MADE IN THE SHADE: Book club members discuss E.L. James' popular (and often panned) 50 Shades of Grey in the production, 50 Shades! The Musical Parody. Photo by Carol Rosegg

50 Shades! The Musical Parody skewers the pop culture juggernaut

Ever since its 2011 printing, E.L. James’ erotic romance novel 50 Shades of Grey has been an inescapable presence in pop culture. While as literature — 500 pages of dominance, submission, bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism stitched together with little character development — James’ “mommy porn” leaves much to be desired, there’s no doubting the […]

RISKY BUSINESS: Mina Samuels is bringing her one-woman performance piece, Hazards, to the Asheville Fringe. Hazards won the award for best avant-garde show at the 2013 United Solo Festival. Photo courtesy of Asheville Fringe Arts Festival

Asheville Fringe Arts Festival attracts homegrown and internatio­nal talent

For its past two appearances at the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival, local avant-garde theater company Anam Cara presented original pieces created by an ensemble. For 2015, its players are trying something slightly more traditional while still keeping with the Jan. 22-25 event’s focus on cross-genre collaboration and innovative performances. “The goal of Fringe is to […]

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 […]

TAWDRY TIDINGS:  The dysfunctional Bernstein family is back in The Magnetic Theatre's annual holiday show. “I imagine people leaving after the show feeling like they got more than their money’s worth,” says producing director Chall Gray. Photo courtesy of the theater company

The Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacula­r is back

The Magnetic Theatre’s much anticipated annual holiday show, The 38th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular, returns in its — despite what the title would have you believe — sixth incarnation. The ever-evolving play continues its tradition of raunchy humor, inebriated characters and family dysfunction at its finest. Long ago the Bernsteins converted to Judaism, then […]