Songs, calypso and a little ‘9 to 5’
Gotta love a great song, a great trumpet and a lotta laughs. That’s what’s in store this weekend as we ramp up the arts calendar for fall.
Adam Parker brings you highlights to get your season started, but here’s couple that stand out.
First, our own Darius Rucker is going to perform his summer anthem and current single “Radio” from his new album “True Believers” on the 48th annual national broadcast of the MDA Show of Strength Telethon today on ABC television stations across the country.
Rucker’s met former MDA National Goodwill Ambassador Abbey Umali (now 14 years old) during a special Grand Ole Opry duet performance in 2011. It aired on that year’s MDA telethon.
Rucker asked Abbey to join him on the main stage to help him sing his Billboard No. 1 single “Come Back Song.”
For those of us who grew up watching the telethon, Rucker is a welcome addition to the line-up.
In addition to Rucker, this year’s event will feature Ryan Seacrest; Backstreet Boys; country stars Luke Bryan and Lee Ann Womack; “Glee” star Matthew Mor- rison; Enrique Iglesias; Paula Abdul; teen pop sensation Austin Mahone; hip-hop dance crew Jabbawockeez; “American Idol” runner-up Jessica Sanchez and others.
It seems like it will be a way to support the home team.
Trumpets and reggae
Trinidad-born trumpeter Etienne Charles has been to Charleston before and he’ll be at the Mezz, 276 King St., on Friday and Saturday. His fourth full-length release, “Creole Soul,” is out now on Culture Shock Music and has garnered positive reviews by The New York Times and reached No. 1 on the JazzWeek Radio Chart.
His music is a combination of calypso, reggae and other Afro-Caribbean sounds filtered into a modern jazz concept.
He’s smooth and easy to listen to, and you’ll recognize compositions by Thelonius Monk, Willie Cobbs, Winsford Devine and Bob Marley.
Last year, he performed a jazz concert for kids here that got the audience standing on its feet.
This is a chance to hear an up and coming talent honing his sound, and of course, the Mezz is a favorite local jazz hangout. Just the thing for a Friday night.
‘9 to 5’
And if you love some country twang, then Charleston Stage’s production of “9 to 5” is one to get your toes tapping.
The stage production is the first in Charleston Stage’s 35th anniversary year and promises to be a lot of fun.
You will remember the lead song a la Dolly Parton and the movie starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Parton, and Dabney Coleman.
The plot swirls around three working women living out their fantasies of getting even with, and their successful overthrow of, the company’s autocratic boss.
The movie was hugely successful when it came out, launching Parton as an actress, and the enduring fantasy play between women and men is one of the great themes of all time. Later the movie was made into a successful Broadway musical, so get ready for some very funny songs.
One thing that I like about this production: It comes with a Parent’s Guide to the musical. It’s nice to see if it’s a production where you want to take the kids.
This is a great idea, and means that you don’t have to rent the movie to figure out the references. (Hint: the musical is fine for teen-agers, not so much ’tweens and younger ones.)
In fact, I wish more productions would do a parent’s guide.
Unlike television, live productions can run the gamut of emotions, innuendoes, bawdy humor and pathos, and the ending can be very different from what you expect.
A play can be a far more powerful experience than sitting in front of the tube, and some kids might not be ready for that.
Of course, the reason we go to live performances is to be surprised, amused, entertained, but the free rein of the playwright means the play can go off on unexpected tangents.
Most librettos are online, so it’s possible to read through them, or just read them before you go, but of course, the delight of a play is the unusual.
The parent’s guide is a form of cliff notes separate from the synopsis of the play. Hats off to Charleston Stage for this great idea.
The production is ongoing through Sept. 21 at the Dock Street Theatre, 135 Church St.
Tickets range from $22.50 to $57.50. For more info and to buy tickets go to www.charlestonstage.com/shows-and-tickets/1-9-to-5-the-musical.html.
Reach Stephanie Harvin at 937-5557 or firstname.lastname@example.org.