AS SEEN ON TV: Lex 18's new "Downton Abbey" dinner events will allow diners to experience a vintage banquet complete with butlers, footmen and interactions with a few characters from the popular British television show. Photo by Hayley Benton

Small Bites: Downton Abbey in downtown Asheville

The new year will bring a fresh dinner theater experience to Asheville — one that will be of particular interest to fans of the British television series “Downton Abbey.” On Sunday evenings starting Jan. 4, downtown restaurant Lex 18 will offer live viewings of the popular BBC program while re-creating an aristocratic 1920s meal in […]

Photo from the Flat Rock Playhouse Facebook page

Theater review: Flat Rock Downtown’s “A Motown Christmas”

Flat Rock Playhouse‘s new production, A Motown Christmas, is a tight two-hour show. It covers a number of predictable holiday classics — “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty The Snowman,” “Santa Clause is Coming To Town” and religious standards like “Go Tell It On The Mountain,” “Silent Night” and “Joy To The World.” The show features the vocal […]

Early in the evening, Warren Haynes and local American Idol winner Caleb Johnson performed a duet of the song, "Soulshine." Photo by Jake Frankel

Storify: Dispatches from Christmas Jam

A Woodfin native, Grammy-winning rocker Warren Haynes returned home this weekend for the 26th annual Christmas Jam. Over the course of the 7-hour concert at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville, Haynes was joined onstage by Jason Isbell, Billy Kreutzmann, Caleb Johnson, Jackie Green and many more acts. Concert-goers posted photos and other dispatches from the Dec. 13 event via Twitter late into the night.

GO BIG: The bandleaders of the 1930s were some of the first to produce jazz renditions of Christmas favorites. That's part of the inspiration for big band variety show Have Yourself a Swinging Little Christmas. Russ Wilson, also known as “North Carolina's King of Swing,” says, "Big band music has always been my home." Photo by Frank Zipperer

The King of Swing brings a holiday variety show to The Isis

There’s something inexplicably cheery — and not ironically so, despite the prevalence of seasonal sweaters — about the Christmas specials of Bing Crosby and Lawrence Welk. These shows of decades past delivered holiday medleys and warm sentiments that spanned giddy good times to reflective moments. They conjured seasonal memories with traditional carols and festive standards. […]

"Unsilent Night" in New York City, December, 2013. Photo by Taylor Davidson of Narratively

Electronic Carolers celebrate an “Unsilent Night” in Asheville, Dec. 17

Phil Kline’s sound sculpture “Unsilent Night” has, in the course of its 23 years, become something of a standard in the new music scene. The piece — which will be performed in Asheville on Wednesday, Dec. 17 — asks performers transporting a chorus of boom boxes, CD players and smart-phones to march together through town […]

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Happy birthday John Ehle! The author’s renowned novel “The Land Breakers” is reprinted

No mere novelist, Asheville-born writer John Ehle is considered “a master of the American language.” Among his 17 books, including both fiction and nonfiction, seven works of historical fiction were set in the Appalachian mountains. From that collection, The Winter People was made into a film of the same name, staring Kurt Russell and Lloyd […]

FILLING STATION: “A lot of functional crafts pair well with locally made food products, like a serving board and a pizza kit,” says Lindsey Mudge. Find both at the Cool Craft Market. Photo courtesy of Babula Pottery

Cool Craft Market at HandMade in America

“This is one of my favorite events of the year because it’s all about mindfully deciding where to spend holiday dollars,” says Lindsey Mudge, communications and operations manager of HandMade in America. She’s talking about the nonprofit organization’s annual Cool Craft Market — an indoor shopping experience featuring more than 40 vendors of crafts (think […]