Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Get out

I’m sort of relieved there’s not a lot of new stuff happening in Columbia this weekend – because I’m not going to be here. I’d suggest you do join me in Charleston for the opening weekend of the Spoleto Festival USA. You can still get tickets for many of the performances and the city-run Piccolo Spoleto Festival has tons of offers as well.


The opera “Louise,” Friday and Monday; “Don John” by the Kneehigh Theatre of Wales (every day, which good because some performances are nearly sold out); chamber music, daily; Alvin Ailey dance company, Saturday and Sunday, selling like crazy; performance artist Hiroaki Umeda, Sunday and Tuesday; pianist Andrew von Oeyen playing works by Liszt, Bach and Stravinsky with the festival orchestra, Monday (seats, but not all that many.)

Tickets range from $10 to $100 or more. Most are $25 to $50.

For more information scroll down and you'll see a big piece on the festival.

For tickets and so on

Piccolo picks:

Trombonist extraordinaire Wycliffe Gordon plays with the Charleston Symphony Friday. Gordon has played with all the greats including with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. I saw him sitting in at one of the Thursday night jams at the Hunter Gatherer and he was just phenomenal and fun. The free concert starts at 8 p.m. at the U.S. Custom House at the east end of Market Street.

Pianist Joseph Rackers of the USC music school will play music by Ravel, Rachmaninoff and Chopin at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park for Piccolo at 3 p.m. Saturday. It’s $10.

The gallery is also the location of an excellent exhibition “Contemporary Charleston.” I’ll be posting a review of that and several other exhibitions later today (Thursday.)

You can also catch the Seed and Feed Marching Abominable, a marching band of a very different sort. The best concert is at midnight Saturday in the market, in their pajamas.

But if those don’t float your boat, at Piccolo you can hear everything from early early classical music to poetry reading to a one-man performance of the “Star Wars” trilogy.

Prices range from free to about $25, with most $15.

If you're heading to the festivals the first stop should be at the Gaillard Auditorium on George St. between Meeting and East Bay. There you can pick up brochures, buy tickets and get directions.

The fairly new dance company Unbound performs "Les Femmes" tonight through Saturday. Tickets are $30. It's at CMFA Artspace. Call (803) 528-9011.

The graduate art students at USC are often some of the very best artists around, but not always terribly visible. One of my favorites, Leslie Hinton, is opening her master of fine arts exhibition today at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios. The sculptures and paintings are weird and whimsical. It opens Thursday and runs through Tuesday, May 26. An opening reception will be held Saturday night from 6 to 8.

On the local theater scene this is the final weekend for “Elephant’s Graveyard” at Trustus Theatre. “Guys and Dolls” continues at Town Theatre and “Moonlight and Magnolias” does the same at Workshop Theatre.

The Palmetto Concert Band plays a free Memorial Day Concert at 4 p.m. Monday at the Koger Center. The band will strike up music from Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov to John Philip Sousa.

A pair of visiting artists at the University of South Carolina has created a new dance and theater work inspired by images of Hurricane Katrina. ”Based on Images,” by visiting USC choreographers and dancers Thaddeus Davis and Tanya Wideman-Davis is inspired by the destruction of the strom brought to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday ( May 27 and 28) in Drayton Hall Theatre on the USC campus.

Tickets are $15.(803) 777-5112.

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