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Contributors: Ed Bumgardner, Chad Nance, Stacy Hope Jones WS Arts Magazine is published monthly by Monitcello Park Publishing. Any reproduction or duplication of any part thereof must be done with the written permission of the Publisher. All information included herein is correct to the best of our knowledge as of the publication date. Corrections should be forwarded to the Publisher at the address above.


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06 | Letter from the Publisher 08 | Music Review - Doug Davis & The Solid Citizens, A Pageant Of Gold, self-released. 10 | Music Review - Vel Indica, Turn Off Your Devices, self released. 12 | Cover Story - Figaro! Piedmont Opera Presents Another Classic 12 | Feature Story - Low Wages, Free Beer, and the Search for Soul Salvation Part 2 20 | Short Story - Tastes Like Home 23 | Art News - Paper Lantern Theatre to Premiere New Work by Internationally Known Playwright Daniel Singer 24 | Cigar & Spirits - The Ashton Classic Corona 27 | Cigar & Spirits - DEFIANT: American Single Malt Whisky, Sans the Snobbery 29 | UNC-SA News - UNCSA VISUAL ARTISTS EARN 48 AWARDS FROM SCHOLASTIC 30 | UNC-SA News - Sundance Selects Nine Films With UNCSA Connections WSARTSMAG.COM



Publisher’s Letter


 ou may see me on Friday mornings at the Piedmont Club having breakfast. I often sit on the west wall of the lodge so that I can see the eastern part of the city where I grew up. You may see me on Friday afternoons

at the Twin City Cigar Company, a burgeoning hub of conversation spanning the spectrum from the arts to the fiscal cliff. You may see me in Hanes Park with my daughter on Sundays. There is nothing better than the smile on a little girls face when she realizes freedom on her first real bike (no matter that she is six years old, still on training wheels, and determined to only ride on the grass because “if I fall off, it won’t hurt as much daddy”. Six year old logic: Pure. Concrete. Magical. Wherever you see me I’m not too far from thinking of ways to promote one of our city's great treasures: the arts. Many of you have joined me in this venture. I thank you. After our first issue I told a trusted friend “I’m happy with the effort…. it was honest and thoughtful. I just hope that I can look back after the 4th or 5th issue and be a little embarrassed

the exceptional work of the Piedmont Opera. The Barber

by our first issue. I hope that we can continue that rate of

of Seville is the offering to our City. The cast is, as always,

improvement going forward.

stellar. Markus Beam is the Barber Figaro, who claims that

So far, so good.

everyone in the city depends on him as barber and general

Take a look at how you have helped us grow since Issue

factotum. Mr. Beam is an American baritone who is rapidly


establishing himself as an internationally distinguished artist.

ÏF  acebook Likes - From 50 before the launch of Issue 1 to 720 at the time of publishing Issue 4 ÏF  acebook Reach - From 150 at the launch of the Issue

Leah Wool, a Mezzo-soprano hailed by Opera News as "among the more distinctive and accomplished artists of her generation," is Rosina the apple of Count Almaviva’s eye.

1 digital release to 11,300 for the Issue 3 digital release

Victor Ryan Robertson and his versatile singing ability brings

(we had over 34,000 for our Issue 2 featuring the work

Count Almaviva to life. The cast is rounded out with Michael

of Christine Kurioc).

Ventura as the money hungry Dr. Bartolo, Rebecca Shorstein

ÏD  igital Readership - From 250 for Issue 1 to over 3,500 for Issue 3. Ï Hard Copy - Holding steady at 3,500 reached. ÏN  on-Driveway distribution points – From 5 at the launch of Issue 1 to 25 at the time of publishing Issue 4. There can be no doubt: Winston-Salem loves and

as the maid Berta, and Brian Banion as Rosina’s music teacher, Don Basilio. This issue also features the second part of the life and times of Winston-Salem native and arts writer Ed Bumgardner, a new short story section, and the most up to date news releases from our arts community.

supports the arts. We are glad to be a small part of that

Current. Culture. Community. WS Arts!


All in the Arts,

For the second time in our brief publishing life we feature PAGE 6


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Music Review

Doug Davis & The Solid Citizens, A Pageant Of Gold, self-released. By Ed Bumgardner

of Gold, a new six-song EP by Davis and The Solid Citizens - his latest vehicle to perform his songs - leaves the longtime listener appreciative ... but a bit confused. Don’t misunderstand - it’s a good, solid disc, defined by solid educated songwriting; precise, solid playing and the sort of solid sonic wallop generally found only on big-budget productions by major-label acts. It is .... solid. Too solid. The general impression is that of a veteran songwriter looking for a commercial avenue to soar. Gone are the pop tinges that have long been Davis’ stock in trade. Such newly minted Americana songs - Americana? -as the Springsteenlike “June Parade” or “The Great Deluge” sound great, and boast all the right compositional and musical moves. Yet something is


....missing. Gone from the majority of these performances is any sense

 or the past 20 years, the multifaceted Doug Davis has been an impossible-to-miss musical presence in Winston-Salem. He leads several popular bands that woo and serve a vast array of musical tastes. He runs a recording studio where he towers as one of

the best producers in the state (his productions for Vel Indica and Lee Terry and The Near Strangers are, simply, as good as it gets). And Davis has recorded and released several albums, all defined by the solid songwriting, meticulous playing and sterling production that is Davis’ calling card. That said, it is hard, at least from a musical vantage, to get a handle on exactly WHO Doug Davis is. Davis last album, Penny Brown Penny, seemed a defining collection of typically strong Davis songs - power-pop melodic, chockfull of sticky sing-along choruses, but imbued with a rough-and-tumble knockabout edge that shored Davis’ ability to testify with the natural vocal power and soul of a Steve Marriott or a Chris Robinson. By contrast, A Pageant PAGE 8


Music Review

of free-flowing abandon. And it certainly doesn’t help that Davis, one of the area's finest singers, has decided to sing in a distressingly mannered rootsy drawl. Nor is it hard to ignore the fact that the playing - beyond some meaty, soaring solos - rarely shoots sparks. Only on the disc’s two rock-leaning songs - “Midnight Moan” and the genuinely sweat-soaked “Raining On Your Own Parade” - does the band come alive and the performances sound believable. In all, Pageants Of Gold is a bit like The Rolling Stones’ albums of the past 20 years - it sounds great, and it is hard to argue with the quality of the performances and the writing. But once the initial rush of fresh discovery is over, it is hard to remember anything about what one has just heard. Nothing sticks. In the end, Pageants Of Gold, though a fine recording, filled with fine playing, is perhaps best appreciated as a noble experiment. Finding one’s voice in public is rarely easy to do. Ï WSARTSMAG.COM

"In all, Pageants Of Gold is a bit like The Rolling Stones’ albums of the past 20 years - it sounds great, and it is hard to argue with the quality of the performances and the writing." PAGE 9

Music Review

Vel Indica, Turn Off Your Devices, self released. By Ed Bumgardner


 el Indica’s debut album, Turn Off Your Devices, is a surprisingly welcome departure from the contemporary norm in which albums are less unified statements of creativity and vision than cobbled collections of derivative, disposable market-driven songs. In the course of 11 largely remarkable songs, this trio from Winston-Salem, led by singer, songwriter and guitarist Patrick Ferguson, thwarts the exogenous nature of pop to embrace and extoll the fading virtues of musical individuality. Not that there are not extant musical influences - from the soulful sugar-and-spike dynamism of Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs/ Twilight Singers) and the lyrical impressionism of Bob Dylan and Michael Stipe to Mike Scott (The Waterboys), Neutral Milk Hotel and the fearless ambient adventurism of Thom Yorke. Happily, influences never overwhelm, never consume; rather they work as touchstones that Ferguson dissects, fuses and molds to sustain a distinctly personal vision that treats each song, not as personal manifesto, but as pieces of an elliptical whole. The sustaining ebb and flow and the seductive mood of these meticulous songs takes the listener on a journey in which the beauty and power of uncluttered ambient arrangements mates with the mystery of lyrics rife with abstract imagery and dense metaphor to PAGE 10

create a free-flowing environment that uplifts and captivates the soul and sweeps the imagination into overdrive. Drummer Karrie Sheehan and bassist Ken Simonds play with a painterly touch, precisely propelling and caressing the arrangements in ways that add dimension and color without clutter and distraction. The ambient touches added by Ferguson and producer and supplemental keyboardist Doug Davis - save the woefully clichéd children’s chorus on the otherwise epic “Roman Candle” - cast subliminal spells that lend pillowy contrast to Ferguson’s singing, which can soar from muted interior reflection to soul-purging storms of emotional release. There are some mild missteps: Ferguson’s lyrics occasionally teeter on the brink of precociousness, and the overtly Dylanesque ”A Modern Balaam,” while a fine song, is such a jarring stylistic departure that it briefly shatters the flow of what came before it. That said, it is hard to imagine a more captivating series of songs than “Atria,” “Submarine Down,” “Oh Wyoming” and “For Soon We Will Be Airborne” - as an alluring grouping of perfectly written, arranged and performed songs as has ever been put on album. Turn Off Your Devices is a trip worth taking, a spellbinding tour of ambitious dreams and realized musical possibilities that deserves to be heard far beyond a regional audience. It really is that good. Ï WS ARTS MAGAZINE

"Turn Off Your Devices is a trip worth taking, a spellbinding tour of ambitious dreams and realized musical possibilities that deserves to be heard far beyond a regional audience"




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Cover Story


  he Piedmont Opera will



‘The Barber of Seville” on March 15th at the Stevens Center of the University



Carolina School of the Arts. Rossini's thrilling and uplifting score will find a fine compliment in three young, rising performers in an opera that is a mainstay of the repertoire of companies worldwide. Barber by trade and factotum by inclination, Figaro, the lead role in this production, gets roped into becoming a seduction coach for the young Count Almaviva. His motive is two-fold: pity for the boy and a desire to make a great deal of money. Figaro assists Almaviva in courting and wooing the beautiful young Rosina,




escape from the lecherous Dr. Bartolo.

The “Barber of Seville” began as sort

21st Century.

of a 19h Century version of musical

Rossini's iconic (in no small part

A romantic comedy before there

theater. Originally an opéra comique,

to Figaro doppelganger Bugs Bunny)

was such a thing, the narrative of “The

“Barber” evolved quickly into the two act

overture manages the unique trick of

Barber of Seville” has been entertaining

opera that audiences enjoy to this day.

being both playful and bombastic. It is

audiences for two centuries. The story

Rossini's opera premiered with a libretto

a piece of music that is not only played

shares a similar conceit with Rostand's

by Cesare Sterbini in Naples, Italy in

with full productions of “The Barber of



1919. By 1823 “Barber” had left the Old

Seville”, but has its own life outside of the

pathos- which provides a familiarity that

Country to premier in New Orleans. It

confines of the original opera. It is a major

allows even audiences who don't speak

would remain a repertoire mainstay of

piece in American pop-consciousness.

the libretto's Italian to follow along.

American opera companies on into the

Even those who do not follow opera






Cover Story

Figaro! Piedmont Opera Presents Another Classic By Chad Nance

Rosina will be played by Mezzo-soprano Leah Wool has been hailed by *Opera News* as "among the more distinctive and accomplished artists of her generation," with "a voice of truly beautiful timbre." Ms. Wool's 2012-2013 season includes appearances with both Nashville Opera and Knoxville Opera as the title role in “La Cenerentola”; Sacramento Opera, as Rosina in “Il barbiere di Siviglia”; and Opera Omaha as Second Lady in “The Magic Flute”. The fact that Wool is a Mezzosoprano makes the Piedmont Opera's production




unique. Rosina's cavatina “Una voce poco fa” was written in E major for a Mezzo-soprano. It is often transposed up into an F major so that it might be performed by a coloratura soprano. recognize the indelible “Figaro, Figaro,

upcoming production, the famous aria

Wool will be able to sing Rosina's part

Figaro” refrain as being what opera “is”.

will be sung by Markus Beam who has,

fully, as originally composed.

This kind of cultural awareness can be a

as recently as the Summer of 2012,

Victor Ryan Robertson, tenor, will

boon for an opera company performing

sung Rossini's Figaro. In the summer

play Rosina's would be suitor Count

Rossini's masterwork, but it can also

of 2012 Beam performed with the


offer up substantial challenges.

newly formed Mill City Summer Opera

adaptability, range, and fitness are

One enduring appeal of Rossini's

in Minneapolis, for Silvio in “Pagliacci”.

certainly required for the demands of the

over-all score is undoubtedly its grace

He began the 2012-2013 season with

role. Recently Robertson received critical

notes such as the complex and almost

Chicago Opera Theater as Papageno in

acclaim for a concert with the Richard

gymnastic baritone of the aria “Largo

a new production of “The Magic Flute”.

Tucker Foundation. The Cleveland Plain

al factotum”. In the Piedmont Opera's WSARTSMAG.COM





The versatile Robertson’s

Dealer gushed: “His voice is fresh, his PAGE 13

personality alive." While “Barber” is known as a comedy, its operatic technical difficulty is no laughing matter. Add to that the fact that any company performing this opera has to not only over-come the challenges inherent in Rossini's score, they must also bring something to the production that can overcome an audience's natural apathy when it comes to a work as familiar as “Barber”. Coming off a successful run with Bizet's “Carmen”, Winston-Salem's hometown Opera company had proved itself worthy of the big classics. That bodes well for season ticket holders and newcomers to live Opera alike. No city the size of Winston-Salem and few larger can lay claim to the prestige of having a world-class opera company. Those cities do not provide their citizens with the opportunity to enjoy live music of the quality found in the Piedmont Opera. Following the March 15th premier the Piedmont Opera will also have performances of “Barber” on March 17th at 2:00 pm and on March 19th at 7:30 pm. All performances will be at the Stevens Center. Tickets begin at $15. Call 336.725.7101 or for ticket information. Ï

Markus Beam PAGE 14

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Monday - Thursday 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM Friday - Saturday 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM Twin City Stage Executive Director Norman Ussery as Scrooge Sunday 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM PAGE 15

Feature Story

Low Wages, Free Beer, and the Search for Soul Salvation Part 2 By Ed Bumgardner PAGE 16


Childhood evolved, with all the usual capers, adventures and experiences. I taught myself to read at age 4, thanks to my mother’s granting of my constant requests to be read to. By age 7 – the year I read Jules Verne’s Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under The Sea, thus stunning my second-grade teacher – my head was constantly buried in a book. Other kids in my class and neighborhood wanted to play baseball; I seemed content to read about it. This didn’t sit well with Dad, who quickly dragged me down to the local sporting goods store, outfitted me with bat, ball and glove, and kicked me outside. PAGE 17



o my surprise, I found that I not only liked baseball, but that I also had an aptitude for it. A new obsession was born, thus cementing my lifelong belief that anything worth doing was worth overdoing, generally to the point that it drove people crazy.

It’s a gift. School was attended, not without griping, and lessons of all sorts were learned. Friends were made and cliques were formed, brotherhoods of shared, if often fleeting, obsessions. There was the sports clique. There was the reading clique, for the most part a bespectacled lot of Junior Poindexters that generally didn’t interact with the sports clique outside of being the objects of taunting and the occasional beating. Then there was the class-clown/troublemaker/ principal’s-office clique, a personal favorite that inspired the recurring note on my report cards: “Eddie is not working up to his potential. His need to be the center of attention disrupts the entire class.” That was from my third-grade report card. A variation of that sentiment – as I got older, my deepening dislike for authority was also duly noted – was found at least once on every report card through the end of my academic sentence. I was nothing if not consistent. But no one else seemed to share my interest in music – at least not to my obsessive degree. I didn’t have favorite bands, or even favorite songs – at least not so I could name. I just loved the sound, the groove, the mood, the melody. It was exciting. It was seductive. It was MINE. Whenever I tried to talk about music with my guy friends, I was met with the kind of sustained incredulous stares and glares that usually preceded being ostracized and/or pounded upon. So I largely stayed mum on that subject, and my love of music became secretive, a guilty pleasure. I had fallen in love with the Philco radio in my bedroom – an old plastic box with a lighted dial that one twisted to find different stations. It was a portal to an ever-changing, wonderfully chaotic universe of sound that, with a wrench of the dial, shifted from static to jabber to all manner of music. I have vivid memories of being driven past a local radio station by my father, who, sensing a rare opportunity for a bit of father/son banter, informed me that the music we were listening to right then and there, in the car, was coming from that very building. I got highly excited, as only a precocious kid can, and demanded that we pull into the parking lot and go inside so I could watch the people sing. Dad heroically tried to tell me that they were not performing there; we were listening to someone playing the records, a proclamation that set Dad off on what would inevitably become a l-o-n-g monologue on the science behind how music was broadcast – yadda yadda yadda. I was hearing and having no part of that explanation. It didn’t fit the widescreen visual image fueling my imagination. PAGE 18


People were singing and making music right in that building and Mean Old Dad was refusing to let me take it all in. Let the pestering begin! Thus another valiant effort on my Dad’s part to nudge along the love of music he saw burbling in his son turned into yet another to-and-fro forum for debate, argument, frustration and, inevitably, punishment. In other words, another father-and-son moment typical to our household. He tried. I cried. As I grew older and ever-more rebellious, I spent more time alone in my room for all manner of reasons and crimes against authority. The radio became my friend. And while raking the dial at night, I noticed that the music was changing into something new. It was noisier and faster, a bit more anti-authoritarian. It was called rock n’ roll, and I liked what I was hearing. Then I came face to face with it. Our family, like many across America, would gather in front of the television on Sunday evenings, dinner on TV trays, to watch Ed Sullivan’s variety show. It had it all – puppets, joke tellers, bears in tutus riding unicycles, sword swallowers, acrobats and jugglers, men and women in spangly pants running around spinning plates on big sticks … you know, entertainment – showbiz. There were also singers – a faceless complement of dapper men in suits and busty women in fancy dresses tapping toes, snapping fingers and toeing the cultural line. It was all …. nice. My mom and dad would smile and coo as the crooners warbled away. I liked the bears. That world, and the world in general, changed one Sunday night in 1964, right in front of our eyes, ushered in by the clearly uncomfortable alien presence of Ed Sullivan. I didn’t know this at the time. I was only eight. What I did know was that those four head-shaking, shimmying guys with long hair, electric guitars and odd accents – they were from someplace called Liverpool – were making the sort of music I heard late at


night on my radio. This was MY music. It made my heart beat faster and my mind race. I got overly excited as I watched, which was good for nobody but me. It made me smile. It made the girls and boys in the audience, who were definitely NOT there to see the bears on unicycles, scream at a volume that seemed like it would blow up the television. It made my dad agitated. He bounded out of his chair toward the TV to turn down the sound. There was a sour look of total displeasure on his face. Noise, he called it, not music. “But Dad, I like it.” “No. You. Don’t.” “Yes. I. Do. You don’t understand.” His voice grew louder. “Oh, I understand. I understand that this isn’t coming into my house. It’s noise.” “Well, it already did come in, and it will again.” A voice inside my head went, “ Uh-oh. BIG MISTAKE. “I listen to it on my radio.” BIGGER MISTAKE. “This is my music. Not yours. You …you … you ….” And with one more uttered word of willful disrespect, the TV was off, and so was my dad. He literally dragged me to my room, my clucking Mom in tow, where my radio was confiscated until further notice and corporal punishment was barely avoided. I was to think about my actions, and my insolent mouth, in silence. Sentenced to hard time in solitary again. I will never forget how confused I was at what had transpired. It was music. What was the big deal? He likes music. I didn’t understand his reaction, but I sensed that something important was going on. For the first time understood that music could be more than entertainment. It had power. I heard exactly one song, but it was enough. Meet The Beatles, indeed. Life was getting interesting. Ï


Short Story

Tastes Like Home By Stacy Hope Jones




now is beginning to drift in little whipped cream puddles in front of this wooden cottage I’ve stumbled upon, so cheery and bright in the midst of these dark woods. Its chimney smoke beckoning me to come inside, come inside. The smells, mmm,

someone cooking in there, but more, traces of nutmeg, orange peel even, and the aching hungry scent of hearty meat. For days I’ve been worming my way through these woods, going nowhere, somewhere, anywhere but home. My stomach storms at me, and I walk up the little cobblestone path, lit by lanterns. Could they be expecting someone? That’s silly. I’m delirious from eating nothing and walking in circles. The wooden door swings open at the slightest touch of my pinked hand. Frostbite likely. I step inside. Are those...peppermints in a dish on the foyer table? Odd. I’m a long way from anything in these woods, at least I thought. I’ll just stop in to warm, eat I hope, and ask my way from here. I hear a fire popping and crackling, through an arched doorway to a kitchen. Ahhh, I can smell something like sausage maybe, pot roast, it’s a strange scent. “Hello in here...anyone home?” “Come on in the kitchen sweetie pie...come in!” She has the voice of a grandmother, sweet and lively. Wellfed no doubt. Just sounds the type. Stepping into the kitchen, I’m floored by the scent from an enormous stuffed pie on the butcher block table. Bigger than a washtub, it puffs and heaves and steams from the decorative slits in the golden flaky crust. “There you are now my little snowbird. Won’t you come closer to the oven? Surely you are freezing from the cold. Come.” Her white apron is stained with flour and something red, peppermints maybe? Her white hair is bright and piled into a perfect pillowy knot atop her head. Her cheeks are indeed, rosy, no doubt from cooking of pie all day. Mmmmm. Look hungry I think. Look starving. “Yes, you must be famished, sit right here, on this stool by my pie. You are too thin and cold for wasting time at the dining table. Warm milk? It goes well with my pies.” The potbellied stove in the middle of her warm kitchen is pulling me in its direction. The woman smiles wide and toothy,



I stab into the pie with a fork, moist, tender, shovel it into my mouth, all one big bite. I needn’t even chew it, it melts, simply melts. The meat has the sweetest taste, maybe the spices, rich and not salty. Almost like chocolate meat. I swallow it down, food falling at last into the empty heaving bucket of my belly. I eat faster now, and faster, wolfing the pie forkful after forkful. It’s wonderful. I come to the end and she is already slicing another piece out for me. I wash the last bite down with the sweet milk, nodding my head, yes, yes, another. I must breathe for a moment though, say thank you. Something. “Ma’am. This is so wonderful. I cannot thank you enough. I don’t mean to be rude, I’m just, so hungry.” “Oh, I’ll fatten you up yet little Gretel, don’t you worry. Eat all you want. I’ve already decided, you’ll be staying. Happy as a bun in the oven dearie. No rush. Nowhere to go.” Then I recognize the two pot holders she is pulling from the hooks are not potholders at all, but two blue mittens with little red stripes, just the size and just the ones my little brother Henry left wearing days ago. My stomach turns sick and sour, I begin to wretch. pulling a stool between the oven and the pie, patting it. I sit. “Thank you, yes, I’m quite cold and hungry too. I’ve just lost my way a bit...from my little brother. Have you seen him come



him, doesn’t it dear?” n

through here, maybe a few days ago?” “What, a little boy? Precious no, and I would’ve seen him. I’m the only cottage this way to the road you know. Eat first, we’ll talk later. What shall I call you dearie? Gretel is it?” I’m still blurry. Days since eating. What have I been thinking, leaving home with no plan? “It is Gretel, isn’t it?” “Ma’am? Oh, no. Close though, I’m Gretchen. Did I say that already?” “Yes, yes that’s right. You did. You said it as you came inside my door. You said, ‘Hello, I’m Gretchen, is anyone home?’ Pie now. It’s delicious!” She axes a steely knife in one sharp swing, giggling to herself as she does and cuts out a walloping slice of meat pie, brown and rich and steaming, plopping it onto a plate with its buttery crust curling and begging me, eat, eat, eat. PAGE 22


Art News

Paper Lantern Theatre to Premiere New Work by Internationally Known Playwright Daniel Singer A Perfect Likeness By Daniel Singer Directed by John Gulley Performances run April 18 – April 21, 2013 The Black Box at Summit School, Winston Salem, NC.


Dickens versus the mannered and clerical Lewis Carroll. As the conversation between the two men goes from courteous introductions to an intimate exploration of feelings and events that are deeply disturbing to them, the audience is taken on a journey in real time that reveals much (and speculates more) about these influential authors. This Paper Lantern Company production will be directed by John Gulley and features local professional actors Ben baker as Lewis Carroll and Michael Kamtman as Charles Dickens. A Perfect Likeness opens on Thursday, April 18 and runs through Sunday, April 21. Evening performances are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 PM. Matinee performances are at 2:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $15.00. The show is in The Black Box at Summit School at Summit School, 2100 Reynolda Road, Winston Salem, NC. For more information and to purchase tickets visit

ltadena, CA. based playwright Daniel Singer is best known to audiences around the world as the co-author of the three-man farce The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). The play has been produced around the world, ran for nine years in London’s West End, and enjoyed both professional and amateur productions in Winston-Salem. Now, in conjunction with the Winston-Salem meeting of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, Paper Lantern Theatre Company is producing the world premiere of Singer’s latest play, A Perfect Likeness. The play dramatizes a fictional meeting between two famous Victorian authors, Charles Dickens and Lewis Carroll. Singer is a longtime member of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America and Carroll enthusiast. One of his first plays was an original adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and during his work as an Imagineer for the Walt Disney Company his design work included Alice-themed attractions in Disneyland Paris. Singer will be directly involved with the show, working closely with Director, John Gulley, in the development of the premier production. Mr. Singer will attend performances and Paper Lantern Theatre will host a Q&A with Mr. Singer following one of the shows. Singer’s new play explores the psyches of these two very different Victorians—the somewhat bawdy and irreverent WSARTSMAG.COM


Cigars & Spirits

The Ashton Classic Corona By Ed Hanes


henever someone asks what the best cigar to smoke is, I typically reply “whatever tastes good to you.” My preference is a medium to full-bodied smoke. I’ve been rethinking that stance of late. As my free time has dwindled I no longer have the recovery time needed after smoking the likes of a LaGloria Serie R. What “I like” is now almost completely dictated by the circumstance of the moment. Winding down at Twin City Cigar Company after a long week in Raleigh? Perhaps the Autuero Fuente Short Story is my date. Settling in for the big football game with Tim’s divine ribs at the ready?


Maybe the Drew Estate Velvet Rat is the answer to my prayers. When I want to simply relax and an hour is all I have, I am more frequently turning to premium mild cigars. As a neophyte, I would eschew these sticks. They were wimpy and not what real men turned to. Now that I am a “real man” (you, wife, home, two kids) I appreciate the way these milder cigars have helped evolve my point of view. The Ashton Classic Corona is the Audi A8 of this class of cigar: Understated. Classic. Elite. Much like the broader Ashton line, this stick is ready to compete with the more flashy and, in many regards, equally yoked of the cigar world. The Classic Corona,

from the beautiful Connecticut shade wrapper and Dominican filler/binder to the thick vanilla smoke erupting from the end, is a flawless smoke. For around $8 you get an hour of relaxation with an ash that any serious cigar smoker will appreciate. At lighting, this Ashton explodes with a surprisingly sweet flavor and rich odor of tobacco not expected from milder cigars. The cigar is constructed to provide a firm stance for the classic white Ashton label that adorns the expertly executed, double capped, finished stick. This is, without question, a real mans cigar. The flavor and aroma reflect the sweet beginning of the cigar with a citrus finish left on the palate. This


Wrapper: USA Connecticut Broadleaf Filler: Dominican Binder: Dominican Size: 5.5 X 44 Ashton is mild, but far from meek. The core of the cigar actually moves closer to a medium presentation of toast and cream. Coupled with a late kick of pepper after first addressing the unsuspecting smoker with citrus, cream, and toast, this Ashton is a wonder of blending artistry. With a hint of oak in the aroma, one has to ask why this cigar sits at the value price point of $6-$8. The finish of this smoke is clean and worthy of finger tip burning greed: good to the last fingerprint erasing pull. The construction and burn of the Ashton would make any tobacco man proud. The Ashton is firm to the touch. The draw, even burn, and stout salt and pepper ash reflect expert rolling. As you move into the second phase of the cigar the draw loosens as the tobacco WSARTSMAG.COM

WS Arts Magazine has designed and implemented a ratings system where cigars receive an E.D.S (really...I didn't name the rating system after myself) of 1-5. Each review explains, in easy to understand terms, why we chose that particular rating for a given cigar. Our ratings system is described as follows:

heats up. The burn of this offering is surgical so long as it is properly footed and heated from the start. There is no touching up needed. The Ashton holds form and proceeds into the last third of its journey with complete confidence. Even if placed to the side for a trip to the bar, this cigar can be reborn with just a couple of puffs. The fact that this entry burns cool into the late stages is just another reason to love it. The blend? Perfect. The flavor mix? As fine as Oaklawn Drive on a mild afternoon in the Fall. Smoked with a clean palate this Ashton will touch the taste sectors of even the most demanding cigar lover. For its complexity in flavor and simplicity of delivery, the Ashton Classic Corona earns the highest honors, 5 E.D.S. n

1 E.D.S - These are cigars of last resort. They are questionable even if only mowing the yard or planting a garden. 2 E.D.S - These cigars make tolerable companions while you wash your car. They aren't looking for attention, nor should they! 3 E.D.S - These are pretty respectable cigars but may still fall short. We recommend them for the golf course, the back porch with one of your uninitiated friends, or for the after wedding party (for the husband of your best girlfriend who thinks he knows everything about cigars). 4 E.D.S - Now we’re talking. Enjoy these fine cigars after a delicious meal or with your favorite cocktail. Again, I prefer Fridays at Single Brothers (or my Cigar Room). Join me! 5 E.D.S - Respect your elders! These complex treats are true works of art. They deserve Coltrane, good friends, and your favorite adult tasty treat. Only the best! n


Cigars & Spirits




American Single Malt Whisky, Sans the Snobbery Story and Photography By: Dave Johnson


   here is a certain amount of snobbery that goes hand-inhand with drinking single-malt scotch. It is similar to owning a rare pedigreed dog or a vintage Ferrari; others may not understand the reasons for indulgence, but then too, what other’s think may be of little concern. I recently picked up a bottle of Oban, one of my favorite single malts. While in the store a shabbily dressed lady asked me if the bottle I was about to purchase was “good”. I replied, “calling Oban good is tantamount to calling a Bentley expensive”. “Oh”, she said, “What does a bottle of that cost”? “This particular bottle is $80”, I replied, to which she responded with an astonished whistle. “It’s not for the faint of heart”, I said. I’m really not a snob but when drinking a single-malt , I feel like a snob. WSARTSMAG.COM

I was ashamed of myself for behaving so poorly. Then I cracked open the bottle, settled into my leather armchair, lit up a stogie, and pondered a world without this elixir of the Gods I was about to enjoy. I was quickly brought back to reality when my wife screeched “you are not going to smoke that in here”.

Cigars & Spirits I realize there is more to singlemalt scotch than snobbery. That was cemented when I took a visit to the Blue Ridge Distilling Company, home of the Defiant Single Malt Whiskey. The distillery is in Golden Valley, NC near Rutherfordton. I met the guys behind Defiant Whiskey (if it isn’t distilled in Scotland, it can’t be called scotch) at The Big Sip, a beverage tasting festival held in Greensboro. I was there in support of a new Triad-based brewery (Four Saints Brewing Company). I found myself “sipping” at the Blue Ridge Distilling Company booth more times than I care to admit. Their Defiant whisky lived up to its name. I introduced myself to the owners and suggested I come to their distillery for a visit and interview (the truth of the matter is I just wanted to sample more of their whisky, as it wasn’t available in the ABC stores yet). Dan, one of the members of the Blue Ridge Distilling Company team, liked the idea of having an article and suggested I come up on a Friday, tour the distillery, hang out, eat, stay the night, (eat some more in the morning) and leave with an adequate amount of information to do the article justice. I wasn’t sure if he was serious, but I was


going to take him up on the offer. Two weeks later I called and spoke with the owner, Tim Ferris who set up my visit. Throwing caution to the wind I told my wife we were making a journey to the North Carolina outback to spend some time learning about the art of distilling whisky. I really am lucky that my wife is always up for an adventure (otherwise I might have found myself hitchhiking to their distillery). Arriving at about 6:30 on Friday evening we were met by Tim at the front door. He walked us into the building where we came face to face with the beautiful still that is responsible for turning malted barley into whisky. It was then I realized that there really is a lot more to single-malt whisky or scotch than snobbery. The heritage and tradition behind the manufacturing of this splendid spirit transcends any human feeling about it and is much more ethereal than can be put into words. This became abundantly evident when the conversation quickly turned from process to philosophy. What I didn’t know then was the back story to Defiant Whisky that makes the brand much cooler than it first appeared. The guys that are responsible for distilling the whisky are also deep-water salvage divers. Their lives hang in the balance of sinking ships and other dangerous underwater recovery and repair operations. As if the occupation of making whisky wasn’t cool enough, their “real” jobs make Dirk Pitt look like a wimp. It was then that I felt I wasn’t worthy of being in the same room as these gentlemen. Any and all snobbery was replaced with mere mortal humility and a level of envy that PAGE 28

bordered on jealousy. Combine passion, danger, intrigue, philosophy and downto-earth spirituality and you’ve only scratched the surface of what Defiant American Single Malt Whisky is all about. Add a little blood, sweat and tears and you’re getting a little closer. Throw in courage, integrity and honor and you are just about there. While these aren’t ingredients listed on the bottle, they are all part of what makes Defiant American Single Malt Whisky great……and great it is. I would say it is as good as any of the single-malt scotches I have enjoyed in the past. While not aged as long like some of the more traditional single malts, the guys at Blue Ridge have distilled a whisky that will not only delight the taste buds but provide you with a sense of the Defiant spirit. The rich amber-colored nectar has a buttery feel in the mouth and is enhanced by “delicate notes of honey, vanilla and caramel”. While a little sweeter than I am accustomed to with traditional single malts, Defiant is nothing short of perfection. My only caution is to be mindful while drinking it. The Defiant goes down so nicely you may find the bottle empty before you know it. Defiant American Single Malt Whisky is being rolled out to the ABC stores now and may not be available at your closest branch. Don’t fret, just ask them to order product #66230. It may take them a week or two to get it but it is well worth the wait. Be sure to visit their website, for more information about this local North Carolinian distilling company. Ï WS ARTS MAGAZINE


UNCSA Visual Artists Earn 48 Awards From Scholastic




• Adam Dehus, 12th grade

students at the

from Blowing Rock, one silver




North Carolina

• Moyra Grem, 12th grade

School of the

from Waxhaw, two silver keys

Arts (UNCSA)

and two honorable mentions;

won 29 gold keys, 13 silver keys,



• Lillian Higgins, 12th grade


from Greensboro, eight gold

mentions at the Scholastic Art


& Writing Awards, the nation's

• Virginia Li, 11th grade

most prestigious program for

from Cary, two gold keys, two

recognizing artists in grades 7

silver keys and one honorable

through 12.


Eleven students - one-third of

• Rachel Pendergrass, 12th

those enrolled in UNCSA's two-year

grade from Pfafftown, three gold

Visual Arts Program -- won awards for

keys, three silver keys and one

paintings, drawings, sculptures, mixed-

honorable mention;

media works, and portfolio collections.

• Bailey Powell, 12th grade from Asheboro,

"These young artists have demonstrated an

13 gold keys and two silver keys;

enormous commitment to their craft, an undeniably disciplined work ethic, and the ability to respond to and grow from rigorous critical discourse," said Will Taylor, Director of the Visual Arts Program. "This is a tremendous level of success for our honored students, as well as our collective Visual Arts Program. The entire Visual Arts faculty is very proud." Joseph P. Tilford, Dean of the School of Design and

• Emma Whitlock, 12th grade from Germanton, one honorable mention; • Jennifer Xiao, 11th grade from Concord, one honorable mention. The regional competition of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards was held Jan. 12 at Barton College in Wilson. An awards ceremony was held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3

Production, of which the Visual Arts Program is part, said there

at Barton College.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

is no higher honor for high school artists. "We are extremely

continues to be the longest-running, most prestigious

proud to have won 48 awards," he said. "It is a wonderful

recognition program for creative teens in the U.S., and the

reflection on our talented students and our top-notch faculty."

largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers.

The student award winners are:

Since 1923, Scholastic has identified the early promise of

• Chelsea Bednar, 12th grade from Winston-Salem, two

some of our nation's most exceptional visionaries. Alumni

gold keys and two silver keys; • Hannah Bennett, 11th grade from Asheville, one gold key; • Anna Bumgarner, 12th grade from Hickory, one silver key; PAGE 29

include Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein, Cy Twombly, Truman Capote, Joyce Carol Oates and Robert Redford. In the past five years, submissions have topped 700,000 works, and students have been eligible for more than $25 million in awards and scholarships. Ï WS ARTS MAGAZINE


Sundance Selects Nine Films With UNCSA Connections


ore than 30 alumni of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) School of Filmmaking and the School of Drama worked on nine of the 115 films that were screened at Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 17-27 in Park City, Utah. Three films written and directed by UNCSA film alumni have been selected in competition and out-of-competition categories. MUD, written and directed by Jeff Nichols (2001), was selected for the out-of-competition Spotlight category, which presents films that have dazzled audiences at film festivals around the globe. PRINCE AVALANCHE, written, directed and co-produced by David Gordon Green (1998) will be screened in the out-ofcompetition Premieres category, which showcases some of the most highly anticipated dramatic films of the coming year. Craig Zobel (1999) and Lisa Muskat (former faculty member in Film) co-produced the film. THIS IS MARTIN BONNER, written and directed by Chad Hartigan (2004), was selected in the Next category, which recognizes pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking approach to storytelling. "It is truly remarkable for UNCSA to have this many alumni working on so many films screening at the Sundance Film Festival, including MUD, PRINCE AVALANCHE and THIS IS MARTIN BONNER. It is testament to the caliber of talent graduating from the School of the Arts," said Interim Dean of Filmmaking Susan Ruskin. "We are proud that our alumni are making a difference in the profession, and in all aspects of the profession," she added, pointing out additional alumni in the crews and the casts of the films written by Nichols, Green, and Hartigan, as well as in six other films chosen by Sundance. Alumni worked on two additional films selected in the Next category: I USED TO BE DARKER, with Alex Bickel (2004) as colorist; and MILKSHAKE, with Ian Bloom (2005) as director of photography. In the Premieres category, Jen Haire (2002) was production coordinator and worked with additional photography for DON JON'S ADDICTION. In the U.S. Dramatic Competition category, which offers a first look at groundbreaking new voices in American independent film, alumni worked on three films: AIN'T THEM BODIES SAINTS, with Michael Sledd (2001) as co-producer and Jane Rizzo (1998) as editor; KILL WSARTSMAG.COM

YOUR DARLINGS, with Gilana Lobel (2005) as assistant production coordinator, and Dane DeHaan (Drama high school 2004 and BFA 2008) appearing as Lucien Carr; and MOTHER OF GEORGE, with Bickel as colorist. MUD stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Michael Shannon in the story of two teenage boys who encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters on his trail and to reunite him with his true love. Other Film alumni who are credited for work on MUD include: * Adam Stone (1999), cinematographer; * Richard Wright (1999), production designer; * Elliott Glick (2004), art director; * Will Files (2002), sound designer; * Clint Smith (2002), dialogue editor; * Dylan Conrad (2010), camera operator and assistant cameraman; * Neil Moore (2002), camera operator and director of photography; * Matthew Petrosky (2000), camera editor and Steadicam; * Darius Shahmir (2001), electronic press kit; * Matt Zboyovski (2001), office production assistant; * Doug Ligon (2001), appeared as a motel clerk. Additionally, Michael Abbott Jr., a 2000 alumnus of the School of Drama, appeared as James. PRINCE AVALANCHE, filmed secretly in Austin, Texas, stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch in a remake of the Icelandic film EITHER WAY. Alumni of the School of Filmmaking who worked on PRINCE AVALANCHE include: * Tim Orr (1998), cinematographer; * Wright, production designer; * Chris Gebert (2000), sound mixer; * Steve Pedulla (1999), best boy electric; * Files, sound designer; * Devoe Yates (1998), music supervisor; * Scott Gardner (1999) still photographer; * Shahmir, electronic press kit and behind the scenes. * Smith, dialogue editor. THIS IS MARTIN BONNER stars Paul Eenhoorn, Richard Arquette and Sam Buchanan. Martin Bonner has just moved to Reno for a new job in prison rehabilitation. Starting over at age 58, he struggles to adapt until an unlikely friendship with an ex-con blossoms, helping him confront the problems he left behind. Film alumni credited for THIS IS MARTIN BONNER include: * Sean McElwee (2004), director of photography; * Nate Brown (2004) as gaffer; * Bickel as colorist; * Marc Ripper (2004) as print graphics and design; * Matt Goldberg (2004) as budget consultant; * Brendan McFadden (2004) as spiritual adviser. Ă? PAGE 30

Mayor Joines is going to the Barber! The Demon Deacon is going to the Barber! Tickets on sale now at 336.725.7101 or


Piedmont opera’s

March 15, 17 & 19 The Stevens Center of the UNCSA 336.725.7101 *

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WS Arts Magazine, Issue 4  
WS Arts Magazine, Issue 4  

For the second time in our brief publishing life we feature the exceptional work of the Piedmont Opera. This issue also features the secon...