! The provocative pairings of this ensemble are juxtaposed with contemporary works of the DCCA’s featured gallery artists. The concert at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 3, welcomes guest violinist Daniela Pierson and composer Larry Nelson. Nelson’s piece, Moonbow, will mark its Wilmington premiere with this performance, which also includes works of Vivaldi, Boismortier and Telemann.
Performance address: Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts,
200 S. Madison St., Wilmington • 764.6338 • melomanie.org
THE MUSIC SCHOOL OF DELAWARE
The Music School serves up musical experiences for the entire family this spring. On Saturday, April 18, at 5 p.m., the school celebrates its young alumni in a “Shining Stars” concert with artists Jennifer Campbell and Maria Scott, piano; Rachyl Duffy, viola; Witt Godden, singer/songwriter; Emma Scott, violin; and Alexander Weir, fiddle. Tickets are $5-10. The music continues on Sunday, May 3, at 4 p.m. for the Spring Choral Concert, which showcases performances by the Delaware Children’s Chorus, the Delaware Women’s Chorus (who will be prepping for their tour of Ireland in June) and special guest ensemble Brotherly Love, the chamber group from the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus. This performance is free. On Friday, May 15, the Wilmington Community Orchestra performs its final concert of the season with Winners of the Delaware Concerto Competition for Young Musicians. Tickets are $5-10.
4101 Washington St., Wilmington • 762.1132 • musicschoolofdelaware.org