|Issue 1.39 | Thursday, March 26, 2009 | Ready for baseball|
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MARCH 26, 2009 Spoleto Festival USA, the most dynamic and varied performing arts festival in the United States, kicks off at noon on May 22 in Charleston, beginning a 17-day roller-coaster ride of world-class opera, dance, music and theater that ends with a burst of closing fireworks over Middleton Place on June 7.
Festival audiences will experience some 120 performances of 34 different productions, featuring more than 600 performers from around the world. About 75,000 individual tickets will be sold, 30,000 program books distributed, and 450 volunteer ushers will help people find their seats in Charlestons historic theaters, churches and open spaces.
With so many exciting performances scheduled, deciding which ones to attend can be downright daunting. At Spoleto Festival USA we believe you really cant go wrong with any choice you make; but, as a guideline, here is a brief overview of the 2009 lineup (more details are available at http://www.spoletousa.org/2009.php.
Spoleto Festival USA, continuing in the longstanding tradition of producing opera, will present a dazzling new production of Gustave Charpentiers opera masterpiece Louise, which brings early-20th-century Paris gloriously to life. Another eagerly anticipated production is the sharp and sexy Don John, presented by Britains thrillingly unconventional Kneehigh Theatre (admired by festival audiences since their 2006 festival tour-de-force, Tristan & Yseult). Don John might be the festivals most talked about show. Also notable in 2009, Spoleto Festival USA has planned a series of celebratory events honoring Bank of America Chamber Music series host Charles Wadsworth in his farewell season. Whether or not you know Charles, you will surely want to take advantage of this last opportunity to experience a legend.
Theater-goers have a range of stimulating productions from which to choose: World/Inferno Friendship Societys cabaret punk-rock operetta Addicted to Bad Ideas: Peter Lorres 20th Century; Basil Twists elegant and dreamlike Dogugaeshi; the hilarious Dutch theater group Kassys with Good Cop Bad Cop; and Welsh artist Hugh Hughes in the winsome Story of a Rabbit.
In dance, the Carolina First Dance features the return of a festival favorite, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; the extraordinary New York-based Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet; the experimental Japanese performer Hiroaki Umeda; and Spains fiery Noche Flamenca.
The 2009 music program is rich and varied: The 2009 Bank of America Chamber Music series features different groupings of accomplished musicians, including the St. Lawrence String Quartet. The Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra will perform two concerts: Gustav Mahlers Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) and Brahmss Violin Concerto in D major, featuring violinist Sarah Chang. The Westminster Choir presents Mozarts Requiem and Poulencs Gloria; two a cappella concerts; and a program of sacred work featuring Dietrich Buxtehudes Membra Jesu Nostri and J.S. Bachs Easter cantata, Christ lag in Todesbanden.
The 2009 Wachovia Jazz Series features series headliner jazz vocalist René Marie; the Grammy Award-nominated Tierney Sutton Band; Italian pianist and composer Ramberto Ciammarughi; Romanian violinist Florin Niculescu; and ukulele musician Jake Shimabukuro. Other music highlights in 2009 include pyrotechnic guitar maven Beverly Guitar Watkins; the bluegrass virtuosi Punch Brothers; groundbreaking composers in the Music in Time series; and the enchanting Intermezzi series.
Rounding out the exhilarating 17-day program, the Festival Finale offers you a chance to relax at Middleton Place during a twilight final concert by the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra followed by a spectacular fireworks display over the Ashley River.
Festival tickets are priced to fit into any budget, with many performances starting at just $10 per ticket. If you would like more information about Spoleto Festival USA 2009, visit http://www.spoletousa.org or call the Spoleto Festival USA box office at 579-3100, where ticket agents are standing by to assist you. Beginning April 20, tickets may be purchased in person at the Spoleto Festival USA box office in the Gaillard Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St.
Caroline Maas is marketing and public relations manager for Spoleto Festival USA.
MARCH 26, 2009 Call it food for body and soul: Thats what some of the Charleston areas best chefs and caterers will be serving up for needy Lowcountry residents as part of a new initiative called Charleston Chefs Feed the Need. Its the nations first organized relief effort in which meals will be cooked and served by the hospitality community on a year-round basis.
Mickey Bakst, the general manager of Charleston Grill at Charleston Place, came up with the idea. A coalition of 52 local restaurants, chefs, hotels and caterers will team up and spend the next year taking turns preparing and serving meals at local emergency food shelters. The number of meals theyll be preparing is expected to top 20,000.
Legendary restaurateur Alice Waters was quoted as saying that Good food should be a right, not a privilege, Bakst said at a Wednesday press conference announcing the coalition. To a dramatically increasing number of people here in the Charleston area, it is not just about good food its about any food at all.
Heres how it will work: Every Wednesday, one of the participating establishments will donate food and labor for 400 free meals. The meals will be served in coordination with four local nonprofit agencies: Tricounty Family Ministries, East Cooper Meals on Wheels, Crisis Ministries and Neighborhood House. The Lowcountry Food Bank (a nonprofit partner of CharlestonCurrents.com) will administer a schedule rotating meals between those four sites. A team from Charleston Grill will prepare the first meal, which will be served on April 22.
The local culinary community has long supported our food banks and shelters. The annual Chefs Feast for the Lowcountry Food Bank is one example; another is the BB&T Charleston Food + Wine Festivals donation of leftover food to Crisis Ministries. With the economy in such dire straits, the need for that kind of support is greater than ever. Already this year, East Cooper Meals on Wheels has delivered 20 percent more meals than in 2008, and Feed the Needs organizers also note that more than 45 percent of public school students are taking part in free or reduced-price lunch programs. The demand for help at emergency food providers in the Lowcountry was up 36 percent in 2008, organizers say.
Bakst said the culinary communitys response to Feed the Need was enthusiastic. Each of the chefs participating in this effort has volunteered their time and money without hesitation, he said. They have stepped up to the table and asked, How can we help? This at a time when each of them faces their own struggles due to the economic turmoil we are all aware of.
Bakst and all the participating chefs, restaurateurs and hoteliers deserve more than just a pat on the back they deserve this communitys support, patronage and thanks. I think they also deserve some personal recognition, so heres who they are:
The Art Institute of Charleston, Atlanticville, AW Shucks, Basil, The Boathouse, Boccis, Bubba Gump, California Dreaming, Carolinas, Caviar and Bananas, Chais, Charleston Grill, Charleston Place Events, Circa 1886, Cru Café, Culinary Institute of Charleston, Cypress, Duvall Catering, Embassy Suites North Charleston, Fat Hen, FIG, Fish, Fleet Landing, Fulton Five, Gilligans Steamer and Raw Bar, Glass Onion, Gullah Cuisine, Halls Chophouse, Hanks Seafood, Il Cortile Del Re, Iverson Catering, Jasmine Porch at the Sanctuary, Jim N Nicks, JVC Catering, Longhorn Steakhouse, Trattoria Lucca, McCradys, Med Bistro, Muse, Mustard Seed, Oak Steakhouse, Ocean Room at the Sanctuary at Kiawah, 82 Queen, Reds Ice House, Seels Fish Camp, Sermets, Taco Boy, Tidewater Catering, Tristan, Vickerys, Wild Dunes Resort and the Woodlands Inn.
Ann Thrash is editor of CharlestonCurrents.com. She can be reached at: email@example.com
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents to you at no cost. In this issue, we highlight the Joye Law Firm. Committed to fighting for the rights of the wrongly injured in South Carolina for more than 40 years, the experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyers of the Joye Law Firm want to help you get every dollar you truly deserve for the injuries you've suffered. Whether you've been injured in an auto accident, by a defective product, in a nursing home, or on the job, we may be able to help you. For more information, contact Joye Law Firm at 843.554.3100 or visit online at: http://www.joyelawfirm.com.
John Wieland, chairman of Atlanta-based John Wieland Homes, will be making a stop in Dunes West in Mount Pleasant today to spend the night in one of his unsold homes as part of a company campaign to Get Housing Moving. Wieland has been touring the Southeast in an RV and sleeping on a mattress on the floor of some of his companys empty homes. The regional tour has already taken him to Atlanta, Nashville and Charlotte, and his goal is to continue until 101 John Wieland homes are sold.
Wieland and his motor home are expected to arrive at 3003 Dunes West Blvd. at about 3 p.m. The goal of the tour is to inform Americans about the immediate and stimulative influence that housing has historically had on the nation. In conjunction with the tour, John Wieland Homes is offering discounts of 5 percent to 25 percent, at 4.5 percent fixed financing, on all its homes. The company says the discounts are the greatest in its 39-year history.
Childrens Museum, Aquarium offer membership deals
Carolina Aquarium and the Childrens Museum of the Lowcountry are
teaming up to offer a special deal to local families. From now through
the rest of 2009, members of the Children's Museum who have an active
Family, Explorer or Grandparent Membership can receive $10 off a South
Carolina Aquarium Family, Family Plus or Grandparent Membership. Likewise,
aquarium members with an active Family, Family Plus or Grandparent Membership
will get $10 off a Childrens Museum Family, Explorer or Grandparent
Michelle Adams, membership manager for the aquarium, added that the membership special comes at the perfect time for families to enjoy the new Penguin Planet exhibit.
information on the offer, call the aquarium at 577-3474 or the museum
The Charleston RiverDogs are offering free parking for all Sunday home games at The Joe and are also adding a Kids Eat Free promotion on Sundays.
are pleased to be able to offer this incentive to our fans, said
RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echols. Our Sunday crowd has
grown each year, and this is a way for us to show our appreciation and
to help them enjoy professional baseball during these difficult times.
Tristan's has new menu to make dining out more affordable
Restaurant has introduced a new value-driven menu and $2 martini night
to help customers keep their budgets in check while still enjoying a relaxing
The $2 martinis are being offered from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays.
We want Charlestonians to enjoy fine dining regardless of their circumstance or new budget, says Executive Chef Aaron Deal. From every unfortunate experience, a new opportunity arises. Providing high-quality fare at budget-conscious prices is no different.
Tristan is located at 55 Market St. downtown. Call 534-2155 or visit here for more information.
(Second of two parts)
Although an art colony per se never emerged in the Charleston Renaissance, artists created images that served to attract visitors to the area. Initially, the artwork of Alice Smith, Elizabeth ONeill Verner, Anna Heyward Taylor, other local aspirants, and Alfred Hutty (a transplanted northerner) emphasized picturesque views that veiled the reality of a city that had seen brighter times. These paintings and prints were exhibited in such places as Chicago, Washington, and Philadelphia, broadening the appreciation for the lowcountry. Because the watercolors were often small-scale and the prints accessibly priced, many tourists purchased them as souvenirs of their visits. Ultimately, other artists were enticed to the area, converting Charleston into a mecca of sorts for painters and printmakers.
The country gradually became Charleston-conscious, and as a result tourists began to come, especially in the spring, to Americas Most Historic City. Tourism was enhanced by improved transportation, not least of which was the opening of the Cooper River Bridge in 1929, which facilitated automobile traffic with the north and provided makers of sweet-grass baskets direct access to passing motorists. Hotels such as the Francis Marion and the Fort Sumter were built in the early 1920s to accommodate the influx of visitors. Azalea festivals, musicals, and house and garden tours were offered as entertainment but also served as fund-raisers. Former plantations, such as Magnolia Gardens and Middleton Place, welcomed tourists to their newly restored gardens.
Most of the visitors were northerners, and many of the wealthier ones purchased derelict area plantations, which they restored and transformed into hunting preserves. Among the more notable figures who came to coastal Carolina in the 1930s were Solomon R. Guggenheim, who loaned to the Gibbes Museum of Art his collection of nonobjective painting for its inaugural exhibition; Archer M. and Anna Hyatt Huntington, who acquired various Allston family plantations to form Brookgreen Gardens; and Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Kittredge, who transformed the old rice fields at Dean Hall plantation into Cypress Gardens.
Through words, melodies, pictures, and even a dance step, the idea of Charleston was broadcast across the nation. Although local residents realized that Charleston was undergoing a dramatic revitalization, the phrase The Charleston Renaissance did not get widespread usage until the 1980s, although the word renaissance occurred occasionally in newspaper accounts. The designation coalesced in 1985 when the Catfish Row Company sponsored a production of Porgy and Bess on the folk operas fiftieth anniversary and the Gibbes Museum of Art mounted an exhibition, Charleston in the Era of Porgy and Bess.
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The Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission offers a number of classes that focus on Lowcountry history and culture. Here are five that are coming up in the next few weeks. All will be held at the Caw Caw Interpretive Center in Ravenel. Prices are for Charleston County residents. Classes are open to age 9 and up unless otherwise note.
Longleaf Pine Needle Baskets: March 28. Make a basket from the needles of our native pine and learn about how they were used historically, as well as the ways in which longleaf pine forests are in decline today. $12.
Heritage to Habitat Canoe Tour: April 18 and May 16. Travel back to the era of the great rice plantations, paddling through fields and canals that now serve as one of the richest wildlife habitats in the Lowcountry. $12.
Salt Marsh Paddle: April 25. A canoe trip to explore abandoned rice fields and look for native wildlife in the tidal salt marshes. $15.
Senior Stroll: May 2. This walk, only for ages 55 and older, will meander through the new spring color at Caw Caw, with history and nature as the themes. $6.
Step and Steep, A Tea Farm Tea Party: May 30. Tea was once grown commercially at Caw Caw and is now naturalized. See the plants, taste some tea produced from them and learn about the areas tea-growing history. $8.
"Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted."
CALENDAR: THIS WEEK
Old St. Andrew's Tea Room: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, March 23 to April 4, Old St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 2604 Ashley River Road. Tea room features local favorites for lunch and an array of homemade desserts. Proceeds benefit the mission and ministry programs of the Episcopal Church Women of Old St. Andrew's and the church's Preservation Fund. More info.
Economic Outlook Conference: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 26, Charleston Place Hotel. The Charleston Metro Chamber's Annual Economic Outlook Conference and Luncheon includes the 18- to 24-month forecast for the key economic sectors of the region. Keynote speaker Jeffrey M. Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, will present the views of the Federal Reserve on the state of the national recovery and the outlook for future economic conditions. Also speaking will be College of Charleston President P. George Benson, who will speak about the challenges facing South Carolina and our ability to compete in the global economy. Cost: $95 for Chamber members, $125 for nonmembers. Details/registration.
Women in Business Conference: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 27, Francis Marion Hotel, corner of King and Calhoun streets, downtown. Sponsored by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Women, the fourth annual conference includes workshops, speed networking, lunch and a fashion show featuring career wear. Cost: $100. Registration/more info.
Garden Club of Charleston House and Garden Tours: 2-5 p.m. March 27 and March 28, various sites downtown. Tours of historic homes and gardens, including the Heyward-Washington House garden, whose parterre is planted only with flowers and shrubs known in the city in 1791. Proceeds benefit ongoing projects of the Garden Club of Charleston, including maintaining the gardens at the Joseph Manigault House, the Heyward-Washington House, the Gateway Walk and the Healing Garden at MUSC. More info: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
Film Series on Jim Crow: 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays, March 10-April 4, Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting St. In conjunction with the exhibit "From Slave to Sharecropper: African Americans in the Lowcountry after the Civil War," the museum will host a four-part documentary film series, "The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow." The Peabody Award-winning documentary, offers a comprehensive look at race relations in America between the Civil War and the civil rights movement. Cost: Free with general museum admission of $10 for adults, $5 for children 3-12. For details on specific shows and schedules, call 722-2996 or go here online.
Historic Charleston Foundation Festival of Houses and Gardens: Ongoing March 19 through April 18, various sites. Tours feature the interiors and gardens of approximately 150 historic private homes in 10 colonial and antebellum neighborhoods during the peak of the city's springtime blooms. Other events include Plantation Picnics at Drayton Hall Plantation, daily walking tours through the Old and Historic District, "Eat and Run" luncheons, harbor tours, book signings, etc. Proceeds benefit the work of the Historic Charleston Foundation. Tickets/more info: 723-1623 or by clicking here.
Pet Fest: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 28 and noon to 4 p.m. March 29, Palmetto Islands County Park, Mount Pleasant. Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission's annual pet event expands to two days this year. Dock diving will be featured for the first time, along with past fest favorites such as Lowcountry Dog magazine's "cover model contest," a dog show, Frisbee dogs, a microchipping clinic and several dog contests. Cost: $5 or three Greenbax for adults, per day; free for kids age 12 or younger, leashed pets and Gold Passholders. More info or 795-4FUN.
'The Hills Have Thighs': 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. April 5, Olde Village Talking Picture House, 1080 E. Montague Ave., Park Circle. The not-for-profit Greater Park Circle Film Society will offer a showing of "The Hills Have Thighs" (not rated), a comedy directed by former state senator James Bubba Cromer. Cromer will be speaking at the evening screening and autographing copies of DVDs, posters and T-shirts, which will be available at both shows. Tickets: $2 for film society members, $5 nonmembers. Free popcorn. More info online or 478-3911.
Palm Sunday Spirituals: 5 p.m. April 5, Citadel Square Baptist Church, 328 Meeting St., downtown. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra Spiritual Ensemble will repeat its recent sold-out concert, which featured 35 vocalists from the CSO Gospel Choir performing traditional African-American spirituals. The performance will highlight the importance of preserving the legacy of the spiritual and its significance to the Lowcountry. Tickets: $10; available at the Gaillard Auditorium Box Office, 77 Calhoun St., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or one hour before the performance.
Immigration Law for Businesses: 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. April 9, Lowcountry Graduate Center, 5300 International Blvd, Building B, Suite 100, North Charleston. The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce's Latin American Business Council will host a workshop, "Immigration in the Current Economic Environment," to educate the business community on new immigration laws affecting the workforce. Cost: $25 chamber members, $35 nonmembers. Registration here.
Lowcountry Oyster Roast: 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 10, Drayton Hall Plantation, 3380 Ashley River Road, Charleston. Held in conjunction with the Historic Charleston Foundation's annual Festival of Houses and Gardens, the oyster roast and picnic includes local steamed oysters, a Lowcountry buffet supper, beer, wine, and soft drinks. Guests can also take a guided tour of Drayton Hall's main house. Tickets: $45 adults, $20 children ages 6-18, and free for children under 6. Tickets: HCF Events Office, 722-3405.
Founders' Day: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 11, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, 1500 Old Towne Road, west of the Ashley. Celebrate the 339th anniversary of the "Birth of the Carolinas" during Founders' Day. Living-history programs, demonstrations of the firing of black powder cannons and muskets, re-enactments and other activities showing how Charleston's first English settlers lived in 1670. Cost: $5 adults, $3 ages 6-15, $3.25 for S.C. seniors or disabled. Details are online.
"Run Forrest Run 5K": 4:15 p.m. April 11, beginning at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. Sponsored by the Charleston RiverDogs, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Coburg Dairy, the race is a fundraiser for the Storm Eye Institute at MUSC. The race finishes at home plate, where runners are greeted by the RiverDogs' players before the start of that evening's game against the Rome Braves. Registration: $25 if received by March 27 (includes T-shirt, one ticket to baseball game and post-race party with dinner from Bubba Gump's); $30 after March 27. Registration forms available at the RiverDogs Box Office at Riley Park, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., The Extra Mile Running Shop and online at www.riverdogs.com or www.active.com.
'Fun is Good' Conference: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 17, Charleston Marriott, 170 Lockwood Blvd., Charleston. Presented by the Charleston RiverDogs and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, the conference is designed to show business owners and organization managers how to empower their staffs and achieve success. The RiverDogs' famous "Fun is Good" philosophy emphasizes that laughter is not just the best medicine, but can also be the key ingredient in turning a floundering business into a profitable one or jump-starting a stalled career. Keynote speakers include RiverDogs co-owner Mike Veeck. Cost: $125 per person. Registration here.
In this section, we offer a list of good reads that you might want to consider reading: