A&E Roundup: Asheville actress in Netflix’s “Cobra Kai”

RISING STAR: Asheville native Hannah Kepple, left, plays Moon on the hit Netflix series "Cobra Kai." Photo by Guy D'Alema/Netflix

Asheville native Hannah Kepple may currently be seen in a recurring role on season two of Netflix’s hit series “Cobra Kai,” a continuation of The Karate Kid film saga. The actor plays Moon, a peace-loving high schooler and the show’s first LGBTQ character. Kepple is perhaps best known on the local scene for playing Dorothy in Flat Rock Playhouse’s production of The Wizard of Oz and is represented by local talent agency Screen Artists Talent. netflix.com

Critical support

The Asheville Area Arts Council was recently awarded a $30,000 Natural and Cultural Resources grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina for a series of benefit performances in Pack Square Park to provide aid for cultural institutions. AAAC Executive Director Katie Cornell says the shows will take place in spring 2021 and feature LEAF Global Arts, the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective, the Asheville Art Museum, Asheville Community Theatre, Asheville Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Stage Company, Montford Park Players, the Center for Craft and Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. Additional organizations will be involved as opening acts but have yet to be finalized.

“These organizations were selected because they have been closed the longest,” Cornell says. “Museums are just now able to reopen, and our performing arts venues are still unable to hold events at a capacity that can justify the expense. Losing our cultural institutions in downtown Asheville would have the largest impact on our arts economy, therefore supporting these organizations is key to the recovery of the arts sector.” ashevillearts.com

Flower power

Ananda Hair Studio’s downtown location is home to Le Bal Des Fleurs, a new show by Asya Colie. A mixed media artist who grew up in Southern France and still splits her time between Provence and Asheville, Colie says her work is influenced by her African European heritage, as well as the relationship between beauty and movement in nature. For her latest show, she drew inspiration at the start of quarantine by spending plentiful hours walking and foraging amongst the spring blooms, an exercise that gradually shifted her process and choice of subjects.

“I have always painted figurative abstract, but now I focus more on florals,” Colie says. “I began taking my sketchbook with me outside to draw, then immediately returning to the studio to paint what I see and feel in nature — wildlife, flowers and landscapes. To me, it is important to paint what you feel and not always what you see.”

Le Bal Des Fleurs will be on display through Sunday, Oct. 18. anandahair.com

Screen writers

In late January, local author Denise Kiernan launched CRAFT: Authors in Conversati­on. Each month, she and a guest author met to discuss the latter’s latest work and the craft of writing at local bar Little Jumbo, whose staff created a specialty cocktail or mocktail for the event.

Now the series has shifted online with a weekly frequency, airing live each Wednesday at 7 p.m. The revamped offerings kicked off Sept. 9 with Washington Post journalist Dan Zak, and Kiernan has guests lined up through the end of October, including Lydia Denworth (Sept. 16), Kate Andersen Brower (Sept. 23), Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Sept. 30), S. A. Cosby (Oct. 7), Wiley Cash and Mallory Brady Cash (Oct. 14), Shannon McKenna Schmidt (Oct. 21) and Claudia Rowe (Oct. 28). Free to attend, but registration is required. crowdcast.io/Denisekiernan

Open-air jams

Large indoor music concerts remain on hold under current pandemic restrictions, but major outdoor shows are on the rise. The Grey Eagle is organizing a series of socially distanced, drive-in performances at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, beginning 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, with the bluegrass stylings of the Sam Bush Band. Additional shows at the venue will feature folk duo Mandolin Orange (Friday, Oct. 2) and bluegrass legends Del McCoury Band (Saturday, Oct. 3), then shift to nearby Ghost Town in the Sky Thursday, Oct. 29, for soul rockers St. Paul & The Broken Bones.

Tickets range from $100-$275 per carload (maximum of six people) and include the use of a 20-foot by 20-foot space to park one’s automobile and enjoy the concert from outside the vehicle. Attendees are invited to bring their own camping chairs, but for those who wish to remain inside their vehicles, the performance will be broadcast via FM. thegreyeagle.com

Season finale

The crowds may be watching from home instead of crowding the North Lexington Avenue pavement, but the Downtown After 5 series has had a successful summer in the digital realm, spotlighting local talent from The Orange Peel stage under the dependable eye of the IamAVL live broadcast team. The series concludes Friday, Sept. 18, 5:30-8:30 p.m., with soul-driven dance rock band The Fritz and the innovative Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, featuring the eponymous steel pannist. The performances will be streamed for free via the Downtown After 5 Asheville Facebook page and IamAVL’s website, as well as on the big screen at the new outdoor South Slope venue, Rabbit Rabbit. IamAVL.com


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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