26 / pub 2 / FREE / July 14-20, 2010 â€˘ w w w . E n c o R E p u b . c o m
Puppet Masters Wilmington celebrates its first annual puppet festival
encore | july 14-20 , 2010 | www.encorepub.com
What’s inside this week
The port City gets its first taste of puppet mania this week, as the port City puppet Festival gets underway. Tons of art openings, performances and film screenings take place in honor of all-things marinonette. Check out Lauren Hodges piece on pages 10-12, where she covers all the events and speaks to the founder, Gina Gambony, about the impetus to bring a festival of this caliber to Wilmington. Cover photo and left: “White Ladies,” created by peter schumann for a production of oedpius rex in the early 1990’s.
If you’re not already an encore fan on Facebook, you should be! We’re running a contest on encore’s Facebook page that is simply quite awesome. Just head over to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wilmington-NC/encore-magazine/62587327524, and leave a comment about your favorite concert experience. Also include which show you would like to go to, and we’ll enter you in our contest to win a pair of tickets to the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach. We’ll be randomly selecting the winner from the comments one week prior to concert dates. Don’t forget to tell your friends, either. Currently up for grabs: Donavon Frankenreiter, Corey Smith, As I Lay Dying, Jamey Johnson, Cindi Lauper and more!
EDITORIAL: Editor-in-ChiEf: Shea Carver intErns: Lisa Huynh, Andrew Zucchino, Chris Faircloth ChiEf Contributors: Adrian Varnam, Gwenyfar Rohler, Anghus Houvou-
Think you know who has the bets Web site in town? Send us your nominations by August 15th, listing the Web site, the contact of the site’s owner and three reasons it’s just the best! We’ll interview the winner for our cover story in our August 25th, Annual Wilmington Webbies Awards. Top 5 will be recognized; first place will be covered editiorially in full. E-mail only: firstname.lastname@example.org
“You people are so lucky you live in California. This heat wave back east is just unbelievable. … It was so hot in Washington, Nancy Pelosi skipped the Botox, had her face injected with frozen yogurt.” —Jay Leno “You know what is in the theaters right now is another movie in the ‘Twilight’ saga.
pRODucTIOn AnD ADvERTIsIng: Art dirECtor Sue Cothran AdvErtising sAlEs: John Hitt: Downtown, Carolina Beach
ras, Claude Limoges, Jay Schiller, Lauren Hodges,
Kris Beasley: Wrightsville Beach, N. Wilmington
Tiffanie Gabrielse, Tom Tomorrow, Chuck Shepherd,
Shea Carver: Midtown, Monkey Junction
Chirstina Dore, The Cranky Foreigner
Promotions mAnAgEr: John Hitt distribution: Reggie Brew, John Hitt
encore is published weekly, on Wednesday, by Wilmington Media. opinions of contributing writers are not necessarily the opinions of encore.
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CorrespondenCe: p.o. Box 12430, Wilmington, n.C. 28405 email@example.com • www.encorepub.com phone: (910) 791-0688 • Fax: (910) 791-9177
26 / pub 2 / July 14th - 20th, 2010
Everybody has got ‘Twilight’ fever. Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska, was in a helicopter, shooting werewolves.” —David Letterman “Here’s a fireworks safety tip. Don’t get drunk and leave bottle rockets on the grill unless you want to see your hot dogs fly, which is fun too.”—Jimmy Kimmel Jon Stewart, responding to John McCain’s catchy new acronym B.I.O.B. (Blame it on Bush): “H.R.W.A.T.P.T.R.T.C.I.T.G—He really Was A Terrible President That Ran The Country Into The Ground.”
wilmington restaurant week
Local restaurateurs: Make your reservation now to be included in Wilmington’s most delicious week in fall. encore’s Wilmington Restaurant Week takes place October 20th-27th. If you want to be a part of the campaign, call us now: (910) 791-0688. Deadline: August 1st for discount.
Wanna know what’s in encore for the week each Wednesday it’s published? Listen to Shea Carver on the Penguin 106.7, with Glenn every Wednesday morning at 9:15. They’ll keep you informed first on what’s happening in the Port City—followed by great music, too
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news & views .......... 4-7 4 live local campaign: Gwenyfar Rohler interviews Chef Carson Jewell and his Radius Menu at the newly located Caffe Phoenix. 6 op-ed: Howard Rich takes on Big Government and inadequate spending. 7 news of the weird: Chuck Shepherd reports on news of the strange and odd.
artsy smartsy .......... 8-23 8-9 theater: Lisa Huynh reviews Opera House Theater Company’s charming production, “The Music Man”; Shea Carver interviews director Nick Smith about the upcoming Guerilla Theatre production, “Piece of My Heart.” 10-12 art: Lauren Hodges gets all the information on the first puppet festival to hit the Port City. 13 gallery guide: Find out what exhibitions are hanging at local galleries. 14 music: Adrian Varnam interviews our local-songstress-turned-Grammy-nominatedmusician, Tift Merritt, just in time for her Greenfield Lake show this Friday. 16-19 soundboard: See what bands and performers are playing in venues all over town. 20-21 livin’ locally: Meet the folks at Sapona Green Building Center. 23 film: Anghus reviews the teenage drivel that is the continuous “Twilight” series.
grub & guzzle .......... 24-25 24-25 dining guide: Need a few suggestions on where to eat? Flip through encore’s dining guide, and read about our featured restaurant of the week.
extra! extra! ............ 26-39 26 fact or fiction: Claude Limoges serves up her next installment of “An Involuntary Intimate.” 27 book club review: Tiffanie Gabrielse and encore book club members review Clyde Edgerton’s “Lunch at the Picadilly.” 28-29 historical fiction winner: Read Joan Leotta’s second-place winner for the Lower Cape Fear’s annual Historical Fiction Contest. 31 crossword: Let Stan Newman test your mind with our weekly crossword! 30-33 who’s new in business: encore writers interview new business owners around town and reveal new services to the public. 34-38 calendar/’toons/horoscopes/ corkboard: Find out where to go and what to do about town with encore’s calendar; check out Tom Tommorow and encore’s annual ‘toons winner, Jay Schiller; read your horoscope; and check out the latest saucy corkboard ads.
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below Live Local. Live Small
7 Op-Ed 9 News of the Weird
Live Local. Live Small. Caffe Phoenix evolves and embraces locavore movement
ew changes of venue have caused quite as much discussion as the Caffé Phoenix move from South Front Street, where it resided for over 20 years. Through multiple owners and updates, Phoenix (www.caffephoenix.com) now makes its home at 35 North Front Street. Some chefs may groan and see the Herculean move as an un-needed hindrance in their working day. Executive chef and general manager Carson Jewell does not; rather he embraces it as an opportunity of a lifetime. “I’ve been designing this menu for years,” Jewell says, referring to Phoenix’s new “Radius Menu.” The specials board featured in the restaurant now includes the mileage racked up by the food served each night. In other words, it supports the locavore movement, showing how far food traveled from farm to table. The day Carson sat down with me, he was offering fried green tomato Napoleon, a local shrimp salad and a side of fresh pickled okra and peppers, all averaging 27 miles. In a world where tomatoes are picked green and travel 1,500 miles, packed in a hot truck and then gassed to “ripen,” Phoenix’s Radius Menu is nothing short of revolutionary. “You can taste the difference,” Jewell promises. “There is no doubt about that.” The chef began ruminating on the idea of the “100 Mile Diet” a couple of years ago, after Tracy Ramsey—formerly of Tidal Creek Co-op, now full-time farmer in the Pittsboro area—introduced Jewell to it. Jewell started gardening, and the more he thought about local living and learned about food growth,
by: Gwenyfar Rohler the more obvious the Radius Menu became. “The economy needs it, there is no doubt about that,” he says. For the purpose of running a restaurant, and ordering large quantities of food, Jewell expanded the initial mileage from 100 miles to 300. In the end, he felt very comfortable with 95 percent of the Radius Menu being “local.” Items like spices and olive oil alter the percentage only because some of them simply do not grow here. However, produce and proteins will not be replaced by fill-in orders to a corporate food purveyor if Phoenix runs out. “I will not compromise this menu,” Jewell stands firmly. “When we are out of food, we are out.” So far the gazpacho made from his garden has been selling out almost nightly. Its fresh, crisp flavors perfectly cool down the summer heat. Jewell approached the menu with care, testing the recipes first on his staff to ensure their flavor and consistency. “This is not one of those things that looks good on paper, [and when you] try it. it doesn’t work,” he says. “I know this menu works.” For die-hard Phoenix regulars who don’t see standard menu items present, such as the pork tenderloin, it’s not a problem to order it still. “I have the things in house to make it—just ask,” he says. “I’ll make it for you.” Jewell’s culinary enthusiasm infectiously spreads. Just ask legendary in-house mixologist Joel Finsel (author of Cocktails and Conversations from the Astral Plane). Fin-
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JEWELL-ED INGREDIENTS: Chef Carson Jewell introduces his Radius Menu, featuring 95 percent regonal foods, to the new Caffe Phoenix, now located at 35 N. Front Street, downtown Wilmington. Photo courtesy of Joel Finsel
sel has created a drink called “Moonshine Smash,” made with Carolina Catdaddy Moonshine. While sipping it at the bar, the pots of herbs growing around the space, as well as a potted lime and lemon tree outside, become enlightening, obviously clocking in at zero miles to the kitchen. While the food and good nature of the staff keep bringing customers back again, that the Phoenix physically feels the same also remains appealing. White walls offer the clean backdrop to local art work, something Phoenix continues its passion for: supporting local artists. The bar still houses its regulars who depend on Finsel for hydration and conversation. If anything, the space still feels essentially like Caffe Phoenix. It just comes
with more perks in culinary refinement. Jewell continues fine-tuning his menu, finally seeing his dream come to fruition. “I just want people to recognize good, simple food from around here,” he emphasizes. With his hair falling into one eye, he cocks his head to the side. “There’s a song,” he says, grinning, a reference expected of a Renaissance Man who also plays in local bluegrass outfit No Dollar Shoes. “‘You can’t buy true love or home grown tomatoes.” How true. Produce, seafood, meat and cheese purveyors can contact Jesse Jewell at (910) 343-1395 to offer their local products. Hopefully, in the end, the Radius Menu not only will become an inspiration but a normal part of life on Wilmington’s foodscape. Gwenyfar is the author of “The Promise of Peanuts: A real-life fairy tale about a man, a village, and the promise that bound them together. Available at www.OldBooksonFrontSt.com; proceeds benefit Jock Brandis’ life-changing work.
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Expect the finest at Landfall Center feauring a diverse selection of fine retail stores, unique giftshops, exquisite cuisine and essential service providers. encore | july 14-20 , 2010 | www.encorepub.com
Inadequate Spending? U.S government and deficit grows by the minute
n a column published last week in “The New York Times,” Princeton economics professor Paul Krugman condemns recent attempts to inject some common sense into what has become an epidemic of mindless government growth in America and around the world. With the global economy teetering on the brink of another slowdown (due to excessive government borrowing associated with Europe’s failed welfare state), Krugman and other Keynesians—including U.S. President
by: Howard Rich Chairman of Americans for Limited Government
Barack Obama—are now lobbying aggressively for additional government “stimulus” spending at home and abroad. They say they want to protect a “fragile recovery,” but Americans know better. With no new jobs, deteriorating consumer confidence and unexpectedly low retail reports putting a dent in the markets and
The most delicious week of fall is October 20-27 2010
on Main Street, the truth is there is no recovery—there is only an attempt to justify more government growth. Specifically Krugman blasted several world leaders (although obviously not the leader of the “free world”) for what he called “preaching the need for belt-tightening when the real problem is inadequate spending.” And, no, that’s not a typo. He actually said “inadequate spending.” According to these “New Keynesians,” the unsustainable government growth that preceded the most recent economic downturn apparently wasn’t enough. Nor was the unprecedented barrage of bailouts, taxpayer-funded guarantees, freshlyprinted greenbacks and deficit spending that Washington threw at the problem over the last two years. And let’s not forget what has been heaped on top of all that “stimulus” spending—a $2.5 trillion socialized medicine plan that represents one of the largest expansions of entitlement spending in American history. Amazingly, despite the clear failure of the “stimulus”—and despite the fact that excess entitlement spending is what has driven the eurozone to its present precariousness—the rallying cry of these big government backers appears to be “we have only just begun to spend.” Let’s examine the efficacy of that mantra for a moment, shall we? Even prior to the onset of the “Great Recession” in December 2007, government at all levels in the United States was growing by leaps and bounds. For example, state and local spending soared from $1.74 trillion in 2000 to $2.66 trillion in 2007. Even after adjusting for inflation, that’s a 23.7 percent increase. Similarly, federal spending jumped from $1.79 trillion in 2000 to $2.73 trillion in 2007—a roughly identical 23.5 percent increase after again adjusting for inflation. Obviously, this upward trend was placed on steroids when the downturn began. For
starters more than $13 trillion has been spent, lent, printed or pledged on “recovery” efforts alone over the last two-and-ahalf years. Also, Washington’s two most recent federal budgets have added more than $3 trillion in deficit spending to our skyrocketing national debt, with trillions of dollars in additional red ink projected over the coming decade. Accordingly, when we add post-2007 spending to the total tab for the decade, the government growth rate has more than doubled—to 52.4 percent. By comparison, total government spending in the 1990s grew at a much slower rate—by approximately 17.4 percent—which enabled more economic activity and the creation of more wealth up and down the socio-economic ladder. In fact, per capita, personal income during the 1990s grew by 23.6 percent, adjusted for inflation. By comparison, per capita personal income during the first decade of the new millennium has grown by only 4.6 percent—a sad testament to the failure of the Keynesian philosophy that Washington continues pursuing with reckless abandon. This is not rocket science; it is common sense. The more government grows, the more the economy suffocates. Conversely, the more government contracts, the freer we will be as a nation to prosper.
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We’re running a contest on encore’s Facebook page that is simply quite awesome. Just head over to encorepub.com, click on the Facebook link, and leave a comment about your favorite concert experience, and you’re entered to win a pair of tickets to the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach.
d r i e w e h t f o s w e n Chuck Shepherd digs up the strangest of the strange in world news
LEAD STORY “Why are you still alive?” is the question doctors ask Ozzy Osbourne, the hardrock singer and reality-TV star, who says he is now clean and sober after a lifetime of almost unimaginably bad habits. In June, he started two new ventures: undergoing the three-month process of genetic mapping (to help doctors learn why, indeed) and becoming a “health advice” columnist for London’s Sunday Times. At various points in his life, the now-cholesterol-conscious, vegetarian Osbourne said he drank four bottles of cognac a day, smoked cigars like they were cigarettes, took 42 prescribed medications and many more “backstage” drugs that he could not even identify. Osbourne also has a Parkinson’s-like genetic tremor, was once in a medically induced coma after an accident, and endured antirabies shots after famously biting into a bat on stage (“I thought it was a rubber toy”). Ironies An intense lightning storm on June 14 around Monroe, Ohio, destroyed the iconic 62-foot-high statue of Jesus (the “King of Kings” structure of the Solid Rock Church) alongside Interstate 75. While townspeople mourned, it was also noteworthy what the lightning bolts completely missed: the large billboard, on the other side of the road, advertising the nearby Hustler Hollywood pornography store. Despite a scary moment in May, Massachusetts state Rep. Mike Moran said he still supports “comprehensive” immigration reform (taken to mean that restrictions on illegal immigrants be tempered with a special “path to citizenship” for those already here). Rep. Moran’s car was rear-ended (though he was not seriously hurt) by illegal immigrant Isaias Naranjo, who was charged with DUI and speeding. According to police, Naranjo, 27, who was dressed in a Mexican party costume, laughed when told of the charges, informing officers that they could do nothing to him since he had already made plans to return to Mexico. (Furthermore, Massachusetts is forbidden by state law from even notifying U.S. Immigration officials of Naranjo’s case.) Over the years, according to a June Chicago Sun-Times report, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois has freely used “swagger and braggadocio in talking about his 21 years of military service” as qualification for office. When one contrary fact after another about his record was pointed out by reporters, Kirk explained, “I simply misremembered it wrong.” He admitted that, contrary to his numerous public statements, he was not
actually “in” the Iraq Desert Storm war; did not actually “command the Pentagon War Room” when he was assigned there as a Navy Reservist; and was not actually once Naval “Intelligence Officer of the Year.” He is now vying for the U.S. Senate seat once held by Barack Obama. In May, Douglas Ballard and Joseph Foster were indicted for allegedly selling fraudulent loans in exchange for bribes, while they were vice presidents of the Atlanta-area “faith-based” Integrity Bank. The bank opened in 2000, touting Christian principles, giving Bibles to new customers, and encouraging prayer at employee gatherings. (The bank closed in 2008, thought then merely to be the victim of sour realestate loans, and in fact the bank’s morespiritual founder, Steven Skow, had left the bank by 2007.) Not My Fault British actor Nicholas Williams, 33, was acquitted of domestic assault in June even though he had, among other things, “waterboarded” his girlfriend by pulling her shirt over her head and holding her under a shower during a two-hour rampage. Williams persuaded the judge that the antismoking drug Champix made him unable to control himself or even to remember the events of that evening. Laith Sharma, 49, admitted in June that he had stalked and fixated upon, “for marriage,” a 14-year-old girl in Windsor, Ontario, but doctors’ testimony won him a sentence of mere house arrest. Sharma, they said, suffers from the popularly known “maple syrup urine disease,” so-called because the excreted scent is a marker for brain damage that prevents impulse control. Compelling Explanation: Tony Chrum was the one apprehended for allegedly buying $160 worth of cocaine from a man who turned out to be a police informant in Lincoln County, Mo., in May, but his brother, who is Winfield, Mo., police officer Bud Chrum, 39, was the mastermind. According to police and unknown to the informant, Bud had needed to replace 2 grams of cocaine from the police evidence locker because he had accidentally spilled something on it, and Tony agreed to help. Our Litigious Society “If Google told you to jump off a cliff, would you?” asked a Fortune magazine columnist, describing the lawsuit filed in May by Lauren Rosenberg, asking for damages of more than $100,000 against Google Maps after she was struck by a car. Rosenberg had queried the map service for a “walking route” between points in Park City, Utah,
but a short stretch of the suggested route lacked sidewalks. Rosenberg was hit while walking in the street. Though Google and other map services “warn” users against walking in the street, Rosenberg’s route was delivered on her small Blackberry phone screen. What About Our “Human Rights”? Update: News of the Weird reported in 2005 on a Welshman’s invention of the “Mosquito,” a device that emits an irritating, pulsating, very-high-pitched noise and is marketed to shopkeepers to drive away loitering children and teenagers, since the pitch is audible to them but rarely to anyone older than in the mid-20s (because audio range contracts as we age). In June, following an investigation, the Council of Europe (which oversees the European Court of Human Rights) declared the Mosquito a “human rights violation,” in that the sounds it emits constitute “torture.” Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service announced a proposed anti-social behavior order against Ellis Drummond, 18, to prohibit him from wearing low-slung trousers in public that allow his underwear to show, but Drummond challenged it in Bedford magistrates’ court. In May, Judge Nicholas LeighSmith ruled that such an underwear-suppressing order would violate Drummond’s “human rights.” Least Competent People Jihadists: They blow themselves up by mistake (such as Pakistani terrorist Qari Zafar did in June); they botch airline shoeand underwear-bombing and buy the wrong fertilizer for urban car bombs; they brag too much; and they watch far too much Internet pornography. Evidence amassed by Daniel Byman and Christine Fair, writing in the July/August issue of The Atlantic, has led them to suggest that America and its allies should treat jihadists as “nitwits” rather than as “savvy and sophisticated killers” (the latter being an image that helps them with recruiting). It is possible, the authors conclude, that there has not been a truly competent jihadist terrorist since Mohammad Atta led the Sept. 11, 2001, missions. Matadors: Christian Hernandez, 21, making his big-time bullfighting debut at Plaza Mexico in Mexico City in June, ran from the ring trembling in fear at the first sign of his bull. He was then coaxed to return and manup, but once again fled and immediately submitted his resignation. Though Hernandez was contrite (“I didn’t have the ability. I didn’t have the balls.”), he was arrested for violating his contract and released only after he paid a small fine.
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below-9 Theater 10-13 Art 14-19 Music 20-21 Livin’ Locally
A Traditional Delight: Opera House’s ‘The Music Man’ melts the hearts of all
’m no Robert Preston,” Jason Hatfield, who plays the very deceiving but very amiable Harold Hill in ‘The Music Man,’ says. While Hatfield speaks true about Preston’s unparalleled performance in the 1962 film, Hatfield presents Hill as an unlikely hero and musician of small-town Iowa. Though he may look a bit rough around the edges, Hatfield portrays the character in a non-sugar-coated way, but more pure and effortless. Hvaing worked with the one Robert Redford on the upcoming film “The Conspirator” last fall, the local actor has an unfaltering voice that will not quit, as he clearly shows in the breathless score “Ya Got Trouble.” “The Music Man” itself is a musical of dubious salesman Harold Hill, who takes on the rigid town of River City, Iowa, slowly
by: Lisa Huynh
The Music Man
Thalian Hall, Main Stage 310 Chestnut Street July 16th-18th and 23rd-25th, 8 p.m. Tickets: $23-$25 (910) 343-3664 persuading the townspeople into investing in a boys band and believing him to be a music professor, although he knows nothing of either subject. His empty plot, however, gets distracted when he finds himself
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TIME OF INNOCENCE: ‘The Music Man’ takes on traditional American values from a bygone era, and transplants audience members into a romp of a good time. Photo courtesy of Opera House Theatre Co.
falling for the music teacher and librarian, Marion, played by Heather Setzler. “The Music Man” opens a window into the meaning of American life in July 1912, where the scene takes place. This era, according to artistic director and founder Lou Criscuolo, is a both simple and pure time from which people of today could learn a lesson or two. Director Suellen Yates stays true to Criscuolo’s belief—and perhaps even Meredith Wilson’s.
The screenplay, execution of props, cast and scenery blend in a perfect, harmonious romp that gives way to a performance that satisfies the heart, steadies the mind, and adds a gleeful smile to every face. Similarly, choreographer Kendra Goehring-Garrett creates upbeat, playful routines. Yet, she still stays loyal to the original steps of the 1962 film, as shown in the musical number “Shipoopi.” Celebrating the 25th anniversary summer season of the Opera House Theatre Company, “The Music Man” also presents a cast so flawlessly complementary that despite the ranges in ages—adults to teenagers, elderly to children—all sizes, small and large, and voices, baritone or soprano, connect intensely. Lead actress Heather Setzler gives the impression to be stern, yet she surprisingly shines as brightly as the star she sings to in “Goodnight, My Someone.” The melodious reappearing Barbershop Quartet, the bickering ladies of River City and lisping, cheerful sweetheart Winthrop Paroo, played by young Dru Loman, also add whimsy and engagement. In short, “The Music Man” can captivate all audiences—especially those who cherish the fundamental morals of American culture. The timeless love story of the beast-turnedbeauty—or close to—comes off as absolutely charming, from beginning to end.
War and Honor: Guerilla Theatre presents ‘Piece of My Heart’
few weeks ago, I was walking around the corner of Market and 2nd streets, where a small group of Navy men and women shuffled past me, lunch in hand, talking and laughing. A fella from behind stopped in front of them: “Thank you very much for everything you’re doing to protect our country,” he said. In that moment, I could tell our servicemen felt proud and humbled by their calls to duty. I immediately felt ungrateful for not thanking them, too—not because I was judging them or holding against them their choice to fight in war. It just didn’t cross my mind to say “thank you.” I would put money on it that I am in the 90 percent range of our local population who would keep walking. Maybe it’s because we live in a town where military flock our streets regularly. Maybe it’s because we live in a frenetically paced, self-indulged world. Maybe it’s because we, as Americans, often forget what unity feels like since we don’t consciously engage in it daily. Nick Smith, director of Guerilla Theatre’s latest production “Piece of My Heart,” currently leads the helm, directing a cast of women from Shirley Lauro’s screenplay, originally written as a novel by Keith Walker. The play follows five women and their roles in the Vietnam War during its tumultuous existence and in its aftermath. Smith takes on a universal theme that he thinks should be adapted by every U.S. citizen: “honoring the soldier.” The director makes it clear he’s not glorifying the war or preaching to his audience to agree with it; it’s more about showing gratitude and recognizing the courage of those in it. “All too often, even today, we want to blame the soldiers for the war they are fighting,” he says, “or act as if it’s something they want to do. No, they want to defend their country. To paraphrase Lincoln, they want to lay themselves down as a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” “Piece of My Heart” follows Martha, Sissy, LeeAnn, Whitney, Steele and Mary Jo, each of whom represent something different conceptually when thinking in terms of America’s foundation. Tradition, innocence, rebellion and truth mark only a few of the realizations for which the women come to terms. From each character’s representation, a coterie of affections arise. “One of the things that drew me to this play was the breadth of emotion it covers,” Smith clarifies. “Yes, there are harrowing scenes, there are terrifying scenes—scenes that bring the horror of war right to the forefront. There are very sad scenes, particularly in the second act, as the women come home and try to cope.” In the end, however, unity and brotherhood, or sisterhood as the case may be, prevails. “All of these women become a part of the sol-
by: Shea Carver
Piece of My Heart Brown Coat Pub & Theatre 111 Grace Street July 15th-18th, 22nd-25th and 29th-Aug. 1st, 8 p.m. Tickets: $10 (910) 341-0001 diers,” Smith says, “and the soldiers become a part of them. In that togetherness, that camaraderie, they find a way to persevere.” The soldiers of whom he speaks have only one face in the production. Hank Toler acts out one of many complexities sure to reel in awe from the audience. As history has taught us, World War I fought for humanity, World War II showed America as a superpower, and Vietnam allowed its U.S. citizens their initial taste of dissent. The play digs into the dichotomy of action and emotion, support and disdain, comfort and fear. “Vietnam was the first period of time where people really began to doubt what their government was telling them,” Smith notes. Even though freedom has allowed us to all question the actions made in our favor, Smith doesn’t want our personal agendas and philosophies to get in the way of our vets and their stories. He remembers seeing the haunted look smeared across his father’s face any time Vietnam was mentioned. My dad was in the Air Force, but luckily he didn’t have to go to Vietnam,” he says. “However, he had friends that went [and] died there. That affects me, just because it tells me I’ll never be able to fully appreciate what people went through when they were over there.” Smith hopes to reaffirm the American spirit within every person who watches “Piece of My Heart.” Love of country and appreciation for its warriors deserve recognition. More than anything, so do hope, optimism and belief that freedom, liberty and justice belongs to each and every one of its American citizens at the cost of many lives. “It all goes back to the old saying about not studying history and dooming yourself to repeat it,” Smith notes. “We’re right back there now, in Afghanistan, in Iraq. We’re sending good American men and women to fight in wars where our real interests are dubious at best. I think if these stories are preserved, if they are shared, maybe it will help to remind us just how serious and grave [the] decision [of] going to war must be, how careful we must be with what’s truly our most precious resource: he lives of young Americans.”
PROUD TO SERVE: (l. to r.) Brandy Jones as Sissy, Heather Howard as LeeAnn and Artris Lavonna as Steele perform in ‘Piece of My Heart,’ a production following five women through the Vietnam War, opening this week. Photo courtesy of Guerilla Theatre.
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encore | july 14-20 , 2010 | www.encorepub.com
Wilmington celebrates its first annual puppet festival by: Lauren Hodges
ince the late 1930s, the arts organization Puppeteers of America (POA) has been sponsoring puppet-themed festivals all over the country. The South has hosted events in Orlando, Savannah, Charleston and Birmingham, along with our own North Carolina cities, Asheville and Charlotte. Local puppet artist and member of POA, Gina Gambony, felt that it was Wilmington’s turn to experience a celebration of puppets. “Puppetry is a unique art form, but very accessible to different kinds of artists, both visual and performance artists,” Gambony says. The idea to bring the festival to the Port City came during a time of hardship for Gambony. She went through chemotherapy in 2007, unable to attend the National Festival. “It really hit home how isolated I am as a puppeteer in Wilmington,” she says. “I wanted to bring these people here, partly for selfish reasons and partly for the community, to spread the magic.” In 2008, Gambony discussed her idea at the festival in Savannah. She received was encouraging feedback and approached Norman Bemelman, the director of Cultural Arts at UNCW, for a partnership. “The rest is history,” she says. History will be made as the city prepares for a bevy of events, hosted at several art houses and by organizations in Wilmington. The original theme inspired several artists in town to create their own shows in con-
junction with the celebration. Michelle Connolly and Fritzi Huber immediately put out a call for puppet-themed art for an exhibit at ACME Art Studios.
‘WHITE LADIES,’ created by Peter Schumann, used for a production of ‘Oedpius Rex’ in the early 1990s, opens at CAM as part of their new exhibition, Puppet Art. Photo courtesy of CAM.
“As Oscar Wilde once said: ‘There are many advantages in puppets. They never argue. They have no crude views about art. They have no private lives,’” Connolly says “Puppets provide another vehicle for artists to make the intangible tangible, in a humanistic way.” Even the Cameron Art Museum (CAM) plays into the theme. Ashley Standera, CAM’s curatorial associate, respects puppets because they combine visual art with performance art, appealing to a large audience. “The puppet form has evolved artistically within virtually every culture: Asian, African, European, American, Latin American,” she says. “This suggests that this art form has universal appeal.” Thus, the museum has employed the talents of theaters from both the north and
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south regions of the country. Puppets and set designs from Vermont-based Bread and Puppet Theatre and selected international puppets from various historical periods, drawn from the collection of Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts, will hang on the Cameron walls. “Expect the unexpected!” Standera notes. “We hope visitors to the exhibition will be dazzled and delighted.”
FESTIVAL SCHEDULE: —Thursday, July 15th— PuppetArt Cameron Art Museum 3201 S. 17th Street Admission: Free for museum members and festival registrants; $5 GA. Cameron Art Museum will feature largescale puppets and set designs from the famous Vermont-based Bread and Puppet Theatre, and selected international puppets from various historical periods drawn from the collection of Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts.
several years’ work. The selected stop-motion films range from hilarious to horror-inspired, and audiences will have a chance to ask questions after the screening. The content is recommended for adults and teens but not young children.
On Thursday, July 15th at 5:15 p.m., a special puppet dance performance entitled “Almost Human,” choreographed and performed by Alban Elved Dance Company, will be presented outside the museum’s entrance, followed by a family opening beginning at 5:30 p.m., featuring “The Amazing Mysto’s Magic Show” by Peter Allen. Gallery Talk with puppet scholar John Bell is at 6 p.m., and a performance of “Pulcinella” by Paul Mesner is at 7:30 p.m.
The Hellbinki Sextet and Puppet Rampage: The Slam Soapbox Laundro Lounge • 11 p.m. Admission: $10 The Asheville music masters will be hosting the Soapbox’s BoZo-Arts Ball, where black-and-white attire dresses visitors, while they’re entertained by magic and mischief. Describing themselves as “Threepenny Opera meets Sesame Street,” the sextet will be bringing its Southern blend of European-style cabaret to the third-floor stage on Front Street. Workshops and closed events for registrants only take place throughout the Puppet Festival, too, and can be accessed at www.portcitypuppet.org. Registry fees, including housing, meal plans or one-day only passes, can be purchased at various costs. All events published in encore are open to the public.
—Friday, July 16th— “Pinocchio” Kenan Auditorium, UNCW • 7 p.m. Admission: $8-$12 Experience the children’s classic of “Pinnochio,” starring the world’s most-famous little wooden boy! The festival staff calls it a “tour de farce,” featuring authentic Italian music, Commedia-style masks and a little help from the audience. The live show, presented by That Puppet Guy, will go on at 7 p.m. at UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium. Advance kids’ tickets can be purchased for $8 and adult tickets for $12 at www.portcitypuppet.com. Handmade Puppet Dreams (film screenings) Jengo’s Playhouse • 815 Princess Street Adults Only: Friday, July 16th, 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Family Showing: Saturday, July 17th, 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Admission: $3 The film stars puppets from the Wabi-Sabi exhibition to take place Saturday, and will screen all weekend at Jengo’s Playhouse. Recently awarded Best Puppet Film at The World Puppet Festival in Prague and 2009 UNIMA Citation of Excellence, the film has reached audiences in France, the Czech Republic, India, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico and Israel. Don’t miss its debut in Wilmington. —Saturday, July 17th— Community Puppet Morning Community Arts Center 2nd and Orange Streets, downtown 8:45 a.m. Organizers, artists, and participants invite the public out to Front Street for an earlymorning start to the festival’s busiest day. Patrons are enouraged to bring their own puppets, instruments and costumes to prepare for the Puppet Parade. The gathering will include music, shows, social networking and a parade of “puppet couture.” Puppet Parade Thalian Hall Ballroom 9:30 a.m. - noon The big parade leads the crowd down to a morning of fun for the whole community. Fam-
ily activities will include a puppet “make and take” table, a puppet store and a show entitled “Cuentos Del Sur De La Frontera” (“Stories from South of the Border”) by Karen Konnerth of Calliope Puppets. Free and open to the public at the corner of Princess and Front streets. Puppet Parlor ACME Art Studios • 711 N. 5th Avenue Saturday, July 17th, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Friday, July 23rd, 6 - 9 p.m. Events include a live Shadow Puppet by Brandon Guthrie, show-time rock-star puppets by local musician David Hervey, the short film “I’ll Be Leaving the Stay” by creative duo Hope Henderson and Benjamin Belmont and Fred Michael, a puppeteer on the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” TV show from the late ‘70s, who will be performing his marionette show. Puppet-inspired paintings, collages, drawings, prints, photographs and assemblages by a host of artists will hang, including Elizabeth Darrow, Nina Bays, Barbara Scalia, Ben Billingsley, Janette Hopper, Arrow Ross, Fritzi Huber, Matthew Stanbury, Carolyn Foland and many more. Handmade Puppet Dreams Wabi Sabi Warehouse 19 North 9th Street • 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Curator Heather Henson opens her exhibit at the Wabi-Sabi Warehouse—the matching blue buildinga right across from Jengo’s Playhouse—featuring a selection of the puppets and sets from the award-winning and highly anticipated film series, ‘Handmade Puppet Dreams.’ (See Friday’s listing for screenings.) Works range from intricate marionettes to finger puppets. Admission is free and open to the public.
TOUR DE FARCE: Puppets take over the Port City from Thursday through Sunday, with live performances, such as ‘The Amazing Mysto’s Magic Show,’ performing at Cameron Art Museum (above), and even films like “Handmade Puppet Dreams” (right), showing at Jengo’s Playhouse, followed by an art exhibition inspired by the film at WabiSabi Warehouse. Photos courtesy of
“How to Grow a Pickle” and “The Reluctant Dragon” Kenan Auditorium, UNCW • 3 p.m. Admission: $8-$12 (free for UNCW students)
“How to Grow a Pickle,” by Nana Projects, and “The Reluctant Dragon,” by our own local theatre group Stageworks, show back to back at UNCW all afternoon, beginning at 3 p.m. “...Pickle” lovingly demonstrates a pickle’s lifespan, from its seed-planting to the jarring process. “The Reluctant Dragon” stars Japanese-inspired puppetry in a classic 19th-century tale of a boy and a peaceful dragon. Both shows are recommended for all ages and require tickets. “One Frame at a Time: The Stop Motion Films of Michael Granberry” Kenan Auditorium, UNCW 7 p.m. Admission: $8-$12 (free for UNCW students)
Granberry, a local filmmaker who formerly worked in the movie industry, will present the culmination of encore | july 14-20 , 2010 | www.encorepub.com 11
Oct. 20-27, 2010
EAT. DRINK. INDULGE. Call (910) 791-0688 to get involved. Sign up for our newsletter and updates at www.WilmingtonRestaurantWeek.com.
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Artfuel.inc 1701 Wrightsville Ave 910 343 5233 Mon-Sat, 12-9pm; Sunday, 1-6pm www.artfuelinc.com www.myspace.com/artfuel_inc Artfuel.inc is located at the corner of Wrightsville Ave and 17th street. Housed in an old gas station, we offer resident artists working in studios alongside a gallery space used to exhibit other artists work. We hope to connect artists with each other and offer many styles of work to fuel the public’s interest. Currently, Artfuel Volume 24 opens July 24th at 7 p.m. Featuring: Michael Blaylock, Megan Brezinsky, Jeremy Lea, Scott Ehrhart, Katharine Blackwell & Shannon Geigerich. Show hangs for eight weeks
Caffe Phoenix 35 N. Front Street (910) 343-1395 Monday-Saturday: 11:30am - 10pm Sunday Brunch: 11:30am - 4pm Caffe Phoenix is a commission-free gallery space dedicated to supporting local artists with new exhibitions opening monthly. In July, we welcome Michelle Connolly and her new exhibition of paintings entitled “Archtypes.” All are welcome to attend her opening on Wednesday July 14 at 6pm for complimentary hors d’oeuvres. In August we will be displaying works by 83 year-old internationally acclaimed abstract colorist Edward Meneeley prints, paintings and photographs have found homes in the Tate Modern, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other distinguished institutions.
Crescent Moon 332 Nutt St, The Cotton Exchange (910) 762-4207 Mon.-Sat., 10am-5:30pm; Sun., 12-4pm www.crescentmoonnc.com Crescent Moon has launched our comprehensive Web site, www.crescentmoonnc. com, featuring art from all of our artists. We purposefully designed the site to reflect the vast art glass and metal sculpture that you find everyday at the shop at The Cotton Exchange. Our goal is to make it easy for our customers to go online to check on the availability of an item for themselves or for gifts. The new site allows our customers to place their orders online, but wait…no putting your credit card out into cyberspace; we call you upon order notification to finalize your order and thank you personally. Remember Gift Wrapping Is Free – Always!
Crescent Moon is located in The Cotton Exchange where parking is free while shopping or dining. Follow us on twitter as CrescentMoonNC or become a fan on our Facebook page!
Hampstead Art Gallery 14712 Hwy. 17 N. • (910) 270-5180 Mon.-Sat. 11am-5pm, or by appt. Hampstead, NC “Beautiful; lots of variety.” “Love the place.” “Beautiful art work.” “Very nice.” “Art rocks your socks, and you know that.” These are just what a few customers had to say about Hampstead Art Gallery. Come and tell us what you think. Affordable prices on prints and originals. Local artists with various styles and taste are just excited about having the opportunity to share their work with all art lovers. Our artists offer different sizes from what we have on display and low rates on commissioned work. Owner Charles Turner invites all artists and art lovers to just hang out in our new Artist Lounge any time. Look for our upcoming Expos and Open House. Hampstead Art Gallery is located in Hampstead on the corner of Factory Road next to CVS Pharmacy.
pattersonbehn art gallery 511 1/2 Castle Street (910) 251-8886 Tues.-Sat. 11am-5pm www.pattersonbehn.com pattersonbehn picture framing & design has added an art gallery to their space, featuring several local artists. Currently on display are works by Bob Bryden, Michelle Connolly, Karen Paden Crouch, Virginia Wright Frierson, Rachel Kastner, Pam Toll and Katherine Wolf Webb. We offer a large selection of works on paper in numerous media. In addition there are many different gift ideas such as hand gilded table top frames and one of a kind keepsake boxes. The gallery offers something for everybody.
Sunset River Marketplace 10283 Beach Dr., SW (NC 179) (910) 575-5999 Tues- Sat. 10am-5pm Closed Mon. in winter sunsetrivermarketplace.com myspace.comsunsetrivermarketplace This eclectic, spacious gallery, located in
the historic fishing village of Calabash, N.C., features fine arts and crafts by some of North and South Carolina’s most creative, successful artists. Almost every genre is represented here—oil, pastel and watercolor, clay and glass art, fiber art, turned wood, metal works, artisancrafted jewelry and more. Classes, workshops, pottery studio, custom framing, Creative Exchange lecture series and Coffee With the Author series are also offered on-site.
Wilmington Art Association Gallery 616B Castle St. (910) 343-4370 www.wilmington-art.org The next jurying session will take place at the Wilmington Art Gallery on Sunday, July 25th. Must be a member of the Wilmington Art Association in order to be considered. Please call the gallery at 343-4370 for details or stop by and pick up a jury packet. If you liked our last “Expose Yourself to the Arts” calendar, you will love the 2011 version, where our artists aren’t shy in exposing themselves.
New Elements Gallery 216 N. Front St. • (919) 343-8997 Tues-Sat: 11am-5:30pm or by appointment www.newelementsgallery.com “Pathways” features the works of Raleigh artist Kathy Brancato and Betty Brown of Wilmington. The show remains on display through July 17th. Enjoy the tranquility and simple beauty created in this stunning collection of landscapes and florals by these two very accomplished artists. Now celebrating 25 years in downtown Wilmington, New Elements Gallery is located at 216 North Front Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am until 5:30 pm or by appointment.
Wanna be on the gallery page? Call Shea Carver by Thursday, noon, at (910) 791-0688, ext 1004, to inquire about being included.
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At the Heart of It All:
Tift Merritt talks about her fourth album and music from the depth of her soul
or anyone who knows her or her music, Tift Merritt is a force. Powerful and immensely talented, yet somehow vulnerable and disarming, she leaves memorable impressions impossible not to adore. A North Carolina native and former Wilmington resident, Merritt built a career and musical catalog impressive as any in the music industry over the last few years—much to the pride of her local brethren. Now, with the release of her fourth and newest album, See You on the Moon, Tift Merritt has produced perhaps her most intimate and personal effort to date. With longtime bandmates and collaborators Jay Brown and Zeke Hutchins at the core, the new songs feel like home: warm, comfortable and familiar. Recently, encore spoke with Merrit on a stop during her latest tour—which lands in Wilmington on July 17th at Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre—to discuss the new record, the intimacy of songwriting, and the importance of getting out of the way of a good song. encore: What does playing with the same band over the years offer you as a songwriter and performer? Tift Merritt: I really believe in having long-term artistic relationships. I’ve always believed that, and I think the ability to change and grow together is really what makes a band strong. I have a complete shorthand with Jay and Zeke. We can read each other so well—we’re family. I think when you make a record one of the luckiest things is to have this musical core. The music industry is a pretty fast-moving place, and when you’re making things, I just think it’s important to have people around you who know and understand what you’re trying to do, rather than always trying to have to explain yourself. e: Does having that core around you ever prevent you from taking chances, musically? TM: The way that I am—and I think that this record is a good example—I think that when you’re comfortable, and you’re in the right place, and you’re surrounded by people that you love, that’s when you can take chances. I also think that we’re people who push ourselves. Being in this band has never been about, “Hey, let’s just do the thing we’ve always done because we’ve always done it.” I think we would’ve not have been able to keep doing it if that was really what we were about. We’ve always been about pushing forward. With this record, in particular, it was us and our friend [and producer] Tucker Matine, who actually came to North Carolina and really became a part of our musical family. He fit in so well, and he’s really just the same kind of person we are. He was so calm and sure that we
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by: Adrian Varnam
Tift Merritt Special guest: Dawn Landes July 17th, 6 p.m. • $20-$25 Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre www.tiftmerritt.com would find more in ourselves than we even expected. He really looked after where we were coming from and the uniqueness of our point of view. It’s at that point where you really drop your guard, and reach further into places and experiment. I usually find a supportive atmosphere way more productive than one where people beat you up. e: When you brought Tucker into the fold, did some of the new songs come out of that organically, or did you already know what you were going to do before you sat down? TM: It was a mix. I think that we knew we were going to try to bring out the best in everybody, and to preserve what was unique about what we were doing. What’s interesting about this record is, on a couple of the songs, Tucker kept as close to the demos as anybody ever has. A lot of times when you make demos, you turn them over, and everybody kind of forgets about them—I mean, that’s kind of how producers make their mark. But Tucker was very faithful to my demos, and he’s someone that you’re really able to trust without even trying. I think at that point you can go in a bunch of different directions and that’s very exciting. e: This new record seems particularly personal and visceral; although, I think all of your records have that quality to a certain extent. Was this one more personal than others, or does it just reflect what’s going on in your life right now? TM: I always think that my work should be getting more and more personal. Not in a way that’s embarrassing for anyone, but I think as a writer if you’re getting down to it, if you’re cutting to the bone, it’s hopefully getting better. I just think, Why would I be making this work if it wasn’t personal to me? I think that good work, by the time that it’s put out into the world, has form and function—it’s not just a page in my diary, for instance. But, I really don’t understand why you would write things that weren’t important to you. Hopefully, the longer that I’m a writer and the more that I do this, the distance between my work and myself is less and less. And I don’t fear giving too much away, because these songs are just little snippets in my life, and there’s always more.
LONG-TERM ARTISTRY: Tift Merritt and her impressive band stop at Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre on July 17th, 6 p.m.
e: I just recently saw the video for “Feel of the World,” and found it incredibly touching. How did that come about? TM: To me, that song is very much the heart of this record. I wrote it when my grandmother was dying, my father was with her, and I was really far away. I wrote it really fast. When you think about a subject like death, it’s hard to put it into words, and I just thought about the tactile things that you would miss. I realized when I finished it that it was much more a letter from my grandfather, who had passed away 30 years ago, just waiting for my grandmother. To tell the story now doesn’t do it justice, but it was a very moving thing for me. When I had gotten to my mother’s house and my grandmother had died, she had these slides out—or maybe I had asked for some family pictures, because I wanted some pic-
tures to go along with the song. It turns out there were these rolls of Super 8 film from the 1940s that had never been developed, so I sent them off. When I got it back, it was this amazing footage of my grandfather and grandmother when they were young; it just blew me away. It fit with that song in a way that was so mysterious, and just awesome, and that became the video. e: When you’re sitting down and trying to write something that’s important to your family like “Feel of the World,” how do you prepare yourself for that? TM: I think you just have to be very humble, and I think that you have to get out of the way. I think that you have to put everything that has to do with your ego aside and be open. Music is bigger than any one person, and you just have to be really grateful that you’re a part of it, treat it with tenderness and respect, and know that you come second.
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