FILM | Can you handle the truth?
The Road to Guantánamo
Wed. May 9
Circular Congregational Church
150 Meeting St.
Imagine being sent to a prison far away from home, locked into a room where they never turn the lights off, or thrown into a chain-link cage and taken out only to be grilled for information in the most humiliating, soul-crushing ways possible. Oh, and you've been given absolutely zero explanation — no charges, no accusations, not a sliver of a reason — for your imprisonment. Sounds pretty horrible, huh? Charleston Amnesty International sure thinks so, and on Wed. night they present a free screening of The Road to Guantánamo. The docudrama is about three British Muslim men, nicknamed the Tipton Three, who were held at the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay for over two years ... then unceremoniously released back into British custody without ever having charges leveled against them. Directors Michael Winterbottom (Welcome to Sarajevo, Wonderland, 24 Hour Party People) and Mat Whitecross weave together interviews with the Tipton Three themselves, dramatizations of their stories, and both fake and real news footage to create a film that adopts the U.S. government's own method of fudging fact and fiction together in order to make a stirring emotional impact. The Road to Guantánamo won Best Documentary honors last year at both the Independent Spirit Awards and the British Independent Film Awards, but the film was never released on the big screen anywhere near Charleston. Here's a chance to see what the rest of the world will be judging our country on for years to come. WEDNESDAY
THEATRE | For the ladies who lunch
May 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 at 8 p.m.
May 13 and 20 at 3 p.m.
$25, $22/seniors, $15/students
Footlight Players Theatre
20 Queen St.
The Footlight Players close out their 2006-07 season with a musical theatre showstopper — Stephen Sondheim's Company, which won both the Tony and the New York Critics' Circle Award (a tougher panel, to be sure) after its Broadway debut in 1970. Company centers on the 35th birthday of Robert, a confirmed bachelor living in New York City, where his friends (five married couples) have gathered for his surprise party. As the couples start to reminisce, the play becomes a series of vignettes about single, dating, and married life as seen and sung about by the cosmopolitan thirtysomethings. Footlight certainly picked the right time of year, as you can't throw a bouquet on the Battery in the months of May and June without hitting a bride or five. Grab your friends — married and single — and prepare for an entertaining evening of song and dance, followed by what's sure to be stimulating dialogue of your own. FRI-SUN
FESTIVAL | We 'opa!' you go
Charleston Greek Fest 2007
Fri.-Sat.: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sun.: 12-5 p.m.
$3, $1/students, free for children under 12, free for mothers (Sun. only)
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
30 Race St.
Loosen your belt and put on your circle-dancing shoes: it's Greek Fest time again! After the wild success of last year's date switch to early May instead of during the crowded Spoleto weeks and the addition of a shuttle from the Joe Riley Stadium to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, there's nothing stopping anyone from attending the annual Bacchanalia of food, folks, and foot-stomping. Of course, getting to the church is the easy part; the challenge of the Greek Fest is deciding how many of the church members' homemade pastries one can eat before exploding. The ample church grounds are perfect for wandering, with delicious foodstuffs — gyros, kebobs, mousaka, dolmades, and much more — around every corner, plus live Greek music and folk dancing and an area for craft vendors. But back to those pastries ... if you think Greek desserts begin and end at baklava, prepare yourself for some very pleasant surprises in the church's upstairs cafeteria. FRI-SUN
EVENT | One night only...
Movies in Marion Square
Thurs. May 10
Corner of King and Calhoun streets
577-5304 ext. 140
Spontaneous applause is rare in a movie theater, but crowds across the country have cheered Jennifer Hudson's career-defining performance of "I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" in the Broadway-smash-turned-Hollywood-hit Dreamgirls. The film shows this week at Movies in Marion Square, so bring your sequined dresses and laundry bags of drama — on second thought, just bring yourself. The film is loosely based on the early days of Motown Records, particularly the backstabbing and soapy drams that revolved around The Supremes. If "I'm Telling You..." was the only reason to see the movie, we'd send you to YouTube, but Hudson shines throughout the film as the bitter and troubled Effie White (garnering her a well-deserved Academy Award). The rest of the cast also shines, with Beyoncé providing the film's second powerhouse ballad, "Listen," and Eddie Murphy giving his typical over-the-top character on stage, along with a subtle, powerful behind-the-scenes performance. There's other strong hits in the film, including "I Love You, I Do," "One Night Only," and, of course, "Dreamgirls." If you don't make it to the park in time for the show, just listen for the applause. —Greg Hambrick Thursday
EVENT | And I likes what I drew
Sidewalk Chalk Competition
Sat. May 12
11 a.m.-4 p.m.
$20/registration fee, $10/students
Storehouse Row, The Navy Yard at Noisette
2120 Noisette Blvd.
The Navy Yard at Noisette is slowly but surely turning into a hub for some of the coolest community art events on or off the peninsula, and Saturday's inaugural Sidewalk Chalk Competition should be a fine example of why the place can draw a crowd that has to drive up the interstate. Artists of all ages are invited to register, with students ages 10 and under able to form teams of up to three chalkers for the price of one. Upon arrival at 11 a.m., contestants will receive a designated square of concrete, a box of chalk, and the freedom to do whatever they want with both. The sketching will be accompanied by live music courtesy of Hungry Monk students and teachers, and prizes will be distributed in various divisions, including adult, college student, high school student, middle school student, elementary school student, and an all-ages "People's Choice" category. After all that drawing (or just watching the art happen), the contest wraps up just in time for everyone to walk a few blocks down to Riverfront Park for the free North Charleston Arts Festival finale, where Leah Maria Suarez (of Toca Toca) will perform at 7:30 p.m., followed by an outdoor movie. For a family looking for a way to spend this Saturday enjoying the outdoors before it gets too oppressively hot, North Charleston is the place to be. SATURDAY
THEATRE | Based on the novel The Yellow River by I.P. Daily, Urinetown is...
May 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 at 8 p.m.
May 13 and 20 at 3 p.m.
$24, $22/seniors and students
The Village Playhouse
730 Coleman Blvd.
Hey, we had to go there, okay? The subversive spirit of Greg Kotis and Mark Hollman's multiple Tony Award-winning musical demands it. The Village Playhouse's last production of the season is a satirical comedy musical that spoofs government bureaucracy, cronyism, corporate mismanagement, other musicals, and, of course, public toilets. The premise: a dystopian future in a metropolis beset by a 20-year-long drought, where household bathrooms have been eliminated (ahem), and all citizens are required to pay to use the public amenities run by private government contractor Urine Good Company. Don't have correct change handy? Bad news: it's off to Urinetown for you, from whence nobody's ever returned. But there's revolution in the streets, along with lots of pee. Urinetown debuted at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2001 and subsequently moved to Broadway, where it ran for more than two years. After a (nearly sold-out) two-week pre-Spoleto run at the Playhouse, it'll dovetail into Piccolo for another 10 performances. We'd say it's pants-wettingly funny, but that would be beside the point. —Patrick Sharbaugh THURS-SUN