Stina's picks

A point in the right direction
By Stina Sieg | Feb 20, 2012
Photo by: Stina Sieg Trevor Stoia, which has become a familiar face to Gateway Club goers recently, will be one of the musicians featured at this Saturday's night of jazz at Hurley's in Maggie Valley.

I love how, just when we think we’re getting a handle on what this winter is all about, it laughs (well, snows and rains) in our faces. Being from the land of no seasons, aka California, I really don’t mind this recent wintry weather, because it’s kind of an adventure. But I’m not expecting many to share my pollyanna thoughts on freezing temps, and I know this could get old, even for a winter neophyte like myself. In honor of this recent cold snap, here are five things to do that take place inside.

A plateful of pancakes

Haywood County is chock full of poor man’s suppers and pancake-day fundraisers, but none have quite the cachet of Waynesville First United Methodist’s Pancake Day. Heading into its 56th year, the morning, afternoon and evening breakfast buffet is the oldest such fundraiser in the county, but more importantly, it’s a place to gorge on hot cakes alongside friends, neighbors, high-society folks and politicians alike. I think there’s nothing like a little friendly overeating to bond people. Pancake Day is from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30  p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 566 S. Haywood St. Call 456-9475.

 A dip into the dark

In case you don’t believe “The Pillowman,” Feichter Studio’s latest offering, really is “that” dark, keep these three things in mind: 1) It is centered around grisly murders; 2) It takes place in a fictional police state; and 3) It was written by an Irishman. All that said, it looks like an interesting ride, the kind that doesn’t usually make onto the small-town stages. Catch it at 7:30 p.m. this Friday or Saturday, or at 3 p.m. Sunday. Or cross your fingers and hope it gets held over for another week. Call HART, at 250 Pigeon St., Waynesville, at 456-6322 or visit

 A lesson in love

Author Judith Toy has one of those heart-wrenching stories that, from a distance, sounds impossible. After the murder of her sister-in-law and two teenage nephews, she somehow finds a way to forgive the killer after years of Buddhist study. Toy, who was ordained by Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh, will discuss her new book, “Murder as a Call to Love,” and the healing power of Zen at 2 p.m. this Saturday at Blue Ridge Books, 152 S. Main St., Waynesville. Call 456-6000 or visit

 A night to get jazzed

In a town that pretty much rolls up its streets at 8 p.m., Hurley’s Creekside Dining and Rhum Bar has been a breath of fresh air for Maggie Valley. Hurley’s is known for serving up steaks, beer and sometimes even karaoke into the late-night hours, and this Saturday, it’s offering a bit of jazz. Going from 7 to 10 p.m., it should be an intimate and classy affair, with a cover-free show by singer Eve Haslam, pianist Michael J. Stevens and string bass player Trevor Stoia. Call 926-1566.

A dance for everyone

At a certain point, there is nothing a contra dancer can say to a non-contra person to get him or her to understand the fun in stomping and twirling around a room with strangers. But take it from someone with no coordination and not the best grasp of rhythm: It is great. Contra, which is always done with a live caller to live music, must be experienced to be truly understood, and this Sunday you can do just that without having to leave the county. The Waynesville Contra Dance is from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at The Gateway Club, 34 Church St. in downtown Waynesville. Email Kathy Odvody at or Pam Garrett at