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Hiroaki Umeda, Alvin Ailey, Florin Niculescu, and more

Ah ... it's the start of a new week here in the Holy City, and the start of the first full week of Spoleto. Many of the big-name acts have already premiered, but a few are still on the way, including ukulele wunderkind Jake Shimabukuro, the punk-rock opera Addicted to Bad Ideas: Peter Lorre's 20th Century, and the Japanese puppet theater of Dogugaeshi.

Here's a wrap-up of what our team of City Paper reviewers have covered over the past two days. Links to the reviews are included.

Gervase Caycedo was at first perplexed by Hiroaki Umeda's performance, but was blown away once she got what the Japanese butoh-meets-hip hop dancer was trying to create — a video game world of light and sound and pop and lockin'.

Speaking of dance, Robert Bondurant gave an A- to QuinTango's first Spoleto offering, Women, Treasures of Tango, and not surprisingly, Gervase declared that Alvin Ailey Dance Theater was perfection. Two local offerings from Charleston Ballet Theatre, Brown Bag and Ballet and Magical Mystery Tourscored an A- and B+, respectively.

On the concert music front, Lindsay Koob gave high marks to the Old World-lovin' New Trinity Baroque, while in the jazz realm of things, T. Ballard Lesemann declared that those who saw Romanian-born violinist Florin Niculescu "sat in the presence of true greatness."

Three musical theatre offerings debuted over the past two days, and all scored fairly good grades: both the Village Playhouse's Bobby Darin tribute Splish-Splash and the newly formed Little City Musical Theatre's Little City Cabaret earned respectable Bs.

The lone purely theatrical offering The Mind's I, a CofC student play, was given a B+.

Over at Piccolo Fringe, FrankenMatt scored big with reviewer Eric Liebetrau, who said the comedy duo deserved an A- for their efforts at making audience members wet their britches.

Of course, Spoleto isn't all about what's on stage. There's plenty of visual arts events too. Morrow Dowdle took in the 25th Annual Piccolo Spoleto Juried Exhibition and was generally pleased with what she saw. She gave it an A-.


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