HARVIN COLUMN: Books, authors, play among week's events

The Charleston Ballet Theatre will perform vignettes from Jill Eathorne Bahr’s sultry and steamy ballet, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Gibbes Museum of Art.

The Charleston County Library announced it is looking for volunteers for the Big Book Sale that happens Oct. 7-9. There are discounts involved and first choice at the books, so it's looking a lot like Christmas.

Good stocking stuffers are retro cookbooks or art books that have been gently used, and there are stacks of them at the book sale.

Another favorite gift for anytime is a new first edition book signed by the local author. (Get them signed, but not personalized. Who knows who will be the next William Faulkner or Ernest Hemingway.)

So this afternoon, head out for the Center for Women's Annual Book Signing, where 60 women authors will be on hand to put their seal on their latest literary ventures. It's $10 to get in the door, and there are refreshments and free gift-wrapping available.

Admission goes to the Center for Women's events all year long.

Authors such as Mary Edna Fraser (a batik artist), Mary Alice Monroe (a novelist with a naturalist's heart) and Marjory Wentworth (S.C. poet laureate) will be on hand, so a little gossiping will be good, too. In one afternoon, there will be people to see, money going to a local cause and Christmas shopping will be well in hand, wrapped and ready for the gift closet.

The event is 2-5 p.m. at The Citadel Holliday Alumni Center, 69 Hagood Ave., downtown.

Ballet meets the Gibbes

On Thursday, there will be a one-night-only collaboration between the Charleston Ballet Theatre and the Gibbes Museum of Art with a special performance of "New Orleans Through the Ages."

The ballet company will dance a steamy number from Jill Bahr's choreography of the ballet "A Streetcar Named Desire." The dance will be held in the Rotunda on the second floor of the museum. While seating is limited, you feel like you are more participant than mere audience. It's a wonderful way to feel like you are close to the art in every way.

This event is being held in conjunction with the Gibbes current exhibition "In Search of Julien Hudson: Free Artist of Color in Pre-Civil War New Orleans."

The show starts at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are available through the Gibbes Museum of Art, 135 Meeting St. $15 members, $25 nonmembers.

Footies go late night

Also Thursday, LateNight@The Footlight presents the second in the series for this season. They will be performing the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Topdog/Underdog," written by Suzan-Lori Parks and directed by Michael Smallwood. It's a savage comedy of sibling rivalry, race and the American hustle, and a good reason for being on the LateNight series.

The dates are Sept. 22-24, 29-30 and Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. Thursdays are $10 with Friday and Saturday $15.

The theater is at 20 Queen St. downtown.

Dinner theater

On Friday, another special event kicks off the Dinner Theater Series presentations at the Embassy Ballroom at the Charleston Area Convention Center in North Charleston.

At 7 p.m., guests will be served a candlelit dinner of grilled herb chicken with andouille and tasso queso, dessert, coffee and tea. Then the Flowertown Players of Summerville will perform its take on old-time programming with the "Comedy Radio Hour." Journey through the magic of radio programming complete with musical scoring and sound effects. You'll laugh out loud on this one.

The dinner is $37 for individuals, less for larger parties. The cost includes dinner, gratuities and the show. Parking is free.

Again, seating is limited so call the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at 740-5847 for reservations.