Irreverent and ingenious

If you’ve got a hankering for dark comedies about cults that incorporate musical stylings of bounce, country-western and mambo, then you’re in luck: The Comboil Play, a modern- day Faustian tale, will run Aug. 3-5 at the newly opened Toy Boat Community Art Space.

The Comboil
centers around an obscure cult which promises recruits “a new life” if they sacrifice themselves to the cult’s cause. Written and directed by Renaissance gal, Jessie Smith, better known as The Silver Drummer Girl, The Comboil showcases the wild and creative pursuits of a group of actors, designers and musicians reputed for their ability to turn small budgets into theatrical gold. The large cast of performers includes Runaway Circus members Sadye Osterloh and Nina Ruffini, and art punk musicians Joel Jackson and Allie Morris of Common Visions and The Dispersants, respectively.

If Smith’s last production, The Triangle Theories — an absurdist fantasy musical set in the Bermuda Triangle — is any indicator of what the The Comboil Play will be like, then viewers better collect their wits and settle in for a wickedly good time. Irreverent and ingenious, such productions are an invigorating reminder of Asheville’s fecund DIY creative scene.

Proceeds from The Comboil will go towards maintaining an eco-sustainable collective living community, Crawley Gardens, which is currently under threat of being demolished by the city of Asheville. Last winter residents of Crawley Gardens were asked to update their living structures which they estimate will cost over $10,000. According to the blog,, “Asheville’s outdated city building codes are clearly not designed to permit the kind of forward-thinking, ecologically responsible community that Crawley’s Gardens has always been.”

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who: The Comboil Play

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