CITY PICKS 

Our choices for interesting events this week

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THEATRE | Having the time of your life...

Mamma Mia!
March 6, 7, 8 at 7:30 p.m.
March 9, 10, 11 at 8 p.m.
March 10 and 11 at 2 p.m.
$40-$60
North Charleston Performing Arts Center
5001 Coliseum Dr.
554-6060
www.coliseumpac.com



It wasn't enough for ABBA, the Swedish pop group that inspired thousands of moody teenagers to dance, to take the globe by storm back in the 1970s. No, after their early '80s break-up and years of rolling around in sky-high piles of krona, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, the brains behind the whole operation, decided to encourage a whole new generation to put on a little glitter and sashay around the living room. How, you ask? Why, by producing a Broadway musical based on their own songs! The result, Mamma Mia!, was written by Catherine Johnson and centers on the tale of a bride-to-be searching for the identity of her true father on a Greek island. But the plot is really neither here nor there -- the fun of the show lies in revisiting all those syrupy-sweet dance hits like "Dancing Queen," "Money, Money, Money," "Take a Chance on Me," and many more. Don't get caught asking yourself, "Why why, didn't I ever let myself go?" TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY


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FESTIVAL | It's a rich man's world

Charleston Food + Wine Festival
March 1-4
Various times
Various prices
Marion Square
Corner of Calhoun and King streets
722-5549
www.charlestonfoodandwine.com



It's been a busy year for the organizers of the Charleston Food + Wine Festival, and their hard work has paid off in the form of lots and lots of events that have sold out before the fest even begins. However, if you're prepared to fork over $35, you can hang out in the hub of the fest, the Charleston Cooks! Culinary Village in Marion Square. The tented Culinary Village will host a vendor village, cooking demonstrations, cookbook signings, seminars -- even a cooking competition on Saturday. Oenophiles, you may be in luck: as of press time, there were still tickets available for the wine seminars on Saturday and Sunday (held in the Culinary Village). If you're looking for us this weekend, we'll be crying into our Top Ramen in Living Room Village. THURSDAY-SUNDAY


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EVENT | There's a fire within my soul

The Launch of The Spirit of South Carolina
Sun. March 4
Launch: 12 p.m.
Public celebration: 4-8 p.m.
Free
Charleston Maritime Center
10 Wharfside St.
www.scmaritime.org



South Carolina's very own tall ship, The Spirit of South Carolina, has been under construction in Ansonborough Field for over six years now. This weekend, all the hard work of the S.C. Maritime Foundation comes to fruition as the 140-foot classic wooden sailing ship hits water for the first time at the Port Authority Passenger Terminal. Unfortunately, the actual launch site is closed to the public, but the boat itself will be easily visible from the harbor, and the launch will be followed by a party open to the public at the Maritime Center, where The Stiff Joints will be rockin' and there will be refreshments, traditional Southern-style barbecue, and a plethora of launch keepsakes will be available for purchase. SUNDAY


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EVENT | Honey, I'm still free

Remember New Orleans
Thurs. March 1
5-7 p.m.
Free
Avery Research Center
125 Bull St.
367-1432
www.organicprocess.com



Charleston natives Devin Myers and Farrah Hoffmire have been working tirelessly to aid our hurricane-stricken neighbors in New Orleans, coordinating events throughout the past year. They host their fourth and final multimedia event of the Mardi Gras season this week, Remember New Orleans, which includes The New Orleans Photography Project exhibit, a screening of Hoffmire's film Falling Together in New Orleans, and the booty-shakin' reggae of Savannah, Ga.'s Passafire. For more information on Fotos For Humanity, Organic Process, and the work Myers and Hoffmire have been doing, visit the regularly updated Organic Process website. THURSDAY


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SPORTS | The winner takes it all

2007 Southern Conference Basketball Championships
Feb. 28-March 3
Various times
$60/entire tourney, $12/session, $6/student with valid ID per session
North Charleston Coliseum
5001 Coliseum Dr.
554-6060
www.soconsports.com



Women's tennis aside, the Southern Conference tournament may be Charleston's most exciting sporting event. From Feb. 27 to March 3, the eleven-college conference squares off at the North Charleston Coliseum. With only four conference wins, the Citadel may have a hard time advancing, but in sudden-death tournament play there's no telling who might find Cinderella's slipper. The 12-4 College of Charleston Cougars are second in the South division, and eager for revenge after a tough home loss against the red-hot Davidson Wildcats. Sticky Fingers, Bubba Gump's, and Gilligan's are among the sponsors, so you can dunk your face with good eats at halftime. Women's finals are set for Friday night, men on Saturday, and whoever "does the Charleston" best gets to visit the Big Dance in March. --Stratton Lawrence WEDNESDAY-SATURDAY


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EVENT | Watch that scene

South Windermere Projector Party
Mon. March 5
6-8 p.m.
$20 (donation)
South Windermere Cinemas
94 Folly Road Blvd.
571-2346
www.southwindermerecinemas.com



Not only are the South Windermere Cinemas the only second-run movie theatre within 5 miles of downtown Charleston, they also show an interesting mixture of art-house movies and blockbuster hits (sometimes even after they've come out on DVD) for the low, low price of just $3. Unfortunately, after a bit of a trying year, one of their film projectors recently bit the dust. Naturally, it's time for a fund-raising party -- and this one includes wine, soda, appetizers, and popcorn, plus the camaraderie of fellow movie lovers. All proceeds will go directly to repairing the projector; please sign up at the theatre or call to RSVP. MONDAY

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