By John Harper | Correspondent
African American Musicians of North Carolina
Nov. 5 to Dec. 30
The traveling exhibit, on display through Dec. 30, at the Ticket Sales Gallery at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, should be an eye-and-ear opening experience for those not familiar with the rich history of Black musicians from the Tar Heel State.
Among the notable names are Roberta Flack, Nina Simone, Petey Pablo, Maceo Parker and Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
It’s an introductory lesson, for sure, with brief histories of various genres — hip-hop, string bands, gospel, Piedmont Blues, jazz, folk, funk and soul/rhythm-and-blues — displayed on large poster boards.
There’s also an interactive touch screen that allows visitors to discover innovative, influential musicians from the state who cared little about fame, carving out a singular niche by going their own sweet way.
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
Where: Ticket Sales Gallery at Roanoke Island Festival Park, 1 Festival Park, across from the Manteo waterfront
Info: 252-423-5200. roanoke
Tommy V Trio
Nov. 26, Dec. 4 and Dec. 17
The trio, which includes Tom Vinick on guitar and vocals, Dana Silvercloud on bass and vocals and Lloyd Bohlinger on drums and vocals, sounds like they’re working on the ultimate Baby Boomer Spotify playlist.
The band plays three no-cover gigs in November and December at Poor Richard’s Sandwich Shop in Manteo.
Among the tunes the trio remakes are “Lay Down Sally,” “My Girl,” “Use Me,” “Groovin’,” “Running on Empty,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “How Sweet It Is” and “Into the Mystic.”
But they’re not straight-off-the-record recreations.
“We do everything with sort of a rhythm-and-blues flair,” says Vinick, who lives in Moyock (Silvercloud and Bohlinger live in Hampton Roads). “And we all sing, so the harmonies are there.”
All three musicians sing lead, with Vinick handling the lion’s share.
The trio also reinvents songs by Curtis Mayfield (“It’s Alright”), and Stevie Ray Vaughn (“Pride and Joy”), as well as knocking off a nifty medley of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going on” and Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day.”
Vinick (also known as “Dr. Tom”) is one of the businest musicians working on the Outer Banks. He plays solo and in various bands.
Vinick estimates he’s done about 2,000 gigs since arriving on the scene in 2005.
And what keeps the chiropractor-by-day, musician-by-night motivated?
“There’s nothing like seeing the audience react,” he says. “Tapping a foot, or singing along. It’s like a drug.”
When: 7 to 10 p.m.
Cost: No cover
Where: Poor Richard’s Sandwich Shop, 305 Queen Elizabeth Ave., Manteo waterfront
‘West Side Story’
Nov. 28, Dec. 1
The musical opened on Broadway in 1957 and was well-received.
But it really soared when it was turned into a movie in 1961, winning 10 Academy Awards, including “Best Picture.”
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the film’s release, “West Side Story” will be screened Nov. 28 and Dec. 1, at dozens of theatres, including R/C Movies 10 in Kill Devil Hills.
Adapted from Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet,” the film is set in 1950s New York City, with a plot that centers on lovers Tony (Richard Beymer) and Maria (Natalie Wood), who belong to rival teenage gangs — the Sharks and the Jets.
It’s a cultural clash that hasn’t aged.
Some theater titans were involved with making the high-energy movie, including composer Leonard Bernstein, lyricist Stephen Sondheim, playwright Arthur Laurents and choreographer Jerome Robbins.
Among the musical’s best-known songs are “Somewhere,” “Maria” and “I Feel Pretty.”
When: 3 p.m. Nov. 28 and 7 p.m. Dec. 1
Where: R/C Movies 10, 1803 N. Croatan Hwy., Kill Devil Hills.
Info: 252-441-5630, rectheatres.com
Theatre of Dare: ‘Little Shop of Horrors’
Nov. 5-7, 12-14
For its first production of the season, the local troupe stages the campy musical that’s based on director Roger Corman’s 1960 B-movie of the same name.
All performances will be at Manteo High School in Manteo.
With book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by the late Alan Menken, the pair responsible for the Disney movie soundtracks “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid,” among others, the play is set in a plant store.
A meek attendant named Seymour is the central character. He’s secretly in love with co-worker Audrey, who unfortunately is engaged to a sadistic dentist.
To impress his crush, he develops a man-eating plant, which goes rogue and threatens the world.
“What I like about the play is it’s dark but very funny,” says Daniel Ziegler, 31, who’s directing his sixth Theatre of Dare production. “There are some really over-the-top characters. And the music is upbeat, kind of classic Motown-sounding with multiple harmonies.”
Among the standout songs are “Skid Row,” “Suddenly Seymour” and “The Meek Shall Inherit.”
And not to give anything away, but Ziegler says the play’s ending differs from the movie’s.
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5, 6, 12 and 13, 2 p.m. Nov. 7 and Nov. 14
Where: Manteo High School, 829 Wingina Ave., Manteo