Culture watch

A Christmas Carol: Reloaded

When the first Montford Park Player stepped out stage right and proclaimed “Marley was dead, to begin with,” the whole thing must have seemed so fresh and new. They never could have known that 30 years later someone else would be rehearsing to say the exact same thing, in the exact same … yawn … way. Sure, A Christmas Carol is a classic, but even the great (and verbose) Dickens can use a makeover now and again. John Russell, the managing director of the Montford Park Players, says, “It was time to revamp it. We were losing audiences.” So, in the ever-constant race to keep the classics of English literature relevant to bored teenagers forced to attend holiday outings with their families, MPP picked award-winning director (and Asheville High School teacher) C.J. Breland to rethink the play and come up with a revised script. Hardline Dickensians can chill, however, as Russell says that the changes mostly come from the book’s oft-neglected scenes. Breland will also completely re-stage the traditional MPP blocking, which hasn’t changed much since the Carter era. Sadly, rumors of the addition of a Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past have proven to be unfounded.

Album Rumor Roundup

Collapseable Studios couldn’t completely remember everyone who’d recorded there recently, but given the sheer numbers of acts that have come through the place in the last few months, it’s understandable. The Fist Family (aka local rapper-unit Iron Fist and their various side-projects), Sydney Barnes, Jacob Turner, Josh Gold, Hollywood Red, Firecracker Jazz Band, Nuevo Montuno, and Yo Mamma’s Big Fat Booty Band (also recording at Echo Mountain) are all reported to have spent time laying down tracks in the West Asheville studio. Additionally, The Goodies front man Holiday Childress has been producing the occasional album at Collapseable for regional singer/songwriters Andy Lehman and Will Gibbs. For more info about the studio, check out

For The Love Of Floyd

If you love the music of Arthur Lee (from the late-’60s band Love) or Syd Barrett (from Pink Floyd, as if I had to tell you), both of whom died in recent months, then it might be worth a visit to the tribute show taking place at the Grey Eagle on Friday, Oct. 27. Performers are still being sought to cover the strangely parallel creative talents of Lee and Barrett, and as the show is a joint birthday bash for Orbit DVD and Beauty Parade, a festive crowd is all but guaranteed. Learn more at


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