It’s the last week to enjoy dozens of art, music, theater, dance and cultural events as part of Spoleto Festival USA and sister event, Piccolo Spoleto.
In its 39th season, Spoleto is a 17-day event internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival. Attracting performers from around the globe, there is truly an event for everyone.
Some highlights for this week:
“Romeo and Juliet” at the Dock Street Theatre: Shakespeare’s Globe makes its Spoleto Festival USA debut with a brand new production of this classic play. Known for its authentic yet bold productions, this esteemed company hails from London’s rebuilt Globe Theatre — the venue Shakespeare called home. (Photo/Helena Miscioscia)
Shen Wei Dance Arts at the College of Charleston Sottile Theatre: Alternating between metronomic precision and silky fluidity, the dance culminates with a kaleidoscopic human map that shifts and unfurls with the pulsing rhythms and fluctuating melodies of Reich’s score.
Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre at the College of Charleston Stern Student Center Garden: Watch Vietnam’s Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre and prepare to be delighted by the fire-breathing dragons, fantastical fish and plumed peacocks that dance, dive and glide over the water’s surface. Coming to Spoleto for the first time, this thousand-year-old art form features colorful characters in scenes that depict heroism, magic and comical everyday life. Children’s ticket price available.
Wells Fargo Festival Finale at Middleton Place: On Sunday, celebrate the end of another mesmerizing Spoleto season with live music, gourmet picnic fare and craft beers at one of Charleston’s beautiful plantations. The gates and beer garden open at 3:30 p.m. with live music beginning at 4 p.m. Headliner St. Paul & The Broken Bones performs at 8:30 p.m. The night is capped off by a spectacular fireworks show. (Photo/Julia Lynn Photography)
Complementing the world-class performances at Spoleto is the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, which focuses on local and regional artists. It fills Charleston venues with visual arts exhibits, classical music, jazz, dance, theatre, poetry readings, children’s activities, choral music, ethnic cultural presentations, crafts and film. Many events are free or low cost.
Some highlights for the week:
“Breathe” at the College of Charleston Theatre 220: 2014 College of Charleston theater alumnus Brennen Reeves just wanted to be normal. The only problem: the fatal lung disease, Cystic Fibrosis. The only solution: a double lung transplant. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this solo show is one man’s journey to live beyond the odds.
Piccolo Fringe: Stuckey & Murray at Theatre 99: This comedy-music duo was semi-finalists on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” and appeared on HBO’s “Funny as Hell,” “The Chelsea Handler Show” and “Cash Cab.” Their live show is a blend of the Smothers Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel and Tenacious D. featuring well-crafted, hilarious songs. (18+ only)
“Pirates! The Revenge of Colonel Rhett” at Footlight Theatre: It’s 1717 Charleston and sea-going thieves hold citizens for ransom. This one-act, musical “dramedy” romp with sword play reveals Colonel William Rhett and his quest to bring Stede Bonnet and his crew to justice.
Piccolo Spoleto Finale in Hampton Park: On Saturday, take the family to Hampton Park for local and visiting musicians playing rock, R&B, jazz, blues and classic oldies. Family fun and food vendors are also part of the event. Free