This weekend on a shoestring

Thursday, Nov. 3

Sure, Mark Mandeville & Old Constitution hail from Webster, MA, but their oh-so-catchy brand of bluegrass-tinged Americana feels right at home here in WNC. On their website, the four-piece describes their sound as “carefully crafted folk songs tastefully arranged and presented in a popular fashion, by definition Americana, or, lamely, folk rock. Songs range from jumpy swing tracks […] to bluegrass, country, and that lonely sound which has kept listening audiences captivated in anxious wonder.” Catch them at the Feed and Seed (23 Four Oaks Dr., Arden, 216-3492). Free. 7:30.

Hope In This World from Mark Mandeville on Vimeo.

Catch best-selling local YA writer (and hilarious Tweeter) Stephanie Perkins at the East Asheville library (902 Tunnel Road, 250-4738). “I’ll be reading and answering questions,” the Anna and the French Kiss author says on her blog, “and I think prizes will be given away. I won’t be selling my books, but if you bring your own copies, I’ll be happy to sign them. The event is free, and it’s for teens and adults.” 6:30 p.m.

“The Low Tech Ensemble plays gamelan music from the Central Javanese tradition and by contemporary composers,” reads WCU’s website. “A gamelan is an orchestra of tuned percussion instruments that consists mainly of gongs, zithers and xylophones. The concert will feature several traditional pieces as well as a performance of an arrangement by Will Peebles, director of the WCU School of Music. Joy Shea, also a WCU music faculty member, instructs the ensemble. A resident of Jakarta, Indonesia, for 12 years, Shea has studied and played gamelan with some of the foremost instructors in the United States.” Held in WCU’s Coulter Building recital hall. 7:30 p.m. Free.


Friday, Nov. 4

For those non-procrastinators out there already jumping on your holiday shopping—hey, we’ve still got, like, two months—here’s a few places to check out this weekend. Start the festivities off at the Gifts of Hope Holiday Fair. The fair, which runs throughout the weekend (Friday 5-7:30pm, Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday 10am-2pm), will be showcasing wintry goods from Ten Thousand Villages at the St. James Episcopal Church (766 North Main St., Hendersonville, 693-7458). It’s free, but there’s a $5 donation for the Friday preview party.

And on Saturday from 9am to 3pm, the Holiday Market at T.C. Roberson High School (250 Overlook Rd., 687-4027) will include music and food as well as “more than 100 vendors selling jewelry, hand-made cards, wreaths, headbands, gift baskets, photo gifts, custom framing, cookbooks, decorations, and much much more.”

An open performance night at The Magnetic Field can only mean one thing: magic, mystery and plenty of madness. “Magnetic Midnight is the monthly open performance at The Magnetic Field,” says the press release. “Bring a skit, a song, a comedy routine, a dance piece, juggling, magic, or just show up and be in someone else’s piece. The rubric is: all pieces must be original and less than five minutes, other than that—anything goes! […] The featured piece this month is Reasonably Priced Babies. Performers sign up at 10:00, show at 11:00.” $5.

Come celebrate a deep, WNC tradition at the Brevard Storytelling Festival. Filled with music, food, crafts and and workshops for those who want to learn more about the ancient art, the festivities kick off on Friday night at 7:30 and run all day Saturday at the Transylvania County Public Library (212 South Gaston Street, Brevard).

Friday nights performers include renowned local storyteller Sheila Kay Adams and the duo Southern Voices. “Sheila Kay is an award winning storyteller and author and was raised in the Western Carolina mountains,” reads the festival’s website. “While growing up, she learned the English, Scottish and Irish ballads from older relatives and continues to preserve and perform them for audiences today.” And “Glenis Redmond and Scott Ainslie perform together as Southern Voices. Ainslie and Redmond trade licks, vamp off each other, and weave stories, poetry and music together in a moving presentation of power and depth.” All events are free.


The Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre (SART) will perform this year’s top submitted plays at the 30th annual ScripFEST Playwrights’ Conference, held Friday through Sunday. Winners include A Tenessee Walk (A Play With Music) by Rob Anderson of Orlando, FL, and The Vanishing Point by Nedra Pezold Roberts of Atlanta GA.

Here’s a little more info from the website: “ScriptFEST, the Playwrights’ Conference, typically receives 150-200 scripts each year. SART volunteers read each submitted script, and those recommended for further review are read again by a committee of theatre professionals. Once all scripts have been reviewed, SART invites up to six playwrights to the annual conference to hear their plays read by SART actors and Mars Hill College Theatre Arts students. Playwrights join the directors, actors, and audiences in discussions and critiques following each reading. One script may be considered by SART to be included and fully produced in an upcoming SART summer season.” The conference will be held in the Manheimer Room, #102A, of UNCA’s Reuter Center. Free.

It’s been more than 80 years, and the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s still captures the imagination. Not surprising from a literary, artistic, cultural and intellectual movement that brought us such greats like writers Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes and jazz musicians Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton. Find out more about what happens to a dream deferred at “Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance,” a lecture presented by UNCA’s Peter Caulfield, professor of literature, and Seamus McNerney, lecturer in humanities. Held in UNCA’s Lipinsky Auditorium*. 11:25 a.m. Free.


Saturday, Nov. 5

Winter as a great time for sipping hot chocolate and snuggling indoors beside a warm fire, but you might be surprised to learn that it’s also a great time for gardening. Get all the info you need about the best winter vegetables and easy-to-build greenhouses during the Winter Gardening Class, which takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mills River Educational Farm (on the corner of Bryson and Kimsey Roads). Free, but registration requested. Call 678-0086 for more info.


Sunday, Nov. 6

It’d be tough to find a more uplifting musical story than Patrick Littlejohn’s, the pianist and composer who not long ago was homeless and near death on the streets of Ashville. “Trained classically, Patrick has performed with and arranged for jazz ensembles professionally for over 40 years,” reads the press release. “He has backed up many greats such as Bobby McFerrin, Johnny Nash, John Blake, and members of the Count Basie Band and the Grover Washington Band. After many years performing, the twists and turns of fortune, illness and several accidents brought Patrick to the streets of Asheville, and eventually to a slow rehabilitation from profound disability.” Littlejohn will be performing a few of his new, original pieces at Jubilee! Community (46 Wall St.) to help raise money for the Salvation Army of Asheville‘s homeless shelter, “an organization for which Patrick feels much gratitude.” 7 p.m. By donation.


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