Author: Lynn Felder

Through 1/21: MLK Jr.’s Last Night Imagined in Intimate, Funny, Inspiring Play

Katori Hall‘s The Mountaintop, produced by the Little Theatre of Winston Salem, opened Friday night in the Mountcastle Forum at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts to shouts of “Amen!” from the appreciative audience.

This exceptional, intimate, funny, and inspiring show has only two more performances, and I heard murmurings from the audience members that they hope it will be produced at the coming International Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem in July-August. That’s a great idea, but don’t take a chance; see it tonight or Sunday if you possibly can.

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Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper Set Stage Afire in Sounds of the Mountains at Yadkinville Arts Center

Flamekeeper is an apt name for the band of award-winning bluegrass fiddler Michael Cleveland. It’s a band on fire and a man on fire, for sure. In the first concert of the Sounds of the Mountains series’ eighth season, the musicians all played as if they were on fire or about to burst into flames.

The Sounds of the Mountains series is an inspired collaboration between the Willingham Theatre at the Yadkin Arts Council in Yadkinville and the Blue Ridge Music Center near Galax, Virginia. The Music Center holds concerts in its amphitheater May through September. By partnering with the Willingham Theatre, they can keep giving fans the great bluegrass and Americana music that they’re missing when it’s too cold for music out of doors.

Cleveland and Flamekeeper warmed the 30-degree night right up, as they kicked off the three-concert series with two sets of tunes that managed to be both nostalgic and avant-garde simultaneously. I promise you that Cleveland’s mind-blowing rendition of “Orange Blossom Special” opened up new pathways in my brain. I’ve never heard anything like it.

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