Craving Culinary Comfort
The Bullets Reload
Our Picks for the Oscars
It On From The St. Paddy’s Parade to a Wildflower Celebration, here are plenty of reasons to get out there
MARCH 2022 COMPLIMENTARY
CLIFFORD BROWN INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY AWARDS CONCERT Featuring the Clifford Brown Festival Orchestra & Special Guest
Friday April 29, 2022
Go to www.cityfestwilm.com for info & nominations 2 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
31st Annual presents the
St. Paddy’s Loop!
SATURDAY MARCH 12 2PM START
ONE $10 COVER GAINS ADMISSION TO ALL CLUBS
DELAWARE’S BIGGEST ST. PADDY’S CELEBRATION! OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM • 302.655.6483
Christiana Fashion Center | 302 731 2700 Wilmington 5603 Concord Pike | 302 529 8888
waxcenter.com First-time guests only. Valid only for select services. Additional terms may apply. Participation may vary; please visit waxcenter.com for general terms and conditions. European Wax Center locations are individually owned and operated. © 2022 EWC Franchise, LLC. All rights reserved. European Wax Center® is a registered trademark.
–– A not-for-profit arts organization ––
The Tannahill Weavers
SAT | MAR 19 | 8PM | $25 Your favorite Grateful Dead songs with a bluegrass twist.
FRI | MAR 25 | 8PM | $20 Traditional Celtic music at its best! Filled with firedriven instrumentals & a good dose of humour.
SAT | APR 2 | 8PM | $35-$90 Two-time Emmy award-winning hip hop violinist.
SAT | APR 2 | 8PM | $23 Described by The NY Times as “one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today.”
THU | APR 7 | 8PM | $37 Celebrated acoustic solo pianist has inspired both fans and musicians for more than 40 years.
Alton Brown LIVE!: Beyond the Eats SAT | APR 9 | 8PM | $53-$130 Expect comedy, music, highly unusual cooking demos, and dangerous sciencey stuff.
Béla Fleck: My Bluegrass Heart THU | APR 14 | 8PM | $37-$47 15-time Grammy award winner brings bluegrass to life in new album.
One Night in Memphis FRI | APR 15 | 8PM | $34-$40 Presley, Perkins, Lewis, and Cash in one rocking concert tribute.
Riverdance: The 25th Anniversary Show APRIL 22-24 | $40-$99 Celebrate the magic of Irish music and dance in this reinvention of the groundbreaking show.
SAT, APRIL 9, 2022 8PM | $38-$47 Copeland Hall
TheGrandWilmington.org 302.652.5577 | 302.888.0200
818 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.
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All tickets subject to box office service charges. Artists, dates, times and programs are subject to change.
MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL
YOU ARE NOT
ALONE. YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS NOW. ETS K C I T AS W O AS L
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6 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
FEB. 23–MAR. 20, 2022 GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!
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2 INSIDE 2
Out & About Magazine Vol. 35 | No. 1
START 9 War on Words
11 FYI 15 Worth Recognizing 19 Art Loop Wilmington 21 Author William F. Crandell 23 Foiling Fowl Foes
FOCUS 26 Spring It On
EAT 35 Craving Culinary Comfort
LISTEN Published each month by TSN Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact@TSNPub.com Wilmington, DE 19801
39 The Bullets Reload
WATCH 41 A Bluesman’s Story 43 Olivia’s First Cut 46 Our Picks for the Oscars
Publisher Gerald duPhily • email@example.com Director of Publications Jim Miller • firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Editor Bob Yearick • email@example.com Creative Director & Production Manager Matthew Loeb, Catalyst Visuals, LLC
48 Reimagined Cyrano
PLAY 49 Fill in the Blanks
WILMINGTON 50 In the City 52 On the Riverfront
Digital Services Director Michael O’Brian
Contributing Writers Jill Althouse-Wood, Danielle Bouchat-Friedman, Adriana Camacho-Church, JulieAnne Cross, David Ferguson, Mark Fields, Pam George, Lauren Golt, Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald, Ken Mammarella, Matt Morrissette, John Murray, Larry Nagengast, Kevin Noonan, Scott Pruden, Leeann Wallett
On the cover: Design by Matthew Loeb, Catalyst Visuals
All new inWilmDE.com coming this month.
All new inWilmDE.com coming this month.
Contributing Photographers Jim Coarse, Justin Heyes and Joe del Tufo/Moonloop Photography, Butch Comegys, Lindsay duPhily, Matthew Loeb, Matt Urban Special Projects John Holton, Cullen Robinson, Bev Zimmermann
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Editorial & advertising info: 302.655.6483 • Fax 302.654.0569 outandaboutnow.com • firstname.lastname@example.org MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
LOUIS COMFORT TIFFANY Treasures from the Driehaus Collection
March 12 – June 5, 2022 Louis Comfort Tiﬀany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection was organized by the Richard H. Driehaus Museum and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC. This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Sewell C. Biggs and foundations including the Choptank Foundation. This exhibition is sponsored by M&T Bank and made possible in Delaware by the Hallie Tybout Exhibition Fund for American Art and the Johannes R. and Betty P. Krahmer American Art Exhibition Fund. This exhibition is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com. | Image: Tiﬀany Studios, Group of lamps (birds-eye detail). Photograph by John Faier. © The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.
2301 Kentmere Pkwy | Wilmington, DE 19806 | 302.571.9590 | delart.org
8 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
A writer/editor’s slightly snarky and relentless crusade to eliminate grammatical gaffes from our everyday communications
Compiled from the popular column in Out & About Magazine
THE WAR ON WORDS A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse
PRONUNCIATIONS I always thought biopic (a movie dramatizing the life of a particular person, typically a public or historical figure) was pronounced bi-opic, rhyming with myopic. I recently discovered that it’s actually pronounced bio-pic. That led me to consider other common mispronunciations. There’s a seasonal word that’s being mispronounced almost nightly by weather forecasters: arctic. Many of them (we’re looking at you, Chris Sowers, 6ABC in Philly) don’t bother to pronounce the first c, making it ar-tic. Another seasonal but less current word is Halloween. Some of us say Hollow-een. But remember, it’s derived from “All Hallows’ Eve,” so it should be pronounced Hal-oh-een. Then there’s the popular Italian appetizer bruschetta. It’s not broo-shetta; it’s broo-sket-a. And echelon is not ES-alon, or ETCH-alon, or EK-alon. It’s ESH-alon. Not that I use it much, but another word I would have mispronounced until recently is ennui (listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement). It’s pronounced ahn-wee. THIS & THAT •The difference between an acronym and an initialism is simple: The former is an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word (NASA, VIN, PIN, OSHA, etc.). An initialism is an abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately. FBI, for instance. •Sooner rather than later is a redundant, rather useless phrase. The sense of the expression is incomplete. Sooner and not later than what? Why not simply say “soon”? •The term horseback riding, when you think of it, is rather superfluous. How else are you going to ride a horse? I’m told that in England and Ireland it’s simply “horse riding.” •And finally, and perhaps for the last time (I’ve probably said that before), let’s consider the term begs the question. It does not mean “raises a question,” although that’s the way it’s used in almost every case. It is a scholarly term for reaching unwarranted or unsubstantiated conclusions, or to assume as a fact the very thing you are trying to prove. One example that’s often cited: “Parallel lines never meet because they are parallel.”
Word of the Month
seraphic Pronounced suh-RAF-ik, it’s an adjective meaning like an angel: serene, beautiful, pure, blissful, etc.
MEA CULPA Reader Mike Logothetis writes to correct our gaffe in the February “War on Words,” in which this appeared: “Below are a list of open routes in your area. (The subject is the singular below, so the verb should be is.)” Our conclusion was right but, as Mike points out, our reasoning was wrong. The subject of the sentence is list, not below. Thanks for being another careful reader, Mike.
By Bob Yearick
How long, oh Lord, how long? Crepe's gets an apostrophe but tomatoes doesn't, demonstrating once again the inconsistency of apostrophe abusers.
DEPARTMENT OF REDUNDANCIES DEPT. Stephanie Farr in the The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Her first introduction to music came at age 3 . . . Reader Debbie Layton came across this in The News Journal: “The New Castle recipient was a single mother of two twins with autism.” MEDIA WATCH •Reader Rick Straitman caught MSNBC reporting that conspiracy theorists do not fit the stereotype of the gullible, ignorant yahoo. In doing so, the report concluded: “This is proof that these people run the gambit.” As Rick notes, the correct word is gamut (range, scope). A gambit is a ploy or maneuver. •The Inquirer gave us this: “Engram replaces the void left by Joe Rudolph, who left for Virginia Tech.” A void (a vacuum or hole) is filled, not replaced. •The estimable Inky columnist Marcus Hayes created this rare dangler: “After a 3.5-sack season that graded out as his worst since 2013, Roseman faces this question: Is Cox, now 31, worth the $15 million cap hit he’d carry if he stays in 2022?” Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox had those 3.5 sacks, not Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman. •A reader submits this from a story by Xerxes Wilson in The News Journal: “Witnesses called by Drumgo had previously wrote . . .” The past perfect of write, of course, is written. LITERALLY OF THE MONTH •This month we welcome the GOAT himself, Tom Brady, late of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In announcing his retirement, Brady said: “I have literally given everything to the game.” Everything, Tom? Your houses, your cars, your $6 million yacht? On the contrary, it can be argued that the game has given you those things.
Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords
NEED A SPEAKER FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION? Contact me for a fun presentation on grammar: email@example.com.
Buy The War on Words book at the Hockessin Book Shelf (hockessinbookshelf.com) or on Amazon, or email me.
"WILMINGTON is Working" Join us in creating an equitable future where workers, employers, and communities collaborate to grow a thriving and prosperous workforce. As a National Fund for Workforce Solutions partner community, Wilmington Alliance is proud to lead one of only 32 regional workforce development collaboratives located across the country. To learn about the National Fund visit https://nationalfund.org/ Across our city, innovators are exploring new ways to build community relationships, connect diverse populations, and create economic opportunity through effective workforce development initiatives. YOUR INVOLVEMENT HELPS TO CREATE THIS VISION. Won't you join us in this important work as we seek to remove barriers to employment, foster equity in economic mobility and create strategies that meet your workforce needs? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. Wilmington is Working | Wilmington is Growing | Wilmington is Thriving
10 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
START Things worth knowing
DRA RELEASES 'STATE OF THE INDUSTRY' REPORT
recent report released by the Delaware Restaurant Association (DRA) indicates that two years into the pandemic, restaurants continue to struggle to stay open amid a surge in coronavirus cases, inflation, labor shortages and supply chain delays. According to the report, the state’s restaurant industry is down 4,300 jobs from pre-pandemic levels. The report indicates more than 650,000 jobs were lost early in the pandemic. A recent DRA survey of members indicates: • 90% of restaurants experienced a decline in customer demand for indoor onpremises dining in recent weeks, because of the increase in coronavirus cases due to the omicron variant. • 86% of operators report that business conditions are worse now than three months ago • 80% say their restaurant is less profitable now than it was before the pandemic • 7 in 10 employers say their restaurant currently does not have enough employees to support customer demand; most operators expect their labor challenges to continue throughout 2022 • 70% have reduced hours of operation during days they are open • 50% closed on some days when they would normally be open • 30% reduced seating capacity For more info, visit DelawareRestaurant.org
Photo by Butch Comegys
WILMINGTON GRAND PRIX RETURNS
fter a two-year break due to COVID restrictions, the three-day Wilmington Grand Prix cycling event and festival returns to Wilmington May 13-15. For the 13th year, the event is part of USA Cycling’s National Race Calendar and is considered one of the premier criterium-format races in the U.S. In 2019, the last year the event was held, cyclists from 21 states and seven countries participated. Grand Prix Weekend opens with the Monkey Hill Time Trial and Kick-off Party in Brandywine Park on May 13. The event features the nationally known cobblestone climb up Monkey Hill while the crowd enjoys live music, food trucks and a tailgate atmosphere. The Major Taylor Community Ride will kick off activities on Sat., May 14 as the public is invited to join regional Major Taylor cycling clubs and pro racers for a recreational ride of the Grand Prix racecourse. The amateur and pro races will follow with free activities and course-side cafes lining Market Street. Sunday sees the return of the nationally acclaimed Governor’s Ride and Delaware Gran Fondo, where local riders join out-of-towners and pro racers for a scenic ride of the Brandywine Valley that starts at the Delaware Art Museum and takes cyclists past a dozen cultural attractions — including once-a-year opportunities to ride through the grounds of Hagley and Winterthur museums. Visit WilmGrandPrix.com
NEW PEDESTRIAN-CYCLING CONNECTOR OPENS IN NEWARK
he Charles Emerson Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge has recently opened in Newark. Named after a former director of Newark Parks & Recreation, the bridge provides a crossing for walkers, runners and cyclists over the White Clay Creek along Paper Mill Road. The Bridge introduces a safe connection between Downtown Newark, Pomeroy Trail and Olan Thomas Park toward Paper Mill Park, the Newark Reservoir, neighborhoods north of the downtown area and White Clay Creek State Park. Bike Newark and the City of Newark are planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Visit BikeNewark.org MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 11
Things worth knowing
THE END OF A BOOK LOVER’S TRADITION
he Wilmington Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is ending its tradition of used-book sales. The 54th and final sale will be held April 2-3 (10am-5pm both days) at its Book Room (8 Germay Drive, Wilm.). Since 1969, the AAUW Used Book Sale has united thousands of donors, buyers and volunteers — plus hundreds of thousands of books, audiobooks, CDs, DVDs, vinyl records, games and puzzles. The events spread information and ideas, recycled physical media and, most importantly, funded college scholarships for New Castle County women. The Wilmington Branch hopes to continue the scholarships through donations. “A college degree is such an important foundation for a lifetime of financial success and contributing to society, and we are happy to have helped so many deserving women,” said Trina Gardner, Booksale Chair. “And we will continue to do so, with your generous support.” Interested donors should reach out to the Branch at email@example.com. Information about the scholarships is available at Wilmington-de.aauw. net/scholarships.
WILMINGTON’S JUDY JOHNSON INCLUDED IN FIELD OF LEGENDS BOBBLEHEADS
ilmington baseball legend Judy Johnson is included in the officially licensed Negro Leagues Field of Legends Bobbleheads recently released as part of Black History Month and the anniversary of the founding of the Negro National League. The bobbleheads, which replicate the 13 life-size statues featured on the Field of Legends at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) in Kansas City, Mo., features Johnson, who is considered one of the best third basemen to play in the Negro Leagues. Judy Johnson Field at Daniel S. Frawley Stadium is named for him. This marks the largest bobblehead puzzle set in terms of both size and number of pieces. Proceeds from the sale will add to the total of over $35,000 raised for the NLBM through the sale of bobbleheads since the Centennial Bobblehead Series was introduced in 2020. Visit BobbleheadHall.com
NOMAD REOPENS MARCH 10
fter nearly two years of being closed due to COVID, Wilmington's intimate music club known as The Nomad will reopen on Thursday, March 10 with a live performance by Darnell Miller and The Souldaires. The reopening has been a long time coming. “It feels good,” David Vandever who, along with his wife, Linda, has owned the club for 11 years. Being that the club is so intimate, the Vandevers felt that up until now, safety concerns and restrictions had left them with no choice but to keep The Nomad shuttered. “We’re optimistic,” he adds. “We feel the time is right.” Following the Souldaires show, The Nomad’s opening weekend will consist of Tony “Big Cat” Smith on Friday, March 11 and Island Vibes on Saturday, March 12. You can find The Nomad at 905 Orange Street. Look for the neon OPEN sign. 12 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com
MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
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The Zoo is free through March 18. Beginning on March 19, entrance fees go into effect.
Visit or Join Today • brandywinezoo.org Brandywine Zoo, Wilmington, DE • FREE PARKING
1001 North Park Drive, Wilmington, Delaware 19802 • Open every day 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
14 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
The Brandywine Zoo is managed by the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation, with the support of the Delaware Zoological Society.
Community Members Who Go Above & Beyond
TAKING IT TO THE STREETS Lindsey Warren brightens the community by pinning her poems to walls, trees and more By Adriana Camacho-Church Poet Lindsey Warren has written about (and around) Wilmington.
purple push pin holds the poem in place. It sits on the cracked bark of a slim tree near the corner of 4th and North Market Street A typewriter was used for this one. On the other side of Wilmington, across I-95, a poem is tapped to a wooden weathered telephone post. It stands on the corner of 4th and Bancroft Parkway near St. Thomas the Apostle Church. This one is handwritten on bright pink paper. Last summer, poems on stone walls, trees, streetlight posts, telephone posts, and graveyard rails began cropping up all over Wilmington. They were written on bright yellow, blue, or other color paper. Signed by Lindsey Warren, the poems still appear today. “Have you ever heard of land art?" asks Warren, 36, a poet, writer and multi-media artist. “It was an art movement that came up in the latter half of the 20th century in which artists were taking their work out of the galleries and into nature. Nature would have its way with the pieces. This inspired me to do this with poetry. “There is so much ugly in the world right now. Let’s bring it (poetry) off of the dead, white-man shelf and into the living, breathing world. Let’s live in it. Poetry is beauty, poetry is life.” Warren’s street poetry has another, deeper purpose. “I was born here,” she says. “These poems are about Wilmington and the memories I have of growing up here. It’s my way of saying thank you and of acknowledging the things, people, and places that make up my life that make me who I am today.”
The poem on the telephone post starts with the following words: All stars all winds pink over the stone steps of St. Thomas the Apostle Church where a fire waits detached from heaven to pierce the heart A glorious pink-petaled magnolia outside of St. Thomas the Apostle Church stirs Warren’s memory. “It blooms but for a brief time,” says Warren, who came to this church as a child and attended school here. “Yet its message of the coming of spring is loud and profound. It’s a symbol outside of the church that inspires meditation on death, joy and rebirth. “Divinity is all around us, not just in churches and temples.” This is the message Warren hopes her street poetry conveys for those who take the time to stop to read it. “It is in Market Street in the energy of people moving about their lives. It is in the sense of being alive and in participating in the movement of life regardless of where you are or who you are. This energy is hope and connection.” James Bourey, 74, says he felt very connected to the poem posted outside St. Elizabeth Church on South Broom Street. “It evokes a time and place that resides in my own memory. An aura of sadness, quietness, and a dawning. Images of people stirring, beginning their day. I could go on.” ►
" Artists are magical helpers. Evoking symbols and motifs that connect us to our deeper selves, they can help us along the heroic journey of our own lives. " —Joseph Campbell, American scholar (1904-1987)
MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM XX
TAKING IT TO THE STREET continued from previous page
200 S. Madison St., Wilmington, DE 19801 302.656.6466 | decontemporary.org
NARRATIVE Let the stories begin!
Saturday, April 9, 2022 6 - 9 PM
The poem starts with the words: evening turns off a star where a frosty wind lost a fang Bourey describes Warren’s street poetry as “a terrific act of artistic generosity.” “People will stop and read these poems,” he says. “It’ll be a pause in their day, they’ll consider the beauty of the lines, think about something away from their busy lives. They’ll have a moment of reflection, perhaps be a little surprised. It’s a personal benefit that can carry over into their interactions with others. And adding beauty to city streets is just plain good for the place. I’d like to see it happen all over the country.” When Warren lived across from St. Francis Hospital on Clayton Street, she witnessed ambulances, people coming and going, traffic and other busyness. “There was something always going on,” she says. “It was a working corner for the hospital. It made that corner very alive. It gave me a sense of being alive, of participating although I was witnessing. As an artist, we bare witness. It is our job to pay attention. At the age of 12 Warren started writing poetry. “I wanted to be a nun at that age and I wrote prayers a lot. Over time my prayers became poems — I guess they still are prayers. “Poetry is my way of placing my (to quote fellow Delaware artist David Hazardous) ‘fingertips on the lips of the gods.’ It helps me get in contact with the divine, with my desires, with the gorgeous natural world. It allows me to build a space in which my feelings can be strong and thrive.” Warren has a Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in poetry from Cornell University, where she taught creative writing as part of her master’s program. She has been published in multiple journals, including the American Literary Review and has three collections of poetry published: Unfinished Child, Archangel & the Overlooked (cover art by Delaware artist Kati Driscoll) and Sentence, Forest (cover art by Delaware artist Yarissa Luna). The recipient of a 2015 Delaware Division of the Arts Emerging Artist fellowship and a finalist for the Joy Harjo Prize, Warren‘s first chapter of her novel-in-progress I Think My Body into Light was published by Litbreak Magazine in 2020. When not working as a substitute teacher at St. Elizabeth High School in Wilmington, teaching theology, math, and study hall, she holds poetry workshops at local libraries and is the co-founder and co-host of a poetry podcast. Warren’s dream job? “I like working with creative young people. I would love to be a creative writing teacher.” — Find Warren’s books at: Amazon.com and Spuytenduyvil. net Listen to her podcast at: Alt-erna-verse.com. Visit her website: lindseywarrenpoetry.com
16 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Danielle Johnson Arden Shady Grove Photo by Joe del Tufo
FLAVOR STAGE LAUGHS SCENE
FIND IT ALL HERE:
Friday, March 4 5pm Start
Next Art Loop Wilmington:
Friday, April 1, 2022 RIVERFRONT The Delaware Contemporary 200 South Madison Street 656-6466 • decontemporary.org
Artists: Foodies, Close to Home and Natura
A program of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
Mezzanine Gallery at the Carvel State Building
BEYOND THE CITY Arden Buzz Ware Village Center
820 N. French Street 577-8278 arts.delaware.gov
2119 The Highway, Arden 981-4811
City of Wilmington’s Redding Gallery
Artist: Recycle, Repurpose...... RE-IMAGINE, Colleen Zufelt
Artists: SMITHOPOLIS - illustrations by Nathan Paul Smith
800 N. French Street 576-2100 • cityfestwilm. com/redding-gallery
MKT Place Gallery
Artist: Erica Jones
Delaware College of Art & Design 600 N. Market Street 622-8000 • dcad.edu Artist: Alumni & Friends Exhibition
200 W. 9th Street 438-6545 Artists: Joshua Ruggeri and Geraldo Gonzalez
803-C Brandywine Blvd 547-2573 • bellefontearts.com Artist: March Mashup
Music School of Delaware
3829 Kennett Pike, Greenville 218-4411
4101 N. Washington Street 762-1132 musicschoolofdelaware.org
COCA Pop-Up Gallery Artists: Group Show
Artist: Flavia Loreto
Gallery at Grace Church Lumina Arts Incubator
David’s Studio and Gallery Salon
WEST END & WEST SIDE
900 N. Washington Street 331-0719
Blue Streak Gallery
2324 Cherry Lane, Arden 545-7489 Artist: “Rise Up” and Life’s Works by David A. Burslem
Artist: Texture, Color, and Form: Explorations by Melissa Benbow
The Grand Opera House 818 N. Market Street 658-7897 thegrandwilmington.org
Grand Gallery: Ralph Della-Volpe Fine Arts baby grand Gallery: “The Book of Ralph: Eternal Fantasy” by Ralph Marley
1721 Delaware Avenue 429-0506
Artist: Howard Pyle Studio Show
Delaware Center for Horticulture 1810 N. Dupont Street 658-6262 • thedch.org Artist: From the Bricks, to the Sticks, to the Sea by Margarete Noesner
Most exhibitions listed here continue through January
happy couples i e s · r e ce p
harry's does it all
e r s · ce r e m
r e he a
noon-3pm · tickets: $10
sunday march 20
winter wedding expo:
d in n e r s · s h
www.harrysweddings.com | #HarrysIDo photography by: chicka artistica photography
20 FEBRUARY 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
START Crandell, who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam, writes about another veteran, Jack Kennedy. Photo provided
Milton author puts young Congressman Kennedy in the middle of a late-1940s murder mystery set in Washington
By Bob Yearick
illiam F. Crandell was raised in northwestern Ohio, was an infantry officer in Vietnam, suffered a foot wound there, and is a fan of Mark Twain and Raymond Chandler — all traits he shares with private detective Jack Griffin, the protagonist of his novel, Let’s Say Jack Kennedy Killed the Girl. The whodunit is set in Washington D.C. at the dawn of the Cold War and is the first in what will be four Jack Griffin novels with equally intriguing titles: If Only Truman Were Dead (scheduled to be published this summer); But Patton’s Dead. Right?, and Mr. Hoover Will Hate This. Now a resident of Milton, in Sussex County, Crandell has been writing since his high school days in Toledo, when he reported on events at his school for a weekly newspaper. He went on to Ohio State University — his parents’ alma mater — where he majored in political science and became a second lieutenant in the Army through the ROTC program Following graduation, Lt. Crandell was sent to Vietnam, where he served in the III Corps near Saigon. His unit was ambushed, and he was hit by shrapnel. “We were supposed to be ambushing the Viet Cong,” he says, “but our location and intent were betrayed, so they were waiting for us.” He says he joined the Army because he wanted to serve
and to test himself. “I expected to do the job well and make a difference, at a point in my life where I needed that.” Like many veterans, his time in the service changed him.
No More ‘Crip-Crap’
“Serving in Vietnam made me appreciate life, having nearly given mine,” he says. “I questioned authority more after Vietnam, treasured my friends, stopped worrying about crip-crap.” He returned to Ohio State and earned a master’s in American history and political science, then stayed on to get a Ph.D. in American history. ► MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
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KRESTONWINES.COM 22 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
WHODUNIT? JFK? Of his professional career, Continued from previous page Crandell says: “Every job I’ve held since leaving the Army has been based on my writing skills.” He wrote reports and strategic plans, among other papers, many of them while working for the Department of Veterans Affairs. In his spare time he wrote fiction, a sideline that has flourished since he and his wife of 33 years, Judith Speizer Crandell — also a novelist — moved to Milton. The vibrant town’s population has grown from 2,576 in the 2010 census to 3,291 as of 2020, and the Crandells have found it to be a veritable literary hotbed. They joined a seven-member writers group that he says has been very helpful. More important, two of the members were connected with Devil’s Party Press, which has called Milton home since 2017. Crandell’s short story, “The Last Lootenant Wins His Fuckin’ Medal,” was published in DPP’s What Sort of Fuckery Is This? anthology, and has won several prizes, including first place in the short story category of the National Federation of Press Women’s 2020 Communications Contest. Some of his other short stories have appeared In this fictionalized novel, in several recent anthologies. Congressman Jack Kennedy DPP, which published Let’s Say Jack is a prime murder suspect. Kennedy Killed the Girl in December, calls it “an action-packed, hard-boiled bullet train of adventure and intrigue set in the backdrop of Washington D.C., and featuring an array of fictionalized real-life historical characters.” Of the series of novels, Crandell says: “Years on Capitol Hill and in federal law enforcement agencies have given me a player’s knowledge of how crime and power operate, amid the dedication and the slime beneath the skin of America’s capital.”
Five-Cent Coke In Let’s Say. . ., the author captures the zeitgeist of late-1940s Washington with plenty of cultural references. Some, like Alan Ladd, the Barrymores, and the Washington Senators baseball team, will be recognizable only by readers of a certain age. Others, like a five-cent Coke and 20 cents for The New Yorker, lend a sense of economic verisimilitude to the story. Crandell is a colorful writer, using frequent similes that range from the creative (“I sank like a heavy dew into my swivel chair”) to the strained (“His voice sounded like a prep school boy staring at a physics exam after a night of tossing back cheap gin and smoking Luckies”). Even his characters speak in similes. Young Jack Kennedy declaims: “I hung onto that (the knowledge that he wasn’t a killer) like the bottom rung of a rope ladder hanging over Hell.” Besides Washington — actually Silver Spring, Md. — the Crandells have lived in Albany, N.Y., the Catskills, and, of course, Toledo, where their daughter still lives. But now they are comfortably settled in their retirement home in Milton. “We like it here very much,” says Crandell, adding that the town is close to excellent restaurants in Lewes and Rehoboth, and, of course, the beach. “We make it a requirement that we get to the beach at least once a week,” he says.
START Border collies have helped solve the local geese nusiance at area properties.
FOILING FOUL FOWLS Geese Chasers’ border collies scare off Canada geese and their attendant droppings from parks, reservoirs, housing developments and other areas
By Bob Yearick
ob Young has an allergy to dogs, but like most parents, he would do anything for his kids, and his wanted a dog, so the family acquired a border collie. The breed is known for its boundless energy, and with the kids in school, the job of giving Boomer his required exercise often fell to the paterfamilias. One day, after Young had turned Boomer loose on a ball field, he was approached by the owner of a nearby golf course that was plagued by flocks of Canada geese and their copious droppings. The man told Young he had recently read that border collies were effective in controlling geese, and would Young consider bringing his dog to the course periodically to chase the irksome birds? In exchange, he would give Young and his son golf lessons. Young agreed, and Boomer began spending hours gleefully chasing geese off the course. While he never took the golf lessons, watching Boomer work stirred Young’s entrepreneurial spirt. Why not, he thought, acquire more border collies and hire them out to golf courses, parks and other areas plagued by the foul fowls? Thus was born the predictably named Geese Chasers. That was 1998. While Young continued to work in the medical field, his side business, headquartered in Mt. Laurel, N.J., grew to 11 franchises, including Delaware, that reach as far west as Chicago. In fact, Young says, Geese Chasers has grown between 15 and 25% every year since its inception. And no wonder. Flocks of Canada geese (that’s the correct name; not “Canadian geese”) plague public, commercial and corporate properties, reservoirs, golf courses, housing developments, lakes, and ponds. Generally, the offenders are not the migratory birds seen flying south in a V-formation every fall; they are resident geese that stay in an area year-round.
The birds are attracted to any area with a large expanse of grass or water. They can cause several problems, almost all related to their feces, which is ample. Both the males, which weigh 6 to 14 pounds, and females, weighing 5 to 12 pounds, can produce 1 to 2 pounds of droppings daily. The poop can degrade water, make walkways unusable, and foul mowers and other maintenance equipment. The birds also often tear out grass by its roots. And during nesting season, they tend to be aggressive toward humans. ►
MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
The droppings can cause health issues such as E. coli, says Kerri Stinger, who owns the Geese Chasers franchise for Delaware and southern New Jersey. She employs seven handlers and five border collies who are currently kept busy treating more than 30 properties in the two states. “I’ve treated properties with lakes where people can no longer swim because of the pollution, walkways that nobody can even step on,” she says. One of her satisfied customers is the City of Newark, which began using the service in 2018 to chase geese from the Newark reservoir. The 317-million-gallon reservoir is both a recreational park and raw water storage facility for the city’s water treatment plant. “Geese are a direct point source of bacteria and nitrate to the reservoir,” says Mark Neimeister, Water Operations superintendent for the city. “Prior to 2018, several recreational swimming events had to be suspended due to high bacteria counts. After experimenting with multiple geese deterrent solutions, the use of trained geese-chasing dogs has proven to be most effective. We regularly hear positive feedback from residents regarding the creativity of the program and the new cleanliness of the trailway.” Waters Edge Condominiums in Newark has been using Geese Chasers dogs for just over a year, according to Mike Feret, president of the Homeowners Association. “We had an overpopulation of geese for a long time destroying our community with their feces and destroying the landscaping by eating all the grass,” Feret says, adding that the birds were also aggressive in the spring when they were nesting.
24 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com
“Geese Chasers has helped our community tremendously,” he says. “We have hardly one goose on the pond. They just seem to avoid our community now. It’s crazy to see them fly over our ponds and not even want to land in them anymore.”
OTHER CONTROL METHODS
FOILING FOUL FOWLS continued from previous page
Feret says that, prior to hiring Geese Chasers, “we tried a light beacon deterrent that floats Bob Young says Geese Chasers' in the ponds and flashes yellow Owner methods have been endorsed by PETA on and off all night long. That and the Humane Society of North deterred the visiting geese, but it America. Photo provided. didn’t deter the resident geese.” Other methods that have been used in controlling Canada geese include scarecrows, Mylar Flash Tape, balloons tied to poles, sound machines, and chemical repellent. All of these are less expensive than border collies, but none are as effective, according to Young. “We’re often the last call people make,” he says. Treatment can cost upwards of $800 a month, and clearing an area of geese can take weeks or months. Geese Chasers offers several programs to address the problem, including a maintenance service and an on-call service. Young says that both PETA and the Humane Society of North America have endorsed Geese Chasers’ methods
because the dogs never come into contact with the geese. The dogs circle them, herd them, and generally make them uncomfortable, even chasing them into the water. Young says that in both their appearance and movements, border collies resemble the Arctic fox, a natural enemy of geese. “Border collies are probably the most intelligent and most athletic dog in the world,” Young says. “We’ve tried many breeds over the years and there’s not even a close second.” Despite his regard for the dogs, because of his allergy he leaves the actual handling to his employees. Geese Chasers opened its 11th franchise in Cleveland early this year. Soon afterward, Young, who has a master’s degree in sports medicine and a physician assistant certificate, retired from the medical industry to devote full time to the growing business. The move seemed inevitable, because, despite the fact that he spent decades in the medical field and nine years studying sports medicine. Young says, “I’m known for geese.”
Wilmington • Lewes • Rehoboth Beach • Ocean View • South Bethany Beach
MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
26 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
It On A look at more than 30 events that will help you shake off the winter chill
By Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald
As we yearn for warmer temps, let us suggest a range of fairer-weather events that promise to inspire you to get out and about. Following is a preview of good times ahead. Perhaps the key to what has been called “the best party in town” is the spirit of cooperation that pervades those rehearsals and the show itself.
MARCH Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship March 2-6, Chase Fieldhouse, Wilmington This is a BIG “W” for Wilmington! Schools hitting the court include Davidson, Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham, George Mason, George Washington, La Salle, URI, Richmond, St. Joe's, St. Louis, St. Bonaventure, UMASS, and VCU. Visit thechasefieldhouse.com.
Market Street Music — March Concerts March 3-31, First & Central Presbyterian Church, Rodney Square, Wilmington Market Street Music re-opens its Thursday Noontime and Festival Concert series, beginning with Center City Chorale’s “A Miscellaneous Mass” and continuing with artists like Tiger Lily Trio, Filament, Jonathan Whitney Trio, accordionist Dallas Vietty and organist David Schelat. Visit marketstreetmusicde.org. ► MARCH 2022
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From l-r: Wilmington Grand Prix, Wilmington Blue Rocks, Celebrity Chefs Brunch, Brandywine Zoo, Delaware Marathon.
Shine A Light — Best of 10 March 5, The Queen, Wilmington Is there anyone who isn’t anticipating the return of this mega-monster Best Of concert? Shine a Light is back in full force with 50+ musicians, a 40+ song set list, and the best musical memories to take you through the event’s storied 10year history. Visit lightupthequeen.org. Delaware Symphony Orchestra — Classics Concerts March 11-April 8-May 13, The Grand, Wilmington The DSO is back live at Copeland Hall. The orchestra’s full-length Classics Series resumed in February and continues the next few months with themes like Voyage!, Sing!, and Transcend! March highlights include a performance of Holst’s The Planets with guest pianist Drew Petersen and the Wilmington Children's Chorus. Visit delawaresymphony.org. Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection March 12-June 6, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington This collection features more than 60 objects, spanning over 30 years of Tiffany’s career. It showcases Tiffany’s innovative work in leaded and blown glass, including famous windows, lamps, and vases. On April 29, a guest lecture/happy hour with Metropolitan Museum of Art Curator Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen focuses on Tiffany as well. Wrapping up the Tiffany is the May 14 Brunch at Tiffany’s – the theme of the 2nd Annual Brunch, Brushes & Blooms event. Visit delart.org. St Patrick’s Day Parade & Loop March 12, King Street, Downtown Wilmington & City Nightspots If you don’t enjoy this event, you’re not a true (green) Delawarean. The Painting of the Green Line, the pageantry, the music, the Hooley — all marking 45 years of Irish-themed revelry in Wilmington. Remember, everyone is a little Irish at the Wilmington St. Patrick’s Day Parade! Visit facebook.com/DelawareIrish.
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Returning after a two-year COVID break, the 31st St. Patrick’s Loop begins at 4pm and features an Irish-themed bar crawl at venues throughout the city. Traditional Irish hot spots such as Kelly’s Logan House and Catherine Rodney’s will be joined by a host of nightspots that will be Irish for the day. Visit outandabout.now. City Theater Company — Blues In My Soul March 18-26, City Theater Company @ The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington CTC celebrates the new work of local playwright, David Robson, with his World Premiere of Blues in My Soul: The Legend & Legacy of Lonnie Johnson. The piece reimagines a 1959 meeting between blues guitar legend Lonnie Johnson and music historian Chris Albertson, riffing on issues of authenticity, injustice, and legacy, and working through a catalog of great music. Visit city-theater.org. Wilmington Drama League — August: Osage County & Noises Off! March 25-April 3 & April 29-May 8, Wilmington Drama League, Wilmington Drama League presents two shows in three months, starting with August: Osage County — the Weston family’s return to Oklahoma to care for their ailing yet manipulative mother after the patriarch goes missing. Noises Off! pokes at the follies of theatre folk whose egos, memory loss, and passionate affairs turn performances into high-risk adventure. Visit wilmingtondramaleague.org. Clifford Brown Year Round — New Generations, New Experiences, New Work March 25, CSC Station, Wilmington An evening of new artistic experiences with iterations of jazz and other art forms from culinary experimentations to live painting. Musical guests: The Horizon Quartet, U.S.E. Trio, and Chien Chien Lu; live painting by local abstract artist Rebecca Howell; Wilmington Brew Works’ newest beers and ciders; Green Box Kitchen’s fresh-pressed juices Visit cityfestwilm.com.
APRIL The Grand & The Playhouse on Rodney Square — April Shows April 1-24, The Grand & The Playhouse, Wilmington The two venues are hopping the entire month with the music and humor of Straight No Chaser: Back in the High Life (April 1); contemporary hip-hop violinist Damien Escobar (April 2); Food Network star Alton Brown’s blend of comedy, cooking, and “science-y stuff” (April 9); and the reinvention of Riverdance, the beloved Irish and international dance favorite (April 22-24). Visit thegrandwilmington.org. Arden Concert Gild — Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog & Julianna Barwick April 3 & May 8, Arden Gild Hall, Arden Arden is excited to welcome Marc Ribot and his explosive trio, Ceramic Dog. Ribot is the most innovative of rock guitarists, well known for his work with Tom Waits and Elvis Costello. Next, composer/vocalist/producer Julianna Barwick — who has performed with Yoko Ono, The Flaming Lips, and Phillip Glass — brings her distinct blend of electronic composition to the Arden stage. Visit ardenconcerts.com. Delaware Theatre Company — My Life on a Diet & Brighton Beach Memoirs April 6-17 & May 11-22, Delaware Theatre Company, Wilmington Academy Award–nominated and Emmy Award–winning writer and actress Renée Taylor shares tales of memorable roles and just as many fad diets in My Life on a Diet. Next, Bud Martin directs Neil Simon’s coming-of-age comedy, Brighton Beach Memoirs, about old-fashioned family drama and teen angst in 1930s Brooklyn. Visit delawaretheatre.org. Blue Rocks Opening Weekend April 8-10, Frawley Stadium, Wilmington Waterfront Wilmington’s boys of summer start the season in a three-game matchup with Brooklyn. A day at Frawley Stadium is a full-on, family-fun experience filled with food, music, games, mascots (Rocky & Mr. Celery!)…and great baseball, too. Visit milb.com/Wilmington.
ART pARTy April 9, The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington This fundraiser party connects to the Contemporary’s Winter/ Spring exhibition season themed, NARRATIVE. The party features a new work unveiling by Theater-in-Residence City Theater Company; a DJ and live music fusion; art demos; heavy hors d'oeuvres and open bar. In addition, TDC’s upcoming Member Night themes include Chinese Folk Dance (March 17) and "To the Max" Jazz Ensemble (April 21). Visit decontemporary.org. Candlelight Theatre — Big Fish & Clue On Stage March 19-April 24 & May 14-June 26, Candlelight Theatre, Arden On the heels of a sold-out Mamma Mia! run, these two performances continue celebrating the “return to live” at the dinner theater nestled within the woods of Arden. Big Fish will regale audiences with wild storytelling tempered by the bonds of family, while Clue invites you into all the murder, mystery, and hilarity of the cult fave board game and movie. Visit candlelighttheatredelaware.com. Celebrity Chefs’ Brunch April 24, DuPont Country Club, Wilmington This is quite possibly the best food-focused celebration you’ll experience all year. This much-loved foodie event from Meals on Wheels Delaware marks 25 years of bringing award-winning chefs to the First State. Indulge in tastings, brunch cocktails, live entertainment, and more. Visit mealsonwheelsde.org. The Delaware Marathon Running Festival April 24, Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, Wilmington This annual tradition features an assemblage of races for every age and skill. A marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K, and kids fun run take runners through scenic downtown and riverfront locations, including the Jack Markell Trail. The start/finish line at Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park is a great party for non-runners as well, with live music, vendors, and family-friendly activities. Visit delawaremarathon.org. MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 29
SPRING IT ON continued from previous page
The Tatnall School — Schoolhouse Rock! April 29 & 30, May 1 & 2, The Tatnall School, Wilmington The musical will open this spring at the Laird Performing Arts Center, bringing to life all the beloved classic Saturday morning educational songs with a live band, student performers, and even a few special guests. Visit Tatnall.org. Wildflower Weekend April 29 & 30, May 1, Mt. Cuba Center, Hockessin Enjoy a refreshing, breathtaking stroll through native blooms at the peak of their glory. The weekend-long celebration includes days filled with live music, gardening activities, family programming, and more. Food selections and plants will be available for purchase. Visit mtcubacenter.org.
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Invention Convention April 30, Hagley Museum & Library, Wilmington Hagley’s family-friendly meld of technology and fun offers science shows, robotics demos, and hands-on activities. Two shows — Cool Chemistry and Fun with Physics — tackle these oft-challenging subjects making them lively and entertaining. In between, Delaware Libraries provide kid-focused STEM activities and local robotics team MOE 365 FTC show off their creations. Visit hagley.org. First State Ballet Theatre — Swan Lake April 30-May 1, The Grand, Wilmington Set to the magnificent Tchaikovsky score, Swan Lake is considered to be the greatest of all the classical full-length ballets. Audiences will be mesmerized by this timeless love story of the Swan Queen Odette and her Prince Siegfried, who seek to break the curse of evil with love. Visit firststateballet.org.
MAY Jacqueline Kennedy & Henry Francis du Pont: From Winterthur to the White House May 7-January 8, 2023, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, Wilmington In 1961, an unusual partnership formed between First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and Delaware collector Henry Francis du Pont: She tapped du Pont to lead her White House restoration project. Now, the story of this historic collaboration will come alive through artifacts, archives, and images, seen “behind the scenes” for the first time in history. Visit Winterthur.org.
Wilmington Ballet — May Events May 7 & May 22, Various Venues Wilmington Ballet presents a Musical Theater Workshop Performance at The Delaware Contemporary on May 7, where students can study acting, vocal, and dance Techniques, as well as creative writing, technical theater and design. Later in the month, they present their spring performance (May 22). Visit wilmingtonballet.org. Point to Point May 8, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, Wilmington The annual steeplechase races on the rolling grounds of Winterthur are like the official heralding of spring. Now in its 44th year, Point-to-Point welcomes you back — so hone your tailgate talents, don your most fancy frock, and fill your day with mimosas and majestic horse racing. Visit Winterthur.org. Wilmington Grand Prix May 13-15, Downtown Wilmington For the 13th year, the event is part of USA Cycling’s National Race Calendar. The Monkey Hill Time Trial and Kick-off Party opens in Brandywine Park May 13. A community ride-along, pro-am races, and a street festival take over Market Street May 14. May 15 sees the return of the Governor’s Ride and Delaware Gran Fondo — joining locals, visitors, and pros for a scenic ride that starts at the Delaware Art Museum and includes dozens of cultural attractions, like rides through the Hagley and Winterthur grounds. Visit WilmGrandPrix.com. Clues at the Zoo May 14, Brandywine Zoo, Wilmington This escape room-style adventure is for sleuths ages 15 and older. Grab the family and hunt for clues, solve some puzzles, enjoy snacks and beverages…just be wary of that sneaky thief, The Raptor, who pulled off a “heist” at last year’s event. (Must have at least one cell phone in participating group.) Visit brandywinezoo.org.
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SPRING IT ON The Ladybug Festival continued from previous page May 20, LOMA Block, Downtown Wilmington Gable’s signature event returns to fill Market Street with music of, by, and for women. The hours-long, open-air festival will feature 40 artists and is free to attend. Stay tuned for more announcements regarding the full lineup and schedule. Visit Theladybugfestival.com.
OperaDelaware — The Marriage of Figaro May 20 & 22, The Grand, Wilmington OperaDelaware’s season culminates in “one of the greatest operas of all time.” Composed by Mozart in 1786, this legendary story finds Figaro and his love Susanna as their wedding day approaches. Their boss, the wicked Count Almaviva, has his wandering eye fixed on the young bride. What happens next is comedic and operatic joy at its most high. Visit operade.org. 2nd Annual Shadfest May 22, Brandywine Park, Wilmington Celebrate the Brandywine River and the return of the American Shad. Brandywine Shad 2020 plans to remove or modify several dams, enabling shad and other migratory fish to spawn up river for the first time in 300 years. The Fest includes partner environmental organizations’ educational exhibits, a 5K ShadRun, fishing lessons, face painters and arts vendors, as well as sips from Wilmington Brew Works and sounds by Sin City Band. Visit facebook.com/BrandywineShad. City Restaurant Week May 23-28, Downtown Wilmington Celebrate the culinary riches of downtown Wilmington (and the surrounding area) with featured menus from some of your favorite hotspots and some new arrivals. Two-course lunches run $15; three-course dinners $35. Visit outandaboutnow.com/city-restaurant-week.
cafe CAFÉ: cafe.janssensfinefoods.com www.janssensfinefoods.com 3801 KENNETT PIKE, GREENVILLE, DE • 302.654.9941 City Restaurant Week showcases the best of Wilmington dining. 32 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com
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EAT Sticky toffee pudding with bacon and butterscotch sauce at Snuff Mill Restauant, Butchery & Wne Bar. Photo by Butch Comegys
Since the pandemic’s start, sales of desserts and baked goods have soared sky high
By Pam George
hen Lori Wirt Hilferty was furloughed during the pandemic, she put her time to good use. In April 2020, Hilferty and pal Tony Rizzo began selling cinnamon buns that customers could send to first responders. In short order, customers also decided to place orders for themselves, and the Cinnamon Bun Exchange was born. Between the company’s start and Father’s Day 2020, the Cinnamon Bun Exchange delivered 12,000 orders — 144,000 hand-rolled buns. Today, drivers ferry the scrumptious cargo to West Chester, Philly and Middletown, and points in between. The product is also available in local stores — including Janssen’s Market, Bachetti Bros. and ShopRite — and nationwide via shipping. Hilferty is not the only businessperson who’s found a sweet sales spot. At Snuff Mill Restaurant, Butchery & Wine Bar, dessert sales have been “huge,” says Bill Irvin, the Brandywine Hundred restaurant’s co-owner. “I’ve never seen it like this before. I am like, ‘Holy smokes, we sell a lot of desserts.’” Scott Stein, co-owner of Bardea Food & Drink, has also seen sales spike. “I’ve noticed that we’ve sold more desserts in the past six months than we’ve ever sold,” he says. “It’s a big focus of our menu now.” ► MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 35
A Tantalizing Stressbuster
CRAVING CULINARY COMFORT continued from previous page
Admittedly, baked goods and desserts have long had a place in the American diet. Seemingly every month, there’s a tasty excuse to indulge. “All holidays, big and small, give people a reason to eat dessert,” agrees Meg Hurst, owner of Sweet Lucy’s Ice Cream & Treats in North Wilmington and CajunSno, a food truck. After being starved for social interaction, Hurst’s customers want to make a family celebration more memorable, she adds. The proof is in the numbers. In December 2021, Sweet Lucy’s sold more than 420 ice cream cakes. For St. Patrick’s Day, she will offer leprechaun-themed ice cream cakes and orangeand green-colored cupcakes. Up next: Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Treats like this one from the Cinnamon Bun Exchange offer some folks comfort. Photo by Daniel Jackson
The pandemic also has underscored employee frustrations. Food is an ideal way to show appreciation, says Angie O’Brien, owner of iSwich Gourmet, which makes and sells gourmet ice cream sandwiches. In 2014, O’Brien started the business by distributing the sandwiches to Whole Foods. More recently, iSwich’s specially outfitted van has been in demand for workplace visits; the employer picks up the tab. The workers aren’t likely to turn down a free ice cream sandwich. “People always want a treat,” O’Brien says. “You try to be good, but you can’t be good all the time. If you’re going to have something sweet, you want it to be extraordinary.” The retention tool is going over so well that she bought two more vans, which also travel to neighborhoods. Cakes, cookies and muffins are equally soothing. According to a General Mills survey, 42% of the survey respondents associate baked goods with a sense of comfort. Hilferty’s cinnamon buns are “baked with love, and they’re like a warm hug,” she says. “They offered comfort at a time when, really, everybody was pretty scared.” At Sweet Somethings Desserts, customers drop in for cupcakes, tarts, cakes, individual cheesecakes, mini pies, cannoli and cookies. “It’s been going gangbusters,” says owner Lee Slaninko. The Little Italy shop makes wedding cakes and supplies desserts to about 18 area restaurants, but the walk-in traffic accounts for a large portion of sales, he says. 36 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com
Tried, True & New
Sneaking a slice of cake or pie into your diet is easy when you’re dining out. Irvin says nearly every table at Snuff Mill orders dessert, even if it’s to share. Sticky toffee pudding with “million-dollar bacon” and butterscotch sauce is the top seller, followed by the Valrhona chocolate ganache tart with local Henlopen Sea Salt-caramel sauce. At Caffe Gelato in Newark, dessert has always been a star; the restaurant started as a gelato shop. The Main Street eatery’s servers deliver a small gelato sample to each table before asking if the guests need anything else. Many decide to order a fullsized serving. In a fine-dining setting, guests want to sit back and enjoy themselves — and they like to see others doing the same. Dessert prolongs the experience. “It’s as if people are going through so much in our everyday world, and when they finally get the chance to relax with a wonderful meal, they want to treat themselves,” says Betsy Leroy, owner of Pizza By Elizabeths in Greenville. But that approach isn’t limited to full-service establishments. “I think our dessert sales are good because no one expects to have an amazing dessert from a quick-serve restaurant,” says Kate Applebaum, who with husband Don owns Cajun Kate’s, which has locations in North Wilmington and the Booth’s Corner Farmers Market. Given that Cajun Kate’s is a New Orleans-themed restaurant, it’s not surprising that confections include beignets and bread pudding. The kitchen is experimenting with calas, also known as Creole rice fritters or rice donuts. Desserts such as these have a timeless appeal, as does the Kentucky butter cake, the bestseller at Pizza by Elizabeths. “Homey comfort food-types are doing especially well,” Leroy says. At Two Stones Pub locations, bourbon bread pudding is a staple, and the Peanut butter tasty cake is a riff on TastyKake’s Kandy Kake treat. The dessert, made by Sweet Somethings, is laced with nostalgia. Bardea, which has a dedicated pastry chef, delivers innovative twists. Tiramisu is an Italian favorite, but Bardea combines it with a tart. There are deconstructed cheesecakes and laminated donuts. (Lamination is pastry speak for layers.) Bardea’s donuts may include caramelized pineapple and Amarena cherries. Meanwhile, the Brazil nut nougat is a play on a frozen candy bar. As with most things these days, customers also long for the unexpected. Cajun Kate’s is gaining fame for cupcakes in such flavors as hummingbird and Boston cream. Sweet Lucy’s recently rolled out ice cream cupcakes, which customers can Business has been busy at Sweet Somethings. keep in the freezers. ► Photo by Joe delTufo MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 37
CRAVING CULINARY COMFORT continued from previous page
Sonora's top-selling "Piecaken," a Guinness chocolate cake with Irish cream frosting. Photo courtesy Sonora
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“We have new menu items that we will continue to roll out one by one over the next year to keep the momentum going,” says Hurst. She likes the cookies at Burgers by Wildwich so much that she orders boxes of them to make ice cream sandwiches. The unusual stimulates the appetite at Sonora in Newark. Top-selling selections include “piecaken,” so you can have your cake and eat pie, too, and Guinness chocolate cake with Irish cream frosting. “Some of our other popular ones include warm strawberry-goat cheese cinnamon rolls a la mode and warm apricot baklava sundaes,” says owner Melissa Ferraro. Whether diners opt for the traditional or the avant-garde, something sweet caps a dining experience, many chefs maintain. “At Cajun Kate’s, we want everyone to have a well-rounded meal,” Applebaum says. “And finishing that meal — whether it’s a po’boy, a muffuletta or a good bowl of gumbo or jambalaya — with an amazing homemade dessert is what we aim for.”
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One of the homemade desserts at Cajun Kate's. Photo courtesy Cajun Kate's
The Bullets are now composed of (l-r) guitarist/vocalist Michael Davis; relative newcomers Brian "Octie" Bruce on drums and Pat Kane on guitar; and bassist Bobby Bloomingdale.
The Bullets Reload TheThe Bullets BulletsReload Reload Area favorite freshens lineup and keeps a 40-year run alive By Matt Morrissette Photos by Butch Comegys
nyone who’s ever played in a local band knows all too well that it’s a fragile ecosystem. And anybody who’s ever done hard time playing in a band in Delaware knows the small market that is the Small Wonder can be a challenging environment for live, loud, rock music. These factors make the improbable longevity of the Wilmington-based roots and rockabilly ensemble, The Bullets, even more wondrous. Founded by guitarist/vocalist Michael Davis and bassist Bobby Bloomingdale nearly 40 years ago, The Bullets have survived venue closings, personnel changes and roots music’s fluctuating appeal through sheer tenacity and a well-earned reputation as a stellar live act. A change in ownership at Wilmington’s legendary Oddity Bar was not even enough to interrupt their seven-year Thursday night residency at the venue, which was preceded by a nine-year stint at the much-missed Little Italy bar, The Blue Parrot.
Recent times have been even more challenging with the departure of Walter Epting (their drummer for 16 years) to Nashville and his new project, Palm Ghosts. Then, of course, there are the obvious effects of the pandemic on a working band. To remedy these problems and reenergize the group, The Bullets have enlisted two of Delaware’s best young musicians in guitarist/vocalist Pat Kane and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Brian “Octie” Bruce. According to Davis, the young blood has invigorated the band. “The dynamic hasn't changed that much,” says Davis. “Octie had sat in with us a bunch of times. When Epting announced his departure, I knew that the only drummer that could pretty much seamlessly replace him was Octie. He studied jazz (at the same school Epting did) and played in punk bands. Perfect fit and attitude. He's been with us since August of 2021. ► MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 39
“Pat (Kane) had regularly sat in with us at Oddity Bar. When we started doing livestreams during the pandemic shutdown, we invited Pat to join in. He osmosed into the band. We tricked him, and I’m learning a lot about guitar playing from him. He's an exceptional player and singer. Both he and Octie follow rule number one: serve the song.” Bruce is a veteran of the Delaware punk and indie rock scene known for expert timekeeping in the Delaware dream pop band, Fiance. He was also leader of the much-missed garage rockers Gozer. And his current project, the gnarly post-rock juggernaut Tangled Up, is grateful for Bruce’s opportunity to play with such seasoned musicians. “I think Pat and I forget we're the young guys in the band sometimes, because Michael and Bobby are both so young at heart,” says Bruce. “A lifetime of performing plays a part in that, and it's something I really admire about the two of them. On certain nights those two play circles around me. They've developed a musical language over the years that affords them fluent, non-verbal communication on stage. “I do my best to decipher it at every gig. They have so many original songs it's insane. I can safely say that I've played at least one song I've never heard before on every gig. Sometimes it's more like 20 songs I've never heard before. Some nights it goes off without a hitch, some nights I'm holding on for dear life, but that's part of the fun. I'm learning up on stage at every gig, from two musicians whom I admire, and I'm incredibly grateful for that opportunity.” The Bullets’ other secret weapon is Kane, a guitar slinger wellknown in the area for his Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia tribute project Bones Brigade. As is customary in the small world that is Delaware, Kane and Bruce played together in high school at Cab Calloway
THE BULLETS RELOAD School of the Arts, and their continued from previous page familiarity with each other’s playing style along with friendship has helped the new, super-charged version of The Bullets gel quickly. “It’s been a real treat for me, as I’ve been a huge fan of the band,” says Kane. “I try to do my best to add to the music in a way that makes the band as a whole sound better, all the ingredients coming together for a well-balanced presentation of any given song. I can’t overstate how much I’ve learned over the past two years of hanging with Michael and Bobby and soaking up their musical knowledge.” Keeping a band together for 40 years is hallowed ground generally occupied by storied rock bands with names like The Rolling Stones and The Who, and it’s a boon for Delaware to have such a band still active and thriving in their own backyard. Having two local legends and two of the best young guns around in the band only makes for a more exciting live experience. The Bullets deliver rock-and-roll in its most authentic and pure form. You can judge that for joining the Bullets, drummer Brian yourself any Thursday at Before "Octie" Bruce was a veteran of Delaware's Oddity Bar. punk and indie music scene.
Delaware’s St. Patrick’s Day Headquarters for Over 35 Years!
Join Us for All of Our
St. Patrick’s Day Festivities! ST. PRACTICE DAY Sat. 3/12
Kegs and Eggs: 9am-12pm at All 3 Locations! Complimentary Breakfast Buffet: $5 Guinness and Irish Car Bombs, $2.50 Coors Light Drafts Live Irish Bagpipers All 3 Locations: Polly Drummond 2pm-3pm Peoples Plaza 10am-1pm • Dover 11am-1pm DJ’s At All 3 Locations Polly Drummond & Peoples Plaza: 9pm-12am • Dover: 9:30am-12:30pm 108 Peoples Plaza (Corner of Rtes. 40 & 896) | Newark, DE | 302-834-6661 8 Polly Drummond Shopping Center | Newark, DE | 302-738-7814 800 North State Street | Dover, DE | 302-674-0144 40 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
ST. PATRICK’S DAY Thurs. 3/17
All 3 Locations Opening at 9am!
$2.75 Green Beer, $5 Irish Car Bombs, Corned Beef and Cabbage
DJ’s at All 3 Locations! Live Irish Bagpipers At All 3 Locations! Polly Drummond 6pm-7:30pm Peoples Plaza 8pm-9:30pm • Dover 6:30-7:30pm
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Joe Beckett (left) and Righteous Jolly play blues guitarist Lonnie Johnson and DJ Chris Albertson respectively in CTC's world premiere of Blues in My Soul: The Legend and Legacy of Lonnie Johnson. Photo courtesy of City Theater Company
Wilmington playwright David Robson brings to light the story of guitarist Lonnie Johnson Caption. Photo by SonjasEye Photography
By Ken Mammarella
forgotten but tremendously influential guitar hero and his conflicted and complex relationship with a Philadelphia DJ is the heart of a play getting its world premiere by City Theater Company. Blues in My Soul: The Legend and Legacy of Lonnie Johnson runs March 18, 19, 25 and 26. “I’ve become a little obsessed with Lonnie Johnson, maybe because I can identify with him,” said playwright David Robson. “We all want to have some kind of meaning, some kind of impact. When you look at the things he did, who he was and who he influenced, there’s no doubt he had an impact.” Johnson was “the first guitarist to bring the guitarist forward” in performance, Robson said. Musicians he influenced are legends themselves, including Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley (who recorded several Johnson songs), T-Bone Walker, Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, B.B. King and Eric Clapton.
Robson was inspired by a 2013 production of The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith at People’s Light and felt there was a dramatic hook in the life of Johnson, her colleague. The catalyst for his show is Chris Albertson, a DJ and record producer, who in 1959 tracked down Johnson, who had given up on music and was a janitor at a Center City hotel. “Like many Black artists, much of what Lonnie had done had been taken from him,” Robson said. “He’d been duped by shady record executives and promoters.” So Albertson had to earn his trust, then convince him to return to making music. “The play is really an imagined conversation,” with music.
Robson wrote the first draft in 2014, and it sat in a drawer until he ran into Joe Trainor, City Theater’s veteran music director, and they talked about working together. Robson offered his script. In 2021, they gathered a cast at Robson’s North Wilmington home for a reading that gave Robson ideas on rewriting. (Robson’s very familiar with writing: He lists 21 plays on DavidRobsonplay.org; has won two playwriting fellowships and three grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts; has written a dozen books; and is an English professor at Delaware County Community College.) ►
MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
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A BLUESMAN'S STORY continued from previous page
The play’s tension includes the two characters’ differing backgrounds (Albertson was born in 1931 in Iceland and grew up in Europe; Johnson was born in 1899 in New Orleans, and most of his family died in the 1918 flu epidemic). “As the two men meet, Playwright David Robson conflicts arise, forcing each to reconcile issues of authenticity, injustice and legacy,” according to the play’s online summary. Robson thinks the City Theater Company production will include 14 Johnson songs worked into the storyline. It stars Joe Beckett as Johnson and Righteous Jolly (just seen in City Theater’s Once) as Albertson. “These two characters surely are quite different, but the common bond of Lonnie’s music and The Blues at large connect their respective souls,” Jolly wrote in an email. “In sharing vulnerability, they discover the human connection which trumps all the ugliness in the world. I hope the audience feels aligned, I hope they feel connected.” “Music creates community, and we’ve all been kind of up and down in the last few years because of Covid,” Robson said. “I hope that this play brings us back together and restores a sense of community that’s been absent from our lives.” The playwright’s obsession included communicating with Albertson before his 2019 death and finding Johnson’s grave, in an overgrown cemetery in Feasterville, Pa., with a headstone installed by fans who knew his music, but not the man. “It was a perfect metaphor of what happened to his legacy and what’s been forgotten,” Robson said. “I feel kind of a kinship, … trying to get into the heads of these guys. Writing is all about trying to imagine and empathize, and through that trying to find some kind of human connection.” — The City Theater production of Blues in My Soul runs March 18, 19, 25 and 26 at the Wings Black Box at the Delaware Contemporary, 200 S. Madison St., Wilmington. Tickets are $40 ($30 for students and military) at CityTheater.org
Stand-up comedian Geno Bisconte, actress and Traders creator Olivia Gropp, and Squeezebox Records owner Rich Fisher share laughs during an interview last month at the record shop.. Photo Out & About
Olivia’s First Cut Delaware actress Olivia Gropp makes her directing debut with a thrilling short that merges music and murder By Jim Miller
ctress Olivia Gropp, stand-up comedian Geno Bisconte and Squeezebox Records owner Rich Fisher are at the scene of the crime — all sitting on the same couch where Bisconte was murdered last summer. In fact, they are laughing about it.
Anyone who has seen or heard Bisconte’s brazen and provocative brand of humor might not be surprised someone might have had it in for him. But in real life, the comedian is still alive and kicking. Often like a mule on amphetamines. The murder that the three are giggling about is the plot to Gropp’s writing-and-directing debut, the film short Traders, which was filmed last July at Squeezebox. Today, nearly seven months later, Gropp, Bisconte and Fisher have reunited to talk about how the film came to be — and how the comedian’s character came to not be. The super-taut thriller sees Gropp’s street-smart character confidently striding into a record store near closing time to engage in a trade with a mysterious man (Brian Dole), who she assumes is the shop’s “new guy.” Unbeknownst to her, the man was cleaning blood off the floor just a minute earlier. For the majority of the film’s nine minutes, Bisconte’s recordstore owner spends his screen time as a neck-cut corpse. “Now I can say I’ve died on stage and screen,” boasts Bisconte to more laughs. Bisconte’s comedy career started in Wilmington nearly two
decades ago before his big move to New York City and, more recently, doing stand-up tours across the country. Now, he can add “actor in an award-winning film short” to his resumé. In December, Traders won Outstanding Achievement Award (Thriller) at the IndieX Film Fest in Los Angeles. Last month a Film Threat review last called it “a winning slice of period pastiche that doesn’t overstay its welcome.” Sure, these are fancy feathers in the cap for the funny guy, but much more so for the film’s creator, Gropp, who is just 20 and still in college studying biology at the University of Delaware. ► MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
OLIVIA'S FIRST CUT continued from previous page
Then again, Gropp has been balancing school and acting since she was in the 7th grade at Wilmington’s Ursuline Academy. From 2014 to 2019, the actress studied at New York Film Academy’s Acting for Film Camp, The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, and also Margie Harber Studios in Los Angeles. During that time, she appeared in commercials for Sheetz and Build-ABear, an industrial film for The Federal Reserve, and two other film shorts, Friends to the End and Delicious. In 2018, Gropp saw herself cast in her first full-length feature film, The Middle of X, which also starred Samantha Hanratty (Yellowjackets) and Nicky Whelen (Hall Pass, Knight of Cups). It won Best Local Feature at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival that year. For Gropp, Traders signals a significant step in her film career. In addition to writing and directing the short, she also produced it and is currently shopping it on the filmfestival circuit hoping a studio might pick it up for a full-feature film. “If that happens, we would film it here,” Gropp says, pointing around the recordpacked room. “If Rich will let us.” That possibility appeals to Fisher, who found the initial ask to film Traders at his store to be an unexpected thrill. “When I read the email, I was blown away,” the Squeezebox owner recalls. “I was absolutely taken off my pedestal. I was like, ‘Somebody wrote a script around… a place where we put up posters and sell records.’ It’s wonderful. “So, I got a hold of Olivia, and they came in. It made me feel that I was doing something right. You know what I’m saying? I’m doing something right here. Because somebody’s offering to do something here in the form of art, right? Which blows me away every time.” In exchange for offering Squeezebox as a location for the film shoot, Fisher was able to get a song in the film from local act Kenny Vanella and Higher Fire. Last year, Squeezebox worked out a deal to cut a vinyl 45 record for Vanella’s “Our Song.” The song in the film, “Riverwalk,” is the B-side. 44 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com
“Rich bent over backwards to do everything for me,” Gropp says emphatically. “He’s like, ‘Here’s the key to the store, come in and film.’” For two days in July, before the store’s opening and after close, Gropp and her crew did just that. The hours of work resulted in nine minutes of pure pulp-noir appreciation. “I’m a huge fan of the Coen brothers, Tarantino and Hitchcock,” the young director admits. “One night, after I watched Reservoir Dogs for the millionth time, I had a dream… then the next morning, I woke up and wrote the [initial] script for Traders. Although, there’s been about 14 drafts, if I’m being honest. “My dad came up with the name, Traders, because he said when he was younger, he said he would go into record stores and trade things in — like cassette tapes or records — for money or other records or tapes. I thought that was really interesting. I wanted to build on that idea.” While Gropp continues to shop Traders on the festival circuit, she’s looking to team up with Bisconte again for another short called Curtain Call, which is due to shoot next month. “I’m not planning to turn that one into a feature,” Gropp says. “Traders is my main focus. But it’s another way to get more content out there.” To date, Traders has garnered more than 35,000 views on YouTube since premiering on the web channel December 10. “I think it turned out great,” Bisconte says. “Hopefully, more people get to see it.” — For more info on Olivia Gropp, visit OliviaGropp.com. The official poster for the locally-made film short, Traders.
MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Calling The Oscars
Who will win, should win and can’t win at this year’s Academy Awards By Mark Fields
he 94th Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, March 27. Here are Out & About’s film critic’s takes on what cinematic efforts will win, what should win, and what can’t win (because it wasn’t nominated). BEST PICTURE
Will Win/Should Win: The Power of the Dog This bracing Western features a incredibly strong cast, exquisite scenery, and an ever-so-sly screenplay that surprises and gratifies in the final moments. Can’t Win: Spider-Man: No Way Home No love from Oscar for Marvel movies including this clever, satisfying tribute to heroes and villains present and past.
Will Win: Olivia Coleman, The Lost Daughter Should Win: Kristen Stewart, Spencer Coleman is an Oscar darling and past winner. She again creates a memorable film character but props to Stewart who has overcome her Twilight image to prove a substantial albeit unconventional actor. Can’t Win: Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth; Lady Gaga, House of Gucci.
Will Win/Should Win: Will Smith, King Richard Smith has peppered his marquee-idol career with thoughtful, even compelling dramatic roles. He is due. But shout out to Benedict Cumberbatch for his nuanced work in The Power of the Dog. Can’t Win: Leonardo DiCaprio, Just Look Up The wacky sci-fi premise of the film and flamboyant performances of his co-stars overshadowed the subtle, off-brand DiCaprio, not usually known for understatement.
Will Win/Should Win: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog Campion’s assured hand and precise pacing kept this sleeper story from descending into genre cliché. Just when you thought you have it all figured out, she executes a stunning but truly inevitable switcheroo. Can’t Win: Denis Villeneuve, Dune Dune left me cold and bored, but many Arakis fans and cinephiles alike praised the director for making an understandable film out of sci-fi’s densest source material. 46 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Will Win: J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos Should Win: Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog Simmons gets kudos for playing a sympathetic version of a familiar Hollywood star of yesteryear, but Smit-McPhee’s quiet grit really deliver the ending of the film. Can’t Win: Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Will Win/Should Win: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story DeBose could be the second actress to win an award for this same role, but her vibrant, passionate performance (and exceptional dancing) pervades the entire film. Can’t Win: Caitriona Balfe, Belfast; Ruth Negga, Passing Always a category jammed with great performances but only five can get the call.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Will Win/Should Win: Belfast Kenneth Branagh’s heartfelt tribute to his Northern Irish childhood will carry the day with Oscar voters.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Will Win: Drive My Car Should Win: The Power of the Dog Screenplay awards are often consolation prizes for solid films that don’t have support to win the major prizes, but the excellent actors and director of The Power of the Dog had to have great material to work with. Can’t Win: Tony Kushner, West Side Story Kushner largely re-imagined a 60-year-old movie story into a newly relevant and substantial remake, while finding a deft way to bring the indomitable Rita Moreno back to the screen and to this landmark musical.
Res er ve your s eat s at www.pe n n cin e ma.co m
Haley Bennett and Peter Dinklage star in the latest take on Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, a version that both succeeds in some ways and fails in others.
WATCH continued from previous page
Reimagined Cyrano Out of Tune Musical version of Rostand classic stars Peter Dinklage By Mark Fields
he filmmakers behind the newest cinematic interpretation of Edmond Rostand’s literary classic, Cyrano de Bergerac, have made two bold revisions to the familiar script. The first, changes soldier-poet Cyrano’s distinguishing feature from an abnormally large nose to a lack of height. This revision is brilliant, especially with the nuanced acting of star Peter Dinklage. The second change was making the tale of the ultimate love triangle into a musical. Although this idea could have been refreshing, it, instead, turns Cyrano into a sour note or rather two hours worth of sour notes.
Literature fans know the story well. Cyrano (Dinklage) possesses two great gifts: he is a valiant fighter, serving with distinction in the King’s Guard. But he is also a witty romantic, equally dexterous with a pen as with a sword. But in this rendition, Cyrano’s extremely short stature convinces him that he has no chance at winning the affection of his love Roxanne (Haley Bennett). The handsome recruit Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) has captured Roxanne’s attention with his physical beauty, but he borders on the inarticulate. Cyrano offers to woo Roxanne on Christian’s behalf for the opportunity to remain close to her and speak his heart by proxy. Dinklage reminds the viewer of his profound yet subtle acting prowess (as previously demonstrated most recently in Game of Thrones) in a role well suited to his gifts and persona. He captures the discordant nature of Cyrano: ruthless yet lyrical, bold yet insecure, proud and still paralyzed with fear. Bennett makes for a vivacious, luminescent Roxanne, worthy of the love of these two men and yet blind to their true natures. Harrison makes Christian a more sympathetic character than he is often portrayed. Cyrano’s rich performances are matched by the vibrant work of director Joe Wright (Darkest Hour, Atonement). Exceedingly 48 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM | InWilmDE.com
comfortable in the milieu of costume drama, the look of the film is both polished and gritty, stuffed with 17th century Parisian details in every corner. The costumes (Oscar nominated), cinematography, and choreography are equally lush. But all the polish of the physical production is virtually subsumed by the unmemorable, artless music of composers Aaron and Bryce Dessner and lyricists Matt Berninger and Carin Besser. Their trite, melody-free songs are not helped by the fact that Dinklage cannot really carry a tune. Bennett can actually sing, but most of these prosaic songs seem written to be spoken, not sung. Only the battlefield ballad, “Wherever I Fall,” stayed in my mind after the movie’s conclusion (movie trivia note: the first singer in “Whenever…” is Glen Hansard, the creator and star of the musical film Once). As a fan of both Dinklage and director Wright, I really wanted to like this film. Further, I applaud the creativity of redefining Cyrano’s “abnormality” (which normally can lend a comical tone to a character who is essentially tragic). But the ill-crafted musical element of Cyrano makes it difficult, if not impossible to embrace. How can you love a movie that celebrates the romantic ideal of poetry and yet is ultimately so tone deaf?
CONGRATULATIONS TO TARA DEGHETTO — LAST MONTH’S WINNER!
WIN A $50 GIFT CARD TO PIZZA BY ELIZABETHS!
Fill in the You know the drill: (1) Ask your friends to help “fill in the blanks” for the missing words needed below. (2) Once completed, read aloud and watch hilarity ensue. (3) Got a funny one? Take a photo and send it to us at Contact@OutAndAboutNow.com. Best one wins a $50 Gift Card to Pizza By Elizabeths (One entry per person; must be 21 or older to enter). Have fun!
THE LESSER-KNOWN MARCH HOLIDAY Every March, people from all over the world — regardless of religion, race, color, or creed — come together to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. But March is home to another lesser-known occasion similarly called The Day of St. ( annual festivity born in the (
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MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
THE CITY WELCOME AC10 TOURNEY
ilmington is thrilled to host the 2022 Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship at the Chase Fieldhouse from March 2-6, said Mayor Purzycki, who added the City has rolled out the red carpet so that all involved with this illustrious event enjoy their time here. “We are especially honored to host this year’s tournament,” said the Mayor, “which comes during the 50th anniversary celebration of the landmark federal Title IX civil rights legislation. And we wish the best of luck to all the young student-athletes who will compete for the title, in particular four of Wilmington’s own who are returning home to play in the tournament – Michelle Kozicki of La Salle, Ber’nyah Mayo and Stefanie Kulesza of UMass, and Yanni Hendley of the Univ. of Rhode Island.”
ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE RETURNS
ayor Mike Purzycki gladly welcomes back to the streets of Wilmington a popular tradition after a two-year, COVID-induced hiatus. The Irish Culture Club of Delaware’s 45th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will once again march down King Street on Sat., March 12, stepping off at 4th & King at 12 p.m. and continuing to 15th & King streets. The ICCD’s St. Patrick’s Day Hooley will also return to 14th & King streets on March 12, from 12 to 4 p.m. Mayor Purzycki will again help to kick off the festivities on Fri., March 11 at noon with the Annual Paining of the Green Stripe at 10th & King streets. For more info., contact 302IRISH@GMAIL.COM. Erin go Bragh!
Mayor Purzycki serving as the St. Pat’s Parade’s Grand Marshal in 2019.
50 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO OUT & ABOUT MAGAZINE
IN MEMORIAM: BRIAN A. MITCHELL, SR.
Mayor Purzycki painting the green stripe on King St. in 2019.
A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO OUT & ABOUT MAGAZINE
ilmington’s Dir. of Transportation, Brian Mitchell Sr., passed away on Jan. 30, 2022, at age 65. A dedicated public servant, he served the City of Wilmington with distinction for more than a decade. A Horsham, PA native, Brian graduated from Lehigh Univ. and began his career as a Civil Engineer with Gerald E. Speitel Assoc. in Mount Laurel, NJ, where he remained to raise three children with wife Sandi. He was active in the Marlton Recreation Council and volunteered as a coach for his children, staying involved long after they were grown. He would also go on to become a proud “Pops” to grandsons Jack, Noah, and Gabriel. Brian started as Transportation Engineer for Wilmington in 2010 and, in 2017, rose to become Dir. of Transportation. He worked closely with many state and local agencies, as well as engineering firms and construction companies, to ensure that design elements followed City standards. In addition, Brian sat on the Zoning Board of Adjustments and the WILMAPCO Technical Advisory Committee. When not serving the people of Wilmington, Brian could be found following the horses at Delaware Park or at his beloved shore house in Wildwood Crest. Brian leaves behind a legacy of love and generosity that lives on in his family. The City of Wilmington recognizes Brian Mitchell, Sr. for his years of dedicated service to our residents, and our thoughts are with his family, friends, and co-workers who mourn his loss. It is Wilmington’s loss as well.
MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITY! AUTUMN ON THE RIVERFRONT!
Get out, enjoy nature, and dine from some of your favorite restaurants! The Riverfront is a perfect venue to enjoy the outdoors and walk our 1.75 mile Riverwalk along the beautiful Christina River! Additionally, the DuPont Environmental Education Center is now open to the public. DEEC’s nature trails, including the eight-mile Jack A. Markell Trail continues to be fully operational! Get out and enjoy some quality time in nature!
DCM is open on the Riverfront Tuesday-Thursday: 10am-3pm Friday: 10am-8pm ($5 admission from 5-8pm) Saturday-Sunday: 10am-5pm Admission: $12
Membership for the entire family is just $119 for the year
(302) 654-2340 52 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
25th Anniversary In 1995, the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware was created to oversee the growth and restoration of the public and private land surrounding the Christina River. Formally home to shipbuilding and industrial centers, the land had become deserted and largely unusable. Thus, RDC began the process of rehabbing the landscape and working with local and regional developers to revitalize the area. Now, celebrating our 25th anniversary, Riverfront Wilmington has become one of the area’s most vibrant and exciting destinations to live, play, and work. Once a largely abandoned shipyard, the riverfront is now teeming with residences, hotels, restaurants and indoor and outdoor attractions. As we enter our 26th year — and look beyond — the Riverfront Development Corporation is thrilled to continue the expansion of the Riverfront area as we move to the east side of the river. We can’t wait to celebrate everything Riverfront Wilmington has to offer with you all year long!
MON-FRI: 9AM-6PM SAT: 9AM-4PM Stop in and enjoy fresh produce, salads, sandwiches, coffee, pizza, sushi, Mexican,Thai cuisine and much more!
The Riverfront Market
RIVERFRONT RESTAURANTS ARE OPEN
for in-house indoor and outdoor dining
Banks’ Seafood Kitchen & Raw Bar Big Fish Grill
Ciro Food & Drink
River Rock Kitchen
Taco Grande - NEW!
at the Riverfront Market!
The Juice Joint
Pachamama Peruvian Rotisserie Serena’s Soulfood
Drop Squad Kitchen
Timothy’s on the Riverfront
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Dine-in or carry out NOW OPEN
MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Visit our website for Winter hours, pricing, and safety protocols!
PURCHASE A ONE-YEAR $119 MEMBERSHIP FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY, YOU WILL RECEIVE 4 FREE PASSES TO THE BRANDYWINE ZOO. 54 MARCH 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM
Top Songs from the Past 9 Shows — 1968, 1969, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980 & ROLLING STONES
M a rc h 5 , 2 0 2 2 @ 8 p m
Get Tickets at
THE QUEEN, WILMINGTON, DE
Proceeds Support Local Music Education Programs