Culture watch

New-Play Throwdown Results

After giving the Brevard Little Theatre a hard time a few weeks back about their seemingly self-congratulatory awards ceremony (see “We Invented The Awards Banquet” in the Oct. 18 issue of Xpress), it seemed fitting to follow up when the group recently announced the winners of their 2006 New-Play Competition. Rather than a feel-good awards gala, the New-Play contest is more of a cutthroat theatrical brawl where playwrights duke it out for two coveted spots in the upcoming Brevard Little Theatre season. Neville Mur won this year’s award for full-length play for his comedy A Marine Caught in Leotards. Unless the production proves too daunting for BLT’s production staff, the play will be produced as part of their 2007 season. Paul Brink’s winning one-act play, The Belated Suitor, will be performed at a luncheon next spring. Both authors will receive $600 cash awards, DVD recordings of the performances and permanent memorial plaques in the BLT lobby. Learn more at

Cowpunk Hollaback

Once upon a time, there was a local country rocker named Chris Geer. He was a friendly sort of fellow, and with his various bands — like the Merle and the Unholy Trio — he held the western shirt-clad crowds in thrall with his bar-shaking guitar. And then, one day, Chris Geer up and left our city for parts unknown. To be sure, many hearts across the region were broken on that dark day. There were snippets of news here and there — it was said that he was living in Nashville for a time, and then California, and that he’d changed his name — but none of it seemed reliable. Despair not, good readers, for I bring news. Now calling himself Morgan Geer, the man behind the cowpunk sounds has relocated to Portland and formed a new band called Drunken Prayer, which recently released a new, self-titled, self-produced album. A surprisingly professional press kit from the group proclaims the band to sound like “freewheeling Saturday night sin and bitter Sunday morning remorse.” Longtime fans will be glad to know that the sound isn’t altogether different than what you’d expect from Geer, if a bit more on the slow end of old-school country than before. The band features Geer’s frequent collaborator (and wife) “Miss Audra” on keys, Keith Richard McCarthy on bass and drumming by Kevin James Still. Rumor has it that Geer & Co. will make a return visit to Asheville in summer of 2007. Learn more at


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