September 2022 - Sing It Loud!

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Black Film Festival Set for Penn Cinema A Stormin's Salute to Area Hoop Stars Fall WorthReleasesSipping SEPTEMBERCOMPLIMENTARY2022 DTC's Here You Come Again helps kick off important season for area performing arts groups Sing It Loud!



6 SEPTEMBER 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM Don’t keep your future on hold. Put it in drive. Del Tech has over 100 programs, like Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training, leading to in-demand careers. With our flexible, affordable tuition, there’s never been a better time to make your next move. Enroll today. Visit REGISTER In partnership with Sponsored by OCTOBER 4 $10,000 + PITCH COMPETITION WILMINGTON, DELAWARE DELAWARE CRAFT BEER GARDEN FOOD BY WILMINGTON KITCHEN 2VENDORSCOLLECTIVEKEYNOTES8PANELS1LIVEPODCAST NETWORKING BLOCK PARTY WWW.EECINCUBATOR.COM/ENTREPRENEURIAL-SUMMIT

SEPTEMBER 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 7 2 INSIDE Published each month by TSN Media, Inc. All rights Contact@TSNPub.comreserved.Wilmington,DE19801 Publisher Gerald duPhily • Director of Publications Jim Miller • Contributing Editor Bob Yearick • Creative Director & Production Manager Matthew Loeb, Catalyst Visuals, LLC Digital Services Director Michael O’Brian Contributing Writers Editorial & advertising info: 302.655.6483 • Fax 302.654.0569 • START9 From the Publisher 11 War on Words 12 Art Loop Wilmington 13 FYI 15 Play the Numbers 16 What a Weekend: BMW Championship 18 Stormin’s Classic Hall of Fame FOCUS22 DTC World Premiere Honors Dolly Parton 28 A Look at the Upcoming Arts Season 39 Mark Fields Brings Down the Curtain EAT43 El Toro’s Dynamic Duo LISTEN47 Samantha Poole releases debut EP 49 Q&A with Brian Stokes Mitchell WATCH53 Diamond State Black Film Festival DRINK55 Fall Releases Worth Sipping PLAY57 Fill in the Blanks WILMINGTON58 In the City 60 On the Riverfront Printed on recycled paper. 43162853Out & About Magazine Vol. 35 | No. 7 All new coming this month All new coming this month EVENTS CALENDAR Sign Up For Our FREE Digital Subscription

Reimagining Diversity and Inclusion: Prioritizing Workforce Equity CONTACT RENEE@WILMINGTONALLIANCE.ORG TO BECOME A SPONSOR GET YOUR TICKET www.wilmingtonalliance.orgNOW! Keynote Speaker Michael O’Bryan Founder, DrexelforFellow,DistinguishedHumanatureResidentTheLindyInstituteUrbanInnovationatUniversity JOIN US! Friday, October 28, 2022 8:00AM - 12:00PM Riverfront Events |760 Justison Street |Wilmington, DE Get ready to become energized and excited for the work being done to make Wilmington a more equitable city! After the keynote, there will be a panel discussion focused on local, regional and national perspectives. JENNIFER ModeratorTHOMPKINS CEO, WilmingtonMetropolitanUrban League HOLLIE PanelistMARSTON Network Director, National Fund for SolutionsWorkforce SAAD PanelistSOLIMAN Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Criminal Justice, Patient Sortal © PANEL PARTICIPANTS

T his fall has so much potential — for the area entertainment scene...and for our individual psyches. So, take full advantage of the array of appetizing entertainment options coming your way starting this month. To peruse the menu, see page 28. Area arts venues will be eternally grateful, not to mention the entire hospitality industry. For the first time since the spring of 2020, our entertainment venues will be operating without restrictions. No mask mandates. No reduced seating capacity. No anxiety about what the next proclamation might do to business. A return to normal, albeit a new normal. Without question, the pandemic changed things forever. And it accelerated trends already underway — like remote working. That aspect of individual empowerment may prove a silver lining, because a happy camper should prove to be a more productive worker. However, for nearly two years COVID snuffed out a vital part of our joie de vivre: the live experience. Those are two years we’ll never get back. Therefore, it’s imperative we maximize the years ahead.


— Jerry duPhily are two years we'll never get back. it's imperative we maximize the years ahead.


Consider: The Grand didn’t host an indoor performance for more than 600 days. Other area arts groups faced a similar blackout. Fortunately, bolstered by loyal patrons and timely government assistance, The Grand and most area arts venues survived the shutdown and reopened. But they did so with one arm tied behind their back. I remember going to last year’s performance of Waitress at The Playhouse on Rodney Square. It was the first show at that historic 109-year-old theater in 20 months. We were masked, nervous about what we touched and anxious about getting too close to others. In fact, so focused was I on staying within my space bubble that it wasn’t until the performance ended that I realized two long-time acquaintances were sitting behind me. They didn’t realize it either, so we exchanged apologies for the mutual lack of awareness, well aware of the reason for our obtuseness. Masks and paranoia foster such behavior. We may have been “getting out,” but we weren’t moving on. That’s reflected in a recent study by TRG Arts, which surveyed 143 arts organizations in North America and found the number of tickets sold during the 2021-22 season was down 40 percent. Broadway’s attendance last season shows a similar decline. The return to normal may take a while. A s I compose this column on the back deck of my residence, I’m invigorated by a pleasant Sunday morning and a comforting chorus of birds. It’s a soothing serenade, one I’m confident I will never take for granted. Just like I can now say that post-pandemic, I will never consider “seeing it live” a given. So, go have dinner. Do drinks with friends. Get tickets to that show. Not only have you earned it, but those putting on the show genuinely need it.

From The Publisher LIVE A LITTLE START UrbanPromiseYoung Let's Do Brunch In 2022, this meal is more popular FREE SUBSCRIPTIONDIGITAL Simply email us at Area Restaurants Beefing Up 17th Annual CityRestaurant Week Tattoo Industry Making a StatementClifford Brown Jazz Festival Expands We All Scream for Ice Cream Kozy CelebratesKorner100Years The Riverfront... The Grass is Greener at Ramsey's Farm The Raw Deal at Area Restaurants ASpiritedTrail Through Delaware Good, Good, Good, GOOD LIBATIONS! thenextwaveofactionbeers,wines&spirits!


•Peter MacArthur, on WDEL: “The two men got into a verbal argument.” Aren’t all arguments verbal? Otherwise, it’s a fight. Follow me on Twitter: @thewaronwords

Word of the Month

A monthly column in which we attempt, however futilely, to defend the English language against misuse and abuse WAR ON WORDS

7: I have already visited many teams, including the San Fran cisco Forty-Niners 49ers. (Some people cut already, which is ac 8:ceptable.)Iama friend of Coach Smith Smith’s and I have visited the Smith’s Smiths many times at their home. This is tricky, but Coach Smith’s (with the possessive apostrophe s) is correct (ku dos to daughter Danielle for catching this). And, of course, there is no apostrophe in the plural Smiths 9: There is a real connection between Coach Smith and I me. The preposition between re quires the objective pronoun me.


6: Despite my daring-do derring-do on the football field, I know I have a tough road row to hoe to become a top pick. You hoe a row — of corn, tobacco, beans, etc. — but you can’t hoe a road.

12: Now I have a whole, entire, new prospective perspective on my future. A comma after now is acceptable, but not necessary.


•Second, the usually excellent and eloquent Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Marcus Hayes: “They needed six preseason games to sweat out all the Coors they’d drank since January.”

Serendipitously, we recently came across two writers who may have had trouble with our grammar test:

•Meanwhile, reader Maria Hess captured the image at the top of this column. The sign requires the phrasal verb stand by. Standby is a noun meaning readiness for duty or immediate deployment, or the state of waiting for a spot for a journey, usually allocated on the basis of earliest availability.

Pronounced fleg-madic, it’s an adjective meaning not easily made angry or upset; calm.

A writer/editor’s slightly snarky and relentless crusade to eliminate grammatical gaffes from our everyday communications Compiled from thecolumnpopularin Magazine START

NEED A SPEAKER FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION? Contact me for a fun presentation on grammar: Buy The War on Words book at the Hockessin Book Shelf ( or on Amazon, or email me.

13: I also excel at golf, where I have recorded three hole-in-ones holes-in-one 14: I played yesterday, and after hitting a ball into the rough, I had to play it as it lied lay 15: It was hot, and I would have drank drunk some beer, but I have a tryout tomorrow.

By Bob Yearick



Twenty readers took on the grammar contest that appeared in the August “War on Words.” It proved to be challenging; none of the entrants got a perfect score. Larry Kerchner came clos est, followed by Jane Buck. Both are long-time readers of the column, and Larry has won twice previously. He’ll receive a gift certificate to Iron Hill Brewery and copies of my books, The War on Words and Sawyer. Jane wins copies of the books. Congratula tions to both of these stellar grammarians. The contest presented 15 sentences, each containing at least one error — a redundancy, bad grammar, misplaced or missing punctuation, or a misspelling. Here are the sentences, with cor rections indicated by italics or strikethroughs, along with some explanations and comments, as space allows. If you would like further explanations, let me know. We may address your ques tions in a future column.

11: He has given me a peak peek at what the NFL is really like.

1: Where did you get your degree from? Ending a sentence in a preposition is not always wrong, but in this case, it can be avoid ed. From where did you get your degree? is also acceptable.

10: He calls me “son”. “son.” Periods and com mas go inside quotes. Also, no need to capitalize son.

•First, Jarrett Bell, writing in USA TODAY about New England Patriots players making the Pro Football Hall of Fame: “Besides Brady and kicker Adam Vinatieri, there are no shoe-ins from the early dynasty teams.”


4: Now that I have earned a an undergraduate degree, I am in the throws throes of trying to figure out my future.

5: I had a bout with COVID-19, but I’m now hail hale and hearty, and I believe I’m a shoe-in shoo-in to be drafted by an NFL team.

2: Personally, I graduated from Slippery Rock University. Personally is superfluous, and graduated needs to be followed by from 3: It is one of the most a unique universities university in the coun try, and I exalted exulted in becoming an alumni alumnus, alumna or alum are acceptable. Alumni is plural. Exalt: praise, laud. Exult: rejoice, take pride.


Talleyville Frame Shoppe 3625 Silverside Road Artist:478-1163Surreal AppealPhotography 2022 DOWNTOWN Chris White Gallery 701 N. Shipley Street 475-0998 •

The Delaware Contemporary 200 S. Madison Street 656-6466 • AlexanderKristinAFEATUREDdecontemporary.orgEXHIBITION:ThroughGlass,Darkly,curatedbyDeady,JennaLucente,Rosenberg

Artist: Brick Kastles WEST SIDE Howard Pyle Studio 1305 N. Franklin Street 656-7304 •

Friday, Sept. 9 5pm Start Friday, Oct. 7, 2022

RIVERFRONT Bridge Art Gallery @ New Castle County Chamber of Commerce Office 920 Justison theArtists:347-249-2184Street•“RaisingMen”featuringartofMariaLupianez

Delaware College of Art & Design 600 N. Market Street 622-8000 • Artist: Constance M. Simon: The Making of Art and Artists Gallery at Grace Church 900 N. Washington Street 331-0719•VignettesofNature,byElmslieWharton

Artist: Studio Group Member Art Show & Sale Blue Streak Gallery 1721 Delaware Avenue Artist:429-0506Margo Allman and Stan Smokler

Next Art Loop:

“Monsters with Flowers” baby grand Gallery: The Fantastic Art of Lissanne Lake MKT Gallery 200 W. 9th

The Grand Opera House 818 N. Market St. 658-7897•

Artist:mailchimpsites.commkt-place-gallery.StreetListeningThrough the Lens Group Show Exhibit

Artist: Inner Reflections, Kiara Florez Old Swedes Historic Site 606 Church Street 354-0855 • Artist: Colonial Heros at Old Swedes by Kevin O’Malley

The Sold Firm 800-B N. Tatnall Street 689-3237 •

A program of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs

Mezzanine Gallery at the Carvel State Building 820 N. French Street 577-8278 •

BEYOND THE CITY Bellefonte Arts 803-C Brandywine Blvd, Bellefonte 762-4278 • Artists: Bellefonte Arts New Member Spotlight: Nancy Butler, Wendy Fantini & Joy Littleton COCA Pop-Up Gallery 3829 Kennett Pike Artists:218-4411Group show of local artists The Station Gallery 3922 Kennett Pike 654-8638 • Artist: Fall Kick Off~ Group Show

Grand Gallery: Michael Teters

Complimentary Shuttle cityfestpresented by


Artist: “Statecraft” by Michael Kalmbach Christina Cultural Arts Center 705 N. Market Street 652-0101 • Artists: Sheila Exum City of ReddingWilmington’sGallery 800 N. French Street 576-2100 •



new Chancery

More recently, Mickey’s brother Declan was also diagnosed. In addition to pony rides, inflatable amusements, and games and prizes for the kids, there will be a beer garden with wine and full bar for those over 21. For more details, visit


Afree family event honoring Delaware’s first responders is set for Sat., Oct. 1 at Delcastle Recreational Park from 11am-3pm. Activities include K9 demonstrations, fire trucks, DJ and live music, kids games and amusements, vendors and more. Donations will benefit the families of fallen first responders in Delaware. Visit

“We’re thrilled to bring such an exciting new array of dining offerings and culinary experiences to the Wilmington community,” said Chef Nawab. “Our goal is for our kitchens to serve as a springboard for talented, local vendors looking to take their businesses to the next level and to create a thriving communal space where visitors feel welcome.”

Among the concepts coming to Chancery Market is New York City’s favorite fried chicken joint Fuku. What started as a secret sandwich at David Chang's Momofuku Noodle Bar has since grown to serve a variety of fried chicken offerings and sides in a fast-casual concept. Also joining the roster at Chancery Market are Rooted AF, a quick-service vegan experience offering unique multicultural fare, herbal products, fresh cold-pressed juices, and smoothies; and Kati Roll Wala, serving up authentic Indian cuisine composed of delicious Indian street food staples such as Kati Rolls and Rice Bowls. HQ is encouraging vendor applications from minority-owned businesses and talented culinarians who create a range of styles of global cuisine with reimagined specialties.

“Chancery Market represents the start of exciting redevelopment projects for 1313 N. Market and 1201 N. Market,” said Scott Johnson, representing ownership of 1313 N. Market and TSG Hospitality LLC. “As our tenants continue to return to the office environment, Chancery Market and the adjacent outdoor plaza will be an exciting amenity for professionals in the city, as well as a welcoming gathering place for our wider community and visitors.”

Chancery will be open seven days a week and include both shared and private dining space, seating for 233 people, and the indoor/outdoor Nectar Bar. A new 10,000-square-foot communal plaza will feature outdoor dining and co-working areas with seating for 150, lush green gardens and landscaping designed by the Delaware Center for Horticulture, as well as activities and games for families and visitors.


It sounds like quite the party: As of press time, seven food trucks, 10 bands, the Ghostbuster Mobile, the A-Team van, a team of fire-eaters, and the Delaware State Police helicopter had all signed on for MickeyFest 3 on Saturday, Sept. 17 (11am9pm) at Fort DuPont in Delaware City. The purpose of MickeyFest 3 is to raise funds for the Save Mickey Association, a local non-profit that seeks treatment and a cure for San Filippo Syndrome, which impacts the family of Donny Merrill, owner and operator of Skipjack Dining and founding drummer for Fat Daddy Has Been (one of the featured acts). Merrill and his wife, Molly, founded Save Mickey after their older daughter, Mickey, was diagnosed with San Filippo, a rare degenerative disease that is often referred to as “Children’s Alzheimer’s.” START

orld-class chefs are bringing international food concepts to 1313 N. Market St. as Chancery Market Food Hall & Bar prepares to open this fall. The 12,000-square-foot culinary collective and unique indoor/outdoor bar will feature dining experiences from around the world, curated by HQ Hospitality co-founder and award-winning chef Akhtar Nawab. Visitors will get to enjoy vibrant flavors and try dishes from renowned chefs and up-and-coming local culinarians.



A rendering of the Market Food Hall Bar destined for 1313 N. Market St.

PlantsforDance Members: $25; Non-members: $35 “Pumpkin Power” Delaware Center for Horticulture | 1810 N Dupont Street, Wilmington,

19806 | More than 200 artisans are expected. Free fun at Family Field Day. 14 SEPTEMBER 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM=

The vendors, including 40 who are exhibiting at the festival for the first time, include painters, photographers, jewelry makers, ceramicists, woodcrafters and fabric artists. One must-see exhibitor is watercolorist Beth Palser of Chester County, PA., who has been named the featured artist for the 2022 festival. Festival hours are Saturday (10am-6pm) and Sunday (10am-4pm). Admission is $5 per day with children under 12 free. Visit Pedal cars, bean bags, soccer balls, hula hoops, and even laundry baskets will be part of the action during the Brandywine YMCA Family Field Day on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to noon. The free event will be held on the sprawling grounds of Hanby Outdoor Center, located at 35 Chestnut St., in North Wilmington. Volunteers and board members will be on hand to guide families through the games, which will include gaga, pedal car relays, giant tic-tac-toe, lava hop, three-legged races, and more. There will also be DJ music and refreshments. Register at For more information, contact Kerry Anne Smith at AIDS Delaware and the Delaware HIV Consortium will present the annual AIDS Walk Delaware on Sat., Sept. 17 with walkers beginning at 10am in two locations: Brandywine Park (Wilm.) and Grove Park (Rehoboth Beach). The event strives to advance HIV awareness, reduce stigma, and endorse HIVinformed community health for all Delawareans. This year’s theme is Step Up, Step Out: Remove Stigma, Eliminate HIV, Improve Lives. The AIDS Walk is the state’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS fundraising and awareness event. Delaware is in the top third of states with the highest HIV infection rates per capita. Funds raised help provide everything from free HIV testing to counseling and housing. Register at 23, 2022 6 to 10 p.m. Come celebrate all things pumpkin at our signature fall event. Our gardens will be adorned with all colors and sizes of the genus Cucurbita. Enjoy a specialty pumpkin cocktail, brews from Wilmington Brew Works, including their Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll beer, and pumpkininspired food from Rockford Catering Food Truck. Get ready to dance the night away with live music by the Dysrhythmics. Ticket includes voucher for one free drink. DE

The Brandywine Festival of the Arts, a Wilmington tradition since 1961, returns to Brandywine Park on Sept. 10-11 with 240 artisans displaying and selling their works, plus food, music, children's activities and pet-adoption opportunities.




Play The Numbers! Win Cool Stuff! 2. How many UD football players have been taken in the first round of the NFL draft? 013 1. How many national championships have the Delaware Blue Hens won? 3. How many players has Delaware State University had selected within the first five rounds of the NFL draft? 426 Are You Ready for Some Football? 1. Select your answers 2. Take photo of this page 3. Upload at: 4. Or complete online: Five winners randomly selected from correct answers win a 4-pack of Instant Games tickets. Last month's winners: Allison Leizear, Shayna Moon, Robert Nagle, Sharolynn Tassone, Jeannette Ayala 03 SEPTEMBER 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 15 6. Pennsylvania is the state with the most collegiate football programs in the country. How many does it have? 643652 number below has not been retired by the Philadelphia Eagles? 5. Collegiate and professional football fields are the same length. What is it? It’s the Law: You must be 21 years of age or older to play Sports Lottery. Football parlay card wagering now available

“The tournament was a huge deal for Greater Wilmington,” said Jennifer Boes, executive director of the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We don’t know the full economic impact of the event yet, but I am certain it was significant based on what we’ve seen and heard. What I can tell you now is that we had more than 500 downloads of our mobile discount pass, launched in the weeks leading up to the tournament, and website traffic during tournament week saw the [BMW Championship] account for nearly 43 percent of all our website traffic during the month of August."


Wilmington basks in spotlight of the BMW Championship What A Weekend Well, they said it was going to be a big deal. And it was. All eyes of the golfing world were on Wilmington last month as the top PGA Tour golfers jetted in for the BMW Championship. The weather cooperated, more than 110,000 spectators turned out, and an international TV/steaming audience got a close-up of Wilmington Country Club and our photogenic Brandywine Valley. “The 2022 BMW Championship was a great success,” said event chairman Tom Humphrey. “Delaware and the Wilmington Country Club hosted a fantastic event for the global golf world to see. Looking down the fairway as the last group putted out all you could see were waves of people lining both sides of the fairway. The comments I have received from the PGA Tour, Western Golf Association and BMW have all been highly complimentary.”

The area will have to wait to perform an encore. The BMW Championship is already booked at locations in other parts of the U.S. through 2026 — Out & About Top row (l-r): The photogenic 15th green; Patrick Cantlay made it two BMW titles in a row, a FedEx Cup first. Second row (l-r): Scottie Sheffler finished tied for third; Scott Stallings finished second and earned his first trip to the FedEx Tour Championship; Crowd favorite Rory Mcllroy turned in another top 10 finish. Third row (l-r): Youngsters wait for their autograph-op; Walt and Molly Diehl with daugher Kelly (left) during Sundays' final round; WCC member Chris Cobb with Sophie duPhily on the 10th fairway.

Photos by Lindsay Rudney duPhily

Now, 20 years after it ended, the Stormin’s Classic basketball league is back in the news, as the man behind the league, Norman Oliver, has put together a committee to select a Hall of Fame from the Stormin’s Classic’s glory years, 1980-2002. The inductees will be honored at a ceremony on September 29 at the Chase Center at the Riverfront (inductees list at


t’s probably difficult for today’s kids to understand how important Stormin’s Classic basketball league was to yesterday’s kids. Thirty years ago, reputations and sometimes even careers were determined by how well they stood up to that summer-time competition. The players back then knew they would be playing against the best from the city and beyond. And they knew that everybody would be watching.


A Stormin’s Salute summer basketball unveils its one-and-only Hall of Fame class

By Kevin Noonan


“So many great players were in the league, and it wasn’t easy cutting it down to 100,” Oliver says. “We tried to be systematic about it to make sure nobody got overlooked. Each person on the committee submitted 20 names, and after much debate the list was whittled down. And I think we did a really good job with it.”

“We really worked hard on this and we understood that not everybody could make the final cut,” Brown says. “We really tried to be fair and everybody went into this with an open mind. I’m sure there will be controversy because a lot of worthy people won’t make it. But that’s true of any hall of fame or all-star game. It’s just a fact that everybody can’t be selected.“I’lltellyou this — it wasn’t easy.”

Norman Oliver (l) and Alonzo Brown at Wilmington's Elbert Park, the site of many "Classic" clashes.

Oliver and Brown give much of the credit for the success of the league to two men who have since passed away — Aaron Rivers, a sports reporter for the News Journal, and Dan Frawley, the former mayor of Wilmington.

Alonzo Brown, one of the organizers of the league back in 1980, was part of the selection committee and he says that group took its job very seriously.




The one-and-only class will consist of 100 athletes, with 80 of them being male since the boys’ league preceded the girls’ league by eight years and has hundreds of more candidates from which to choose.

“We wanted to have an impact on these kids’ entire lives, not just their basketball

Rivers, who died in 2005 at the age of 43, really put Stormin’s Classic on the map with his coverage of the league’s annual draft, which eventually became so big that it was broadcast on a local cable television station. “That’s all anybody would talk about — who are going to be the top picks in the Stormin’ draft,” Brown says. “Around here, it was bigger than the NBA draft. And it’s all because of the coverage that Aaron gave it in the newspaper.”Frawley was also a passionate basketball fan and even played in the New Castle County recreation league. In fact, Frawley was playing in a NCC rec league game when he had a fatal heart attack in 1994 at the age of 50, after he had left office. When he was mayor, Frawley gave

Rivers, a childhood friend of Oliver’s, was legendary in the Journal’s sports department for his passion for local basketball, and his dedication to keeping records and statistics bordered on the fanatical.


A STORMIN’S SALUTE continued from previous pageOliver the city’s support and stamp of approval, which enabled the fledgling league to play in better venues and not just on neighborhood courts. Frawley even sponsored a team in the league, which led other politicians to do the same, including Tom Carper, Mike Castle, John Carney, Jane Brady, James Sills and Bud Freel. “Dan Frawley’s involvement was crucial. He gave us stability and credibility,” Oliver says. “He promised he would help us and he kept that promise. He jumped right on board, and Dan Frawley was one of the cornerstones of the league.” Another cornerstone of the league was Oliver’s insistence that kids who played in Stormin’s Classic also focus on their education and involved in their community. It didn’t matter how good you were on the court — if you didn’t deliver in study hall or take part in the latest community project, you weren’t playing in the Stormin’s Classic.

View the List of Inductees on the Next Page >

The league continued to grow until it became too big for Oliver and Brown, and they eventually turned the league’s mostly volunteer operations over to others. By that time, girls’ leagues had started and Stormin’s Classic had spread to Middletown, Smyrna, Dover, Georgetown and Seaford. A league that started with 54 boys playing at a city park (shirts vs skins) ended up with 120 teams and thousands of participants. And its championship game moved to the bright lights of the Bob Carpenter Center at the University of Delaware.

Stormin’s Classic special was what happened off the court, which had a bigger impact on young lives than what happened on it.“The competitive component, the basketball component, that was one thing,” he says. “But there was that academic component, that service component about that league that went a long way to providing a lot of structure and discipline and opportunity for kids growing up in the city.”

The sad irony, however, is that the league Norman Oliver started when he was a freshman at Delaware State University — when most college students are more concerned about the next frat party than starting a program for inner-city kids — became so successful it failed. It was simply too big for a volunteer operation to manage.

And those memories of the glory days of past summers don’t fade away; if anything, they get stronger as the kids become adults and have their own kids.

“It’s like a fraternity,” Waterman says. “Those guys developed life-long relationships. Guys won’t see each other for 15-20 years, but if they run into each other they’re going to talk about the times they played with or against each other in the Classic. They have a bond that lasts their entire lives.”

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“That was hard to accept at first, but we understood the reality of the situation,” Oliver says. “We were and still are proud of what we created from basically nothing. And I think the thing I’m most proud of is the fact that we brought together kids from the city and the suburbs, kids from Howard and Sallies and St. Elizabeth and Delcastle. They worked together and played together and showed that people from different backgrounds can get along if they get the chance.”

1. Phil Anderson 19. Cory Curtis 2. Damon Bagwell 20. Joe Carson 3. Jerry Barnes 21. Jermaine “Fuzzie” Crawford 4. Ralph Blaylock 22. Calvin Copeland 5. Abdul Bey 23.Troy “Worthy” Davis 6. Eric Blackston 24. William “Tail” Davis 7. Art Bowers 25. Ricky Deadwyler 8. Troy Boyer 26. Mark Eggerson 9. Clinton Brown 27. Vincent Garlick 10. Lenny Brown 28. John Gordon 11. Mike Bryson 29. Aaron Gosa 12. Alex Karlsen 30. Carlos Hawkins 13. Laron Cephas 31. Shelton Hammond 14. Devon Chambers 32. Josh Hill 15. Darrell Chambers 33. Ugundi Jacobs 16. Matt Chittham 34. Ladaye “Coolie” Johnson 17. Doc Chittham 35. Decoursey Jamison 18. Paul Coleman 36. Vincent Kent 37. Carl “Bo” Lemon 57. Theron Shehee 38. Anthony Laws 58. Will Sheridan 39. Chris Laws 59. Buster Snow 40. Howard Laws 60. Ryan Smith 41. Gary Lumpkin 61. George “Bam-Bam” Stewart 42. Marquis Lopez 62. Duffy Samuels 43. Jamal Moore 63. Anthony Sutherland 44. Jermaine Medley 64. Cleon Stewart 45. Andrew Miles 65. Darrell Dollard 46. Andre “Barkley” Mills 66. Jay Jay Taylor 47. Earl Miller 67. Jerome Thornton 48. Ray Marshall 68. Damon Trawick 49. Shannon McCants 69. Darrell Vaughn 50. Jamie McDaniels 70. Tony Washam 51. Eric McNair 71. Nai-teWatson 52. Cory Ponzo 72. Shannon “Showtime” Williams 53. Sy Pettijohn 73. Mike Winters 54. Lloyd Price 74. Anthony “69” Wilson 55. Andre Rider 75. Lenny Williams 56. Lawrence Redden 76. Tyson Waterman 77. John Williams 79. Steve Williams 78. Cory Wallace 80. Shannon Willis STORMIN CLASSIC HALL OF FAME 100 WOMEN’S TEAM 1. Tracy Howell 2. Tyra Lusby 3. Tiara Malcom 4. Monick Foote 5. Nikki Paul 6. Katie Davis 7. Felicia Camper 8. Yolanda Parrish 9. Dana Roane 10. Tawaina Pennewell 11. Diane Armstrong Williams 12. Natasha Howard 13. Shavonne Burke 14. Bridgett Benson 15. Erin Mills Reid 16. Lindsey Dyal 17. Marquita Hollingsworth 18. Khadijah Rushdan 19. Jina Komla 20. Kiera Manlove


Imagine getting the Dolly Parton Seal of Approval. Not that such a thing exists. But, for a moment, picture getting an email from Dolly telling you how much she liked your blueberry muffin recipe, or her reposting your gardening tips on social media, or her sending you a handwritten postcard from Nashville. Nice, right? Now picture yourself as an actress. And as luck has it, Parton reads your bio; she’s seen you act; and, most importantly, she’s heard you sing. Then, she greenlights you to play her — Dolly Parton — in an upcoming musical you helped create. That’s exactly what happened to singer-actress Tricia Paoluccio, both launching her to the moon and landing her in the upcoming world premiere of Here You Come Again: How Dolly Saved My Life in 12 Easy Songs, which comes to Delaware Theatre Company September 14 through October 2. DWoul olly Woul

By Jim Miller

DTC’s world premiere of Here You Come Again has been dream-come-true experience for the musical’s well-established creative team


“I literally dropped on the floor,” Paoluccio says. “I mean, sorry, I’m going to start to cry right now when I think about it, because it is my childhood dream. I’ve loved her my whole life. So, the idea she heard me sing and approved of me to play her, there’s nothing that will ever top this in my artistic career. I know that.” ►

Photos by Kristin Curley


“I knew I could do this, but I didn’t think Dolly would be seeing it… I don’t think we had any idea that Dolly would be really soaking in this material. She’s so busy. She had so many projects on her plate.

Tricia Paoluccio said it was a career highlight to receive Dolly Parton's approval to play her in the world premiere.

“So, I was absolutely shocked when I heard that she approved me to play her and that she loved the show. I think we were all pretty stunned because it was such a long shot. It was such a big dream. We didn’t really expect it.”

’ve had a life-long love of Dolly,” says Paoluccio. “I knew I could sing like Dolly and I’ve channeled her before in other productions. I did 9 to 5: The Musical and Stand By Your Man where I got to play Dolly in Nashville.

FOCUS During a zoom call with the show’s creators, Paoluccio offers an inside look at how it all came to be and what it felt like to get “the call.”

Paoluccio, who is also a fine artist, says she was attending an art exhibit of hers in New York City when she got the phone call from the creative team’s lawyer.

uld! uld!

A man with many stories as well as many comic ideas, Vilanch might be most recognizable to people outside of Hollywood for his four years on the third iteration of Hollywood Squares, as both a writer and a celebrity “square.”

“I have been around musicals for my entire adult life,” Barre says. “One of the things that distinguishes this show from other projects and new shows I’ve been a part of is that I’ve helped create this show — with Bruce and Tricia — and I feel wonderful about that.

From Hollywood to Dollywood

In addition to offering a Parton-approved portrayal of Dolly, Here You Come Again brings together a creative team not entirely new to Wilmington. Paoluccio’s husband, Gabriel Barre, directed A Sign of the Times, which premiered regionally at DTC at the end of 2018. Also a musical, A Sign of the Times featured tunes from the mid ‘60s and focused on social issues of the time through the lens of a young woman who makes the jump from Middle America to The Big Apple. While Kevin, the lead character in Here You Come Again, doesn’t take such a big leap geographically, he does take a musical journey of sorts through his past. Described as a “hasbeen-comedian-who-never-was,” Kevin (played by Jameson Stern) finds himself isolating in his parent’s attic during the pandemic, turning to his love of Dolly Parton songs for guidance and support. Both characters are creations of Hollywood funny man Bruce Vilanch, who, in addition to being a writer for award shows like the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tonys, has been a joke writer for the likes of Robin Williams, Lily Tomlin, and Billy“We’veCrystal.had a chance to have both Bruce and Gabe in town,” says Matt Silva, DTC’s executive director. “Bruce is a wonderful collaborator. And Gabe is one of the most experienced and compassionate directors that I’ve ever come across in my young“Thecareer.collaboration [with A Sign of the Times] was wonderful, and the show was terrific. It was a no-brainer to have them back here with this really exciting project and to bring Tricia along for the ride.” For Barre, it’s a well-timed return to DTC. As both a director and a Tony-nominated actor, he has worked on and off Broadway for decades as well as on theater tours throughout the country and on three other continents. That said, there is something about developing a piece for a smaller stage that he finds attractive.

“It’s also really a treat to do an intimate show again. I work on a lot of big musicals. I spent most of 2021 in China working on a mega-musical that had 60 to 75 people in it. Huge production. I love all of that, too. “But it is refreshing to just focus on an intimate story for a truly intimate audience and to bring emotional spectacle to it with fun, inventive staging and creative, comic ideas. And to reinterpret these songs in a way that serves our story.”

DOLLY WOULD! continued from previous page 24 SEPTEMBER 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM


TV series, which was sinking mid-season.“Shehad a great, big, expensive bomb on ABC Sunday nights where they tried to turn her into Carol Burnett,” Vilanch explains. “And it didn’t work. So, they fired the original squad and brought in a new group. I was the reclamation team coming in to try and rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic, basically.”Theteam decided the best move would be to take the show on the “Weroad.took it out of the realm of the studio,” Vilanch says. “We did Dolly in London, Dolly at the Metropolitan Opera, Dolly in Nashville. And we opened Dollywood. That was when she put her whole family on the payroll and opened the theme park where the highlight was clog dancing. I’m telling you there was no roller coaster! “But that worked enough to get us through the season.” Although the experience had its challenges, Vilanch came to see Dolly as a “real, special” entertainer with a Betty Grablelike quality. When asked to describe Parton in a word, he muses for a “Sunshine,”bit.he says. ► Director-actor Gabriel Barre is no stranger to DTC. He directed A Sign of the Times at the theater in 2018.

Photo provided

One of his most famous jokes was, “I’m the guy to the left of Whoopie Goldberg — if that’s even possible.”Vilanch started writing for theater after meeting Bette Midler. At the time, he was entertainment writer for the Chicago Tribune, a career that allowed him to mix with performers. Midler was a nightclub singer just starting to get discovered. He helped her write amusing things to say between songs, and she kept him along for the ride. Five years later it would be the perfect match of wits when they collaborated on her 1974 Broadway show Clams on the Half Shell Revue, the same year that saw her win a Special Tony Award. “The stuff I wrote was built around showcasing her music,” Vilanch says. “And I did a lot of stuff for people like that. Because they would have an album, and they would tour, and they would have to say something in between the songs [to] and create some kind of a thematic structure. “I became kind of a specialist in that. Then that translated well to writing for people on television. And that’s actually when I met Dolly.” In the late ‘80s, Vilanch was brought in a part of a “rescue squad” of writers hired to help revive the now-forgotten Dolly

“[It’s] all in the service of Dolly making Kevin realize how lucky he is. How much he has to be grateful for. And a reminder to him of what hard work really does look like so that he doesn’t feel so whiny. So, he’s not wallowing in self-pity. And we all need a dash of that, too.


“Dolly is the perfect person who everyone can agree has a great way of helping us pull ourselves up from the bootstraps,” Barre says, “And as Bruce says it in our promotional materials, ‘even if your bootstraps aren’t made of rhinestones.’

“That’s what I’m really excited to pose to audiences and to feel their response, especially when we have two wonderful actors both in in Trish, of course, and Jameson.

“We are really, really excited about bringing it to life, fully staged.”

It is perhaps that ethereal-meets-real aura of Parton’s that makes the premise of the new musical sound so on target. Alone and in his parents’ attic, a downon-his-luck Kevin finds himself in his very own Covid bubble. Then appears a country music fairy-godmother-of-sorts to help work things out.

DOLLY WOULD! continued from previous page

Hollywood funnyman Bruce Vilanch sprinkled jokes

Barre then references a lesser-known nugget in Parton’s extensive goldmine of a catalog: “We have a moment in the show, it’s [a song] called ‘Sing for the Common Man,’ that we use to honor frontline workers and the people that went out there [during the pandemic].

Working 9 to 5… During A Pandemic



Wilmington area arts organizations are looking to rebound from COVID-19 with an energetic and ambitious schedule of performances. Here is a quick look at what to expect in the opening months of the 2022-23 season. packed schedule awaits you as we return to ‘normal’


By Michelle Kramer-Fitzgerald Ukraine's DakhaBrakha will perform at Arden Gild Hall on Oct. 8. the


Fall (Back) Into

1301 N. Broom Street, Wilmington • 887.9300 •

Delaware’s premier early music ensemble presents a lively series performed on historic instruments in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach. This season begins with delightful works of English music and song by 18th-century composers from the circle of painter Thomas Gainsborough. In November, step further back in time with a program spotlighting music of the viola da gamba with special guest artist, Sarah Cunningham. In December, ring in the holiday season with a selection of concertos to warm up any cold winter day! . 205 Center Meeting Road, Centerville • 652.4190

Facebook: @NCTStage • Instagram: @candlelighttheatrede Twitter: @newcandlelight ►

Playwright Connie Drummond launched this Black Box theater/ event space, where she curates as well as directs a host of plays and interactive performance events throughout the year. First up is Brown Skin Girl (Sept. 24 & 25), a play by Vanessa Lynn. On Saturday, Oct. 29, patrons can investigate the Great Gatsby Interactive Murder Mystery. Call Me Mr. Scrooge by Murray J. Rivette will run in December (Dec. 3 & 4), as well as Miracle on Market Street, a new piece by written and directed by Drummond (Dec. 17 & 18). 205 N. Market Street, Wilmington • .422.6622 •


Halloween party, Spirits at the Zoo, on Friday, Oct. 28. Teens will love the escape room experience, Clues at the Zoo, on Saturday, Sept. 24. The popular Boo at the Zoo (Oct. 21-23) has kids and adults alike show off their creative costumes and trick-or-treat around the property. Winter means fluffy coats and frisky critters geared up for Santa at the Zoo (Dec. 3 & 4) and Noon Year’s Eve.


Memphis at The Candlelight Theatre Charlotte von Mahlsdor

First on the Bootless stage is I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright (Sept. 9-17) — a play based on Charlotte von Mahlsdor, a transwoman living in Nazi and Communist-governed Germany. Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell present [title of show] — yes, that's the name of the play — Nov. 4-12. The play introduces us to writers who pen a musical for a competition deadline in three weeks. Each month, local, regional & national comedians perform at the Comedy Corner hosted by Belynda Cleare (Sept. 24, Oct. 22, Nov. 19 & Dec. 17).


Facebook: @BootlessStageworks Instagram & Twitter: @BootlessDE


This historic Arden gem serves up a season packed with delicious theater and food! Tony Award-winning Memphis (Sept. 17-Oct. 30) spins the tale of a white DJ who wants to change the world and a black singer who’s ready for her big break. If you act quickly, you may still grab seats to the holiday show, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Nov. 18-Dec. 23). Trivia buffs can join in Monday fun at Quizzo with Dan Healy or for a night of raucous laughter, check out the Candlelight Comedy Club. 2208 Millers Rd., Wilmington 475-2313 •

It’s the local place for your little ones to meet a lemur, a condor, a serval cat, or a capybara up close. For the “big kids,” there are Sip & Strolls in September and the inaugural adults-only (age 21+)


HarrisDavidPhoto presents Brown Skin Girls


DellaVolpeTisaPhotoPhotoPbyHubertLinkDPA SEPTEMBER 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 29 ArtzScape

ARDEN CONCERT GILD Arden Concert Gild's season arrives with the 114th annual Arden Fair on Saturday, Sept. 3 — notable crafts, food, antiques, rides, and free music in the beer garden with Spokey Speakey, PJs and Cure for Pain, among others. Check for the most up-to-date listings, but scheduled so far is the fast-selling John Prine birthday tribute show featuring Sin City Band and Ukraine’s own DakhaBrakha (Oct. 7 & 8). The hilarious Noah Goldenswartz follows on Saturday, Oct. 22, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Delaware. For Gild Hall events, including November's Ardensingers production, Scholars Gild, and Community Dinners, visit 2126 The Highway, Arden • 898.9308 • Tickets:

Facebook: @ArdenConcertGild • Instagram & Twitter: @ArdenConcerts

Facebook: ArtzScape | Instagram: ArtzScapedel

1001 N. Park Drive, Wilmington • 571.7788 •

Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @BrandywineZoo

–– A not-for-profit arts organization ––THU |SEPT 8 | 7:30PM | $49-$67 One of the pioneers of the “trance fusion” style of live electronic music. The Disco Biscuits MON | SEPT 19 | 8PM | $30-$160 Punk legend has some great stories to tell in his spoken-word tour. Henry Rollins: Good To See You Tour SAT | SEPT 17 | 8PM | $48 An intimate night with one of America’s most revered singer-songwriters. An Evening with Josh Ritter TUE | SEPT 27 | 8PM | $49-$94 Grammy-winning guitar slinger fuses blues, rock and soul. Gary Clark Jr. FRI | OCT 7 | 8PM | $40-$50 A soulful night of hits by two R&B hitmakers. Howard Hewett featuring Special Guest Montell JordanR.E.S.P.E.C.T. TUE | OCT 4 | 8PM | $55-$73 The ultimate tribute to the legendary Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. SAT | OCT 8 | 7PM | $49-$53 America’s favorite cooking show brings all the ingredients for family fun! MasterChef Junior LIVE! FRI | OCT 14 | 8PM | $50-$60 A night of unfiltered comedy as only Tracy can deliver. Tracy Morgan: No Disrepect FortuneHeyFeimster:Y’all THU | OCT 13 | 8PM | $36-$66 A night of of laughts by the triple-threat writer-actor-comedian. Featuring Delaware Symphony Orchestra Music Director David Amado Guest Artists from OperaDelaware Broadway’s Tony®-Award Winner Brian Stokes Mitchell Honorary Chair: Mrs.CopelandTatianaOpening Night AT THE SEPTGRAND10, 2022 | 302.652.5577 | 302.888.0200 818 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19801 All tickets subject to box office service charges. Artists, dates, times and programs are subject to change. This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the Nation al Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on

The Delaware Contemporary Wings Black Box, 200 S. Madison St., Wilmington 220-8285 • Facebook: @CityTheaterCompany Instagram & Twitter: @CityTheaterCo



Twitter: @choirschoolofde

200 S. Madison Street, Wilmington • 656.6466 • Facebook & Instagram: @DEContemporary ►

FALL (BACK) INTO THE ARTS continued from page 23 FOCUS KuoPeterbyPhoto SimonM.ConstancebyPhotobyPhoto SEPTEMBER 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 31 Chapel Street Players CCAC's Carole in Color Crystal Grid at DCAD

The exhibit, Through A Glass, Darkly, is guest curated by Kristin Deady, Jenna Lucente, and Alexander Rosenberg (Sept. 9-Dec. 31). Selected works will engage the power of glass while challenging viewers to acknowledge an interconnectedness between enhancement and distortion. An exciting highlight is the Corning Museum of Glass Mobile Hotshop onsite (Nov. 2-6). The Hotshop brings the artistry and education of glassmaking to people around the world, including live demonstrations, audience participation, and celebrity appearances. The Contemporary is thrilled to be one of those venues.

Exciting things ahead at Chapel Street this season. First up is Deathtrap (Sept. 16-24), a laughter-and-thrills filled tale of a playwright whose next big hit may be a real killer. Then, Joseph Pukatsch directs Reckless (Nov. 11-19) — a dark comedy of a woman whose journey reminds us to never stop searching for who we are and who we’re supposed to be. The final 2022 production on Tuesday, Dec. 30, is New Year, New Theatre: A New Hope , which will debut the theater’s Capital Campaign for a new facility.

Facebook: @choirschool • Instagram: @choirschoolofdelaware

Join downtown’s cornerstone art school for special exhibition, Constance M. Simon: The Making of Art & Artists, which opened Monday, Aug. 15 and is on view through Sunday, Nov. 20. The exhibit celebrates the life and work of artist and longtime DCAD professor, Constance (Connie) M. Simon, a 20-year member of DCAD’s Fine Art faculty. This retrospective of her drawings and paintings — many inspired by her travels — pays tribute to her commitment to the creative process.


CTC returns for its 29th season. Fearless Improv kicks it off with their blend of unpredictable sketches, interactive games, a few compromising positions, and a bit of bawdiness in monthly shows beginning Saturday, Sept. 24. The CTC premiere of rock

musical The Who's Tommy hits the stage (Dec. 9-17), followed by Joan Didion's one-woman adaptation of her bestseller, The Year of Magical Thinking and a CTC revival of Assassins. The Tax Free Comedy Festival also returns to close the season. Throughout the year, CTC will host special events and staged readings to spotlight new plays in development.

Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @CCACDE

On Saturday, Oct. 15, the Choir School presents There’s a Place for Us: A Gala Celebration , a light-hearted evening of food, friends and fun, plus a cabaret-style performance of Broadway show tunes and numbers from the Great American Songbook. For Sounds of the Season on Sunday, Dec. 11, the Choir performs holiday favorites and traditional carols — including the triumphant sounds of John Rutter’s Gloria — in one of the most popular concerts of their series.


27 N. Chapel St., Newark • 368-2248 •

Facebook: @chapelstreetplayers • Instagram & Twitter: @cspnewarkde

Christina revives its popular free, family-friendly Soul of the City Festival bringing live music, vendors, and food to Market Street on Saturday, Sept. 24. On Sunday, Dec. 11, CCAC proudly welcomes back the majestic contemporary dance and music holiday spectacular, Carols in Color to The Playhouse! 705 N. Market St., Wilmington • 652.0101 •


2013 N. Market Street, Wilmington 543-8657 •


600 N. Market Street, Wilmington • 622.8000 • Facebook & Instagram: @DCADedu

SEASON SPECIALS “Broadway’s funniest new musical!” HHHH OCTOBER 6-9, 2022 Journeytothepast. February 9-12, 2023 STOMPONLINE.COM THE INTERNATIONAL SENSATION OCTOBER 28-29, 2022 DECEMBER 10-11, 2022 YOU CAN’T STOP THE BEATYOU CAN’T STOP THE BEAT JeanNormaPhoto: BROADWAY’S TONY AWARD-WINNING BEST MUSICAL IS BACK DECEMBER 1-4, 2022 TICKETS STARTING AS LOW AS $40! BUY 3 & SAVE! | 302.888.0200 Season Support 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 MARCH 10-12, HELLO2023.WEWOULDLIKETOSHAREWITHYOUTHEMOSTAMAZINGSEASON. *This show is available with subscription only. Single tickets available at a later date.

The Grand and The Playhouse seasons officially begin Thursday, Sept. 8 with Philly jam band The Disco Biscuits. On Saturday, Sept. 10, Opening Night at The Grand combines the artistry of the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, guest artists from OperaDelaware, and stunning vocals of Broadway legend, Brian Stokes Mitchell. Additional season highlights include acclaimed guitarist Gary Clark, Jr. (Tuesday, Sept. 27); the family-friendly MasterChef Junior Live! (Saturday, Oct. 8); comedians, a ukulele virtuoso, and more!

Start a new tradition by joining The Nutcracker Tea before the show. 818 N. Market Street, Wilmington • 658.7897 x3851 •

• Facebook: @TheGrandWilmington Instagram & Twitter: @TheGrandWilm ►

Facebook: Instagram:@FirstStateBalletTheatre@firststateballetofficial•

Kicking off DTC’s 44th season on Wednesday, Sept. 14 is a side-splitting World Premiere by Bruce Vilanch called Here You Come Again (Sept. 14-Oct. 2) featuring the music of Dolly Parton. Next, the emotionally captivating Black Angels Over Tuskegee (Oct. 12-30) tells the story of six courageous men who persevered to become the first African American aviators in the U.S. Army Air Forces. Finally, deck the halls with a holiday extravaganza of tunes from the ’50s and ’60s — Plaid



First State’s season begins with a free performance at The Freeman Arts Pavilion on Thursday, Sept. 1. Before the show, kids can make a tiara and enjoy a free mini ballet class. Its season at The Grand includes the dramatic, terrifying Dracula (Oct. 22 & 23). Based on Bram Stoker’s novel, this production will leave you breathless! Up Front on Market returns (Nov. 18, 19 & 20) to Studio 1 for an up-close, intimate program of classical repertoire and contemporary pieces. FSBT wraps up 2022 with Wilmington's holiday tradition, The Nutcracker (Dec. 16, 17 & 18).

Del Shakes finishes 2022 with its October Community Tour of Twelfth Night, O Lo Que Quieras, a new bilingual musical by Liz Filios and Tanaquil Márquez with contributions by Robi Hager and Ximena Violante. This adaptation reimagines Viola (now Violeta) and Sebastian as Latinx immigrants whose shipwreck brings them to an Illyria that feels strangely like America. To accompany the Tour, Del Shakes will produce a Twelfth Night Poetry Slam, inviting local poets to create works in conversation with the plots, themes, characters, and language from the production. The Slam will take place Thursday, Sept. 15 at Wilmington’s Latin American Community Center.

Gary Clark, Jr. plays The Grand Sept. 27

Tidings : A Special Holiday Edition of Forever Plaid (Nov. 30Dec. 18). 200 Water St., Wilmington • 594.1100 • Facebook & Instagram: @DelawareTheatreCompany Twitter: @DelawareTheatre





Varying locations • 468.4890 • Facebook & Instagram: @delshakes

“Broadway in Wilmington” first welcomes musical comedy Tootsie (Oct. 6-9) then the explosive percussion of STOMP! (Oct. 28-29). In December, musical phenomenon Hairspray returns (Dec. 1-4) followed by the spectacular Holiday Dreams Cirque. The year’s hottest ticket may be Tony Award-winning The Book of Mormon, which makes its long-awaited Wilmington premiere in March 2023. 818 N. Market Street & 1000 N. Market Street, Wilmington 652.5577

The organization celebrates its 40th anniversary of delivering quality arts programming throughout the state. Their signature SPOTLIGHT event — which annually raises funds and awareness for their mission — will be held Wednesday, Sept. 21, at Wilmington’s historic Blue Ball Barn. There, attendees can engage in handson visual and performing art experiences with DiAE Teaching Artists; participate in a panel discussion with art advocates and creators; and enjoy a performance by poet and past National and International Slam Poetry Champion, Gayle Danley.


Delaware’s only professional orchestra begins with its Classics Series and a triumphant return to Copeland Hall in Wilmington as well as Sussex County. Masterful highlights include a world premiere by composer Jennifer Higdon (Sept. 23 & 25) and a Friday, Nov. 11 performance of Florence Price’s Piano Concerto by guest pianist Michele Cann. The Chamber Series opens Tuesday, Oct. 25 with a musical celebration of Maestro David Amado’s 20th anniversary. Additional dates take audiences to the glittering Gold Ballroom for a “Holidays at the Hotel” celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 13 and a collaboration with Delaware Shakespeare in Spring 2023. The Grand, 818 N. Market Street, Wilmington • 656.7442 • Facebook & Instagram: @DelawareSymphony | Twitter: @DelSymphony


Nicole.AlessandrabyPhoto Delaware Shakespeare

Twitter: @FSBTheatre

Varying locations • 660.4783 •


200+ ARTISTS & CRAFTERS Food Court • Beer, Wine & Spirits Free Face Painting • Pet Adoptions




1101 N. Market Street, Wilmington • 654.5371

The Music School of Delaware presents over 100 concerts annually throughout the state. Its signature concert series — the Music Masters — features faculty, guest artists, and the Serafin Ensemble. Other season highlights include its Cultural Crossroads series, which spotlights the works of other cultures, genres, and time periods; Classical Café, an informal virtual chat about music topics; and free monthly Bluegrass Jams and virtual Open Mic Nights. In June, the school hosts Serafin Summer Music featuring special guest artists from around the world. In addition, there are many professional and student performances, master classes, and workshops free of charge.

MusicPiffaroSchool Hagley Museum



Events for every season! Discover the wonders of automobiles at the Hagley Car Show on Sunday, Sept. 18. Hagley Craft Fair (Oct. 15 & 16) features distinctive offerings — pottery, jewelry, specialty foods — nestled among spectacular fall foliage. At Howl-o-Ween on Saturday, Oct. 22, some “dog-gone” cute visitors arrive in costume to enjoy dog-friendly treats and activities. On Saturday, Oct. 29, ghosts and goblins of the human variety can trick-or-treat in a nottoo-spooky celebration. Hagley honors “All Creatures Great and Small” during the holidays (Nov. 25-Jan. 1). Critters of every kind can be seen in Hagley’s Annual Gingerbread House Contest; visitors can enjoy decorations by candlelight in a Twilight Tour and create picture-perfect moments with Santa and Mrs. Claus (Dec. 3 & 10).


Twitter: @PiffaroRenBand ►


& Library

4 S. Poplar Street, Wilmington • 442.7807 • Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @OperaDelaware

Market Street Music launches its season on Thursday, Oct. 6 with its Noontime Concerts Series. The weekly half-hour performances feature classical, jazz, folk, and music you won’t find elsewhere — Bach on the banjo, solo accordion, handbells, and the vibrant sounds of Center City Chorale. In November, Noontimes move to beautiful, historic Old Town Hall on Market Street. Full-length concerts are presented Saturday afternoons through the season with artists such as organist David Schelat; the virtuosic Pyxis Piano Trio; and Mastersingers of Wilmington. New singers are being sought for both Center City Chorale and Mastersingers; if you sing, give them a ring.


4101 Washington Street, Wilmington 762.1132 • Facebook,musicschoolofdelaware.orgInstagram&Twitter:@MusicSchoolofDE

200 Hagley Creek Road, Wilmington • 658.2400 •

Instagram & Twitter: @HagleyMuseum


of Delaware FALL (BACK) INTO THE ARTS continued from page 23 FOCUS HagleyofCourtesyPhoto

2238 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia 215.235.8469 •

Facebook & Instagram: @PiffaroRenaissanceBand

Celebrate a season of change and tradition with Piffaro, the Renaissance Band. The award-winning period instrument ensemble's new artistic director, Priscilla Herreid, presents Passing the Torch on Sunday, Oct. 2. The program investigates the beauty that can spring from disruption. Their holiday concert, Feste di Natale on Sunday, Dec. 11, cherishes the ancient tradition of gathering to mark the miraculous rebirth of the world with music. Every concert showcases Piffaro's one-of-a-kind collection of Renaissance instruments and the musicians who bring those sounds of the past to life. Piffaro performs in Wilmington this season at First & Central Presbyterian Church on Rodney Square.

OperaDelaware will take you on an emotional rollercoaster with hilarious hijinks, devastating drama, and a workshop of a new American opera. On Saturday, Sept. 10, OperaDelaware guests artists are part of Opening Night at The Grand — a collaboration presented by The Grand and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and starring Tony® Award-winning Broadway legend, Brian Stokes Mitchell. OperaDelaware returns to The Grand for two performances of Mozart’s raucous battle-of-the-sexes, Così fan tutte (Oct. 28-30), delighting us with vocal gymnastics and devious disguises. In November, intimate, artist-curated recitals make up the Sunday Spotlight series at OD Studios featuring Aurelien Eulert and guest artists Marie Engle, Andrew Bidlack, and Ben Lowe.


collaborates with Wilmington Alliance and Downtown Visions for numerous outdoor events. The Sold Firm’s next full art exhibition, Brick Kastles , will be on view now through Saturday, Oct. 29. The show marks the début of neverbefore-seen works by the artist T’Jay - A Kid From Brooklyn, illustrating contrasting hues of NYC’s most mesmerizing architectural structures. 800-B N. Tatnall Street, Wilmington • 345.1192 • Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @TheSoldFirm

Facebook: • Instagram & Twitter: @Delaware_REP

| InWilmDE.com36 SEPTEMBER 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM LET THE SHOWS BEGIN continued from page 29 FOCUS FrancisKevinbyPhotoKrapeEvanbyPhotoWilmington Ballet CITY THEATER COMPANY 2022-2023 SEASON #CTC29 ONTICKETSSALENOW! These programs are 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 FEARLESS IMPROV Monthly September - April THE WHO'S TOMMY December 8-17, 2022 THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING February 10-18, 2023 ASSASSINS April 14-22, 2023 THE TAX FREE COMEDY FESTIVAL May 2023 ....

New this season, the REP introduces ChambeREP! , a yearlong series celebrating the art of performance. Events involve a reading of Love Letters , by A.R. Gurney; an original dance performance art piece titled Suite Blackness, Black Dance in Cinema ; a ‘Chicago storefront’ version of a Shakespearean play; and an arts festival featuring UD undergraduate artists. 110 Orchard Road, Newark • 831.2204 •

The University of Delaware’s professional theatre company in residence offers a sensational season of laughs, betrayal, and artistic celebration! Starting with the classic American comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace (Nov. 3-20), The REP then presents the timeless Greek tragedy Euripides (April 13-30).

Facebook & Instagram: @wilmingtonballet

This season, the Drama League enters its 90th season, opening with The Play That Goes Wrong (Sept. 9-18), a hilarious mash-up of Monty Python and Sherlock Holmes. Next, the classic Sondheim musical, Sunday in the Park with George (Oct.14-23), brings a famous painting to exuberant life. Following that, you’re invited to The Wild Party (Nov. 3-6) — an outrageous celebration during the Roaring ‘20s. Finally, in December, get ready for a Wizard of Oz like you've never seen. 10 W. Lea Boulevard, Wilmington 302.764.3396 • Facebook & Instagram: @WilmingtonDramaLeague

SEPTEMBER 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 37 Winterthur.ofcourtesyPhoto The People's House at Winterhur Inspired by actual events, witness the birth of Rock n” Roll in the Tony Award winning, roof-raising musical... Enjoy an amazing meal and our incredible bar! September 17 - October 3 0 3 02 -47 5 -2 3 13

As the country’s foremost authority on American decorative arts, Winterthur founder Henry Francis du Pont played a pivotal role in First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s famous 1961 restoration of “The People’s House.” The exhibition Jacqueline Kennedy and H.F. du Pont: From Winterthur to the White House tells the story of du Pont’s role and influence as chairman of Kennedy’s White House Fine Arts Committee, while shedding light on their unlikely but strong relationship. It’s a special story that resonates in our continuing fascination with American home design. The installation Bearing Witness examines art and objects that identify under-represented people and stories from the past. Outside In: Nature-Inspired Design at Winterthur explores how the outdoor world informs interior design. Look for magical events in the Enchanted Woods children’s garden through the fall; Truck and Tractor Day in October; and the start of the Yuletide celebration on Saturday, Nov. 19. 5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur • 888.4400 • Facebook: @winterthurmuse • Instagram: @winterthurbloom

WILMINGTON BALLET Wilmington Ballet returns with its annual holiday celebration, The Nutcracker (Dec. 16-18), at The Playhouse — the state’s only Nutcracker production accompanied by a live orchestra. On Sept. 10 and 11, the organization will hold auditions for The Nutcracker at its Wilmington Ballet Studios, seeking a cast of all ages, reflective of the diversity of the city of Wilmington. 1709 Gilpin Avenue, Wilmington •



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“That’s on the personal level,” he says.

“On a professional level, it’s become clear to me, coming out of the pandemic last fall, that post-pandemic is a different era, and new eras call for new energy, new ideas and new leadership. We’re in a good place now, so it seems like a good time to make a transition.”Takingup the executive director mantle will be the second-in-command, Managing Director Pamelyn Manocchio, who became No. 2 last year after serving 12 years as the director of Community Engagement. Fields has agreed to stay on as a consultant until the end of the year.

“Mark was the right guy at the right time,” says Brian DiSabatino, chairman of The Grand’s Board of Directors. “He will be remembered for his passion for bringing together the entire arts community, expanding our reach into areas of the community who might have been previously disenfranchised, and carrying our spirits through the pandemic. Really gonna miss this guy.”


By Bob Yearick After successfully leading The Grand through the pandemic, Mark Fields is headed for an active retirement (during which he’ll continue writing reviews for O&A)

“There are times when I’m walking through this building that I have to stop and just reflect on the fact that I get to come to work here on a regular basis,” he says. “I can’t imagine another job that would top this one.”

M ark Fields considers himself a very lucky man.


Despite this glowing assessment, Fields will retire from that job — executive director of The Grand Opera House — this month, after 16 years that were both challenging and exciting. At 62, he says it’s time for him to join his partner, Wendy Ho Schnell, who has been retired for almost two years, to pursue the many activities they both enjoy.

FOCUSFields, 62, calls himself "lucky" to have worked at The Grand for 16 years. Photo courtesy of Mark Fields

As a result, he says, “the arts community was very traumatized. But on top of that, they were very siloed. There weren’t many close working relationships among arts institutions.

“That wasn’t intentional. It was just a consequence of having never needed to work together. But since then there’s been an incredible commitment to communication and to partnership. We have an arts community that we didn’t have before, born out of crisis.”Hepoints in particular to the Delaware Arts Alliance, a coalition of arts organizations formed in 2009. The initial group of 33 has nearly doubled since then and is a strong advocate for the arts at the state and national levels.

The son of a Methodist minister, Fields was born in Terre Haute, Ind., and spent the first 25 years of his life in the Hoosier State. After graduating from DePauw University, he embarked on a career in the arts that took him to Philadelphia, New York, Knoxville, Santa Fe, and Indianapolis, among other stops. Wilmington, he says, can hold its own with any of those cities when it comes to the arts. “To use a cliché,” he says, “Wilmington punches above its weight. There’s so much going on here for a community of this size. The cultural infrastructure is nothing short of astounding. The commitment to open space and bike paths and all of that throughout Delaware is really remarkable. People here are passionate about caring for their community and making it better. I’ve been gratified to be a part of that.” When he arrived here in 2006, the arts, which had benefitted from the largesse of the DuPont Co. and MBNA, were watching that funding dwindle or disappear under the weight of the Great Recession, which lasted from 2007-09.

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Somewhat surprisingly, he believes the most recent crisis — the COVID-19 pandemic — has also enhanced the area arts scene.“Pre-pandemic, you couldn’t imagine The Grand closing. It’s been here for 150 years,” Fields says. “But it happened; we didn’t have an indoor public performance for over 600 days. It made people appreciate something perhaps some had taken for granted before that. I often quoted the line from the Joni Mitchell song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ — 'Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you've got till it's gone.'" Unlike the recession of 2007-09, federal, state and city funding was available to help arts organizations survive the shutdown. Meanwhile, Fields says, the crisis served to further increase the communication and collaboration among those organizations. Case in point: The Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Opera Delaware, and The Grand are partnering for a season-opening concert on Saturday, Sept. 10.

“The people here are special,” he says. “They’re an incredibly dedicated, hard-working, creative staff. Everybody talks

Surviving COVID

Aside from the physical structures — The Grand, The Playhouse, and the Giacco Building, which includes the baby grand — Fields will especially miss his co-workers.

Native Hoosier

staff being a family, but here, they are. We look out for each other, we care for each other, we’re invested in each other’s lives beyond the Reflectingworkday.”onhiscareer

o Willie Nelson, June 2012 — A living legend on our stage o Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, January 2011 — A remarkable, underappreciated talent (sadly, she died of cancer just a few years later)

o Parasite, 2019 o Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, 2018 o Get Out, 2017 o Moonlight, 2016 o Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014

o Stephen Sondheim, May 2013 — A personal musical hero interviewed on stage o Cecile McLorin-Salvant, November 2014 — A jazz vocal star is born o Ry Cooder, April 2016 — Another musical icon in person in Wilmington. Fields also has served as movie critic for Out & About since 2008. Here are his five favorite films from the last 10 years (“all because they were somehow fresh or new and I continue to think about them”):

He adds two “sentimental favorites”: Skyfall, 2012 (“best Bond movie ever”); Black Panther, 2018 (“best superhero movie since The Dark Knight”). His all-time favorites, which he watches again and again:

o Casablanca, 1942 o The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938 o The Princess Bride, 1987 o Inception, 2010 o Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 1989 o Harry Potter series, 2001-2011 Into each film critic’s life a little schlock must fall, and Fields calls out three “disappointing” movies from the last five years, while noting that, as a monthly magazine critic, he is able to skip a lot of films: o Annette, 2021 o Peppermint, 2018 o Life Itself, 2018

The Best — and Three of the Worst SEPTEMBER 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM 41

In his time at The Grand Opera House, Mark Fields has seen many great performances. Asking him to pick the best proved challenging, but after giving it some thought, he responded with this email: We have presented hundreds of amazing artists — Buddy Guy, Idina Menzel, Straight No Chaser, Ina Garten, Harry Connick Jr., even Joe Biden — during the 16 years I’ve been at The Grand. The following are five shows during my time here of which I am most proud (not the best, not the biggest, just personally memorable):

at The Grand, Fields says: “I’m content with most of what we accomplished during my time. We rose to many challenges — an economic downturn, a pandemic — successfully. I wish that we had been in a position to do more to cultivate emerging artists on our smaller stage. It’s important for our future and for the future of the music business to encourage new artists. But it’s risky to try to find an audience for lesserknown artists, and we never felt like we had the financial cushion to take those kinds of chances. I hope that is something The Grand can still do sometime.” It appears that his retirement will be an active one. He and Schnell, both dedicated bicyclists, recently returned from a bike-and-barge trip through the Netherlands, and they’re headed for California’s national parks in October and the New Orleans music scene in November. They also enjoy camping, hiking, escape rooms, and puzzles of all kinds. And he will continue writing movie reviews for Out & About. (See sidebar for some of his favorites and notso-favorites.)And,of course, he will still pay occasional visits to The Grand — as a member of the audience. As he says, “There’s no substitute for live performance and sharing that experience with other people. You can’t duplicate that in your living room.”

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Photo by Lindsay Rudney duPhily

In September of 1996, Humberto Gomez answered the culinary prayer of many a resident of Wilmington’s Little Italy neighborhood by opening El Toro at 624 N. Union Street. Though flush with restaurants, including the stalwart Mrs. Robino’s, the commercial district offered little beyond the obvious Italian restaurants and numerous places serving American bar-and-grill fare. The small but mighty take-out location quickly established itself as a staple in the community and separated itself by excelling at both Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican food. In 2007, 17-year-old Rene Ayala, a transplant from Los Angeles along with his parents and brother Ricardo, was cleaning office buildings after school. It was at this job that Rene’s manager told him of his friend’s restaurant and a need for a bilingual person to take orders and deliver food. After getting in touch, Rene was hired and started immediately.

► EAT By Matt Morrissette Rene (seated) and Rich Ayala at El Toro.

Family Affair Brothers find a home and an opportunity at El Toro Cantina


Rene expands on the value of the take-out location and the challenges of the pandemic.

“It’s nice to be able to have both locations open while they’re so close to each other,” Ricardo explains. “I’m glad our clientele has the option to go back and forth from each location for their different wants and needs. As far as COVID, it was very tough on our dine-in restaurant due to the obvious restrictions. We are very thankful to our awesome regulars that kept supporting us through those tough times. Fortunately, our takeout location was well-suited to get us through those tough times.”

Though one might assume the much larger sit-down location would replace the original take-out spot, the El Toro team chose to keep both locations active, a move that paid dividends during the slow process of the Cantina gaining traction as well as the unwelcome arrival of the unprecedented global pandemic in early 2020.

FAMILY AFFAIR continued from previous page | InWilmDE.com44 SPTEMBER 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM Wilmington • Lewes • Rehoboth Beach • Ocean View • South Bethany Beach

Maybe two months after I started, I asked Humberto if I could bring my little brother with me because I didn’t want to leave him home alone due to both of my parents working such long hours,” Rene says. “I would bring Ricardo with me, and he would do his homework and get a bite while I worked my shift. After a while, he started helping us out doing small things around the restaurant until eventually we started working together and have ever since.” Eleven years later in 2018, the commercial space at the corner of Union and 6th streets became available. It was the former home of beloved New Orleans-themed bar The Blue Parrot Bar & Grille, which closed after a wild decade-long run, and its successor, the short-lived The Wicked Vine. With Rene and Ricardo as co-owners and kitchen manager and dining room manager respectively, El Toro Cantina Bar & Restaurant opened a mere two blocks from the original location.

“At first, working with my brother was supposed to be temporary, but now I can’t see myself working with anyone else,” he says. “His charm and work ethic are hard to come by and he makes everything run so smoothly at the WithCantina.”two thriving locations, killer house margaritas, a popular Taco Tuesday Night, the best and largest outdoor dining patio in Little Italy, and two brothers you can truly root for, El Toro is poised to be an institution in Wilmington for years to come.

“At first, we were unsure of what would happen,” he says. “I recall one day we were all sitting on the patio and didn’t see any cars on Union Street and thought it was over for the cantina since its entire purpose was for customers to dine in. After some brainstorming, we knew we had to venture out and start using delivery apps and to-go alcohol drink pouches effectively to stay in the game. Luckily, it worked amazingly, and the take-out location only grew during the pandemic due to so many people being stuck at home.” Unlike the brothers of many a famous rock band who are infamously unable to get along (the Gallagher brothers of Oasis or the Davies brothers of The Kinks) or the numerous tales of family businesses being run into the ground by feuds and bickering, the Ayala brothers represent a wholesome breath of fresh air in their mutual love and respect and their shared pursuit of common goals. “It’s been great working with Rene,” says Ricardo. “We grew up together, so nothing has ever changed. We feed off each other and have nothing but motivation to push forward El Toro’s name in the best way possible. We have a shared desire to keep pushing the brand forward, and we have a lot of work to do still. We’re always striving to get our family-owned restaurant to its full Renepotential.”isequally enthusiastic when discussing Ricardo.

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In the summer of 2020, Poole and her drummer/ friend Ritchie Rubini were on one of their weekly jogs at Delcastle Park talking music. The two musicians had been playing together in the local Americana band Stone Shakers for almost three years at the time.

After the run, Rubini pitched Poole the idea of her singing lead vocals on a song he recently had written.

Flash forward to now: Poole is sitting down comfortably in Rubini’s studio talking about her first solo country-pop EP entitled Wild Ride, which comes out next month.

“The funny thing is, is that song’s not even on this record, but it was what started this thing,” Poole laughs while recounting the EP’s origins. ►

A Changeof Pace

“I said, ‘I have a song idea that I was gonna pitch to Stone Shakers,’” Rubini recalls. “It was a demo [I had on my phone]. I played it for her from my phone and she said, ‘I like that. Send it to me.’”


By Jim Miller With both rollicking whiskey-bar anthems and emotional country-pop ballads, Samantha Poole follows through with her solo EP Samantha Poole's Wild Ride debuts next month.

Photo courtesy of Samantha Poole

A Changeof Pace

F or singer Samantha Poole, what started off as a casual Saturday jog eventually became a wild ride that has continued for a couple of years.

With Wild Ride, Poole has discovered aspects of herself and talents that previously had been unexplored.

“For me, this is all different,” Poole says, “because I’ve always been behind somebody [on stage]. I’ve always been with Ben — or someone else — singing either in the background or beside them. “Even with Stone Shakers, it’s a whole collaborative thing. We’re a band and everybody’s in there. But for me, it’s like, ‘OK, then there’s Samantha,’ and I’m not one of those forward kind of people. I’m more of an introvert. And it’s more difficult for me.”

A mother of two, Poole would often drop her kids off at swim practice then, while waiting, scribble ideas down in her car or drive over to Rubini’s studio and record some vocal parts. On other days, she and Rubini would hunker down in the studio writing songs fromAlthoughscratch.

“That was a fun one to write,” Poole says. “My favorite line in that one [is] ‘she batted those eyes, never got caught and had dinner on the table by five.’” Poole continues to sing for Stone Shakers as well the occasional gig for The Snap, where she got her start more than a decade ago, backing up longtime legend Ben LeRoy. Yet she sees these recordings as a distinct change of pace, musically speaking.

The more-traditional working arrangement led to songs like the sentimental “Regrets,” which sees its main character looking back at a missed romantic opportunity; the powerfully poignant title track, which deals with the ups and downs of life as seen through a generational lens; and then “Grandma’s Whiskey Jug,” a get-theparty-started ode to moonshine that reveals a long-kept family secret.

A CHANGE OF PACE continued from previous page 48 SEPTEMBER 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

“Although Poole has contributed to developing some of the original music Stone Shakers play and did some very basic songwriting in college, she’d never fully embarked on anything resembling solo material. But that first song with Rubini led to the idea of doing more. “During COVID, I had a lot more free time,” Poole recalls. “So, I said, ‘OK, let’s try this.’ So, we did. And soon we started getting on a roll.”

— Music fans will get to know a lot more about Poole’s vocal performances on Friday, September 16, when Wild Ride is released on all major digital music platforms.

Rubini played many roles while working on Wild Ride with Poole — including producer, drummer, guitarist and keyboardist — he found that being Poole’s song-writing partner was particularly engaging. “It really was kind of old school,” Rubini adds. “We would thinktank with pen and paper. I’d play some chords on guitar; she’d come up with lyrics. I’d come up with melodies; she’d come up with hooks.

“I feel like I got a little bit of a writing voice,” Poole says. “And, then, just kind of learning from Ritchie. He’s been teaching me a lot. And I definitely am listening more [to the mixes].”

Rubini agrees: “It’s so cool to see how’s she grown. She’s in [the studio] with me, in front of the computer, making suggestions about how we can improve the song… whereas two years ago, she wouldn’t know what the heck is going on. “She’s developed into this artist who knows what she wants for the song, number one, and also knowing what she wants out of her vocal performances.”

“It was a true collaboration, which is kind of unheard of, for me, because in this day and age, it’s usually [more] like you send somebody a track, and then they send you a beat. And with those things, you’re rarely in the same room together.”

T ony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell headlines Opening Night at The Grand, an upcoming benefit for The Grand, the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and OperaDelaware.

You received the Isabelle Stevenson Award at the 2016 Tonys for work at the Entertainment Community Fund, where you have been chairman since 2004. What keeps you going with it?

By Ken Mammarella Brian Stokes Mitchell helps ring in the 2022-23 performing arts season with benefit concert at The Grand

But nothing from Kiss Me Kate, where you won a Tony.

The first act features Viennese waltzes and polkas, “sort of a New Year’s Eve in September,” said J.C. Barker, the symphony’s executive director. Hence the inclusion of Frank Loesser’s What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? and Auld Lang Syne.


They’re the songs everybody loves and wants to hear. I vary my choices at my concerts, and the audience at a concert like this wants musical theater. I personally sing and listen to jazz, Brazilian music, world music and other things. My taste is very, very eclectic.

Mitchell: Sometimes I include So in Love from that show. Then there’s Where Is the Life That Late I Led? It’s a song my character sings about having affairs with all these different women, and I don’t think it’s a correct song anymore.

Mitchell: It’s an amazing organization, consistently rated four stars from Charity Navigator, the highest rating they give. It’s because 86 cents of every dollar we’re given goes to our actual programs.

The second act features Stokes singing seven Broadway standards for his Delaware debut, and also chatting a bit between them. This interview with him has been edited for clarity and brevity.


Your set list is There’s No Business Like Show Business; I, Don Quixote; How to Handle a Woman; Stars; Getting Married Today; Feeling Good; and The Impossible Dream. Why these Mitchell:songs?


Tony Award-winner Brian Stockes Mitchell makes his Delaware debut Sept. 10.

It used to be called the Actors Fund, but we changed the name because we have always served the entire entertainment ►

The program, Friday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m., was planned as a New Year’s Eve celebration in 2021 but rescheduled due to the Omicron outbreak. The organizations now call it a joint celebration of the opening of their first full post-pandemic seasons. Tickets are $75 at

Mitchell: The New Deal for Broadway. We got everybody together in the same room to talk about equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging. We’re redefining how to better diversify Broadway, not just on stage, but also crew members, the businesses they work with and regional theaters as well. Once one boat rises, all boats rise. You turn 65 in October. That’s when many people talk of retirement. How about you? Mitchell: I love what I do. I’m still able to do it. People still want to see me do it. As long as all three things are working, I will continue.IfeelI’m getting to my best work now. I like to say that some fruit ripens later than others, and I’m one of those late ones, even though performing is all I’ve ever done. I never had to wait tables or do anything else. So it’s kind of miraculous to me. I think I’m having more fun now because I also have discovered more about why am I here. What do I do? What’s my special thing? Why am I on the planet? That’s an important thing for all of us to look at. There’s no accident that we that are still here survived through the pandemic. Now what do we do? I’ve been basically exploring that for all of my life. I’m settling into my later years where I feel more confident about this is what I want to accomplish. These are my gifts, my skills and my shortcomings, and you just take ownership of it all.

community. I feel like our first 138 years were a dress rehearsal for what was to come over the next two years with the pandemic. Through our emergency financial assistance program, we generally give about $2 million to maybe 1,500 people for the most essential things they need. When the pandemic started, we’re up to about $25 million [and] about 18,000 people. Many Broadway shows have a special performance, where everyone donates their time, and the money goes to the fund. Before the show, a bunch of us go backstage to thank them and tell them a little about the fund. Almost every time I’ve done that, somebody stops me before I leave the stage door to tell me how the fund has helped them. These stories have kept me there for so long. You were one of 19 co-founders of Black Theatre United in 2020. What has been its most significant accomplishment?

Did having COVID change you?

Mitchell: I was one of the first people I knew that had it, and I had it again a few months ago because it was so much fun the first time. The first time, I said let me demystify this disease, because I didn’t know what to expect and nobody else did. So I chose to go public with it, and I started making posts about it.

I felt like the poster child for the business, because when Broadway shut down, I was four days from opening a show. I was set to do the movie Tick, Tick … Boom!, and it got postponed. All my concerts were postponed.

It’s really been a very challenging time for anybody, especially the performing arts. We were one of the first sectors to go down and one of the last to come back.

OPENING STATEMENT continued from previous page 50 SEPTEMBER 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

So I said to myself if somebody asked me to help out a charity, make an appearance on a Zoom call or whatever, I would just say yes. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard in my life. I was doing so many things, and it was also incredibly fulfilling.

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Mitchell: A million projects. There are always concerts lined up. I have a movie called Shirley coming out this fall on Netflix, about Shirley Chisholm.

I’m working on a new Hulu musical series called Up Here, with songs by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who wrote Frozen and a whole bunch of other incredible things. I have a recurring role in Run the World, for its second season on Starz.

So whenever I get the opportunity to sing with an orchestra — with people who have been out of work for two years now — it’s joyous. I wish everybody in the audience could feel the acoustic energy of this orchestra going through my body, and I get to add my two cents with my voice. It’s an extraordinary feeling. I’m also grateful to the audience, and I just hope they leave levitated and joyous at the end of the experience.

I’ve got two albums that have been in the can forever that I need to mix down. I’ve got a one-man Broadway that’s been in my head for years, and only in the last couple of months has it started to crystallize. My son just got into college, so now my wife and I are empty nesters. This is like rediscovering a new part of life, but it’s also giving me this free time to do all these things.

What are you working on now?

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The festival features 24 films and at least three seminars Sept. 15-17 at the Penn Cinema on the Wilmington Riverfront. Day passes are $25. The closing awards reception is $75. The $100 all-access pass includes the opening reception (at Penn) and closing reception (at the Delaware Contemporary).

Stories Worth Telling

Details:“Weidentifiedagap in the cultural marketplace for Black films,” McAllister said, noting that improving the area’s culture has been part of the foundation’s mission for more than 20 years.


The festival opens Sept. 15 with three films with Delaware connections. The program starts at 6 p.m. and will feature Q&As with the filmmakers.

• Birth of Destruction is a six-minute narrative short written and directed by Delawarean Gary R. Jones. The tease on Facebook: A woman who’s four months pregnant wakes up, tied to a bed and surrounded by four strangers, who say she’s about to give birth.


By Ken Mammarella GTL Education Foundation presents Diamond State Black Film Festival at Penn Cinema

Black Foxes will be one of 24 films presented at the Diamond State Black Film Festival. Photo provided

he plight and struggles of African Americans and the community’s story” are front and center in the upcoming Diamond State Black Film Festival, according to Kevin McAllister, president of the Gamma Theta Lambda (GTL) Education Foundation, which is organizing the event.

• Once a Hornet, Always a Hornet is a seven-minute Emmywinning documentary by Delaware State students about the university football program, through the experiences of coach Rod Milstead.

• From Slavery to Freedom: A Reel to Reel Perspective is a 35-minute documentary directed and produced by Delawarean Michael J. Dennis, founder of Reelblack, which aims to “educate, enlighten, entertain and empower people through Black film.” In it, film historian Charles Woods explores the depiction of slavery in American movies.

Three seminars are so far scheduled, McAllister said, and they’re working on a fourth.Oneis on screenwriting and pitching, with DSU alumnus Eric Dickens, director of digital ad operations at the Northstar Travel Group. His career includes work at AT&T, NBCUniversal, MTV and Turner Broadcasting. His credits include writing a 2021 TV movie called Someday at Christmas and executive-producing, writing and directing 25 episodes of Makeup X Breakup, a web series.

The other sponsors: the Delaware Division of the Arts, inherently promoting film; the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, interested in promoting film careers; and Target.

The festival sought submissions by Black, African American, Latino, Asian, Native American and Pacific Islander filmmakers and works featuring people of color in the cast, but McAllister said all submissions were from Black filmmakers.


The festival resumes noon-10 p.m. Sept. 16 with more films and its first workshop. Sept. 17 events start with screenings at noon and end with an awards reception at 6 p.m.

One winner on this year’s festival circuit could be a highlight. A Woman on the Outside follows Philadelphian Kristal Bush, “who saw nearly every man in her life disappear to prison,” wrote. She helps other women make prison visits. “It’s positive and hopeful,” McAllister said.

In the future, he said he hopes to run quarterly programs “to get the buzz up for sixth- through 12th-graders” who were invited to submit for this festival — but none did.

The third is from festival co-sponsor Capital One on lending and credit.

A second seminar covers the film business, such as tax credits. (Delaware’s Legislature this year debated such credits.)

Punkin Ale (Dogfish Head)

Shuckin Pumpkin Ale (Big Oyster Brewery)

Leinenkugel is bringing back this fall seasonal after strong social media calls for its return. It’s a refreshing witbeir with citrus flavors and a hint of blueberry.

Octoberfest (Samuel Adams)

This Boston-based unfiltered craft cider producer claims its Cider Donut is one of its best-selling flavors. It’s available in four- and six-pack cans and in sixtels and half barrels.

A fall classic, this Marzen-style beer features a two-row pale malt blend and goes down smoothly with roasty sweetness. The color is deep-red amber, and its ABV is 5.3%. Fall Releases


Sunset Wheat (Leinenkugel)

Worth Sipping


Simply’s sparkling lemonade offerings continue to gain momentum and are now available in traditional lemonade, strawberr y, blueberry and watermelon. They’re made with real fruit juice, are lightly carbonated and check in at 170 calories with an ABV of 5%.

Crafted Cocktail Series (Heavy Seas)

An annual tradition of the Lewes, Delaware brewery, this malt-forward ale is light and easy drinking. It checks in at 5.5% ABV with notes of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and clove.

Spiked Lemonade (Simply)

Unter Dog (Yards)

Cider Donut (Downeast)

The Baltimore-based brewery is now all in on the craft cocktail craze. Heavy Seas offers four vodka-based cocktails: Orange Crush, Cherry Limeade, Watermelon Crush and Strawberry Lemonade. You can try them all by picking up their eight-can variety pack. The ABV is 7.5%.

Named after the incomparable Punkin Chunkin event, this full-bodied brown ale has been a fall tradition in Delaware since 1995. It has smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar with an aroma of cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg. And it packs a punch with an ABV of 7%.

“Come for the applies, stay for the donut,” says Downeast. Flavors of cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla, with a fresh-pressed cider backbone.

Yards salute to Oktoberfest returns this fall with the Unter Dog lager. This lightly hopped, amber-colored Marzen lager has become a tradition for the Philly-based brewery. Available in cans or bottles and checks in at 5.6% ABV.

Hardcore Dark Cherry Apple Cider (Angry Orchard)

New Belgium’s seasonal release features an interesting combination of Saigon cinnamon, habanero and African bird peppers to provide a little heat to go with your pumpkin. In other words, this is not your classic pumpkin beer. The ABV is 6.4% and you will notice the pepper at the back of your sip.

10 FALL RELEASES WORTH SIPPING continued from previous page | InWilmDE.com56 SEPTEMBER 2022 | OUTANDABOUTNOW.COM

An imperial cider that features bittersweet apples blended with dark cherry juice. It is smooth, but robust with an ABV of 8%. It’s also gluten free.

Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin (New Belgium)

$50 Gift Card to Pizza By Elizabeths (One entry per person; must be 21 or older to enter). Have fun!

Today, we are going to talk about breakfast: “the most ( adjective ) meal of the day,” as they say. You know how it is some days — you wake up feeling ( adjective ) and ( adjective ), and you just want to go back to bed and ( verb ) a little longer. Well, we’ll fix that with today’s Power Skillet. It’s so good, it’ll get you ( verb ending in -ing ) and ready to rock!

Now, if you want it a little spicy, like I do, add a little bit of ( spice ) and a few dab’s of ( another friend’s first name )’s Super ( adjective ) Hot Sauce — straight from the bayou country of ( US city ). ( exclamation )! That’s good! Then, it’s simple from there. Pour the ingredient in a pre-heated ( noun ) and cook on medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes. When it’s golden ( color ) on both sides, plate it, and ( verb ). Trust me: You’ll love it!

Fill in the You know the drill:


(3) Got a funny one? Take a photo and send it to us at


(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.

Hi, my name is ( full name of friend ), and I’m the host of your favorite cooking show The ( adjective ) Chef! Are you ready for some fun in the kitchen? ( exclamation )! Let’s get to it!

First, you’ll want to get three fresh ( plural noun ) and crack them open ( adverb ) over a bowl as to not get pieces of ( noun ) in the ( noun ). Then, you are going to mix in a quarter cup of low-fat ( liquid ). Stir it up well so that you have a nice ( color ) hue to the mix.

Next we are going to add equal amounts of freshly diced ( vegetable plural ) and ( herb ) — again about a quarter cup each — and then the same for the high-protein ( food product ) you’ll want in there as well. Mix it up, well to make if fluffy and ( adjective ). That’s the key!


In partnership with EDiS Co., monthly workshops offer training about construction business basics to interested minority firms. The FREE workshops are held at the City’s Emergency Operations Center on S. Heald St. To participate, please call 311 to speak to the City’s Office of Economic Development. Meanwhile, the Wilmington Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO) has received $2M in City ARPA funding to provide zero interest bridge loans to minority contractors who don’t have available upfront capital. This gap funding will enable more minority-led businesses to participate in the City’s neighborhood plans.

• Neighborhood Revitalization: specific neighborhood project details


• Minority-owned Contractors and DBEs: a site for minority contractors, developers, and workers so they know what projects are available for bid or being prepared for bid

The Purzycki Administration will continue to provide timely updates on its ARPA-funded programs and goals and urges the public to check in often at the ARPA web pages for the latest information.

L ast month, Mayor Mike Purzycki issued a mid-year update on the City’s neighborhood revitalization plan, which is backed largely with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). (See: The City of Wilmington Issues Mid-Year Update on its ARPA Neighborhood Plans , Aug. 5, 2022) The Mayor said progress is underway on the East Side, where the Administration’s citywide neighborhood efforts are initially focused on the area from 4th–11th Sts. and Walnut–Church Sts. The Mayor said progress is also being made regarding the Administration’s goal of ensuring minority contractors, developers, and workers have access to the ARPA-funded projects and jobs being created through the rebuilding of City neighborhoods.


• ARPA Home Page: an overview of ARPA funds and how they are spent

• ARPA Spending Tracker: details about ARPA-funded projects and expenditures



The City maintains regularly updated ARPA pages on its website that enable the public to track ARPA projects and spending. These include:

Latin American Community Center

$100,000 Faithful Friends Animal Society

Bennett St. rendering In June, Mayor Purzycki helped launch a new HUD initiative aimed at boosting the nation’s affordable housing supply entitled “Our Way Home on Bennett St.”

$150,000 The Grand

The Delaware Art

$300,000 Christina Cultural Arts


$250,000 UNDER

The Mayor also summarized the appropriation of ARPA funding to various organizations that are assisting with neighborhood revitalization, workforce development, building safer communities by reducing gun violence, and other forms of community investment. THAT LIST INCLUDES: UNDER THE CATEGORY OF NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION Habitat for Humanity: A Brush with Kindness - $800,000 Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank - $3.1 million Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank, Hilltop Initiative - $1 million REACH Riverside Development Corporation - $1 million Eastside Housing Partners LLC - $100,000 Delaware Affordable Housing Group - $318,955 Cornerstone West CDC - $1,450,000 Habitat for Humanity: Housing Development - $1 million Wilmington Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO) - $2 million Todmorden Foundation - $1 million-THE CATEGORY OF of DE- $95,000 Project, - $150,000Center - $500,000 Now - $200,000 THE CATEGORY OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT Castle County Vocational-Technical School District - $767,505 Museum - $150,000 THE CATEGORY OF BUILDING SAFER COMMUNITIES Violence Prevention Initiative - $500,000



Culture Restoration

$21,000 Southbridge Community Development Corporation




$500,000 Woodlawn Trustees



MID-YEAR NEIGHBORHOODEASTSIDEPROGRESS rogress thus far has been accomplished largely through invaluable partnerships with the Wilm. Neighborhood Conservancy Landbank, Woodlawn Trustees, and Habitat for Humanity. For example, Bennett St. alone will have approximately 52 new construction units and 10 rehab properties in the coming months. Info. about this and other projects on the East Side can be found here: https://

Reed’s Refuge

$1 million Richard Dyton, Neighborhood Liaison


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The Delaware Saengerbund 2022 9th 10th 11th OFF-SITE PARKING $10 Per Person

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