It started small: in 1931, Lieutenant Commander Charles Russell Price directed a series of one-act plays at the Charleston Navy Yard. The series was an unexpected success, and a year later, his band of amateur theater-makers had evolved into an
First opening its doors in 1818, the Savannah Theatre hosts a plethora of productions upon its well-seasoned stage. June's shows include Country Star Revue, a two-hour mosey through the past half-century of country-music hits. The festive performance features the twangy tunes of Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Rascal Flatts, and Taylor Swift, belted out by a septet of denim-clad vocalists accompanied by a live band and a chorus of tap-dancing cowboy hats. Alternatively, audiences may take a tuneful trip in the wayback machine with The Beat Goes On. From the Age of Aquarius through the age of acid-washed jeans, this musical visits the memorable melodies from the '60s, '70s, '80s, and a few spots outside the space-time continuum. Check the schedule for performance dates and times.
Knights in shining armor. White horses. Fair maidens. All the magnificent trappings of a bygone era come to life at Medieval Times, where ironclad knights clash for the title of King's Champion in front of a wide-eyed audience that peppers the battlefield with cheers and jeers between bites of a four-course dinner. Each two-hour tournament channels the pageantry and spectacle of 11th-century Spain, pitting six competitors against each other inside a spacious, sand-filled arena for the honor of earning the title of champion and the favor of the royal court. A spirited musical score infuses epic onslaughts with an extra dose of tension as adversaries joust atop stallions, deflect ferocious blows, and slice through suits forged of authentic junk mail. To further immerse guests in the fairy tale, Medieval Times encourages each guest to declare their allegiance by cheering loudly for the knight in their corner.
Like royal guests centuries ago, spectators bask in the revelry while feasting upon a finger-friendly bill of fare without the aid of utensils or the "choo-choo" sounds of parents. The four-course feast includes a tomato-bisque soup starter, oven-roasted chicken with a garlic-bread side, single spare rib, and an herb-basted potato. Servers periodically fill patrons’ goblets with soda or water, which adults can supplement with purchases from a full-service bar. Meals conclude with the castle's sweet pastry dessert.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or cha-cha. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Five-footed lines of iambic pentameter sweep audiences away to Cleopatra’s Egyptian court, where a tragedy of love and lust decides the fates of Rome and Egypt. Actors from the College of Charleston Theatre Department weave threads of passion, power, and lamb's wool into their depictions of handsome Roman general Mark Antony and the beautiful Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra. Having neglected his soldierly duties to conduct an affair with Cleopatra, Antony faces the scorn of his triumvir Octavius Caesar and the increasing threat of a rebellion back home. The fates of two empires rest in the balance of his torn convictions, as his indecision sends Cleopatra into a jealous rage and Caesar into a frenzy of salad making. Shakespeare’s linguistic swordsmanship sharpens the poignancy of the play’s five acts, which slither along to a deadly conclusion.
Jazz Artists of Charleston's Jazz Series summons renowned local musicians to the stage to share in the rich American tradition of jazz music. JAC's fourth annual Jazz Series will take place this May and June during Spoleto Festival season and will groove through jazz styles including modern, bebop, funk, and extra jazzy. Performances take place upstairs in the Gallery Room at McCrady's Restaurant, where staffers serve up libations and farm-fresh cuisine including beef, flounder, and duck. Each Jazz Series set comprises approximately 75 minutes of toe-tapping tunes and people calling other people cats. The special May 31 Holy City Homecomin' show is an annual tradition that changes each year and has become a popular part of JAC's annual programming.