Our picks for interesting events around town

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festival | Stop and smell the roses

YMCA Flowertown Festival
Fri. March 30-Sat. March 31
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sun. April 1
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Azalea Park
Corner of Magnolia and E. 4th streets (Summerville)
871-YMCA (9622)

For the 35th year in a row, fans of old-fashioned small-town togetherness will journey to Summerville for a weekend of flowers, arts and crafts, food, live music, and general celebration of the arrival of spring. Over 200 artisans hawking all sorts of wares will fill Azalea Park, allowing parents to browse while children can head over to S. Main Street for plenty of carnival rides, games, and crafty distractions. When everyone gets hungry, it's time to hit the tents of the Taste of Summerville section, where local restaurants and national chains, including Dog & Duck, Logan's Roadhouse, Sticky Fingers, A.W. Shucks, Kickin' Chicken, Chick-Fil-A, Pizza Inn, Studebaker's Italian Ice, and others, will have plenty of goodies for purchase with food tickets. But wait! In case flowers and foodstuffs aren't enough action, there's also a Mixed Doubles tennis tournament open to anyone interested -- call 830-5351 to enter. FRIDAY-SUNDAY

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theatre | Bringing Tennessee to South Carolina Night of the Iguana

The Village Repertory Company
March 30, 31; April 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21 at 8 p.m.
April 15 at 3 p.m.
$20/adults, $18/seniors and students
Village Playhouse
730 Coleman Blvd.

The Village Playhouse has a special spot in their hearts for Tennessee Williams. In six seasons at their cozy cabaret-style theatre in Mt. Pleasant's Brookgreen Towne Center they've tackled Sweet Bird of Youth, Not About Nightingales, Suddenly Last Summer, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. This Friday, director Keely Enright and a cast of 14 make it five, with Williams' powerful 1961 Tony Award-winner Night of the Iguana. Set in 1940s Mexico, Iguana tells the story of Reverend T. Lawrence Shannon, an ex-minister turned tour guide on the verge of a nervous breakdown (aren't they all?), who's been reduced to bringing ignorant American travelers on bus tours of Mexico. At a cheap hotel where the group is staying, Shannon fends off advances from the dead owner's promiscuous widow and makes an unexpected connection with a painter who's traveling with her elderly poet grandfather. The rest of the story is best left to the playwright, but, this being Tennessee Williams, you may wish to pack a snack: Zoloft, Prozac, and Wellbutrin are all good choices. And the Village Playhouse serves beer and wine at the bar, so sit back, self-medicate, and enjoy. --Patrick Sharbaugh FRIDAY-SATURDAY

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sports event | Is it that time again already?
Cooper River Bridge Run
Sat. March 31
Race starts at 8 a.m. with hearty debauchery opportunities everywhere till 2 a.m.
Prices vary

One website reads, "The Cooper River Bridge Run serves as a model of health motivation for other communities throughout the world." That may be the case for those who enjoy the burn of running up a four-percent slope for over a mile in this 10K race. As for the rest of those Dick and Janes not crazy about double knotting their shoes and safety pinning numbers to their shirts, don't worry. The city is ready for you. The Blind Tiger is hosting its annual "So You Slept Through the Bridge Run" party on Friday, where they will dish up appetizers guaranteed to induce morning stomach rumbles when combined with beer.

That same night, several galleries in Mt. Pleasant are hosting an area art jaunt from 6-8 p.m. to raise awareness and money for, a nonprofit organization looking to tackle childhood obesity. Participating stores are listed on the website.

Then there's the Happy Heretic Red Dress Bridge Run and Pub Crawl on Saturday. Visit or show up at Starbucks around 7:30 a.m. on Coleman Boulevard and pay $20 to get a wristband, run the race, and receive free beer from the Charleston Running Tent. The official Bridge Run bar for this "drinking club with a running problem" is Big John's, which will open at 10 a.m. for rehydration efforts. Join these same guys behind Saffron at 5:45 p.m. and fork over another $20 for a name tag that will afford free beer at many of the beer-trough stops around the peninsula.

In other news, the Blue Dogs will be playing at the I'On Westlake Amphitheater off Mathis Ferry Road from 3-6:30 p.m. on Saturday as well. Tickets are $10 at the gate and over 1,000 people are expected. Honestly, there's a lot going on this weekend. Do it all or do nothing. Show the world just how healthy Charlestonians really are. Don't forget to tie your shoes. Also, if you park in the Visitor's Center parking garage on Mary Street, the S.C. Aquarium garage on Calhoun Street, or the Gaillard Auditorium garage on Alexander Street after 5 p.m. on Fri. and move it by 2 p.m. on Sat., and you'll only have to give $3 to the attendant to have the gate raised. --Lindsay Sainlar FRIDAY-SATURDAY

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festival | Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Lowcountry Cajun Festival
Sun. April 1
12-6 p.m.
$8 (children under 13 are free)
James Island County Park
871 Riverland Dr.

Leave your pets at home and show up at the James Island County Park this Sunday. It's the 16th annual Lowcountry Cajun Festival and there will be piles upon piles of crawfish for the eating, along with alligator and jambalaya with andouille sausage. Loads of seafood, red rice, and tangy Southern barbecue will also fill the grassy field being taken over by the dancers and movers having themselves a zydeco kind of time. So go eat and then dance the calories off to the sound of Diki Du & The Zydeco Krewe from 1-3:30 p.m. and Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers from 2:15-4:45 p.m. Drop the kids off by the mechanical, inflatable carnival-type entertainment, and spend some money in the craft market. Or pick up a funnel cake and a hot dog and watch the crawfish-eating contest, which hopefully will end better than that pie-eating scene in Stand By Me. --Lindsay Sainlar SUNDAY

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theatre | Bring your Bob Marley poster

South Hall
Thurs. March 29
Sat. March 31
8 p.m.
$12, $10/students
Theatre 99
280 Meeting St.

It's anyone's guess what the city's been slipping into the water, but Charleston residents have been releasing new, ambitious projects at an unbelievable clip lately. Charleston Ballet Theatre resident choreographer Jill Bahr premiered her version of the timeless Camelot story last week, and College of Charleston student/Have Nots! family member Henry Riggs has seen great success with his original work, Hobo: The Musical. Theatre 99 provides a stage for the newest Charleston-brewed production, Toby Singer's South Hall, a musical about getting through your freshman year of college. Singer, the musical director at Beth Elohim, wrote the music and lyrics for the production, which centers on one young couple's hilarious relationship woes. The song cycle of South Hall premiered in 2006, when Singer was still a student at the University of Michigan. Since then, he's paired up with Andy Jaworski to create the book, and Thursday's show will be the first mounting of the full-length show. So take a few bong rips and shotgun a PBR for old times' sake, then head down Meeting Street to remind yourself that you'll never have those years back. THURSDAY, SATURDAY


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