Theatre

THE ADDAMS FAMILY MUSICAL

Sunday, October 22, 2017
by Stan Gill
THE ADDAMS FAMILY MUSICAL

THEY MAY BE CREEPY, kooky and all together ooky, but The Addams Family—now playing at Footlight Players Theatre—are one of America’s most loved comic strip creations. I’m proud to say that even before the TV Series of the 1960s, (I was in diapers at the time) I owned a collection of The Addams Family... Read »

“Emperor’s New Clothes” is a Piccolo Charm

Saturday, June 3, 2017
by Peter Ingle
“Emperor’s New Clothes” is a Piccolo Charm

DON’T BE FOOLED by Sprouts Musical Theatre. Their performances are geared toward children, but the plays are full of serious art, artistry, and fun for all ages. Case in point is “The Emperor’s New Clothes” which will have a final (highly recommended) showing at Footlight Players Theatre on June 10 at 1:00 PM. What seems... Read »

“OCD Love” — Provocative, Evocative, and True

Saturday, June 3, 2017
by Peter Ingle
“OCD Love” — Provocative, Evocative, and True

FIVE DANCERS bring remarkable energy, endurance, and honesty to this compelling 60-minute performance which showcases a range of movements you’ve never seen before, at least not with this frequency and intensity. Set to a Bolero-like theme without the melody—and with the tension ratcheted way up—“OCD Love” unfolds as a long minor chord accompanied by a... Read »

“Ramona” — A Steamy Love Affair

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
by Peter Ingle
“Ramona” — A Steamy Love Affair

IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE that a locomotive brute with a big whistle destined for great things could ever fall for an innocent little shunt engine. But that’s exactly what happens in Rezo Gabriadze’s story about “Ramona,” who out of admiration for her beloved Ermon musters the courage to overstep her social rank, literally jump the tracks, and end... Read »

Don’t Wait to See “Godot”

Monday, May 29, 2017
by Peter Ingle
Don’t Wait to See “Godot”

METICULOUS STAGE DIRECTION, impeccable timing, and mime-like stillness provide the baseline for this excellent production. On top of that baseline, director Garry Hynes plays Samuel Beckett’s fascinating melody of charged one-liners with a delightful mix of profundity and playfulness. Yes, “Waiting for Godot” is long and intense, but that’s because it’s so full of emptiness—which was... Read »

Into the Nothingness of Godot

Monday, May 29, 2017
by Peter Ingle
Into the Nothingness of Godot

“WAITING FOR GODOT” has long held fascination and been a challenge for theater goers. Who exactly is Godot? What might Godot represent? Why are two homeless men “waiting” for him? How do the other three characters fit into the picture? These and other questions inevitably arise because nothing happens in the play. It is “much... Read »

“THE DAYPORCH” Comes to Threshold Rep

Monday, April 25, 2016
by ChasToday
“THE DAYPORCH” Comes to Threshold Rep

FOR SOME, the past comes with mixed emotions. However, the folks at award-winning Actor’s Theatre of South Carolina are thrilled with their revival of the comedy/thriller, The Dayporch, which is playing through May 7. They chose it to celebrate twenty years producing in our state. Originally a hit at Piccolo Spoleto in 2001, The Dayporch... Read »

Young Threshold Cast Shines in “Wrinkle”

Sunday, November 1, 2015
by Carol Furtwangler
Young Threshold Cast Shines in “Wrinkle”

WHAT BETTER WAY TO START the round of fall/winter holidays than to celebrate Hallowe’en with a performance of a sci-fi thriller by one of the most respected children’s authors ever? Threshold Repertory Theatre presented at their Society Street black box space Saturday afternoon Madeleine L’Engel’s “A Wrinkle in Time” as dramatized by John Glore. The ... Read »

A New Play About Freedom — Starts Oct. 8

Thursday, October 1, 2015
by ChasToday
A New Play About Freedom — Starts Oct. 8

“RADICAL SON” is a new one-act, adventure-romance about Charlestonian John Laurens, an unlikely anti-slavery hero of the American Revolution. Co-authored by Clarence Felder and Chris Weatherhead of Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina, the play explores John’s relationship with his father, his British wife, his secretly freed manservant, and abolitionist poet Thomas Day. It runs... Read »

Charleston Stage is Ready!

Thursday, August 13, 2015
by ChasToday
Charleston Stage is Ready!

HERE’S NEW BOARD MEMBER, John Dunnan, pictured (at center) with resident members of the Charleston Stage Acting Company. You can learn more about the actors here and get a look at their upcoming season—which begins August 26—here. If you are not already aware of it, Charleston Stage’s dedication to community education is very comprehensive. Of special note... Read »

“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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Final Production for Sprouts Theatre

Friday, February 27, 2015
by ChasToday
Final Production for Sprouts Theatre

SPROUTS CHILDREN’S THEATRE is losing its home due to the closing of Creative Spark in Mount Pleasant. But don’t let that stop you from seeing this final production of Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved tale, “The Princess and the Pea,” starring Christina Leidel as the princess put to the test! Please come show your support for all the wonder, goodness,... Read »

Love and Laughter in “Sunset Years”

Monday, November 17, 2014
by Carol Furtwangler
Love and Laughter in “Sunset Years”

THRESHOLD REPERTORY Theatre’s 2014 Playwrights-in-Residence Thomas and Judy Heath scored another stunning success with “The Sunset Years” which ended a multi-week sold-out run Sunday afternoon. The husband and wife team made a huge splash both locally and in the New York International Fringe Festival last year with “Perfectly Normel People,” but “Sunset” is the... Read »

“Slowgirl” is a Must-See at PURE

Sunday, November 9, 2014
by Carol Furtwangler
“Slowgirl” is a Must-See at PURE

IN KEEPING WITH their express aim to present provocative, edgy theater in Charleston, PURE Theatre presented Greg Pierce’s “Slowgirl” on Friday evening in their Upper King Street home. A searingly intense drama sprinkled with laughable moments, the two-character (“two-hander”) play stars Sullivan Hamilton as Becky, a 17 year-old chatabout who visits her Uncle Sterling... Read »

Bodacious Bods and Baldino at SOB

Sunday, September 21, 2014
by Carol Furtwangler
Bodacious Bods and Baldino at SOB

FULL-FRONTAL MALE NUDITY, rear windows of luscious ladies, ZOUNDS! In Charleston? Properly in North Charleston, the South of Broadway Theatre Company opened their 2014-15 season Friday with Douglas Carter Beane’s award-winning, “The Nance.” Referring to gay men who camped up their performances in Manhattan’s Burlesque theater scene, this “nance” could not have been better... Read »

PURE Perfection, Chekhov Style

Sunday, September 14, 2014
by Peter Ingle
PURE Perfection, Chekhov Style

PURE Theatre’s production of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” (running through October 4) is a thoughtful romp through the world of middle-aged, middle-class siblings in rural Pennsylvania. Christopher Durang’s articulate, award-winning play touches on human foibles, sexual orientation, modern meds, and the information age with lots of references to television, film, and... Read »

“Truth in Cold Blood” Shines Light on Church Murder

Thursday, August 14, 2014
by ChasToday
“Truth in Cold Blood” Shines Light on Church Murder

THROUGHOUT HISTORY, the church as a symbol of unity has itself been frequently split. And here comes a play, “Truth in Cold Blood,” about a brutal murder that took place in 1928 in the offices of St. Philip’s Church over a philosophical disagreement—between two priests no less. Equally fascinating is that the playwright bringing this... Read »

A Testament to the Power of Theatre

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
by JP McLaurin
A Testament to the Power of Theatre

A LESBIAN CARTOONIST’S SEARCH to make peace with her closeted father’s suicide is a simple way to describe Fun Home, the Off-Broadway smash musical based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. This show, which is far from simple with its complex score and character-driven text, has been one of the best new musicals... Read »

Playwrights-in-Residence at Threshold

Saturday, February 22, 2014
by Carol Furtwangler
Playwrights-in-Residence at Threshold

THE LOCALLY-BASED WRITING TEAM of Thomas & Judy Heath is not so local any more: How ya gonna keep ‘em down in the South after they’ve seen New York? Friday evening, Threshold Repertory Theatre was filled beyond capacity for “An Evening of Words & Actors” featuring the work of the Heaths, first-ever Playwrights-in-Residence at... Read »

Teralyn Tanner is a Must See at Midtown

Saturday, January 18, 2014
by Stan Gill
Teralyn Tanner is a Must See at Midtown

THE WORDS “ONE MAN SHOW” can strike fear in the heart of even the most avid of live-theatergoers. After all, if you’re not taken with the performer who walks onto the stage in the first few moments of the play, you know that you will spend the next one hundred minutes hoping for relief... Read »

Gould and Lewis Shine at South of Broadway

Sunday, January 12, 2014
by Carol Furtwangler
Gould and Lewis Shine at South of Broadway

THE WORLD PREMIERE of an original theater piece took place Saturday evening at South of Broadway to a wildly enthusiastic full house, and for all the best reasons. “The Piano Man and the Diva” combined musical comedy, pop, and opera—yes, opera—performed by two seasoned pros who strutted their stuff for a full two hours of... Read »

“Baskervilles” at Woolfe St. Playhouse is a Hoot

Sunday, November 10, 2013
by Peter Ingle
“Baskervilles” at Woolfe St. Playhouse is a Hoot

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES playing at Woolfe Street Playhouse catches you by surprise and doesn’t let go. Getting humor right in a stage performance is always harder than it looks, even more so when a full cast of characters (I counted eleven) are played by just 3 actors. But that is also where... Read »

“Fiddler on the Roof” is a Must See

Sunday, October 27, 2013
by Peter Ingle
“Fiddler on the Roof” is a Must See

THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD THINGS to say about Threshold Repertory Theatre’s production of “Fiddler On The Roof.” The casting, acting, directing, costumes, sets, and music are all superb. But there’s something more. Tying all these ingredients together is that elusive ingredient of “magic” which actors strive for and audiences hope for every time... Read »

The Astonishing “Holmes” Is At It Again

Saturday, October 19, 2013
by Carol Furtwangler
The Astonishing “Holmes” Is At It Again

IN THE CHARLESTON STAGE’S delightful “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure” which opened for a three-week run at the Dock Street Theatre Friday evening, Jacob Dickey as the famed detective declares, “The game’s afoot!” And indeed it is. Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director, has a great deal of fun creating another of his... Read »

“Little Red Riding Hood” Sprouts Joy!

Saturday, September 28, 2013
by Peter Ingle
“Little Red Riding Hood” Sprouts Joy!

EVER SEEN THE BIG BAD WOLF disguised as Sherlock Holmes trying to investigate where Little Red Riding Hood is headed, and as a border-patrol agent who can Tango with the best while fishing for clues as to what’s in Little Red’s basket? Me neither. But these aren’t the only reasons for seeing this charming... Read »

Jean-Paul Sarte’s “No Exit” is Impressive at SOB

Sunday, September 1, 2013
by Carol Furtwangler
Jean-Paul Sarte’s “No Exit” is Impressive at SOB

“HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE.” This often-quoted statement is the dark, stark theme of Jean-Paul Sartre’s 90-minute one-act, “No Exit,” currently wowing audiences at South of Broadway Theatre Company in North Chuck’s Olde Village. Lest you think this iconic play will leave you depressed or melancholy, fear not: the production is so splendidly acted and... Read »

33 Variations

Friday, May 31, 2013
by Stan Gill
33 Variations

FOR FANS OF CLASSICAL MUSIC—in fact, music of any kind—we owe much to Ludwig van Beethoven, who is the archetype of the tortured artist pressing on against illness and deafness to reach for the heavens. 33 Variations, a play by Moises Kaufman, compares his life and work to those of a 21st Century musicologist,... Read »

The Importance of Being Awkward

Thursday, March 7, 2013
by Stan Gill
The Importance of Being Awkward

IN THE THREE PLUS YEARS that I’ve been in Charleston, I haven’t laughed this hard in the audience of a production. The Importance of Being Awkward is the Charleston Acting Studio’s irreverent Sketch Comedy Troupe, and the performers are all between the ages of 10 and 15. Now, normally I wouldn’t do a theatrical... Read »

Cast Chemistry Shines in “Steel Magnolias”

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
by Stan Gill
Cast Chemistry Shines in “Steel Magnolias”

A BEAUTIFUL, IRREPRESSIBLE, and beloved young woman makes selfish choices that impact her family and community, while uttering lines like, “I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful, than a lifetime of nothing special.” Steel Magnolias, now at The Charleston Acting Studio on Folly Road, is a story about a group of women in... Read »

Stunning, Tense Play at South of Broadway

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
by Carol Furtwangler
Stunning, Tense Play at South of Broadway

THERE IS AN EXTRAORDINARY EVENT happening in North Charleston, and if you are even nominally interested in viewing the best of what live theater offers, you owe it to yourself to get to South of Broadway Theatre Company. Located on East Montague in the recently ramped-up blocks just beyond Park Circle, South of Broadway... Read »

Hardworking Cast at What If?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
by Stan Gill
Hardworking Cast at What If?

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, now playing at What If? Productions, is a 1982 comedy-horror-rock musical, by composers Menken & Ashman (the pair who later would pen Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Beauty & the Beast) about a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human flesh. The musical is based... Read »

A Smart Southern Comedy at Threshold Rep

Thursday, January 24, 2013
by Stan Gill
A Smart Southern Comedy at Threshold Rep

IT IS THE MID-1950s, in a small Southern town near New Orleans and we are introduced to widow Veda Love Powell. The introduction is made in tongue-in-cheek old Southern fashion with a wink and a nod to Tom Wingfield. In fact, there is much about The Exact Center of the Universe (now playing at... Read »

Pulitzer Winner “Good People” at PURE

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
by Carol Furtwangler
Pulitzer Winner “Good People” at PURE

IN THE PHOTOGRAPH that fronts the program cover of PURE Theatre’s latest hit, “Good People”—half of which disappears into darkness—a care-worn but determined-looking woman grips what appears to be a knife, or some such weapon. On closer look, what she is clutching is a magic marker, and what lies pinned under it is a... Read »

Midtown Production of “Orphans” Strikes Deep

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
by Stan Gill
Midtown Production of “Orphans” Strikes Deep

ORPHANS, the play directed by J.C. Conway and performing at Midtown Productions this month, was first produced in New York in 1985. The play is disturbing and thought-provoking, and the performances of this three-man cast run the spectrum from OK to terrific. Lyle Kessler’s drama follows a pair of brothers living hand-to-mouth in Philadelphia.... Read »

Hysterical “Satire Diaries” Is Artful Theatre

Monday, November 5, 2012
by Peter Ingle
Hysterical “Satire Diaries” Is Artful Theatre

“THE SATIRE DIARIES,” which just completed a second run at Creative Spark last weekend, is so truthful and funny that you may not immediately realize just how good the script, lyrics, and acting really are. Of course, that’s how it’s supposed to be. Acting and structure should be rendered so transparent that the audience... Read »

ThresholdRep Captures Essence of Chekhov

Sunday, October 21, 2012
by Carol Furtwangler
ThresholdRep Captures Essence of Chekhov

Pamela Galle and her team at Threshold Repertory Theatre on Society Street has launched a new and exciting production of one of theater’s classic plays, Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters.” Writing about his native Russia during his lifetime, on the eve of the Russian Revolution, Chekhov sought only, in his words, “the art of the... Read »

Tell Me On a Sunday

Monday, October 8, 2012
by Stan Gill
Tell Me On a Sunday

IT’S A SMALL THEATRE (50 seats), a brief show (75 minutes), and a tiny cast (1 petite actress)—but what Mary Fishburne does makes Tell Me On a Sunday a big triumph. Mary is accompanied in this one-woman Andrew Lloyd Webber musical by Immanuel A. Houston, who lends his own whimsical style… sitting behind a... Read »

Red Light Winter

Tuesday, September 4, 2012
by Stan Gill
Red Light Winter

I SELDOM GO to the theatre knowing nothing about the play I’m about to see… and often consider this reason enough to attend. Red Light Winter at Footlight’s Late Night Series was such an occasion—I went knowing only the reputation of playwright Adam Rapp and two-thirds of the cast. It was a powerful theatrical... Read »

He Ain’t No Daisy, That’s for Sure

Thursday, June 7, 2012
by Peter Ingle
He Ain’t No Daisy, That’s for Sure

MIKE DAISEY, monologist extraordinaire, who performed on the College of Charleston Emmet Robinson Stage Wednesday night, is a one-of-a-kind storyteller, actor, raconteur, comedian, romantic, sentimentalist, philosopher, liar, truth-seeker, teddy bear, and daredevil. Audiences are drawn to his signature “events“ partly because of his improvisational inventiveness, but equally because they admire his rare combination of... Read »

“Normel People” Packs the House at Footlight

Sunday, June 3, 2012
by Carol Furtwangler
“Normel People” Packs the House at Footlight

WHEN A THEATRE PRESENTATION is funny and smart, fast-paced and wise, word spreads like wildfire, especially at Festival time. Judy and Thomas Burke Heath’s “Perfectly Normel People” has all those elements and more, resulting in SRO crowds at the Footlight Players Theatre for every performance of this Piccolo Spoleto world premiere. Saturday night, the... Read »

“Hay Fever” Opens with British Aplomb

Sunday, May 27, 2012
by Stan Gill
“Hay Fever” Opens with British Aplomb

AS IN MOST Noel Coward comedies, style is as important as substance, and substance lurks neatly between the lines and in the hidden brilliance of the author’s knowledge of the human ego. Hay Fever, The Gate Theatre of Dublin’s entrance in this year’s Spoleto Festival, is not only no exception to this—it is his... Read »

Hilarious “Musical of Musicals” at Footlight

Sunday, May 27, 2012
by Stan Gill
Hilarious “Musical of Musicals” at Footlight

I COULD BEGIN this review a number of ways. I could say, for example, that Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)—The Footlight Players’ 2012
 Piccolo Spoleto Festival musical offering—is a hilarious and refreshing break from the same old 
musicals that every local theatre remounts. I could say that young Jon-Michael Perry’s debut as a director... Read »

Threshold’s “Dinner With Friends” Hits Home

Monday, May 7, 2012
by Carol Furtwangler
Threshold’s “Dinner With Friends” Hits Home

AT THE INTERMISSION of Threshold Repertory’s current production, Don Margulies’ “Dinner with Friends,” my first thought was, “If I were not in a committed relationship, I would avoid this show like the plague!” By the end of Margulies’ two-hour dissection of the institution of marriage, I realized that like the four strong characters portrayed,... Read »

Personal Tales of the Civil War

Sunday, April 22, 2012
by Peter Ingle
Personal Tales of the Civil War

“HISTORY IS ABOUT PEOPLE,” said Faye Jensen, Director of the South Carolina Historical Society, as she prepped the Circular Congregational Church audience on Saturday for “The Road Home,” a one-act play by Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina. The two organizations co-produced this series of tales about unique individuals on both sides of the Civil... Read »

Village Playhouse Captures the “Carnage”

Friday, April 20, 2012
by Peter Ingle
Village Playhouse Captures the “Carnage”

AS ITS TITLE IMPLIES, “God of Carnage,”now playing at the Village Playhouse through May 5, is a contradiction in terms—a dark comedy where civility dissolves into hostility, marriages tear at the seams, and humanity erupts into rants. Playwright Yasmina Reza is a Paris-born author who gained early recognition for her work. The original Le... Read »

The Civil War from the Inside

Sunday, April 15, 2012
by ChasToday
The Civil War from the Inside

A ONE-ACT PLAY by Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina casts intriguing new light on the little-known personal conflicts and ironies of the Civil War. Co-produced by The South Carolina Historical Society, and partially adapted from material in its archives, “The Road Home” examines unique war-time perspectives of union and confederate citizens and soldiers, along... Read »

“Tuna” Cast Impresses in This Fun Production

Friday, April 6, 2012
by Peter Ingle
“Tuna” Cast Impresses in This Fun Production

OFTENTIMES a Thursday-night opening is treated like a “live” dress rehearsal, but you would never have known it in what was a virtually seamless opening night for the two-man cast of “Greater Tuna.” This highly recommended show, put on by Midtown/Sheri Grace Productions, runs through April 21 at The Charleston Acting Studio on James... Read »

Stan Gill Brings Mark Twain Alive

Saturday, March 31, 2012
by Peter Ingle
Stan Gill Brings Mark Twain Alive

SAMUEL CLEMENS liked to inhabit other characters. For instance, his pseudonym, Mark Twain; the boyhood character, Tom Sawyer; and Tom’s friend, Huckleberry Finn. And part of why Clemens was so successful is that he slipped into all of his characters so naturally and easily. The same can be said for actor Stan Gill who... Read »

Much Ado About Shakespeare

Monday, February 20, 2012
by Peter Ingle
Much Ado About Shakespeare

CHARLESTON NEEDS more Shakespearean theatre, so let’s hope that newcomer Holy City Shakespeare (HCS) is here to stay. Under founder and artistic director Laura Rose, HCS premiered this past weekend at the Sottile Theatre in a performance of “Much Ado About Nothing” and has plans to do “Hamlet” in the Fall. Laura and her... Read »

Zelda Fitzgerald from the Inside

Tuesday, January 24, 2012
by Peter Ingle
Zelda Fitzgerald from the Inside

LESLIE VICARY gave a daunting, daring portrayal in “The Last Flapper,” which unfortunately ran for only one weekend at the South of Broadway Theatre on Montague Avenue. The one-woman play by William Luce (here directed by Mark Gorman) is taken fairly directly from the writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda, who was diagnosed... Read »

A Wrenching “Turn of the Screw”

Monday, January 16, 2012
by Peter Ingle
A Wrenching “Turn of the Screw”

IN A FEROCIOUS PERFORMANCE where he portrays three different characters—sometimes within seconds of each other—Robbie Thomas proves himself one of Charleston’s most versatile actors. So fascinating are his transfigurations in this Village Playhouse production that you forget you are watching a psychological thriller dubbed a ghost story. “The Turn of The Screw” is Jeffrey... Read »

“The Gift of the Magi” Returns to Dock Street

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
by ChasToday
“The Gift of the Magi” Returns to Dock Street

ACTORS’ THEATRE of South Carolina and Chamber Music Charleston will again present their delightful mix of superb music and acting to the Dock Street Theatre on December 22 and 23 with a return production of “The Gift of the Magi” based on the story by O. Henry. The famous storyteller, O. Henry, drops into... Read »

PURE Captures Contrasts of “Next Fall”

Monday, November 21, 2011
by Carol Furtwangler
PURE Captures Contrasts of “Next Fall”

A DRAMA that smoothly incorporates lots and lots of humor—the laugh-out-loud kind—is difficult to write, direct and act. The Tony-nominated “Next Fall” by Geoffrey Nauffts is just that, a deadly serious piece that maintains a tone not at all serious, except when it needs to. That is its strength and its power. PURE Theatre’s... Read »

Threshold Repertory Stages Potent “Crucible”

Monday, November 7, 2011
by Carol Furtwangler
Threshold Repertory Stages Potent “Crucible”

RELATIVE NEWCOMERS to the Charleston theater scene, Threshold Repertory Theatre opened its second season last week with an American classic, a play of historical significance full of technical and dramatic challenges. Another company may have quailed at the prospect of casting, staging, lighting and costuming Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” requiring a cast of 19,... Read »

Beethoven’s “Women” at the Library Society

Friday, October 28, 2011
by ChasToday
Beethoven’s “Women” at the Library Society

FRESH FROM THEIR PERFORMANCE in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, the Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina and Chamber Music Charleston will present “Beethoven: His Women and His Music” at the Charleston Library Society, Thursday November 3 at 7:00 P.M. This innovative musical drama combines the live classical music of Beethoven’s Archduke Piano Trio with... Read »

Getting Educated with Frank and Rita

Monday, September 26, 2011
by Peter Ingle
Getting Educated with Frank and Rita

NOTWITHSTANDING THE PLAY’S TITLE, “Educating Rita” presents its two characters and their journey together in far more than literal terms. When the eager, young Rita first meets Frank—her elder, disillusioned tutor—she asks excitedly, “What’s it like to be free?” After all, he’s the one—the tenured professor—who knows “everything” and can lead her to the... Read »

PURE Cast Sizzles in Season Opener

Saturday, September 24, 2011
by Carol Furtwangler
PURE Cast Sizzles in Season Opener

WHEN THE CONFLUENCE of playwright, cast, director, and every production element—down to the intr’acte music—reaches the level that PURE Theatre did Friday night, an evening of theatre becomes an extraordinary experience. Hyperbole? Hardly. A miracle of sorts took place in the company’s new performance home, the Charleston Ballet Theatre on King Street downtown, and... Read »

Striking “Streetcar” at Village Playhouse

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
by Peter Ingle
Striking “Streetcar” at Village Playhouse

“I DON’T WANT REALISM. I want magic!” says Blanche in a line that captures the essence of all the characters in Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer-Prize winning play, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” now at the Village Playhouse. Well, what they want is exactly what none of them get in this epitome of Williams’ taut psychological portrayals,... Read »

The Enduring Influence of Shakespeare

Saturday, August 13, 2011
by Peter Ingle
The Enduring Influence of Shakespeare

WHO WAS THIS CREATIVE GENIUS, William Shakespeare? How did he manage to possess such a wealth of insight into the full range of human nature? Why have his plays endured for so long? And what is the value of reading, studying, and performing him today? These are some of the questions that television host... Read »

Here they come to save the day!

Thursday, August 4, 2011
by Carol Furtwangler
Here they come to save the day!

SHARON GRACI and Rodney Lee Rogers of PURE Theatre have come to the rescue of the theatre-going public, presenting a mid-summer slammer to get us through the arid emptiness between Spoleto and The Fall Season. They had a full house for their “Pay What You Can” Thursday evening, before the official Friday night opening... Read »

Oliver Reels in “East 10th Street” Audience

Saturday, June 11, 2011
by Carol Furtwangler
Oliver Reels in “East 10th Street” Audience

SINCE ITS INCEPTION, but especially over the past several years, Spoleto USA has brought us a series of one-man shows ranging from artsy, hilarious, intriguing, even breathtaking, to downright dreadful. Performer and writer Edgar Oliver’s “East 10th Street: Self Portrait with Empty House” falls squarely into the first category. A New York City resident since... Read »

Ex-con/poet Finds Beauty and Humor in Lemonade

Monday, June 6, 2011
by Duffy Lewis
Ex-con/poet Finds Beauty and Humor in Lemonade

LEMON ANDERSEN’s autobiographical one-man show, “County of Kings: A Beautiful Struggle,” received high praise at this year’s 2011 Spoleto festival. So much so, I wondered if it was warranted. While sitting for the dress rehearsal, I realized immediately that Andersen was a master storyteller with a triumphant story to tell. His words are powerful.... Read »

Weird, World-class Theater

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
by Carol Furtwangler
Weird, World-class Theater

IN BASIC WHITE UNDERWEAR, the five cast members of the UK’s Kneehigh Theatre stroll, parade, stomp, and romp around a set that appears simplistic but becomes versatile and complex in the Spoleto Festival production of “The Red Shoes.” This transformation exactly parallels the plot and the development of the characters. The actors could not... Read »

‘Inishmaan’ is Candid, Bold, and Funny

Monday, May 30, 2011
by Carol Furtwangler
‘Inishmaan’ is Candid, Bold, and Funny

“The Cripple of Inishmaan” is a play so inherently Irish, you walk out of the Dock Street Theatre speaking with a decided brogue. And who better to mount this Spoleto Festival production than Druid, Ireland’s illustrious theatre company that first brought Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy to the stage in 1996? That show went on... Read »

Taylor Mac’s Latenight Glitter

Saturday, May 28, 2011
by Carol Furtwangler
Taylor Mac’s Latenight Glitter

IF YOU HAPPENED to catch Taylor Mac’s wild and crazy show in 2008—his first appearance at Spoleto Festival USA—do not for a moment hesitate to get tickets for his gig this year which plays only twice more at the College of Charleston’s Emmett Robinson Theatre, tonight and Sunday, in the late-night spot (oooh, 10... Read »

Back Stage with Hedwig

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
by ChasToday
Back Stage with Hedwig

BRIAN PORTER is about to don again the fabulous blonde wig and glasses that made What If? Productions’ inaugural show, Hedwig and The Angry Inch, the surprise hit of the summer of 2010. After a wild ride in theatre over the past year and plenty of accolades, Porter sat down to talk about where... Read »

The Gods Must Be Crazy About “Xanadu”!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011
by Duffy Lewis
The Gods Must Be Crazy About “Xanadu”!

WHEN IT WAS ANNOUNCED that a live version of the 1980 movie “Xanadu” was being produced on Broadway, it seemed the demise of American theatre had arrived. Conventional wisdom cannot explain how an insipid movie with a schmaltzy plot about a roller disco could inspire such a clever parody, but the creators of “Xanadu” did... Read »

The Fun & Bawdy Red Light Musical

Wednesday, May 18, 2011
by Carol Furtwangler
The Fun & Bawdy Red Light Musical

CALL IT WHAT YOU WILL—house of ill repute, dorm for denizens of the red light district, brothel, bawdyhouse, bordello—it is still a whorehouse, where women charge money for sex. You wouldn’t think the world’s oldest profession would be a likely subject of an upbeat, uproarious, successful musical comedy and film. But “The Best Little... Read »

S.C. Premiere of “Race” at PURE

Wednesday, May 18, 2011
by William Furtwangler
S.C. Premiere of “Race” at PURE

PURE THEATRE’s production of David Mamet’s “Race” is a taut 90-minute drama directed by Sharon Graci, one of the founders and directors of this enterprising troupe. Graci expertly guided her four actors through Mamet’s usual minefield of tense, uneasy situations, serpentine plot twists and, at times, sophomoric flights of pseudo-philosophy mixed with trenchant social... Read »

Mary Chesnut’s Account of the Road to Ft. Sumter

Friday, April 15, 2011
by Duffy Lewis
Mary Chesnut’s Account of the Road to Ft. Sumter

MARY BOYKIN CHESNUT’s A Diary from Dixie, edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary in 1905, is arguably the most historically significant diary by an American woman. Her keen insights regarding the events leading up to the War Between the States and through Reconstruction are invaluable. On the eve of South Carolina’s... Read »

A Madcap Romp at PURE

Sunday, April 3, 2011
by Carol Furtwangler
A Madcap Romp at PURE

SHAKESPEARE’S MOST ELOQUENT TRAGEDY a comedy? What’s up with that? It’s what Randy Neale and his brother Grant are up to, presenting a madcap romp through the story of King Lear, PURE Theatre’s latest offering that blew the socks off Saturday night’s crowd and had us roaring with laughter. Performing on the black box... Read »

One Woman’s Road to Fort Sumter

Sunday, March 27, 2011
by ChasToday
One Woman’s Road to Fort Sumter

MARY BOYKIN CHESNUT, daughter of a South Carolina governor, was a philosopher and humorist as well as an extraordinary observer of humanity. Her marriage to General James Chesnut put her in the middle of major events throughout the Civil War where she had access to key leaders of the conflict. Today, she is remembered... Read »

Thought Provoking Theatre

Monday, March 21, 2011
by Carol Furtwangler
Thought Provoking Theatre

“YA KNOW, it looks a little like Willie Nelson.” “Oh, no it doesn’t, it’s Jesus!” This exchange, typical of the lines in plays of a certain genre, happens early in the Footlight Players’ current production, “Messiah on the Frigidaire,” which opened this past week-end at their theatre on Queen Street. Rife with charm, steeped... Read »

Delicate as Glass

Friday, March 18, 2011
by Peter Ingle
Delicate as Glass

IN A REPRISE of Tennessee Williams’ most famous play on the 100th anniversary of his birthday, the Threshold Repertory Theatre opened its production of The Glass Menagerie, which runs through March 27 at Memminger Auditorium. The first night was exquisite theatre marked by compelling dialogue, perfectly cast actors, and impeccable staging. The husband/father whom... Read »

“Superior Donuts” Downtown

Tuesday, March 15, 2011
by Carol Furtwangler
“Superior Donuts” Downtown

MID-WAY THROUGH their eighth season in Charleston as a professional company, PURE Theatre is still seeking a home—a more-or-less permanent site where they can rehearse, store their equipment and scenery, and mount productions. Alas, after having performed at the Cigar Factory (the old brick structure on upper East Bay), the Fellowship Hall at the... Read »

Political Persuasions

Saturday, March 12, 2011
by Peter Ingle
Political Persuasions

SAMUEL JACKEL does a nice job portraying the conflicting motives of his character Stephen Bellamy in Farragut North, now running through the end of the month at The Village Playhouse in Mount Pleasant. In what has become commonplace off stage, we see this on-stage political aspirant (in this case, a press secretary) go from... Read »

When Fat is Not The Fashion

Monday, February 28, 2011
by Carol Furtwangler
When Fat is Not The Fashion

SO YOU FIND yourself wandering around downtown on a weekend evening. You’ve already had all the drinks you want tonight, seen all the people you’d hoped to run into—and it’s not yet 9 P.M. Going home this early is not a viable option; it reeks of defeat, resignation. Depressing. Wouldn’t this be a good... Read »

‘Raisin’ Shines at the Footlight

Sunday, February 6, 2011
by Carol Furtwangler
‘Raisin’ Shines at the Footlight

HENRY CLAY MIDDLETON is a name well-respected in theater circles around these parts, and for good reason. Middleton has been involved in acting and directing for many years in many forums, from his memorable stage work in such productions as Fences, Insurrection: The Denmark Vesey Story, and The Piano Lesson, to his speaking role... Read »

Am I Blue?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011
by A.C. Benedict
Am I Blue?

IN A RECENT interview, Blue playwright Charles Randolph-Wright says his work is, “about family, and that love of family can conquer extraordinary difficulties.” He also points out that the play—and agreeably so—is a refreshing look at an African-American family whose race is not the central issue of the story. While both of those statements... Read »

Real Musical Theatre

Thursday, January 6, 2011
by Peter Ingle
Real Musical Theatre

SILENCE, tears, integrity, and music. These are what remain vivid in my mind nearly two weeks after seeing The Gift of the Magi at the Dock Street Theatre. Ostensibly, it was a co-production of the American author O. Henry’s play put on by Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina and Chamber Music Charleston. But at... Read »

White Christmas Falls Flat

Sunday, December 19, 2010
by A.C. Benedict
White Christmas Falls Flat

I WILL SAY THIS about Footlight Players’ production of White Christmas: the set was inventive, the costumes impressively stunning, and the two lovely actresses who played the Haynes sisters acquitted themselves nicely. Beyond that there is very little to recommend in terms of quality holiday entertainment that would be worth the $30 ticket price... Read »

N.Y. City At Christmas

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
by Eliza Ingle
N.Y. City At Christmas

THERE IS NOTHING more festive than New York City adorned in its Christmas splendor. The department store windows on Fifth Avenue never cease to boost the heart and soul of anyone who sees them, and always at the top of the delights stands the tree at Rockefeller Plaza which, no matter your age, prompts... Read »

“That is One Ugly Stepsister”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
by Peter Ingle
“That is One Ugly Stepsister”

SO SPOKE THE LADY to my left in the audience as we watched Cinderella’s two siblings enter the stage. Gaudily attired and humorously played by Robin Farmer and Stan Gill, these two “girls” stole scene after scene after scene. Yes, Cinderella found her man and, yes, they lived happily ever after, but their bliss... Read »

Devil’s in the Details for Carol

Thursday, December 9, 2010
by A.C. Benedict
Devil’s in the Details for Carol

HOT OFF THE surprising success of the theatre’s last major production, The 39 Steps, one would expect Charleston Stage to take the ball and run with it in their follow up, the awkwardly titled, A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas. Sadly, despite a few bright spots—including a spry and witty performance from... Read »

The Art of Giving

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
by Peter Ingle
The Art of Giving

IMAGINE SEEING O. Henry, the twentieth-century raconteur and humorist, live on stage in Charleston. Well, it’s happening December 22 and 23 at the Dock Street Theatre where O. Henry himself will recount The Gift of The Magi, his touching Christmas story about the true nature of love and giving. On one end of the... Read »

“Merry Christmas Everybody”

Sunday, December 5, 2010
by ChasToday
“Merry Christmas Everybody”

WHO WOULD THINK that so much could revolve around a BB gun? Having never seen A Christmas Story—the play adapted from a 1983 comedy film based on the short stories of Jean Shepherd—I went expecting a children’s story about Christmas. And that’s what I got. After all, there are more kids (9) than adults... Read »

Stan Gill, director

Sunday, November 28, 2010
by Peter Ingle
Stan Gill, director

IF YOU THINK Sprouts Childrens Theatre is just for kids, think again. I can safely promise that parents won’t be able to wipe the smile off their faces or stop laughing at these fairy tales told so humorously and intelligently by director Stan Gill’s cast of actors and musicians. The youngest kids sit eagerly... Read »

Twisting Around Oliver

Sunday, November 21, 2010
by Peter Ingle
Twisting Around Oliver

SURPRISINGLY, this is not a story about Oliver Twist. Rather, it is a story about the characters that gather and swirl and “twist” around him. Oliver himself is extremely passive and noncommittal (most of his lines, in fact, are single-sentence replies). Yet he and his unique fate create a circumstance that reveals the bitter... Read »

Lone Star Shining

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
by Eliza Ingle

PICCOLO’S Stelle di Domani series is part of the College of Charleston Theater Department and produces several student acted plays during the theater-saturated Piccolo Spoleto. Set in Texas in the 1970s, James McLure’s Lone Star is a one-act tragicomic glimpse into a mucked up life that runs further amuck one Friday night behind Angel’s Bar... Read »

Actors and Marionettes

Monday, May 31, 2010
by Eliza Ingle
Actors and Marionettes

THE GATE THEATRE always offers something terrific and this year’s production of Present Laughter is no exception. Noel Coward’s play revolves around the character of Gary Essendine who is the star of his own life as well as the many stages he has dominated. Actor Stephen Brennan plays Essendine with aplomb, both in is... Read »

A Moment with Joy

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
by Eliza Ingle
A Moment with Joy

FINDING OUR WAY through the storm of life is not always funny, but humor sure beats the alternative. When College of Charleston Theatre Professor, Joy Vandervort-Cobb, was urged to write and perform a one-woman show, she resisted. “I was terrified!” says the effervescent diva (she would agree with the title). “I knew that the... Read »

Notes from Spoleto 150, #3

Monday, May 17, 2010
by Agricola
Notes from Spoleto 150, #3

ONE OF THE ELEMENTS of acting is movement, and there is a universal map of stage locations which directors and actors use to position elements of the performance to maximum effect. When our class was asked which is the most important position, the unanimous answer was “center stage.” Wrong. The dominant position is “down... Read »

Sprouts Children’s Theatre

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
by Peter Ingle
Sprouts Children’s Theatre

IF YOU DON’T KNOW about this already, get yourself (and your children) to the next performance of Sprout’s Children’s Theatre at Creative Spark in Mount Pleasant. This weekend (Fri-Sat-Sun), Sprouts will be staging The Emperor’s New Clothes, a delightful musical based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. And in May they will perform Jack... Read »

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It is with life as it is with art: the deeper one penetrates, the broader the view.                   
~ Johann Goethe