By Michael Beadle

He’s been a Beast. An alien bounty hunter. A Rum Tum Tugger and Inspector Javert.

And now two-time Tony Award-winning actor Terrence Mann is bringing his Broadway, film and TV talents to Western Carolina University as director of “The Music Man.” The musical, which runs Feb. 22-25 at the university’s Fine and Performing Arts Center, is Mann’s directorial debut at Western Carolina.

By Michael Beadle

Glass dazzles. It bears no secrets.

It illuminates the world around itself.

Listening to the stone

By Michael Beadle

A goddess rises through ribbons of translucent alabaster. A pair of doves flutters from bronzed hands. An old, wizen-faced Native American man bandages the head of a wounded pioneer.

Recommended diversions

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Margaret Lea, the daughter of an antique book collector, receives a curious letter from one of England’s most famous and eccentric authors, Vida Winter, who asks Lea to write her biography. What unravels in this expertly crafted story is the never before told 13th tale that has eluded all others who have tried to document Ms. Winter’s life. At long last, perhaps Lea will find truth in an author’s fictional world of ill-fated romances, twins with a mysterious power, and a haunted mansion. Each character offers Lea clues to a past that may well be closely connected with her own life.

Indian food

For a special treat over the holidays, my wife made us some Aloo Matar, a traditional Indian vegetarian dish made with curried potatoes and peas (and tomatoes, garlic, onions, cilantro, red peppers and other assorted spices). “Wow!” I kept saying, bite after wondrous bite. For dinner, we ate a divine dessert made with grated carrots, crushed almonds and cardamom. Unlike cakes or brownies, you only need a few bite-fulls before you’re full. That’s Indian food — good to eat and great for you too. Over the past few years, we’ve become huge fans of Indian food, going to Asheville’s Mela restaurant and stocking up on Indian sauces and foods every chance we get. Each new meal allows us to conjure up dreamy entrées like Palak Paneer and Delhi Korma, soothed by a mint chutney or cucumber yogurt, and sopped up with freshly baked Naan bread. Savor a dish of heaven. Try some Indian cuisine.

Learning a new language

The word for “thank you” in Portuguese is obrigado [OH brih-GAH-doh]. In Mandarin Chinese, it’s xie-xie [shey-shey]. In Arabic, it’s shukran [SHOOK-rahn]. The Turkish word for “Hello” is Merhaba [Meer-hah-bah].

I’ve been teaching myself random words from foreign languages thanks to some library books and CD’s. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to learn new words from other languages. There are so many beautiful words out there, and they don’t all have to be English. Try out the Arabic word for “island” — jaziira [zhah-ZEE-rhah]. See how it rolls off the tongue. As they say in Italian, buona fortuna! (Good luck!)

— By Michael Beadle

By Michael Beadle

What is art? What makes a relationship stand the test of time? How do you move on in life after one event turns everything upside down?

By Michael Beadle

Imagine hundreds of stainless steel threads woven together to make a scarf that looks like silk. An optical illusion of sorts, but nonetheless real and exquisite.

By Michael Beadle

The leg. The hand. The face. The breast.

By Michael Beadle

Like artists inspired by the drama of their own lives, some art studios have their own back story.

By Michael Beadle

It’s a chilly fall morning in downtown Bryson City, and U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor steps up into a fire truck to pose for pictures.

By Michael Beadle

Shafts of sun pierce through a misty forest. A thick river of fog rolls through ancient mountains. Plump sparrows perch on a bare branch thin as tin foil.

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