Spoleto 2015

“When It Rains…” Marks New Class of Modern Theatre

Monday, June 8, 2015
by Peter Ingle
“When It Rains…” Marks New Class of Modern Theatre

CONTEMPORARY THEATRE, with all its good intentions, has been plagued for years with novelty for novelty’s sake: to give a fresh twist to the old, to garner attention, to just be different, or clever, or quirky—all in the name of art. Audiences often leave scratching their heads, wondering why, or pretending that a production... Read »

Taylor Mac is Back!

Sunday, June 7, 2015
by Carol Furtwangler
Taylor Mac is Back!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT, the long-awaited return to Spoleto Festival USA (Yikes! Another three years later) of the iconic theater artist “Taylor Mac” generated a warehouse full of avid fans, newbies who just wanted to see what the sequins were all about, and perverts—I mean converts. The “warehouse”— actually, a perfectly charming space with a bar... Read »

Spoleto Chamber Standard Slips with Stamitz Quartet

Saturday, June 6, 2015
by William Furtwangler
Spoleto Chamber Standard Slips with Stamitz Quartet

SPOLETO FESTIVAL USA’S Chamber Music VIII Tuesday morning in the Dock Street Theatre presented the kind of performances which give chamber music a bad name. While the usual standard of this series is high, if not the highest, some of Tuesday’s selections where not up to the expected level these performers otherwise offer. Carl... Read »

A Luminous St. Matthew Passion by Westminster Choir

Thursday, June 4, 2015
by Peter Ingle
A Luminous St. Matthew Passion by Westminster Choir

THE WESTMINSTER CHOIR’S production of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the Sottile Theater may prove to be one of the brightest lights at this year’s Spoleto Festival. It was a world-class concert featuring two choirs, essentially two orchestras, several fine baroque musicians, and a superb cast of soloists. Topping it off was the precise, polished... Read »

Vietnam’s Golden Dragon Water Puppets

Thursday, June 4, 2015
by Carol Furtwangler
Vietnam’s Golden Dragon Water Puppets

THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD, like those of our three year-old granddaughter, is the ideal way to witness the spectacle the “Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre” presented on Tuesday afternoon at the College of Charleston’s Stern Student Center Garden. While we waited for the performance to begin, the garden proved an interesting site itself:... Read »

A Dismal, Discordant Decasia

Thursday, June 4, 2015
by William Furtwangler
A Dismal, Discordant Decasia

MONDAY EVENING at Spoleto Festival USA the Sottile Theatre found a nearly full house awaiting the festival orchestra under the baton of John Kennedy in two different compositions, both of them unbelievably loud and pushing discordant sounds way beyond what is generally accepted as modern music. Opening the concert was by Giacinto Scelsi (1905-88).... Read »

Quintessential Brown Dancing

Sunday, May 31, 2015
by Eliza Ingle
Quintessential Brown Dancing

THERE WERE EMPTY SEATS DURING “Proscenium Dances,” Trisha Brown’s retrospective concert, and I knew it was because the dancing was not something that grabbed the audience’s attention, pulling them into an emotional state. “Proscenium” is more of a meditational wash where movements come and go without being anchored to any specific narrative or idea—an example of abstract dance.... Read »

Nuttall and Friends in Top Form at Dock Street

Saturday, May 30, 2015
by William Furtwangler
Nuttall and Friends in Top Form at Dock Street

SATURDAY MORNING’S Spoleto Festival USA Sixth Chamber Music concert heralded a non-stop display of extraordinary music making: intense, polished and impassioned. Series host and violinist Geoff Nuttall explained in a brief introduction to Franz Josef Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 “London” the composer’s use of humor and the background to the arrangement in chamber music form of a... Read »

Charlie Chaplin Still Gets Laughs and Appreciation

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
by William Furtwangler
Charlie Chaplin Still Gets Laughs and Appreciation

IF THE REACTION of the sold-out audience Monday afternoon at the Sottile Theatre is any guide, then silent films may still hold promise as a viable artistic vehicle. Charles Chaplin’s silent film “City Lights” was originally released in 1930. It is considered by many critics as one of Chaplin’s best achievements. In Spoleto Festival... Read »

Araminta Wraith Shines in “A Streetcar Named Desire”

Monday, May 25, 2015
by Peter Ingle
Araminta Wraith Shines in “A Streetcar Named Desire”

THE SCOTTISH BALLET’S PRODUCTION of A Streetcar Named Desire deserves more than a good review. It needs a bright light shone on what may be one of the most compelling examples of storytelling to appear in the ballet world in a long time. The last thing similar to it was Rudolph Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn dancing... Read »

Westminster Choir Inspires Wonder

Monday, May 25, 2015
by Carol Furtwangler
Westminster Choir Inspires Wonder

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS of renowned long-time conductor Joseph Flummerfelt, Joe Miller has more than maintained the unparalleled excellence of the Westminster Choir. Just when we thought the choir could not possibly get any better, Miller has brought his sparkling personality, his own style and expertise, to this storied academic choir that has been in... Read »

Marionettes Delight the Child Within

Monday, May 25, 2015
by Peter Ingle
Marionettes Delight the Child Within

THE MARIONETTE RENDITION of Sleeping Beauty by Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company is ostensibly for children. But don’t tell all the adults in the audience. This production is delightful by virtue of the marionettes, but what makes it equally charming and mesmerizing are the gorgeous costumes, the fairy-tale set decorations, and the superb voices... Read »

The Bard Would Be Pleased

Saturday, May 23, 2015
by Peter Ingle
The Bard Would Be Pleased

SHAKESPEARE‘S PLAYS ARE PERFECTION, yet they leave room within their generous boundaries for thoughtful interpretation—if you can hold to the playwright’s essence while probing for freshness to emerge. It is with such deftness that co-directors Dominic Dromgoole and Tim Hoare of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre present their sleek, sophisticated rendering of Romeo and Juliet. Modern productions... Read »

“Streetcar” Renders Emotion Through Movement

Saturday, May 23, 2015
by Eliza Ingle
“Streetcar” Renders Emotion Through Movement

THE IMAGE OF EVE MUTSO dancing Blanche Duboise begins and ends the Scottish Ballet’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire at Spoleto Festival USA. She moves under a hanging light bulb with moth-like quickness, reaching and fluttering in a fatal attraction where what she desires most is self-destructive. Mutso’s Blanche is breathtaking as the classic... Read »

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