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Smart bets: Jabali Acrobats

Visiting from Mombasa, Kenya, for their LEAF performance, the agile Jabali Acrobats aptly demonstrate the “link between athletics and arts,” transitioning from dance to human pyramids, chair balancing, complex footwork and other contortions — all to the beat of a stimulating musical backdrop. “These phenomenal acrobats combine the artistry of fast-paced movement, music, dance and […]

BET Rural Academy Theater

Smart bets: Rural Academy Theater

The Rural Academy Theater will “clop its way into your backyard and heart,” claims a press release by the horse-pulled production’s organizers. This year, the annual mobile mini-circus includes a slapstick interpretation of North Carolina’s pro-fracking legislation, a depiction of human presence on a geological timeline and an evening showing of Georges Méliès’ 1902 silent […]

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Smart bets: Die Fledermaus

“Die Fledermaus,” a libretto often rewritten and performed with local flair, will soon transform into its Asheville incarnation with the help of Asheville Lyric Opera. Set in Western North Carolina’s famous Giltmore home and based around the Southern mountain charm of the Vanerburgh family, ALO’s adaptation is intended to “create a deeper sense of appreciation […]

Maryedith Burrell and Steven Samuels rehearse Burrell's one-woman show, "#OUCH! An Accidental Comedy." Photo courtesy of Samuels

The Magnetic Theatre returns; “#OUCH! An Accidental Comedy” opens

Take an accomplished Hollywood writer, director and actress with decades of comedy writing experience, throw her unexpectedly into the flawed and unpredictable American healthcare system, and you’re bound to end up with entertaining anecdotes. Such as: A mysterious accident catapults an Asheville woman into a dystopia of drugs, disillusionment and worst of all, the dreaded […]

Bailey Mountain Cloggers

Smart bets: Mountain Heritage Day

Break out the candles! Western Carolina University celebrates its 125th year during the 40th annual Mountain Heritage Day festival, a free event to recollect WCU’s rich history. Two stages and a dedicated dance floor will host clogging team performances and concerts (including Grammy Award-winner David Holt), and more than 100 vendor booths will sprawl into […]

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Smart bets: Heritage Weekend

This September marks the 34th year for Heritage Weekend, a free festival that explores traditional Appalachian customs like beekeeping, coopering, heritage toy making, broom and furniture making, spinning and natural dyeing, all sponsored by the Southern Highland Craft Guild. Both Saturday and Sunday offer a full lineup of crafts, dance and mountain-inspired music with fare […]

Cover design by Lori Deaton

Tube-ocalypse now: Asheville shoots for world tubing record with ‘zombie float’

As a recreational hub, the French Broad River has come back from the dead — and legions of zombies are eager to prove it. Conceived as a creative celebration of the river’s continuing revival, organizers of the first-ever “Tube-ocalypse” are aiming to break the world record for most tubers floating together. And they’re hoping to do it in style, encouraging participants to dress as the undead.

WILD CHILD APPROVED: Celebrate local music, food, drink, arts and eccentricities on Lexington Avenue. Photo by Frank Merenda

LAAFF returns with an eye toward the future

“Never say die,” reads the poster for the Lexington Avenue Art and Fun Festival, which returns Sunday, Aug. 31, after a one-year hiatus. When the beloved (and, in recent years, beleaguered) event’s return was announced earlier this summer, it was as a last hurrah. Organizers Kitty Love (LAAFF’s co-founder, who’s now executive director of the […]

Photo by LAAFF staff

LAAFF announces schedule for Aug. 31 festival

Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival  returns on Sunday, Aug. 31 with a full day’s worth of music, art street theater, local vendors, food and drink and more. Festival planners just released the lineup, which includes more than a dozen bands on two stages, with an additional stage programmed by Lex 18 moonshine bar. The […]

Illustration courtesy of Joshua Warren

Faces in the crowd: WNC crowdfunding initiatives

Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week, Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd. STEVE SHELL POETRY Steve Shell, […]

Husband and wife duo, Jonathan and Jennifer Adams, got the band name Montana Skies from the first song they ever wrote together. Photo courtesy of the band

Smart bets web extra: The Asheville Ballet with Montana Skies

“This ain’t your granny’s chamber music,” claim husband and wife, Jonathan and Jennifer Adams, on their band’s website. The couple’s sound is constructed of guitar and cello pairings, delivered with more spunk than you’d expect from any instrumental family band and packaged under the name Montana Skies. The duo’s knack for extracting spiced-up grooves from […]

Costume is strongly encouraged at the Seelie Court Masquerade. Clothing by Royal Peasantry, photo by Duncan Chaboudy

Smart bets web extra: Seelie Court Masquerade

It’s time to break out the old leather-studded collar and golden tiara. New Mountain Asheville will host Seelie Court Masquerade, a two-night “multi-sensory fantasy event featuring two rooms of music, fashion, theater and dance,” according to a press release, and all attendees are strongly encouraged to dress their faerie best. Masqueraders will enjoy various live […]