Stina's picks

A point in the right direction
By Stina Sieg | Jul 09, 2012
Photo by: Stina Sieg

Before you read my column, I say flip to page 7. That’s where Mary Ann Enloe’s review of “La Cage aux Folles” lives, and it’s lovely. I use that word too much, but I can’t help it when it’s needed. Hearing about the excitement that surrounds this play — a musical that director Steve Lloyd never thought he’d do in Waynesville — makes me smile to myself. I don’t know how you feel about drag queens or gay parents (or even musicals, for that matter), but Haywood County seems to be embracing all of it with this show. To me, it makes sense, as people around here know good singing and dancing when they see and hear it.
Anyway, “La Cage” continues Thursdays through Sundays, all the way through July 29. In contrast, below are some things that are happening this week — and only this week.

Happy b-day, Blue Ridge
I know it’s fun to be in a beefy book house like Barnes and Noble, but I think there is no substitute for the intimacy and comfort of a quaint, independently run bookstore. Luckily for Blue Ridge Books, many people around here feel the same. The little store and coffee shop is celebrating its fifth year in business this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 13 to 15, with deals, music and book signings. My personal recommendation is to listen to the local players in The Chris Minick Trio at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and catch a reading by local author Kathryn Magendie at 3 p.m. Sunday. Even if you can’t make either of those, I say at least stop by and say hello to Jo and Allison. In addition to just being nice folks, they’re offering 13 percent off their books (in honor of opening up on Friday the 13th, all those years ago). For more info, call Blue Ridge Books, located at 152 S. Main St., in Waynesville, at 456-6000, or visit

Lincoln and friends
Who can get enough of Civil War lore — or local actress Barbara Bates Smith, for that matter? Well, you can get a dose of both at 3 p.m. this Sunday at the Haywood County Public Library in Waynesville, where Bates will perform “Lincolnites,” from a Ron Rash story of the same name. Rash, another regional favorite, based his story on a Union-supporting ancestor of his (mon Dieu!), which Smith has distilled into a narrative, one-person performance. Expect to hear from local poet Michael Beadle and Civil War enthusiast Tim McRee, too. While there, you can also check out the traveling exhibit “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War.” Space is limited, so I say reserve your spot by calling 356-2507.

Songs of freedom
At my hippie college, the marching band was far more famous (and successful) then our football team would ever hope to be. Years after the Marching Lumberjacks have left my life, I still get kind of giddy at the energy and drama of big band music. And what could be more dramatic than a show dedicated to patriotic tunes? At 6:30 p.m. this Sunday, the Haywood Community Band is bringing an evening of America-infused songs to the band’s usual spot in the pavilion adjacent to Maggie Valley Town Hall. Expect everything from a rousing march by John Philip Sousa (who else?) to an ode to the Civil War. A nice Maggie sunset should also be in the cards. Picnic dinners are always encouraged, and there’s never a charge. For more info, call 456-4880 or visit

Meet the ‘Snake Man’

Snake handlers don’t have the best of reputations around the South, but Ron Cromer is no charismatic serpent charmer. He’s a herpetologist, which means he makes his living by knowing all there is know about Indiana Jones’ least favorite creepy crawly. Cromer is even bringing a few of his slithering sidekicks to his presentations of “Snakes Alive!” at the Haywood County Public Library in Waynesville this Saturday. He will do two of these informational shows, one at 11 a.m. and one at 2 p.m. At both, Cromer will give the audience a chance to pet and hold his snake buddies. Indie would not be pleased.

For reservations (not required, but encouraged, as only 125 people can be at each performance), call 452-5169, ext. 2511.