Helium illuminates the story of Miss Molly, a former chemistry teacher now in the throes of dementia who sets off on imagined adventures much to the chagrin of her worried family members. The production portrays poignant glimpses into aging and the multifaceted human mind, bringing humor to a subject often rife with sadness. The narrative unfolds at the venerable Dock Street Theatre, which fetes play enthusiasts with a plethora of staged tales. The newly renovated playhouse features high-quality lighting and sound, comfy seats, and new-fangled heating and air-conditioning while maintaining its nostalgic allure and secret portals to the 1736 production of Rent.
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
Eric Lavender is one of very few men in the world who can show up for work each day in a pirate costume and expect to keep his job. The licensed guide and professional storyteller, who has been featured on networks such as the Travel Channel and SCETV, also has an unconventional coworker—Captain Bob, a chatty blue and gold macaw who perches on his arm. Sometimes aided by other guides in pirate and colonial garb, he introduces visitors to lesser-known aspects of Charleston's more than 300-year history on walking tours to National Historic Landmark buildings.
During his signature pirate tour, Eric divulges stories of buccaneer revelry and crimes, such as Blackbeard's harbor blockade, or unveils local spooky legends and pieces of Gullah lore on his ghost and pirate tour. Eric also leads custom walking tours and teaches children about pirate lore and city history through his educational programs. And, on pub tours, guides show visitors to some of the city's historic taverns, where they reveal which colonial musicians got their start at open-mic nights.
Inside Threshold Repertory Theatre's intimate venue, Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some!) delivers an uproarious, backhanded interpretation of conventional holiday traditions. Since making its debut in 2003, the side-splitting Yuletide onslaught has spurred a nationwide following, garnering praise from the Los Angeles Times as a "winking assault on virtually every secular seasonal classic since Charles Dickens." As Christmas icons such as Frosty, Rudolph, and Ayn Rand enter the show's crosshairs, versatile cast members tickle funny bones with a blitz on worldwide Christmas customs, seasonal carols, and pop-culture mainstays. An original score backs the performance, adding an extra dose of originality and white-bearded quarter notes to a whirlwind of topical amusement.
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.
A Charleston institution since 1936, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra gathers internationally experienced musicians to perform popular favorites and classical masterpieces. In this season's opening concert, the orchestra invites acclaimed Broadway stars Rita Harvey, who recently performed in Fiddler on the Roof with Rosie O'Donnell, and Ron Bohmer, whose resumé brims with high-school-track ribbons and starring roles in The Phantom of the Opera and Sunset Boulevard. As conductor Stuart Malina dishes out Morse code instructions with his baton, singers belt the familiar lyrics of songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein classics, including The King & I, South Pacific, and The Sound of Music. A talented cadre of strings, horns, and percussionists recreate the sweeping sounds of Broadway, led by concertmaster Yuriy Bekker, whose violin has dazzled audiences in the Kennedy Center and music festivals worldwide.