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Comment Archives: Stories: Arts+Movies: Theater

Re: “Could the crush of development mean curtains for the peninsula's theaters?

Sadly, these issues are nothing new. The arts community in Charleston has been struggling with the same questions and the same space / occupancy issues since the mid-1990s. As the director of the Arts Council who led a visionary study in 1994 which identified exactly the same questions, I've seen and heard all the issues. In Charleston, we have a dearth of affordable real estate, and lack neglected industrial areas which are the typical areas where arts projects flourish. Arts incubators like the one in Alexandria, Virginia started in industrial buildings in depressed areas. Charleston has lacked any sort of downtrodden area with masses of abandoned spaces into which the arts community could blossom. There was a slight glimmer with John Knott and the Noisette development in North Charleston...but that was a non-starter. As your article points out, it requires a rainmaker with capital to front the restoration expense of a neglected building. While Charleston has had a number of people who have funded the arts for years, these benefactors are passing on. And even if an organization had a benefactor, the organization still must have the ability to financially sustain a space after development - and ticket prices rarely account for more than a fraction of the cost of upkeep. I have hoped that Enough Pie will stimulate development in the Neck. Sadly, the desire for a clustered mixed arts district remains elusive in our community.

6 of 6 people like this.
Posted by Connection Maven on November 18, 2017 at 8:01 AM

Re: “The cast of Pillow Talk 2: Secrets & Revenge proves that local theater is alive and well

Alright! Meko, my son! Show them what you're made of. Can't wait until Saturday! Well..I can...but you know what I mean! Great Article!
Greater Talent!!!

3 of 3 people like this.
Posted by Jeannette Deveaux on August 31, 2017 at 11:11 AM

Re: “The Flowertown Players' latest production is a delightful comedy of errors

Thank you for a great review..

0 of 1 people like this.
Posted by Chrissy Eliason on May 19, 2017 at 8:02 PM

Re: “Are Pay What You Will nights beneficial to theater companies?

I actually agree with both sides of this argument. I, as a student, have only been able to go see many shows because of reduced or PWYW events at theatres both in my hometown and on Broadway. Those reduced prices have allowed me to see shows I definitely would not have been able to see at full price. I do also agree that PWYW events bring in more people that might not usually go to the theatre. Whether it's because of lack of funds or simply uncertainty, removing the monetary pressure on these people makes the theatre less intimidating and more accessible.

On the other hand, I do think that these types of things can bring people to the theatre that will not enjoy or experience it in the way it was intended, and could potentially hurt their future views and expectations. When the cost of something goes down, people have a tendency to see it as lesser, consciously or not, because to them it physically has been devalued. I think it's good to give people an opportunnity to be proven wrong, but I don't think that's possible in every case.

-Allison Whyte

Posted by Allison Whyte on September 4, 2016 at 11:25 AM

Re: “Rock of Ages is an ode to the '80s — but do the songs stand the test of time?

Well, OK, but even the mainstream 80s was better than this list.

0 of 1 people like this.
Posted by mat catastrophe on May 4, 2016 at 12:16 PM

Re: “Rock of Ages is an ode to the '80s — but do the songs stand the test of time?

If I could pick a "Worst of the 80s" playlist, this would be about 99% of it.

2 of 3 people like this.
Posted by mat catastrophe on May 4, 2016 at 9:03 AM

Re: “The Holocaust drama Bent is as redemptive as it is heart-wrenching

My thoughts about "Bent," now playing at Threshold Repertory Theatre in Charleston, and why everyone in this country should take the time to see this play:

"I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when not feeling it. I believe in God even when He is silent."

These words, discovered on a cellar wall in Cologne, Germany after the end of World War II, scrawled by an anonymous writer who likely perished, are what came to mind when I first read this astounding play. Believing in love even when not feeling it is what "Bent" is all about. It is a love story: a love story for the human race that is particularly apt for those fickle times like the 1930s, and horrifyingly, today, when we, the human race, have fallen out of love with each other.

"Bent" is an historical play. For those who don't know the history, the plot unfolds the day after the Night of the Long Knives in late June 1934, when Hitler executed those whom he considered to be a threat to his power. One of these men was Ernst Rohm, a principal in the SA (the 'legitimized' organization that evolved from the Brown Shirts). He was also a homosexual. As a result of his demise (along with about 85 other "conspirators"), all gay men became, in effect, political enemies of the state, and they were shipped off the concentration camps in droves. The were treated even worse than the Jews. They were the lowest of the low.

Come the end of the war, many of these people remained incarcerated for, or under suspicion of, the "crime" of being homosexual. Laws in Western Europe freeing gays from this stigma of shame did not come about until the 1970s. What makes it even more incomprehensible is that we in the United States are still trying to make it a crime, socially and legally, to be gay, to be lesbian, to be bisexual, to be transgender. Just today, a politician in our state of South Carolina (with the oxymoronic name of Lee Bright) has put forth a policy similar to the one signed last week by the governor of North Carolina. It is too much to fathom that transgender bathroom privileges in the Carolinas and the existence of gays in Mississippi could possibly be considered a threat to religious freedom, but that's the situation: denying rights and privileges to an entire segment of the population because it is your inherent, God-given religious liberty to do so. And here we thought it was only the Nazis who were crazy.

This play is about homosexuals. You will see homosexuals kissing. You will see homosexuals hugging. You will see homosexuals' naked backsides and privates. You will see homosexuals getting the shit beaten out of them. You will see them having orgasms. If the abundance of of all this frightful homosexual "closeness" bothers you, all I can say is: Please get over it. In essence, grow the hell up, and really, truly learn what it means to love. Learn to love people who are different from you. Learn to appreciate that people who appear to be so different from you really aren't that different at all.

I play an older gay man in this play. I am not gay. One of the leads in this play is gay, the other isn't. In my dressing room, I share space with a body builders, a yoga instructor and a drag queen. We don't recoil from one another. We enjoy each other's company. We talk. We laugh. We make the same distasteful backstage jokes that are made in every green room in the world. As actors, we are fully cognizant that in acting and finding our characters, we are laid bare. We are vulnerable. We are open. We are allowing ourselves to be hurt. We are giving others access to our souls. Which brings me to my next point:

What is important about this show, and the absolutely brilliant acting, writing and direction that comprise it, is that this is a show about people. People who, like all people, make mistakes and make excuses. We fluff up who we are, and we also deny who we are. The principal character in this play denies he's a queer to get a "better deal" being a Jew. He denies his friend and contributes to his death. He denies his connection to love, until he learns that love transcends life. We are all Peters in this world, not seeing what is plainly and simply in our sight. Our silence eighty years ago was unacceptable. Our silence today is simply unholy.

This is a play about love for our fellow man. No matter how much we may hate, our hate does not make us whole: it reduces us to fragments. It makes our lives the equivalent of carrying heavy rocks back and forth from place to place. Can you feel the sun? It's there. Can you feel love in absence of a touch or a caress? Yes, you can. "Bent" is a love story and it is a soaring song of hope. In this day and age, when we are beset by our own dark Nights of Long Knives, we need a glimmer. A small shaft of light that we can stand in, close together, and share the warmth.

"Bent," written by Martin Sherman, is directed by Jay Danner and features Patrick Arnheim, Randy Risher, Brandon Martin and Jimmy Flannery. "Bent" enters its final weekend tonight, Thursday, April 7, and runs through Sunday April 10. Curtain time is 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with a 3:00 matinée on Sunday.

3 of 3 people like this.
Posted by natj on April 7, 2016 at 12:45 PM

Re: “Brian Petti's play Like Drowning went from a rough reading to staged production

Highly recommend. The experiences of these two men, really four, are universal to all humanity at some point or another and always result in pivotal moment that ultimately changes the course of one's life. The story itself is timeless and engaging. Skip the mascara, bring a hanky.

Posted by learnextKZ on February 21, 2016 at 9:16 PM

Re: “Brian Petti's play Like Drowning went from a rough reading to staged production

Just saw the play with the playwright in attendance. Incredibly moving story of love, undeserved and unrequited. Highly recommend it.

Posted by Richard Ridley on February 19, 2016 at 11:15 PM

Re: “Theater review: The Transcendents is brought to vibrant life by Village Rep

Should say 'Derek' not 'David'. Saw this last night. Awesome awesome awesome cool show

3 of 5 people like this.
Posted by teddygames on August 1, 2015 at 3:47 PM

Re: “Theater review: The Transcendents is brought to vibrant life by Village Rep

It's Derek Ahonen.

4 of 4 people like this.
Posted by Bronson Taylor on August 1, 2015 at 2:52 PM

Re: “Theater review: The Underpants is a silly, fun farce

Nice detailed review, thank you. Looking for a play to take out of town theatre enthusiasts to for some fun. Going to try this production.

Posted by Paige Peabody Cane on June 30, 2015 at 9:23 AM

Re: “Theater review: Marie Antoinette fails to emotionally connect

I couldn't disagree more with this review. The script is smart, funny and accessible. Ms. Graci's immaculately choreographed transitions from scene to scene were a joy to watch. The performances were spectacular, especially Ms. Haring's tour-de-force turn as Marie Antoinette. Although he rightly praised the gorgeous, inventive costumes, the reviewer missed the finer points of the scenic design and completely ignored the stellar lighting and sound designs, both of which were among the best I've seen at Pure. Scenically, the design takes inspiration from Philippe Starck's Louis Ghost Chairs, crafting everything from tables to archery bows in clear acrylic. Like the script, it presents historical details in a modern aesthetic, while metaphorically nodding to the fact that Marie is without privacy and perpetually on display. The sound design also plays with the anachronistic aesthetic, setting the action against French covers of pop music that infuse the show with a sense of playfulness and rebellion. The lighting design continues the theme with clear acrylic footlights adorned with fleurs-de-lis, using them to ominous effect in a design that evokes time, mood and place effortlessly in the confines of a black box space that is extremely difficult to work in. This show is smart – really, really smart – and an absolute joy to watch.

19 of 19 people like this.
Posted by Rob Daniel on April 19, 2015 at 4:36 PM

Re: “New theater company focuses on original plays

Such a pleasure to have worked with these wonderful people and to call them my friends. They are each brilliant in their own way, and I cannot wait to see them succeed, and hopefully be a part of their productions in the future!

0 of 1 people like this.
Posted by chird88 on February 18, 2015 at 2:22 PM

Re: “PURE's Glengarry Glen Ross is not-to-miss

A - Always. B - Be. C - Closing.

Yeah, I've only seen the movie.

Posted by Cid95 on January 25, 2015 at 6:36 PM

Re: “Review: PURE's Slowgirl showcases strength of the two-person drama

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1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by Marry Thomas 1 on November 16, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Re: “Review: PURE's Slowgirl showcases strength of the two-person drama

Thank you, Pure Theater, for giving us another wonderful performance! Slow girl was riveting!

3 of 3 people like this.
Posted by jfreeman on November 16, 2014 at 7:58 AM

Re: “Sugar Bean Sisters a funny parade of oddball characters

Sounds like a great read…just one more reason we should all pick up a good read. Makes me think of this great commercial for literacy:

Posted by Saul Elliott on April 28, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Re: “Review: Off-Broadway musical Fun Home a hit

I think some people who read that this is a "graphic novel" may think it's relentlessly sexually graphic in the sense of "Giving a vivid picture with explicit detail" (one definition of "graphic" in the online Oxford Dictionary). But really it just means that it's 252 pages of pictures (probably averaging about 5 pictures per page), the VAST majority of which have nothing to do with sex. The few frames that do relate to sex are exceedingly tame. Not titillating. Sit down and read it with an open mind. It's very artistic and touching.

3 of 3 people like this.
Posted by GoodInfo on April 25, 2014 at 9:22 AM
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