Playing with Bonfires

“I built a bonfire, metaphorically, in the dark,” begins poet, traveler and organizer Pasckie Pascua in a recent interview. His story is about the figurative blaze that came to be known as the Traveling Bonfires — a moveable feast of music and poetry now based in Asheville. But it also starts with a very literal […]

No hiking boots required

It’s January. The evergreen that looked so glorious last month is now shedding needles on the carpet, the brown landscape has lost its romance — and it’s becoming increasingly apparent that you’re facing three long months of thermal underwear and Friends reruns. Don’t despair. Just because you can’t hop the next cruise ship to Aruba […]

Turning the turntables

“Hip-hop has been my life,” revealed rapper Rachel Paulick, also known as MC Reality, during a recent interview. “I was five when I first put a boombox on my shoulder.” Of her moniker, she reveals, “MC and DJ names take on your persona. You have to earn your name. They call me Reality because I’m […]

New Year’s Eve now

Looking for the hottest New Year’s Eve party — or maybe something cozy and romantic? Lucky you: You’ve got options. Here’s a taste of what’s happening around town and in the area (check Clubland for complete listings): • Akumi (28 Wall St.; 236-2577): A club representative promises “fun and exciting live entertainment” — though the […]

Second night

It used to be First Night. Now it’s the Downtown Countdown. Sort of like with the pajama-pajahma argument, though, it still feels like New Year’s Eve no matter what you call it. All that really matters is that you make plans to shake your groove thing somewhere. That said, here are a few suggestions for […]

No beret required

[A note to the reader: This article is best accompanied by jazz -- say, Chet Baker, circa "I'm Through with Love" -- and coffee. Strong, black coffee ... we're about to check the Beats.] I’m talking Kerouac rewriting Buddhism, Cassady stealing cars, and Ginsberg letting out a howl. But of course they were more than […]

To hell with peachy-keen

“If you give away the ending, we will kill you,” announced Jess Wells, director of the Immediate Theatre Project’s latest offering, Edward Albee’s The American Dream. I tried a nervous giggle. “I’m not joking,” Wells insisted. Theater people sometimes scare me. So I’m not going to tell how this play ends — you’ll just have […]

Who’s on Broadway?

There’s more than one way to toss around the name of New York’s glamorous theater district. Indiana-bred actress Hanneleis Hepler, for example, has never played on Broadway. But she recently landed the plum role of Golde in a touring production of Fiddler on the Roof — a show that happens to boast the “Broadway” designation […]

Special delivery

This is the story: Four mentally handicapped men live their lives in a supervised house under the eye of a young, burned-out social worker. Okay, it’s not the sexy, midriff-baring, star-vehicle material Hollywood cranks out. It’s not even I Am Sam. The Boys Next Door gives us no explosions, no car chases, no alien invasions, […]

Not another safety dance

There are ballet slippers, yes. But they’re teamed with sports jerseys. And you will hear Chopin. More often, though, it’ll be hip-hop or techno. The first thing that’s apparent about a Hubbard Street 2 performance is that this is no Tchaikovsky show. Three men in white T-shirts gyrate on the floor, athletically and somewhat suggestively. […]

Mining a strange mountain

“I find it’s a great way to pick up guys,” local musician Lin Llewellyn recently confided to Xpress. Her advice for the lovelorn? Strum a ukulele. Llewellyn, a hula dancer and member of lei-festooned party band the Hula Cats, is a long-time player and fan of the diminutive instrument, made famous by 1920s-era vaudeville bands, […]

Making Willy silly

“Everyone has an idea of what Shakespeare is,” announces Angie Flynn-McIver, director of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) — a collaborative effort between local professional troupes North Carolina Stage Company and Flat Rock Playhouse. “It’s guys in tights,” she continues. “That’s us,” deadpans actor Damian Duke Domingue. But the point of Complete Works […]

Andie, Stella and PETA (oh my)

“Cancer is a wake-up call, like any life-threatening illness,” local visual artist Vera Struck, herself an eight-year survivor, recently explained via e-mail. “To me,” says Struck, “every day is a gift.” For Struck and other survivors, that gift is something that must be shared — either as a way of healing oneself, of helping others […]

Beyond cha-cha and Aguilera

“We make a kind of music that’s not very well known in the U.S.,” says Chilean-born songstress Mariana Montalvo. “When you hear Latin music [in America], it’s Salsa or cha-cha — dance music. “We’re showing another side to Latin music.” Currently on tour with two other Latina performers (Toto La Momposina from Colombia and Belo […]

The (Gen)-X factor

Just because it doesn’t look like anything you’d buy at the mall, and just because cubic zirconia never enters into the equation, doesn’t mean the jewelry currently on display at Grovewood Gallery should be passed over as too weird to wear. “All of us are challenging the idea that this isn’t a legitimate art form,” […]

For ladies only … and men who have periods

“Women’s studies — we though it’d be a little macrame … ” protest Madeline and Sylvia, two New York seniors, as they totter into the cafe where they’re meeting their class. Soon enlightened by their continuing-education course, the eccentric elderly duo attempts to hang with vegetarian cuisine, alternative decor and a feminist-themed interpretive-art performance. That’s […]

Standing up for the almost-famous

Despite the sensational writerly struggles brought to light in Scribblers: Stalking the Authors of Appalachia — Wolfe pisses off everyone in Asheville and Fitzgerald drinks himself into suicidal tantrums — countless other (and, who knows, maybe better) authors grind on at their craft in obscurity. And thus Stephen Kirk’s book is ultimately defined by a […]