Friday, November 16, 2007

City Picks: Events to check out Nov. 14-21

Posted by Erica Jackson on Fri, Nov 16, 2007 at 4:30 PM

New Media Vol. 1 — Trends in visual art tend to vacillate. When we’ve had enough of the conventional art, we start swinging toward the cutting-edge and the new. When we’ve had enough of the vanguard, we seek out the familiar and the traditional. No matter what trends are taking hold, technology will be with us. As our culture becomes more dependent on technology, artists find new and unexpected ways of using it to reflect who and what we are as a people. Which brings us to a new show at Redux Contemporary Art Center. New Media Vol. 1 features five artists from the Southeast — Sheila Bishop, Philip White, Micah Stansell, Bob Snead (who co-founded Redux), and David Robinson — and looks at the increasingly broad intersection where technology and art meet. It’s a nerdy affair, too, a joint event with the College of Charleston’s conference on “visual and computational learning,” whatever that is. On view through Jan. 6. —John Stoehr Redux Contemporary Art Center, 136 St. Philip St. (843) 722-0697. www.cofc.edu/~thinking

Rabbit Hole — Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Fate sometimes intervenes. In PURE Theatre’s presentation of Rabbit Hole, a married couple believes they have it all until a traumatic accident shatters their lives. Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in drama, David Lindsay-Abaire’s Rabbit Hole is an intimate look inside the nature of human relationships during times of strain and turmoil. It’s part of PURE’s agenda to eschew whiz-bang pyrotechnic theater in favor of small, intimate and intense staging of classic American stories or classics in the making. By aiming for the small, the potential for explosiveness is heightened. Rabbit Hole is also a challenge for the leading actors, Sharon Graci and David Mandel. The onus is on them to carry the story, to communicate with the audience, with more than mere words, what’s happening between them. Given both were named best actors by City Paper readers in successive years (Mandel in 2006, Graci in 2007), this performance comes highly recommended. —John Stoehr Nov. 17, 23, 24, 29, 30, Dec. 1, 6-8, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25, 2:30 p.m. (843) 723-4444, www.puretheatre.org

Carolina Ice Palace Anniversary Celebration — Charleston’s only ice rink celebrates an eventful decade of skating in the Lowcountry. In the past 10 years, the Carolina Ice Palace has hosted the NHL’s Buffalo Sabers’ training camp, served as Tara Lipinski’s training center, and welcomed John McCain for a CNN-broadcast town hall meeting. Men have dropped to one knee for skating proposals, a skate park has opened and closed, and gold medalist Brian Boitano has made an appearance. This Saturday, lace up a pair of skates and celebrate the rink’s birthday, on the house. With jump castles and face painters, expect a carnival feel for the celebration. Little dancers and karate students give demos, youth hockey players show off with some drills, and the rink’s top competitive skaters perform routines that showcase the long hours they put in at the rink every day. Giveaways (think 1,000 free koozies) and free lunch (if you don’t mind feasting on a meal of grilled hot dogs and soda) complete the party. Tell the kids they’re gliding on the same ice as the South Carolina Stingrays and the Citadel Bulldogs, who practice in the NHL-sized rink with stadium seating for 700-plus fans. —Rachel Ward SATURDAY Nov. 17, 12-3 p.m. Free. Carolina Ice Palace, 7665 Northwoods Blvd, North Charleston, (843) 572-2717.

Masterworks Series: Two Pillars — Say what you want about the dominance of German music. There’s a reason why this music bears repeated listening: It’s good. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra’s latest Masterworks concert features the Twin Titans of Teutonic Tunage: Brahms and Beethoven — all that’s missing is Bach. Former CSO concertmaster Alexander Kerr returns to perform Beethoven’s epic Violin Concerto. Following that is the Fourth Symphony by Brahms, who resisted for years the very idea of writing a symphony for fear of being compared too closely with the Master. Anyway, Kerr brings a special surprise for this concert: a bona fide Stradivarius once owned by the great violinist Isaac Stern. I’ve heard through the grapevine that the musicians are especially looking forward to playing this gig. —John Stoehr Sat., Nov. 17, 8 p.m. (843) 723-7528. Gaillard Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. (843) 577-7400. www.charlestonsymphony.com

Family Concert: America's White Table — This one’s for the kids. Mostly. Chamber Music Charleston, the local nonprofit that brings intimate classical music concerts to venues around the city, presents an afternoon event featuring America’s White Table. Written by local children’s book author Margo Theis Raven (who also wrote Circle Unbroken and Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot), America’s White Table tells the story of two children who learn about the sacrifice made by their Uncle John, an airman who died in combat. The book was adapted to Charles Ives’ First String Quartet by Sandra Nikolajevs, director of Chamber Music Charleston. Elsewhere the program includes classics like “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.” After the concert, former Vietnam POWs will join the author in signing autographs. —John Stoehr SUNDAY Nov. 18, 3 p.m. $7/adult, $5/children, (843) 763-4941. Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen St. (843) 722-4487.

Rain: The Beatles Experience — “The show takes the audience back in time,” says drummer Ralph “Ringo Starr” Castelli, of tribute act Rain: The Beatles Experience. “We really start in the late ’50s during the Elvis era and move forward. The show opens up with a re-creation of the band’s performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. The first set is lit and presented in that spare, black-and-white style as most people remember it, but it gets more colorful as it flows into the Sgt. Pepper album.” Rain’s fab five — bassist Joey “Paul McCartney” Curatolo, guitarist Joe “George Harrison” Bithorn, Castelli, and guitarist Steve “John Lennon” Landes, and “fifth Beatle” Mark Lewis on extra keyboards and percussion — met through the Broadway show Beatlemania! and are currently based out of Reno, Nev. They make their Charleston debut this Sunday with a five-set, multi-media show with scene and costume changes, video screens, and live and historical video footage. They kick off with a set from the 1964 Ed Sullivan Show and carry on through the Shea Stadium concert event, what they call the “Sgt. Pepper” and “Flower Power” eras, and, finally, the Abbey Road and Let It Be albums. Fortunately, Rain have done their homework and put great effort into the big picture and small details — from the tilt of the toms and cymbals on the vintage Ludwig drum kit and the Rickenbacker and Hofner guitars to the “proper” way Harrison held his plectrum and the McCartney-esque head shake during the “whoo’s!” on “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and other hits. “We really try to perfect the playing and vocal techniques,” says Castelli. “We’re always referring back to the original recordings and fine-tuning little things.” Guitarist Landes emphasizes the storytelling aspect of the band’s performances. “I liken it to the authors of Beatles books,” he says. “They write their books to tell the story of the Beatles and to try to explain to the world what it was like in those times. We just do the same thing, only on stage using their music.” —T. Ballard Lesemann SUNDAY Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m. $36, (843) 529-5000. North Charleston Performing Arts Center, 5001 Coliseum Dr., North Charleston.

God Bless The Child: A Jazz Homecoming — In 1891, Rev. Daniel Jenkins recognized the need for an orphanage for the black community in Charleston, so he founded Jenkins Orphanage. Soon afterward, realizing that it couldn’t be supported on public goodwill alone, and unable to convince the city to donate the money to buy a building site, the reverend decided that the children would need to help raise money for the new land. He began procuring musical instruments for them to play and hired two local musicians, P.M. “Hatsie” Logan and Francis Eugene Mikell, to tutor the children. Throughout the orphanage’s history, music has been a constant source of comfort and, significantly, a source of income. The Jenkins Orphanage Band traveled the world playing their unique brand of jazz music and earning money to keep the orphanage open. Now, over a century later, musicians still come to the aid of Jenkins’ children. On Sunday, “God Bless the Child: A Jazz Homecoming” will benefit the Jenkins Institute for Children. The event will feature jazz favorites Quentin Baxter, the Franklin Street Five, and special guest Alphonse Mouzon, an accomplished jazz musician and Charleston native who received his early musical training from a former resident of the orphanage, Lonnie Hamilton. This event is the first in an ongoing campaign to raise money to build a music conservatory on site at the institute in the hopes of continuing Jenkins’ musical legacy. Refreshments include hors d’oeuvres and a pig roast, with complimentary coffee from Starbucks and a cash bar. —Madelyne Adams SUNDAY Nov. 18, 8 p.m. $25, (843) 744-1771. Charleston Visitor Center Bus Shed, 375 Meeting St.


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