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Cool vibe! Walking into the Memminger Auditorium, Bjork’s “Bachelorette” was playing. The stage is set for a concert. Then playwright Cora Bissett tells the story of her early rock 'n' roll career and the fallout that ensued. A really entertaining evening of theater. Music, performances, lig…

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From the 2013 TV drama “Reign” to Saoirse Ronan’s memorable performance in the 2018 film “Mary Queen of Scots,” the dramatic life of the 16th century Scottish monarch doesn’t seem to lose intrigue. On Saturday, The King’s Counterpoint, conducted by co-founder David Acres, presented its music…

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A perfectly paired duo got to the heart of the matter in a space fit for their music. Tenor saxophonist Mark Turner and pianist Ethan Iverson took the stage of the intimate Simons Center Recital Hall on Wednesday evening for the first performance of their residency at this year’s Spoleto Fes…

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The stage, completely barren, is encased in fog. This starkness, which remains throughout the performance, contrasts with the intense physicality of Circa’s “What Will Have Been,” an intimate show the Australia-based physical theater troupe has brought to Spoleto Festival USA this year.

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600 Highwaymen’s "The Fever," brought to the Woolfe Street Playhouse by Spoleto Festival USA, is so effective because it's so unexpected. I fear that qualifying it, explaining it, will rob it of some of its power, its mystique. Just go see it. Go ahead, I’ll wait right here. The review will …

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At first blush, I’m With Her doesn’t register as the type of band to be featured at Spoleto Festival. The fact that it’s made up of younger performers isn’t at all remarkable, of course; that is, until you discover that the band is touring their debut record, last year’s “See You Around.”

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Blustery winds, bolts of lightning and a looming squall did not deter the maestra at the helm. National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Carla Bley led her trio through uncertain conditions as calmly as any seasoned seafaring captain would, steering her vessel with paper charts and vast ex…

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Spoleto Festival’s chamber music variety show at the Dock Street Theatre mostly packs in patrons of a certain demographic: financially secure people, age 50-80, who can trace their ancestry to Europe and who grew up with the idea that classical music is an important art form.

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Everyone, especially those working in customer service, need a good laugh in the middle of the busy festival season if we hope to keep our jobs and our heads. Pure Theatre took on the challenge of providing this laugh with Andy Livengood’s one-man show “Butcher Stories,” a departure from Pur…

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“Tonight we’re here to celebrate a jazz giant, a titan, somebody that left us too soon," bandleader, producer, educator and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington said from the Cistern Yard stage. "But she left us with so much beautiful music and so many reasons to celebrate her.”

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The final part of the epic "Analogy Trilogy" performed by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company is titled "Ambrose: The Emigrant" and draws from the work of author W.G. Sebald. This haunting account unfolds with a slow and cerebral energy which is the most cinematic in nature of the trilogy a…

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"Letter to a Friend in Gaza" ends with a reading of a 1944 letter by Albert Camus, addressed to a "German friend" during wartime. It's the inspiration for the title of this show, and one quote in particular hit me particularly hard: “I should like to be able to love my country and still love…

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“Ray Bradbury Live (Forever)” is an exercise in rediscovering one’s love of dinosaurs, rocket ships and all the things that capture children’s hearts and minds before they lose their sense of wonder. Written and performed by Emmy-winner Bill Oberst Jr., the show is just as much a description…

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Target Margin Theater is presenting an interpretation of "One Thousand and One Nights," the story of a mad king who marries and kills a new bride each night, until he meets the enchanting Scheherazade, who tells him enthralling stories that keep her alive for another day.

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The details matter in “Sweat,” Lynn Nottage’s fine-boned look at fraying loyalties and dimming hopes in Rust Belt America. Seemingly small actions made by the steel workers and bartenders reverberate in ways that cross class and racial divides.

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The second evening of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company’s performance of the "Analogy Trilogy" examined the challenging journey of Jones’ nephew through drug addiction, prostitution, jail and illness during the 1980s and '90s. "Lance: Pretty aka The Escape Artist" used text, music and set des…

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"Pericles" is one of the Bard's late Jacobean comedies. It’s also one of the plays considered to be co-authored by Shakespeare, and therefore not entirely original. The play does feel less like a Shakespearean comedy than one of the Greek classics. The Narrator’s direct audience address woul…

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The cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain is constructed on the site where, according to legend, the remains of the apostle St. James (Santiago, in Galician) were discovered in the 9th century, amidst a field of stars (Compostela).

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The first installment of "Analogy Trilogy," a work presented in three separate performances to be viewed individually or as a whole, began with "Dora: Tramontane," a 90-minute work combining dance and theater, impeccably conceived and rendered by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company.

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At the end of pianist David Virelles’ solo Spoleto Festival debut Saturday evening, the audience rose a bit hesitantly to their feet in appreciation for the deeply complex, wide-ranging works they’d just heard. One concertgoer behind me turned to his companion, bemused, and remarked, “Well, …

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"The Comedy of Errors" is one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, the shortest of the canon, and one of the easiest comedies to understand. Set in the Greek town of Ephesus, the play tells of the misadventures of two sets of twins.

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Punch Brothers are veterans of Charleston’s various performing venues, from the Music Farm to the Music Hall and Spoleto's stages. I've seen them play all those venues over the years, including the Cistern on the College of Charleston’s campus. Always they raise the bar, and Sunday’s Spoleto…

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The first treat of the opening night performance of “What the Day Owes the Night” was a curtain speech by the company’s founder and namesake, Hervé Koubi. Immediately, he put the eager crowd at ease with a disarming introduction: “I hope you will enjoy the show,” he said, taking a moment to …

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The last time Shakespeare’s Globe visited the Holy City to join Spoleto Festival USA was in 2015, when they brought "Romeo & Juliet." Four year's later and the wait for more good Shakespeare from this terrific company is over. The Bard's works are on offer again, and this time, in a bold…

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The life force that is Esperanza Spalding brought an enigmatic energy to the College of Charleston’s moss-laden Cistern Yard, ushering in the 2019 Spoleto Festival’s jazz series. She took her time to scan the audience, deciding her setlist in the moment, while warmly expressing, “I want to g…

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The two works by award-winning choreographer Jodi Melnick were wonderful examples of how the creative process of an art form can be just as illuminating as the final product. The performance Thursday evening at the Emmett Robinson Theatre of two innovative works was thrilling not only becaus…

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In the middle of chamber music programs VII, VIII, IX and X, music director Geoff Nuttall inserted some pretty great modern music. It was the meat of the sandwich, the nutritious stuff for which audiences seem to be developing a taste.

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Performing “Heathers: The Musical” right now can’t be done as a tribute to the classic movies of the 1980s. This musical and its central themes are a brutal indicator of how much has changed in this country in terms of what can be laughed at.

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For 90 minutes, the Unitarian Church’s Gage Hall transformed into an air-conditioned, two-story brick praise house as The Bright Family Singers invited fellowship with commanding Negro spirituals for the Piccolo Spoleto “Oh Happy Day Gospel Music Series.”

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A picture may be worth a thousand words. A live music experience needs none. Pianist Craig Taborn’s Spoleto Festival opening concert proved as much: He did not speak. Commencing a four-night, six-show run on Wednesday, Taborn rounds out this year’s Wells Fargo Jazz Series at College of Charl…


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