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VISUAL ARTS EVENT — Don't forget your checkbook
Spring 2006 Art Walk
Fri. May 5
5-8 p.m.
French Quarter
Between S. Market and Tradd streets and from Meeting Street to the waterfront

It's that time of year again — just before the cultural bomb that is Spoleto blows up all over the peninsula, the ubiquitous art dealers lining the streets of the old walled city, aka the French Quarter, present their new collections as potential patrons stop by to browse and dowse. There's something here for just about any art lover, from Nightscapes by Jennifer Smith Rogers at Smith Killian Fine Art (9 Queen St.) to a retrospective centered on the work of Iowan-turned-Charlestonian Francesco Licciardi at Nina Liu and Friends (24 State St.) to a rock 'n' roll-themed show of mixed media works by nationally-known, Lowcountry-based artist Eva Carter at her gallery (132 East Bay St.). Many galleries will offer nibbles and vino as well as a unique viewing experience. If you're planning on swilling free wine, please keep in mind: cobblestone streets + alcohol + high heels = yard sale.

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EVENT — Lock up your hydrants
Charleston Dog Show
Sat. May 6
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Marion Square
Corner of Marion and King streets

All the pups will be on parade at Saturday's Charleston Dog Show in Marion Square, held in conjunction with the Farmer's Market. For just $8, you can enter your little fleabag in one of many classes, including herding dogs, sporting dogs, puppies, veterans/seniors, terriers, hounds, working dogs, Heinz 57 (mutts), nonsporting dogs, toy dogs, and the special classes: handling, with a class for children 7-11 and one for children 3-6, the dog tricks talent class, and the costume class, which sounds wildly entertaining. The day opens with the Blessing of the Dogs, and a jaunt around the park will lead leashed pups to food from Dolittle's Dog Star Café, a microchip clinic ($30/dog), a silent auction tent, and a dog vendor tent packed full of goodies for your Golden. Kids, pups, and parents alike are welcome to come out before the dog days of summer truly set in.

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EVENT — Who wants to be a ten-thousandaire?
City Treasure Hunt
Sat. May 6
8 a.m.
Blackbaud Stadium
1990 Daniel Island Dr.

Somewhere in Charleston, $10,000.00 is waiting to be found — er, well, a medallion that represents a giant, Publishers Clearinghouse-style check for $10,000 is waiting. The adventure begins at the Charleston Battery soccer stadium on Daniel Island. Participants use a "treasure" map to navigate all over the tri-county area. However, most of the hunt is expected to take place downtown. After receiving a map, players must correctly answer various questions and fill in a key that leads to the loot. If you're familiar with Charleston, the $10,000.00 medallion won't be too hard to find. Maps are $35 and can be purchased on the City Treasure Hunt website; the receipt from PayPal gets you a map on Saturday. Maps are for sale online only until May 5th, and the price goes up to $50 at the stadium, so don't wait until the last minute. And if a sweet ten grand isn't incentive enough, here's some more: Last year's winner was a City Paper reader, so if you're reading this, odds are already in your favor. Happy hunting!

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THEATRE — Losing his religion
Man From Nebraska
Opens Fri. May 5
8 p.m.
Runs May 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20 at 8 p.m.
PURE Theatre
701 East Bay St.

In the vein of Gregor Samsa's awakening to discover he has morphed into the world's most hated creature, Tracy Letts' 2004 Pulitzer Prize-finalist play, Man From Nebraska, tells the story of Ken Carpenter, a middle-aged, middle-class Everyman who wakes up one day and realizes that he has lost his faith. As a strong Baptist living in Lincoln, Nebraska, smack dab in the buckle of the Bible Belt, Ken finds his loss fairly disturbing and leaves his loving wife and daughter to embark on a journey of self-discovery that takes him around the globe. Playwright Letts first staged Man From Nebraska at the famed Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago in 2003, and in the play's Southeastern debut, Mark Landis directs actors Randy Neale as Ken, Tish Lynn as Ken's wife, and Kara O'Neil as Ken's daughter. In a week filled with time-tested plays opening across the Lowcountry, PURE once again strays from the beaten path to offer a modern-day look at how we deal in the information age.

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THEATRE — Celluloid on center stage
The Philadelphia Story
Opens Fri. May 5
8 p.m.
Runs May 5, 6, 12, 13, 18, 20 at 8 p.m.; May 7 and 14 at 5 p.m.
$18, $16.50/seniors and students
Village Playhouse
730 Coleman Blvd.

Nothing is more glamorous than the style, sophistication, and haughty, rapid-fire dialogue of a 1940s Hollywood picture. The Philadelphia Story is the essence of this classy cool. The original Golden Era film starred Katherine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, and Cary Grant in a famous madcap menage a trois. This May, The Village Repertory Company revives the stage production of the play, written by Phillip Barry. Directed by Keely Enright, the play features Emily Wilhoit as the sassy, spoilt Tracy, Brian Smith as earnest Mike Connor, and Dave Reinwald in the role of the dashing, silver-tongued C.K. Dexter Haven. Hope to see all you guys and dolls there.

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FESTIVAL — Oh May, olé!
Cinco De Mayo Festival
Fri. May 5
7-11 p.m.
Visitors Center Bus Terminal
375 Meeting St.

Do Mexicans celebrate the Fourth of July? Who cares, happy Cinco de Mayo! This year Charleston is going multiculti with the city's first Cinco de Mayo Festival. Partygoers can bust a move to an authentic mariachi band, a live Cuban band, and DJ Luigi Bravo of Latin Groove, and witness professional salsa dance performances. Charleston native Quiana Parler will be performing with Havanason, the Charleston-based Cuban jazz quintet. And no Cinco de Mayo celebration would be complete without local Mexican and Caribbean food served with margaritas and Mexican beers. Guests also have a chance to mingle with some choice Charleston Battery players. Food and alcohol are not included in the ticket price, but a portion of the proceeds from Friday's event will go to the Trident Literacy Association, so you can feel no guilt about indulging in a few tacos and margaritas.

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FESTIVAL — Piccolo Spoleto's sassy little sister
North Charleston Arts Festival
May 5-13
Various times, locations, and prices

For anyone who can't wait to start absorbing all the culture, arts, and entertainment that breeze into town during Spoleto, which begins on May 27, hit the highway and head to North Chuck for their week-long festival, which includes plenty of concerts, theatre, readings, children's activities, and art. The highlights of this week's program include a bluegrass concert in Wannamaker County Park (8888 University Blvd.) with mandolin legend Sam Bush and local groups the Marshgrass Mamas and Yee Haw Junction on Sat. May 6 at 7 p.m. (for more, see pg. 75 in the Music section); an evening of free film workshops presented by the Carolina Film Alliance at Sterett Hall Auditorium (Hobson Avenue at Calumet Street on the old Navy base) on Mon. May 8 from 6-10 p.m.; a one-man, "severly edited," family-friendly performance of Romeo and Juliet by PBS favorite Bill Oberst Jr. at Otranto Road Library (2261 Otranto Road) on Tues. May 9 at 6:30 pm; and the Festival's Main Event, a free event that takes place on Sat. May 6 and Sun. May 7 at the North Charleston Performing Arts and Convention Center Complex (5001 Coliseum Dr.) and includes attractions, performances (by groups such as the Robert Ivey Ballet, pictured above), and exhibitions for all ages, an outdoor food court, and plenty more. For a complete schedule of events, check out the N. Charleston website.


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