Friday, November 2, 2007

City Picks: Events you should check out Oct. 31-Nov. 7

Posted by Erica Jackson on Fri, Nov 2, 2007 at 10:46 AM

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Ninth Fine Art Annual — The Charleston Fine Art Dealers Association presents its ninth Fine Arts Annual. Member galleries will be open on Friday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. for anyone interested in satisfying their thirst for the city’s best and brightest artists. Saturday promises a free event in Washington Park called, appropriately, Painting in the Park, where visitors can see their favorites artists on display, plus plenty of new names they haven’t heard before, from 9 a.m.-noon. A high school art competition starts at 11 a.m. Later on Saturday night, plan to attend the annual art auction at 7 p.m ($40). More than 100 works of art will be up for bid. Sales will help buy art supplies for area public schools. Come one, come all. It’s not quite the circus, but it’s close enough. —John Stoehr Nov. 2-4. www.cfada.org

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Whale of a Sale — A line of dedicated bargain-hunters formed outside the Gaillard Auditorium the night before last year’s Whale of a Sale. By the time the doors opened at 8 a.m., about 500 people were lined up. More than 2,000 shoppers perused a massive assortment of household items, toys, electronics, books, holiday decorations, clothing, and sporting goods donated by individuals and corporations. This year, thrifty types, families on tight budgets, and starving college students looking for steals should show up at the sale early. Although the giant tag sale officially ends at 2 p.m., the merchandise often empties out earlier. Specialty shops around town provide items at major discounts for the Whale of a Sale, the city’s largest garage sale and the largest fundraiser for the Junior League. Highlights include sample gowns from a local bridal boutique. The prices are affordable by any standards — a chair could sell for $15. All of the profits go to Junior League volunteer projects, which include providing meals and drivers for East Cooper Meals on Wheels and sponsoring the quarterly Family Fest at the Lowcountry Children’s museum. The League’s impressive list of worthy endeavors also includes rounding up volunteers for Habitat for Humanity’s Done in a Day and helping the Lowcountry Food Bank with mass distributions. —Rachel Ward Sat., Nov. 3, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Free, (843) 763-5284. Gaillard Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. www.jlcharleston.org

I Am My Own Wife — It’s a one-man show? Yes. It’s a one-woman show? Yes. Hmm. A play that plays with opposites? Maybe. Mark Chambers is Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a transvestite struggling to survive while awash in the twin tides of 20th-century brutality — Nazism and Communism. Amid Hitler’s genocidal madness and Stalin’s draconian repression, Charlotte faces conflicts both internal and external. But don’t wax too sympathetic for her, or, er, him. Charlotte harbors a murderous secret, one perhaps as brutal as the many crimes he/she witnesses. A dark monologue confronting the dualities of politics and gender identity (and, no doubt, a fantasia of other twofers), I Am My Own Wife, written by Doug Wright, won a Tony Award for best play in 2004. — John Stoehr Through Nov. 17. $26.50/adults, $24.50/seniors, $19.50/students, (843) 577-7183. American Theater, 446 King St. (843) 722-3456. www.charlestonstage.com

Cats — If someone told you he was writing a musical featuring grown men and women dressed up as cats, you’d likely think: OK, so the cat thing is a stand-in for something else, some kind of human trait, right? Perhaps cats reflect human complacency, sloth, narcissism, or violence — or even our tendency to lick ourselves and others. Andrew Lloyd Webber, back in the early 1980s, had a similar idea. He would indeed feature cats, but they weren’t intended to be a metaphor for anything. The musical would be about cats. And that would be it. Somehow, it worked. The musical does away with the need for a story and presents song after song with only the thinnest of thematic threads holding it all together. And the truth is that it’s a musical with legs. It’s been showing for more than two decades. There’s a reason for that. Right? Then again, maybe we’re just used to it. So used to it that we’d miss it. Cats are like that, you know? —John Stoehr Nov. 6-7, 7:30 p.m. $25-$58, (843) 202-2787. North Charleston Performing Arts Center, 5001 Coliseum Dr. North Charleston. (843) 529-5050, www.coliseumpac.com

Harvest Festivals — We’ve told you about the pumpkin patches, the hayrides, the corn mazes, and everything autumnal thus far, and this weekend there are a few more events to help you get your weekly fall fix. In celebration of the fall harvest, Charleston County Park and Rec is throwing a Harvest Fest ($5, free/12 and under) at Mullet Hall Equestrian Center on Johns Island. This is your typically wonderful fall festival, with crafts, traditional country fare, and bluegrass from Blue Plantation, Jeffries Creek Revival, Flatt City, Yee Haw Junction, and the Orme Holler Bluegrass Band. For the kids, there are country games like pony rides, lassoing contests, pumpkin decorating, and scarecrow making. Just up the road, Rosebank Farms (4455 Betsy Kerrison Pkwy., John’s Island) is hosting its own fall festival, with a focus on local goods. Rosebank is a beautiful working family farm, and their celebration of the harvest is well-deserved after a season of hard work. You’ll find local produce, artists, and barbecue ($10 for lunch, entry to the event is free) as well as information sessions on fall flower arrangements and hydrangeas. The kids will love the owners’ collection of rescued animals — from bunnies to parrots to goats to a miniature horse. Pick one event, or better yet, check ‘em both out. —Erica Jackson Sat. Nov. 3. Johns Island


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