CITY PICKS 

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FESTIVAL — You beer'd me all night long
Ballpark Festival of Beers
Sat. April 29
7-10 p.m.
$20/advance, $25 at the gate
Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park
360 Fishburne St.
577-DOGS (3647)
www.riverdogs.com

If there's anything that goes better with beer than baseball, it may be pizza — something Mellow Mushroom can try to prove this Saturday night as they, along with Jim 'N Nick's Barbecue (heavenly cheese biscuits), provide the food that will help absorb some of the over 100 different brews available for tasting at the fourth annual Ballpark Festival of Beers. Previous festivals have included samples from both local breweries (such as Palmetto Brewing Company) and international beers of all ilks (ales, stouts, lagers, pilsners, hefeweizens), plus malt beverages, wine, and liquor, all for one teeny tiny price. While strolling through the Joe sipping stout, guests can enjoy live music from the Graham Whorley Band. A word of advice: get there early — the first 700 people through the gates will receive a free sampling mug from T-Bonz.
SATURDAY


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COMEDY — Stand-up for cleanliness
Stand-Up Showcase
Fri. April 28, 8 p.m.
Sat. April 29, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
$15
American Theater
446 King St.
442-5719

Building on the success the Charleston Comedy Festival enjoyed earlier this year at the American Theater, the Charleston City Paper welcomes Jimmy Brogan (pictured above) and Brandon Ficara to town for a weekend of three hysterically clean comedy shows. On top of being a highly successful touring, film, and televison comic, Brogan was, for the better part of a decade, a writer and comedy talent booker for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Ficara returns to Charleston, where he waited tables for years at Vickery's Bar and Grill. He's currently hanging out in Hollywood, where he hosts a big-time comedy night and appeared in a national television commercial as an obscenely wacky ultra-Trekkie. The show will be hosted by CP asst. editor Bill Davis, who is as tall as he is wide.
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY


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EVENT — Making comedy more accessible
Theatre 99 "Give Us a Lift" Benefit
Thurs. April 27
7 p.m.
$40
Theatre 99
280 Meeting St.
853-6687
www.thehavenots.com

No doubt, having a local improv group is a great feature of Charleston, but when it's not accessible to everyone, well, we all have to help out. Theatre 99, home of The Have Nots! Comedy Improv Company, invites you to their "Give us a Lift" Benefit, put on in order to raise $20,000 to install a new wheelchair lift for the theatre. The event will include free food (provided by Sticky Fingers), free drinks, a silent auction, and performances by local musicians and, of course, The Have Nots! themselves. Highlights of the items up for auction range from the classic to the absurd, with everything from spa packages to the "out of the box" selections such as having the friend of your choice "punked."
THURSDAY


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SPORTS — Calling all amateur sleuth cyclists
Amazing Race
Sat. April 29
3-6 p.m.
$15/adults, $10/children
Begins and ends at Blackbaud Stadium
1990 Daniel Island Dr.
881-3780
www.creativespark.org

Like to look for clues? Complete challenges? Ride bikes? Then the Creative Spark Center for the Arts' Amazing Race is tailor-made just for you. This Saturday, teams of four bicycle riders (adults or children; children's teams must be have at least one adult) will ride the extensive bike trails of Daniel Island in search of clues. The five-mile course will include stops where participants complete tasks to move on to the next clue, such as The Audubon Society's tree-identifying stop and Prudential Real Estate's tiny-house-building stop. The two winning teams will take home brand new bikes from race co-sponsor The Bicycle Shoppe. The race begins at Blackbaud Stadium and ends there, too, with a party and celebratory group soccer game. Only 50 teams are allowed to enter this year, so gather a team, sign up, strap on a helmet, and get ready to race!
SATURDAY


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THEATRE — Set your sleep number to zero
Once Upon a Mattress
Opens Thurs. April 27, 8 p.m.
April 27-29, May 4-6 and 11-13 at 8 p.m.
April 30, May 7 and 14 at 3 p.m.
$25, $22/seniors and students
Footlight Players Theatre
20 Queen St.
722-4487
www.footlightplayers.net

The Footlight Players, Charleston's oldest continuous theatre company, head to fairy tale fantasia for their production of Once Upon a Mattress, a whimsical musical inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Princess and the Pea." In a display of motherly protection that Freud would have a field day with, the Queen systematically gets rid of any potential wives for her only son, Prince Dauntless, by putting them through a rigorous set of tasks that include moat swimming, all-night dance-a-thons, and other ludicrously unfair tests. She meets her match with Princess Winifred the Woebegone, who has to feel a pea through a towering stack of 20 mattresses. Robert Ivey directs this production, which stars James Alexander as the Prince, Rebecca Knox as Princess Winifred, and Jacqueline Helmer as the Queen — there will be plentiful dancing, singing, and elaborate set pieces all meant to whisk the audience away to a time long, long ago in a land far, far away.
THURS-SUN


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CONCERT MUSIC — Fortissimo fireworks
Starlight Pops
Sat. April 29
Gates open at 5 p.m.
$20/adults, $10/students with ID, free for childrenunder six
Boone Hall Plantation
1235 Long Point Road
554-6060
www.charlestonsymphony.com

Now that the breezy summerish nights have officially arrived, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Boone Hall Plantation present the annual Starlight Pops concert evening, which features more than just jaunty classical and pops tunes for the whole family. For the Martha Stewart-wannabes, there will be a picnic contest, featuring a prize of CSO season tickets for "Most Elegant," "Most Creative," and "Picnic I Would Most Like to be Invited To," and there will be arts and crafts activities for children, along with a CSO-hosted "instrument petting zoo." Take advantage of the chance to tickle a timpani, then stick around for the end of the concert, when everything wraps up with a massive fireworks display.
SATURDAY


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