BLAINESWORLD #995 (Please send any comments to:

Section 2

(1) American Cancer Society, in a Shift, Recommends Fewer Mammograms

(2) Ruth P. in NC:  We heard about that terrible caterpillar while we were up in Canada.  Hope you’re OK if you touched it.

Response: I’m OK, in that fortunately I didn’t touch it.

(3) Chanah M. in TX: Here’s another reason to get a flu shot during pregnancy

(4) Tom O. in NJ: We should review community theater productions honestly

(5) Lady Gaga and the Life of Passion

(6) Curious result hints about cause of dementia

(7) Mike M. in NC: You have to go see Steve Jobs.  **** Excellent acting, directing and storyline

(8) Natalie K. in PA: The Martian – loved it – thought it should be nominated for best picture.

(9) Stop Googling, Let’s Talk


Section 12A, NC events

(1) Unit 50
Saturday, October 31at 9:00pm – 12:00am
550 Airport Rd, Fletcher, North Carolina 28732

(2) Ruth Planey in NC: Alex Pappas and I are in the next Reader’s Theater production at ACT – The Winslow Boy.  Great play, well written, based on a true incident.  It runs the last weekend of this month, October 30, 31 and November 1 at 2:30 PM each day.  Friday and Saturday it’s in 35 Below and Sunday it’s at the Reuter Center.  Hope you can come.

(3) Local singing sensations and theater divas “Forte” are back in Asheville, for one night only, at the Crest Mountain Pavilion.

Join us for a night of cabaret with WNC’s favorite ladies of song. If you love musical theater, you will love this show!

Featuring the vocal talents of Katherine Sandoval Taylor, Carol Duermit, Liz Aiello, and Beverly Todd.

Accompanied by a 3-piece band, this show is described as a cabaret “Filled with energy, passion, humor, and soul-stirring moments, presented by four inspiring women whose personalities and backgrounds are as diverse as the music they sing.”

Meet the Divas:

LIZ AIELLO has had a long and wonderful career in the theatre including Broadway National tours: Les Miserables First National, Pump Boys and Dinettes, as well as several Off-Broadway musicals and plays from her years living in NYC.

CAROL DUERMIT, originally from Cincinnati, OH, quickly made a name for herself in NC with her powerful lead vocals in the rock bands Papa Joes’ Blues Review and The Atomic Sauce, where she performed in venues throughout WNC including Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.

KATHERINE SANDOVAL TAYLOR, described by the Boston Globe as “stunning,” is an Asheville native and has has appeared in concert, musical theater, cabaret, and opera performances throughout the North and Southeast. Most recently Katherine appeared as Maria in the Asheville Lyric Opera’s West Side Story. Find her at

BEVERLY TODD is a proud Asheville native, and upon graduating with her BA in Musical Theatre from Mars Hill College, she moved to NYC to study at the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy After performing in several off-Broadway cabarets in NYC, including Broadway Salutes the Bard with Celeste Holm, Beverly left the US to perform in the European Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar.

If you have yet to visit us here, our Crest Mountain Pavilion is a glassed-in facility, seating up to 300, and includes a mountain-vista overlook and a spectacular view of downtown Asheville. A full bar, including non-alcoholic drinks, is available before and during the show.

Doors open at 5:30 pm, 6:00 pm dinner, and 7:00 pm showtime. Come Early and Enjoy the View!

Already have dinner plans? Show-only tickets are available! Show-only guests should arrive no later than 6:45 pm.

Get your November 10th “FORTE- A Cabaret” tickets by clicking:

OR- Call the Box Office at 828-252-2637


Section 12B, PA/NJ event

Lessons of Beauty, Love and Courage in “Violet – the Musical” at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre Nov. 6 to 15

West Windsor, N.J. – It’s a story about the amazing things that can happen on the way to somewhere else, as an emotionally and physically scarred young woman sets out to change her life. The Pennington Players present “Violet – The Musical” at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre.  Dates and show times for this transformative tale are: Fridays, Nov. 6 and 13 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Nov. 7 and 14 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Nov. 8 and 15 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.  A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on Nov. 6.

Set during the civil rights era of the 1960s, Violet is a young woman from the hills of North Carolina who was badly disfigured in a childhood accident. Convinced that a televangelist faith healer has the power to restore her appearance, she sets out on a bus trip to Tulsa, Okla.  Along the way, she meets a pair of soldiers – Monty, who is white, and Flick, who is black.  In the South of 1964, she finds a kinship with Flick, who, like her, is immediately judged by strangers because of his appearance.  The real question the show ponders is “What is beauty?”

Based on the short story “The Ugliest Pilgrim” by Doris Betts, “Violet” borrows its musical style from the American traditions of blues, gospel and folk.  Featuring music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Brian Crawley, the original production opened in 1997 to critical acclaim, winning the New York Drama Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards for Best Musical as well as the Richard Rodgers Production Award.  “Violet” is an early musical score  by Tesori, whose best-known later works range from big-name movie adaptations of “Shrek” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie” to the more adventurous terrain of “Caroline, or Change,” her collaboration with Tony Kushner, which is also set in the civil rights era South.

Leading the cast are Shannen Doyle of Kendall Park as Violet, Kyrus Keenan Westcott of Hamilton as Flick, and Ben Menahem of Plainsboro as Monty.  The supporting cast includes Julia Toto of Pennington as Young Violet; William Kamps of Burlington as Father; Jaimie McMillin of Bordentown as the Old Lady; Tia Brown of Lawrenceville as the Music Hall singer; Jaleesa Moore of North Brunswick as Lula Buffington. Also featured are Faye Macey of Philadelphia, Pa., as the Landlady; Michael Zweig of Philadelphia, Pa., as the Preacher; Michael Gearty of Langhorne, Pa., as Virgil; and Tom Bessellieu of Lawrenceville as the Bus Driver.

Jenn Gregg is the producer, with stage direction by Frank Ferrara.  The production staff also includes Musical Director Shannon Ferrara, Associate Music Director Mike Gilch, Stage Manager Vianna Fagel, and Choreographer Nicole Farina-Machin. Set design is by Bryan Schendlinger; lighting design is by Judi Parrish; sound design is by Wayne Irons; costume design is by Jay Stevens; and properties are by Dottie Farina.

Tickets are $20 for adults; $18 for senior citizens, and $16 for students and children. Free parking is available next to the theater. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333.  For a complete listing of adult and children’s events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.

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