As Spoleto started to wind down, I thought I knew what I could expect from the week. I was wrong.
Last Tuesday, I went to a happy-hour fete at the recently closed Union Provisions in celebration of Casus Circus' Knee Deep. Although we were there to mingle with members of the Australian acrobatic act, I couldn't help but think about Union Provisions' woes: a series of different chefs since its opening just months ago and a regularly near-empty dining room. That said, whoever designed the interior of the now-defunct spot nailed it. All white-and-black tiled floors and exposed brick — it's gorgeous.
The big gulp cups from the previous Shakedown party were back, and this time they were filled with a Cathead vodka lemonade cocktail that was refreshing and not too sweet. As for the food, the offerings were sparse at first, but we were ultimately treated to a massive spread of cured meats and cheeses, featuring what one youngster called the "largest piece of cheese she had ever seen" — and judging by the bedroom eyes she gave that hunk of dairy and the fact that she somehow managed to lose a piece in her hair, I'd say she was right.
Being a Tuesday, I decided to call it a night a little early, but after receiving a multitude of Snapchats of the party mere minutes after my exit, I decided to return. Suddenly, the crowd started to rage, but only in such a way that patrons of the arts can do. It was a classy, refined rager.
On Wednesday, I took in a RiverDogs game where the Charleston Parks Conservancy's Park Angels were the guests of honor. The Angels had apparently been assigned to a special section were seemingly every foul ball ended up, and while I'd like to think that I almost caught a ball, the truth is I panicked. As the ball approached, I couldn't decide what was more important to protect, my phone or my face, so, I just gave up and moved out of the way.
I have not been to a RiverDogs game in about a year, so I don't know if the sponsorship of everything is a new thing or if I just took note that night. Everything in the game from the "East Bay Deli single" to the "Raising Canes strikeout" got a plug. As for the funny couple next to me enjoying their Firefly vodka, I wondered if tomorrow they would be enjoying a "Firefly vodka hangover." Meanwhile, over to my right, we all were treated to a Rutledge Cab Company-sponsored marriage proposal. Congratulations, Tori and Shane.
The nightly T-shirt toss at the Joe was likely the second major highlight apart from the game itself. Middle-aged men threw caution to the wind to get up for a chance to receive a free tee, and I would have too had I not been so fixated on Charlie the RiverDog's sweet dance moves. One lady behind us informed me that the person inside the mascot outfit was a professional dancer, and we were in for a treat that night. Glad she had the inside info.
On Thursday, I headed to Ibu for a celebration of the When it Rains performance and met back up with fellow Spoleto Sceners. If you haven't heard of Ibu, the new King Street shop features clothing and wares made by artisans from around the globe — think 10,000 Villages. Owner Susan Walker told me about the shop's mission to help female weavers around the world to become self-sufficient business women. Walker also noted that the shop has different events every month, and on Wednesday they will have tribes from South Sudan in to show guests how they have been making jewelry for generations.
Much to my surprise, Landon Clement from Southern Charm was on hand to guest bartend. I briefly met Landon some months back at another party, and after a small conversation, I realized that she was a real sweetheart, a fact that made me feel a little remorse for the few times I made fun of her during my obnoxious #SouthernCharm live-tweets.
I rounded off the week at Redux to see the Billie Fountain debut release show. During the crowded show, guests were asked to release their inner demons, although I'm not sure if any exorcists were necessary, since everybody seemed perfectly happy wearing the masquerade masks that had been provided. While you were allowed to paint your own, a local artist would gladly paint one for you. Since I can barely draw a stick figure, I opted for the latter.
Although there was nary a demon to be found, the party did have a bit of an ominous vibe. Think Eyes Wide Shut, but with blacklights and no orgy. McKenzie Eddy and the Fire took the stage first and delivered a set of electronic, trance-like soul and R&B. While they seemed to be working out some monitor issues, as opening acts so often get the pleasure of doing, the party-goers could hardly tell. Or at least I couldn't. To me, they sounded perfect.