Richard Davis and his team at James Island-based Trademark Properties scored a coup last summer when they landed a reality show all their own called Flip This House on A&E. The show's proven so popular that A&E has bumped it up to a primetime slot: Mondays at 8 p.m., with an encore Sundays at 6 p.m.

House flipping has long been hot: buy a bargain-priced fixer-upper in an up-and-coming neighborhood, renovate it in a hurry, and sell the place for a big profit before interest on the loan kicks in. Flip This House showcases Davis' team of real-estate wranglers and home-improvement flunkies struggling to live the dream of instant fortune that tempts every upper-middle class American.

The program’s particular brand of Southern charm — Richard’s frat-tastic fondness for hitting the sauce, Ginger’s camera-friendly cleavage, and Kevin’s “call of the wild” urges — have these local good ol’ boys riding high on the housing boom. Now at a new time, the canny capitalists will continue to cut corners, wheel-and-deal their way around the state’s real-estate market while dodging the INS, and “always still manage to make a profit in the end.” Gordon Gekko said it best: “The point, ladies and gentlemen, is that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” —Neal Sakash


The little gem of publicly-funded creativity known as the Charleston County School of the Arts will prove its worth once again when it debuts the musical Big River tomorrow morning at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center. This ambitious production, which involves nearly every student at the school, is an adaptation of Mark Twain's classic American novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Big River originally opened on Broadway 20 years ago at New York's Eugene O'Neill Theatre, winning a total of seven Tony Awards.

The talented young SoA cast and crew set the bar high for themselves. Last year's production of Peter Pan featured real trapeze mechanics; for Big River, according to SoA public relations director Bill Smyth, "It wouldn't be a surprise for the show to feature real flowing water." The 96-member cast is supported by a 25-member orchestra and the school's renowned choir, (who recently returned from a performance at New York City's Carnegie Hall), but that just names the top players. It's taken diligent work from artists, seamstresses, and other designers working behind the curtain since September to bring this project to life.

Catch a taste of Broadway without the high price point ($10-15) Thursday and Friday. Call 529-4990 for the full 411. — NS


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