HARVIN COLUMN: Some familiar themes: 'Hunchback,' big band music, theater and more

The U.S. Air Force Academy's Falconaires will perform a free concert in North Charleston.

Ballet, jazz, theater, a kids’ concert and a picnic are all great choices for something to do this week, and the themes of each will be familiar.

Think “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” Glenn Miller favorites with the Falconaires, two police officers faced with Internal Affairs investigations and a live show from the Birds of Prey Center. I love the many definitions of art.

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” should be an interesting performance. It’s a ballet put on by The Robert Ivey Ballet, a retelling of the classic tale of love and betrayal.

Michael Wise says he went back to the original book to find the storylines that interested him the most and then began the choreography with wife Olga.

In case you have forgotten the basics, here’s a quick synopsis: The evil Archdeacon Claude Frollo lusts after the beautiful Esmeralda, and sends the hunchback Quasimodo to kidnap her. The hunchback is suddenly captured by Phoebus, the police captain and his guards, who save Esmeralda.

Quasimodo is sentenced to be flogged and turned on the pillory for one hour, followed by another hour’s public exposure. He calls for water. Esmeralda, seeing his thirst, offers him a drink. It saves him, and she captures his heart.

Esmeralda is later charged with the attempted murder of Phoebus, whom Frollo actually attempted to kill in jealousy after seeing him with Esmeralda, and is tortured and sentenced to death by hanging.

As she is being led to the gallows, Quasimodo swings down by the bell rope of Notre Dame and carries her off to the cathedral under the law of sanctuary. Clopin, a street performer, rallies the Truands (criminals of Paris) to charge the cathedral and rescue Esmeralda.

There’s more, but you will just have to go to the ballet to find out how it ends and how Wise weaves all these threads together. The ballet will be at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Sottile Theatre, 44 George St.

Tickets are sold through Brown Paper Tickets: $15 and $25 for preferred seating.

A free evening of jazz is being hosted by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department when it brings to the stage the USAF Academy Band’s Falconaires Jazz Ensemble at 7 p.m. Friday.

This is one of 12 Air Force jazz ensembles, and it specializes in Glenn Miller favorites. The concert will be at the Sterrett Hall Auditorium on the former Charleston Naval Base.

The 18 professional airmen-musicians specialize in the best of past and present by performing traditional and contemporary big band jazz.

To this mix, “Falcs” members add their own compositions and fresh orchestrations. While the concert is free, advance tickets are required. Tickets may be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope with a request to: Tickets, City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, P.O. Box 190016, North Charleston, SC, 29419-9016.

Tickets are also available for pick up 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday from the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department office.

For more info, call 740-5854 or email culturalarts@northcharleston.org.

“A Steady Rain” is the uncompromising story of two Chicago beat cops and lifelong friends: Denny and Joey. Their loyalty, family and their credo “to serve and protect” become tainted and unhinged after a lowlife hustler wreaks havoc while seeking revenge.

As Internal Affairs investigates, both men are accused of misdeeds and broken protocol. Their badges on the line, it becomes clear one man must make the ultimate sacrifice.

The play was first produced in 2006 at New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater. It is being reprised by South of Broadway Theatre in North Charleston, and there are plenty of performances starting Thursday and running through Oct. 27. The evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday performance is at 3 p.m.

For more information or tickets, call South of Broadway Theatre Company at 745-0317. The theater is at 1080 E. Montague Ave. in the Park Circle area of North Charleston.

In one of our favorite fundraisers of the year, the Friends and Needed Supporters (FANS) of the Charleston Museum will host its annual Family Picnic 1-4 p.m. Oct. 21 at the museum’s Dill Sanctuary, 1163 Riverland Drive on James Island.

The entire family can enjoy a nature walk with naturalist Billy McCord, a butterfly release, live music by the Susie Summers Duo, a Lowcountry dinner, children’s games, hayrides, flight demonstrations by the Center for Birds of Prey and the SCDNR Touch Tank.

The Dill Sanctuary contains assorted habitats for wildlife and numerous cultural features, including four earthen Confederate batteries and prehistoric, Colonial, antebellum, and postbellum archaeological sites. It’s a wonderful place to explore with the kids and such a lovely spot to hang out.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children and free for children 5 and under. Advance reservations are required, so call 722-2996 ext. 233 or register online through the calendar of events at www.charleston museum.org.

Chamber Music Charleston will bring the excitement of live classical music to the stage in two programs Saturday at Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St.

At 1 p.m., musicians of Chamber Music Charleston will perform a Classical Kids Concerts to introduce younger audiences to the string quartet. The concert includes a dramatic reading of “Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot” by local author Margot Raven set to music of Johannes Brahms.

In the evening, Chamber Music Charleston will bring the spirit of Italy to life with the opening concert of the Memminger Concert Series.

At 7:30, musicians will perform a program of music by leading Italian composers of the Romantic period.

Tickets for the kids concert are $10 adults, $5 children age 4-16; free for children 3 and younger.

Tickets will be available at the door beginning at 12:30 p.m. or may be ordered in advance.

Tickets for “A Celebration of Italy” are $35 bistro table; $25 general theater seating; $5 student tickets. Bistro Boxes must be ordered in advance.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.ChamberMusic Charleston.org or call 763-4941.

Reach Stephanie Harvin at 937-5557 or sharvin@postandcourier.com.