Sure shot

“I’m the only person in my town other hustlers would come to beat, except that it doesn’t happen anymore. There are so few of us left.” “And do they, would they beat you?” “No,” Cassie said. “No, they wouldn’t.” So explains Cassie Claiborne, the unforgettable force of Haven Kimmel’s latest novel, Something Rising (Light and […]

Playing war

David DelGrosso, actor/stage manager with Aquila Theatre Company, knows that some audiences will be drawn to The Man Who Would be King because of the popular movie version of Rudyard Kipling’s short story. The film, which starred Michael Caine and Sean Connery in what were arguably the best performances of their careers to date, inspired […]

Long, blithe trip

“We played in the Western section,” remembers Larry Keel. “We had cowboy boots and hats. “We played ‘Red River Valley’ and ‘Wildwood Flower’ — songs they thought people would recognize,” reveals the Larry Keel Experience’s flat-picking front man of his first job as a professional musician — a seven-month contract at Tokyo Disneyland. “My brother […]

Gifts that keep on giving

“People realize that if they don’t help the organizations they believe in, no one else will.” – Pat Smith, executive director, Community Foundation of WNC “Mostly I did this because I’m incompetent,” jokes local philanthropist Rob Pulleyn. “Really, they keep better records than I do.” He’s talking about the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. […]

Rabid ambition

Charles F. Price writes excellent imagery — gruesome enough, in the local author’s latest novel, to rival his characters’ own increasingly cruel lives. Blatant racism, mistreatment of animals, harsh living conditions — each section of Where the Water-Dogs Laughed: The Story of the Great Bear (High Country Publishers, 2003) festers with the ugliness of disharmony. […]

Chain reaction

Downtown Asheville is at a crossroads. The city’s thriving central business district is enjoying a full-blown renaissance driven by an eclectic, ever-shifting mix of boutiques, restaurants, galleries and clubs. It wasn’t always so. A mere two decades ago, downtown Asheville was home mainly to boarded-up buildings. Scarcely anyone who had other options lived downtown, and […]

Tastes great, less filling

Playwright, actor and Eastern North Carolina native Andy Corren opens his latest work — a patchwork of short stories and character sketches — with an a-cappella version of the traditional tune “Dixie” merged with Loverboy’s manic ’80s hit “Turn Me Loose.” Sounds disconcerting — but the bizarre medley accurately forecasts the mood of Corren’s semi-autobiographical […]

Party politics

Some trends take awhile to catch on. “Goombay is spreading now, because diversity is cool and people are into culture,” comments YMI Cultural Center Executive Director Rita Martin. Citing fledgling versions of Asheville’s annual African/Caribbean-flavored festival in other areas — “There are smaller Goombays in Tennessee, festivals that are maybe just a block, like when […]