The Asheville International Children's Film Festival entertains all-ages audiences with a tightly packed schedule of 70 cinematic works from artists in 25 countries, divided into seven blocks of short films and one feature-length movie. On Saturday, families gather in Asheville Pizza & Brewing's colorful theater to witness Round the World and Home Again, a live-action flight through the lives, dreams, and playground treaty negotiations of children in seven countries. Wee ones release exhilarated squeals at 13 shorts in Once Upon an Adventure, which fills the screen with animated and live-action feats that delight juniors without the stress of adopting a litter of knights.
Cracker brings their signature brand of irony and irreverence to a performance of their 1993 platinum album release, Kerosene Hat, which produced three radio hits including ‘90s alt-rock jam “Low.” The band’s power-pop-punk tunes have been bopping heads for more than 15 years and over the course of eight albums—making the musicians veterans of the rock scene. The indie-rock showcase includes a performance from Camper van Beethoven, a band that shares a lead singer and a backstage bathroom with Cracker.
Now in its 34th season, Sweet Fanny Adams continues to sledgehammer its audience's funny bones with its inimitable blend of Old English music hall, American vaudeville, Monty Python, and Broadway musical. Owners Pat and Don MacPherson have written, produced, and directed more than 30 original, offbeat musical comedies for the theatre, in spite of constant heckling from the two elderly Muppets in the balcony seats. Several of these inspired originals have gone on to play in cities throughout the country, including the musical Tom Jones, which ran for more than two years at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas. Ticket holders can choose from any show on the 2010 calendar, including Not Quite a Fairy Tale, a madcap medieval fable. Don't Worry…It's Nothing Serious presents a variety show of comic routines, including screwball magic from the "Great Stupino and Trudy." Closer to the holidays, Sweet Fanny Adams will "tickle your fancy and jingle your bells" with Yuletide Madness, featuring holiday-themed mayhem and merriment that will remind audiences of the Christmas they gifted their uncle with a bottle of port and a nail gun.
Cirque de Chine assembles acrobatic troupes from China's finest showmen to enthrall all ages with two hours of derring-do. Integrating aerial arts, illusion, and data learned from studying flying squirrels, shows parade a dynamic blend of spectacle onstage, from jar jugglers and dragon dancers to circus artists who dive through hoops 10 feet high. Further thrills include the five flying motorcyclists defying gravity in a 26-foot steel sphere. Admission is valid for any spot at the 1,746-seat Smoky Mountain Palace, assigned upon reserving by phone or sending a robotic butler to the theater.
At The Quarry, melodies dance through the evening air as knives clink over Angus steaks, veal, and seafood. The Quarry’s executive chef, Craig Gosnell, drizzles shiitake bordelaises, simmers white wine with lemon capers, and stirs mornay sauces, whose aromas waft amid the dining room’s layered rock walls, which are adorned with local art including six murals depicting new and old facets of Brevard. Patrons escaping from the labors of cooking and the low-hanging branches that snag chef hats chatter happily over dishes that tag in regional ingredients such as Carolinian trout. Nightly live music gives time in the limelight to local troubadours, who perform everything from jazz to bluegrass before basking in cheers and signing autographs for applause signs. Glasses of port kiss with a crystalline tinkle in the flickering light of handmade soy candles. Handcrafted tablecloths hearken back to old-fashioned artistry, and eyes wander to the smooth whorls of a walnut bar and a wrought-iron wine rack forged by the hardened hands of a blacksmith.
The Knoxville Opera sings most of its notes in a venue befitting the regality of its material: the Tennessee Theatre. The former movie-house and decades-old stage swathes performers in Spanish-Moorish design, a strikingly blue domed ceiling, burgundy velvet seats, and gold accents. But the opera singers don't keep their voices contained there. Education and outreach programs send them throughout the community, performing at schools, shaking the downtown streets during themed festivals, and aiding local construction companies by shattering old glass buildings.