Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Spoleto tickets now on sale, auction preview held at Cigar Factory Thurs. Jan. 17

Get 'em while they're hot

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Wed, Jan 16, 2019 at 2:46 PM

  • Spoleto Festival USA
As of today (Wed. Jan. 16, FYI), tickets for the 43rd season of Spoleto Festival USA are now on sale to the general public. Yes folks, Spoleto draws ever near, hitting the town with a bang of confetti, fanfare, and so very much culture and art starting May 24. The three-week long fest brings with it theater, concerts, opera, dance, oh my! You can buy tickets online at or by calling (843) 579-3100.

If three weeks of the arts feels overwhelming, fear not. Earlier this month City Paper's theater critic and Spoleto overview critic, Maura Hogan, previewed the upcoming festival. Highlighting the impressive number of theater offerings at this year's fest, Hogan also takes note of a new finale location — and a through line of really great storytelling.
You can purchase individual tickets to each show or choose from several package options.

Spoleto's annual auction, which this year benefits the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, takes place on Fri. Feb. 8 at the brand spankin' new Hotel Bennett, which is set to open officially in February. Auction guests have the opportunity to bid on sponsorships of orchestra members (starting at $500) which will help fund their 2019 residency. Additional live auction items include tickets to the PGA masters, a trip to London, and a Viking River Cruise.

As always, the auction features art donated by private collectors, gallery owners, and artists. If you'd like to check out the art beforehand, the pieces will be on display in Fritz Porter (located in the Cigar Factory) starting tomorrow, Thurs. Jan. 17. A free-to-attend preview party with light hors d'oeuvres and bubbly kicks off at 6 p.m. The works will remain on display through Jan. 30.

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Spoleto SCENE makes the most of an underwhelming finale at The Joe

Missing Middleton

Posted by Caroline Enten on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 2:22 PM

Smiling through the sorta empty finale at The Joe. - TAYLOR DRAKE
  • Taylor Drake
  • Smiling through the sorta empty finale at The Joe.
Well, I have good news and bad news.

Starting on a positive note, let it be known that SCENE throws down, even in the direst of times. Wet Hot American Summer met Sandlot as members gathered at The Joe last night for the highly anticipated Spoleto finale. Picture pink flamingo-headed innertubes, beach balls, and baby pools full of cheap drinks, overlooking the diamond rounding first base. Off in the outfield, the mainstage was too far to see clearly from the stands, but SCENEsters could grab a thoughtfully provided blanket, and make the short trek onto the field if so desired to get closer to the action.

I use the word "action" here lightly, because folks, the finale saw about as much excitement as my teenage years spent at an all girls boarding school on a horse farm in Baltimore County; in short: not much happened.

A few hundred people spread out leisurely between the stands and field, and a handful of the Joe's regular vendors opened up shop to serve their normal fare including dogs, fries, barbecue sandwiches, pizza, and ice cream. The gucci hotdog stand near the water wasn't even open. So much for Homewreckers.

Frankly, the whole thing left most of the festival-goers with whom I chatted feeling pretty disheartened, and having attended the last five finales myself, I felt it too. Even the fireworks couldn't seem to get it up — literally. They lasted all of two minutes, which when I think back to last year's brilliant and emotional display (seemingly choreographed to the Revivalists' cover of "Hey Jude" — I didn't cry, you cried!) makes it all the more depressing in comparison.

Thankfully SCENE provided a nice little refuge from the otherwise lackluster conclusion to the 2018 season. As usual, plenty of alcohol, including a tasty red wine sangria from MIX bartending service, helped keep spirits high (you're welcome), and Home Team BBQ proffered an eclectic spread including slices of skillet-hot pork belly, succotash, salad, and a couple of passed hors d'oeuvres. I think the general consensus in re: food aired on the side of "stick to what you know," but with one traditional barbecue already under our belts, I see the logic behind an attempt to try something different and upscale.

In conclusion, to paraphrase Scar from the Lion King as he preaches to his hyena henchmen, "Stick with SCENE, and you'll never go hungry again!"

At least not until you turn 40.

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Friday, June 8, 2018

The penultimate Spoleto SCENE party at Tu had 'em dancing the night away

Hipsters and BMWs, unite

Posted by Caroline Enten on Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 3:57 PM

  • Amy Sullivan Photography

Mercedes Benz. BMW. Infiniti. Lexus. Tommy Baker’s showroom on Highway 17, or a succession of luxury vehicles parked tandem style on Woolfe Street? Both, it turns out; at least for one night.

This parade of pomp, an unusual site for the East Side, could only ever mean one thing: a SCENE takeover at restaurant Tu, which is exactly where the penultimate party took place last night. Members came together to celebrate Spoleto’s presentation of "post-modern ballet" New Bodies. Touted as the 'cool, late-night' installation of SCENE events, this party usually culls together the rowdier patrons from the group. Just ask Carter Joyce, who admitted he'd already warned his boss to expect a late arrival the following morning.

SCENE took a risk with the locale for this particular fête. For the past two years, the same version of this party was held at Restoration on King, sprawled out over two connected suites, with everyone corralled snugly together til the wee hours.

But just like Zebo's, Cumberland's, and Gentry Bar (last one there’s a stretch), all good things on that particular section of King have given way to the siren call of hipper, more distant destinations. As AC's and O'Malley's once obliterated King Street, so has Charleston’s CommoTuMustardoré District (we're still workshopping the name here, suggestions welcome) enticed bar-hoppers away from the hullabaloo of the crowds towards a sparser side of town.