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 […]

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 […]

WEB COMMUNITY: Jeff Miller, owner of Luella's Bar-B-Que, volunteered to help with the development of Behind the Apron, a new online resource for the local restaurant industry. Photo by Dylan Ireland

Behind the Apron: Asheville Independent Restaurants launches a new online industry resource

In Asheville, many restaurateurs realize that cooperation trumps competition. The local culinary scene is well-known for its collaborative spirit, and behindtheapron.com, a new business-to-business website recently unveiled by Asheville Independent Restaurants, aims to enhance and expand that synergy. Unlike AIR’s current website, which is mostly consumer-based, Behind the Apron was created to be a resource for the organization’s 120-plus member restaurants. […]

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 […]

Loukoumades, deep-fried dough balls soaked in a honey syrup, are among Greek delicacies to look for at this weekend's Asheville Greek Festival. Photo courtesy of Asheville Greek Festival

Asheville Greek Festival: Eat, drink and learn to cook Greek

A smorgasbord of Greek delicacies to tempt every palate will be part of the 28th Annual Greek Festival this weekend on the grounds of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Asheville in historic Montford. Visitors will be able to sample Greek recipes handed down through generations, all prepared fresh on-site and, fortunately, you don’t have to be able to pronounce […]

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Authentically funny: Comedian and WNC native Duncan Trussell performs at The Millroom

At Hollywood’s iconic venue, The Comedy Store, an inscription reads, “Not to be funny, but for three minutes to be yourself.” Comedian Duncan Trussell has never forgotten it. “It’s the purest articulation I’ve ever heard of what stand-up comedy is,” he says. “If you try to be funny, you’re diverging from what you already are, […]

WHAT'S YOUR MOTIVATION?: Kevin Patrick Murphy, founder of The Actor’s Center of Asheville, describes the center as a kind of gym — “You have to work the muscles,” he says. Photo by Kellin Watson

Hitting your mark: The Actor’s Center of Asheville moves to Black Mountain

Kevin Patrick Murphy’s New York roots are showing. The founder of The Actor’s Center of Asheville takes huge strides and talks fast — leftover traits from his previous home base. The actor began training in 1991 at the Studio Arena Theater School in Buffalo, N.Y., and has since worked in theater, commercials, television and film. […]

Photo courtesy of Girls Rock North Carolina

Not your mama’s band camp: Registration is open for DIY-styled Girls Rock Asheville

There are camps (s’mores, “Kumbayah”), there are band camps (field formations, show songs) and then there are band camps (electric guitars, amps, penning the next “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll”). The last is just part of the curriculum at Girls Rock Camp. The international movement, which has been building leadership skills and self-esteem since the […]

GIRL WITH A GRIST: Owner Jennifer Lapidus and head miller Stuart Wedhoft at Carolina Ground Mill. Photo by John Dickson

All Souls gets grounded

Pig roast event supports Carolina Ground Flour Mill’s wheat-seed expansion project

Jennifer Lapidus, owner of Carolina Ground Flour Mill, was on a mission to find locally grown, soft white wheat seed to stone-grind at her mill. When she called Paul Murphy, professor of crop science at N.C. State University in Raleigh, she found what she was looking for. Murphy had in fact developed a soft white wheat seed, but he advised Lapidus that there was no market for it. “I told him we are the market,” says Lapidus.

The cast of Don Giovanni rehearses for Asheville Lyric Opera’s 15th anniversary production. Photo by Jonathan Ross

Seduction at the opera

When David Malis was invited to direct Asheville Lyric Opera’s season opener and 15th anniversary production, Don Giovanni, he was determined to accept. So determined, in fact, that he made arrangements to take leave from the University of Arkansas — where he is a voice professor and director of opera— and promptly headed east The […]

FROM GREECE WITH LOVE: Pete Apostolopoulos, pictured right with his friend, Chris Leris, immigrated to New York from Greece in 1967 on a boat named the Queen Anna Maria. He made his way to Asheville, where his uncle owned Athens Restaurant on Merrimon Avenue. Photo courtesy of Pete Apostolopoulos

All Greek to me

Some of Asheville’s best but least expensive eateries have a history steeped in Greek flavors. Name a longtime diner or recall one that’s no longer around, and it’s quite likely it was owned and run by Greek immigrants to the area. Athens Restaurant and Three Brothers come to mind, though both are gone. But (to […]

HELP IS ON THE WAY: The March 29 Gluten-Free Expo at UNC Asheville will help dispel some of the myths surrounding why people choose the diet, say organizers. From left, Laurie Steenwyk, Rick Donahue, Sheila Horine and Andrea Britt. Photo by Alicia Funderburk

The gluten-free life

This Saturday, UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center will be transformed into a state-of-the-art gluten-free education center with 55 vendors offering tastings, cooking demos and the latest information. Organizers hope the Gluten-Free Expo will help dispel some of the popular myths surrounding why people choose the diet. The media’s portrayal of gluten-free as just another fad diet […]

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Venus in Fur gets dressed

A small group of writers, hipsters and creative minds were invited back for the dress rehearsal of N.C. Stage’s new production, Venus In Fur, on Tuesday, March 18. The same group had observed a scene rehearsal two weeks prior, sparking a smattering of blogs, tweets and word-of-mouth buzz over the scintillating production.