“Frederick Douglass…No Turning Back” a Theatrical Triumph – Returning for Spoleto 2019

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By Mark A. Leon

Enter into the Circular Congregational Church, with the harmony of piano orchestrated by Rachel Premo in the background and the slight hint of sunlight radiating through the stain glass. Stage Right, Pastor Brewster and Frederick Douglass walk slowly and sit patiently waiting for the conclusion of the musical number.

At this moment, you are miraculously taken back to 1872.

After a passionately beautiful introduction by Pastor Brewster played with prominence and poise by Clarence Felder, Frederick Douglass takes the podium. As Felder slowly descends from the stage, the dominant Douglass rises from obscurity to voice a generation with his masterful oratory gift and his passion for the brotherhood of humanity.

Over the next hour, acting sensation Kyle Taylor transforms into the embodiment of Frederick Douglass.

Through tremendous adversity, his faith in Christianity and Jesus and his mission to abolish ignorance and promote freedom for all mankind, Frederick Douglass gave a life dedicated to the values of equality. With nothing but faith, he escaped the chains of oppression to find meaning and share his message to the masses.

Kyle Taylor’s one man performance, like the life of Frederick Douglass is filled with courage, hope, humor and song. As he sung the gospel of Jesus, channeling the soulful voice of the likes of Paul Robeson, the audience felt shivers, applauding each note with ovation.

As the final cries of peace concluded this triumphant performance, the entire room rose and gave a full one minute ovation until the moment Taylor exited the church floor.

As Taylor spoke of the journey of Douglass with vulnerable transparency, his emulation of this critical figure in US history began real and the dialogue soon became a metamorphosis. It is rare in live theatre, then an actor can bring to life so much of the pure essence of a character as Kyle Taylor has done with Douglass.

Throughout this one act play, the audience is taken on a roller coaster of emotion from hatred of the ignorance, to empathy for the cause to celebration of freedom.

In one of many entrancingly moving scenes, Douglass recounts the moment his stood up to his Master. It was that act of bravery that not only led to his Master never hitting him again, but solidified the realization he had become a man. This would become the true turning point when slave became leader.

History is driven by moments. These moments are all part of a larger journey. Books, letters and manuscripts paint a beautiful picture and help us piece together the lives of our forefathers, but to bring to life the remarkable story of a single man, whose life led him from slavery to a seat with President Lincoln, takes a respectful act of research, patience and heart.

Chris Weatherhead has orchestrated a piece of writing and direction that is a filled with so much heart and honesty, that is must be experienced. Her dedication to the authenticity of American history and mission to continue to share the stories of our founding fathers and inspirational leaders is a testament to the play she has shared with us.

Kyle Taylor is an absolute triumph. His vision of Frederick Douglass was so real, so raw and so poignant, it may be one of the best performances of the Spoleto season.

See Frederick Douglass:? No Turning Back at Spoleto 2019

No show may be more important to see during Spoleto than ‘Fredrick Douglass: No Turning Back’ – http://bit.ly/2Q8HSDT

The Spirit of Christmas and Love were alive in Charleston with ‘Dylan Thomas’ Christmas in Wales’

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By Mark A. Leon

The setting was Christmas Eve 1923 in Wales and Dylan Thomas,accompanied by members of the Chamber orchestra (Chamber Music Charleston),shared stories and songs of the holiday season. At least when we suspended our reality for two brief hours at the North Charleston Coliseum this past Thursday, it felt that way.

As violinist Jenny Blickensderfer Weiss, flutist Regina HelcherYost and cello player Timothy O’Malley took to the stage of a transformed traditional early 20th century home and began to play harmonies of the holidays,Dylan Thomas, played with wit, charm and a whimsical tone by Clarence Felder waited patiently stage right.

The home was garnished with a lavish Christmas tree, coat rake, a small Tiffany lamp and comfortable chairs ordained with shawls made with love from generations past.  The setting of a comforting winter snow outside and a warm fireplace set the tone for an evening of reminiscing and reflection.

As the chamber transitioned into a poignant instrumental of ‘Silent Night’, Chris Weatherhead, actress, producer, writer and soul fated love of Clarence, took my arm, leaned in and whispered in my ear, “I’m in love with that man over there.”

I smiled, closed my eyes for a moment and felt the spirit of Christmas race through my body.

For the next 45 minutes Dylan Thomas brought us all back to a period of childhood filled with innocence, joy, love and a little mischief.  From candy cigarettes, to rum filled Aunts,silly gifts to odd animals.  It was a pleasant escape filled with poetic verse, lovely Christmas tunes and a warmth that can only come from the purest of hearts.

The Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina staged this one of a kind performance of ‘Dylan Thomas’ Christmas in Wales: Dinner and Live Performance’ to a sold out audience of almost 200.  From the youngest of children to the young at heart, you could see patrons smile and even sing so softly to the tunes they all knew and loved.

There is a personal piece of one’s self that goes into live theatre.  For a short period of team an actor lets themselves be exposed for the greater good of filing a room with relatable and penetrating moments of self-reflection. It is that vulnerability that is the power of theatre and the gift this company has given to Charleston.

In the end though, it was the one sentence from lips to ear, expressing a lifetime of love that truly reminded me of the importance of Christmas, family and most of all, love.

Learn more about the Actors’ Theatre of South Carolina 

Flowertown Players Fundraiser and Special Santa Event

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Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down South Main!
We come bearing the gift of theatre this holiday season!!!
First off, you guys asked for it so we decided to give you it! We are hosting a Christmas Fundraiser! We are teaming up with our friends at Wine and Tapas for a dinner theatre event!
For ONLY $30 you will get: one interactive murder mystery, delectable hors d’oeuvres and non alcoholic drinks. A cash bar and silent and live auctions will round out the evening. Can you figure out who is the mastermind of the night? Only one way to find out!
Tickets are available now just click the link below to purchase.. Or feel free to call the box office and we’ll help you out. Our number is (843) 875-9251.
Location: Wine and Tapas?
Kick off your holiday with a little mystery, food, and fun. Flowertown Players invites you to be a part of a holiday murder mystery hosted by Wine and Tapas to benefit the Flowertown Players’ commitment to quality live theatre, youth education, and artistic stewardship. The party takes place at Wine and Tapas, 103 S Main St Summerville, SC 29483 on December 22nd from 7pm – 10pm featuring live theatrical performances, food, cash bar, silent and live auctions.
About the show: The CEO of a struggling accounting firm decides to throw a holiday party to boost morale. He also decides to bring in a consultant to streamline and straighten the company out. What he doesn’t realize is that those two independent decisions will result in bedlam, havoc and chaos in the middle of wildly performed holiday songs, door prizes and a visit from someone very special in a red Santa suit. Join Tom, Dick and Harry for a holiday party to beat all holiday parties! Happy holidays? Maybe, but stay away from the mistletoe… or that spirited kiss may turn deadly.
$30 general, Members and this year’s cast, crew, and volunteers will receive $5 off. Discounts are not online please call for reservations.
Santa Claus is coming to town!
He’s come by Flowertown super early this year to deliver the VIP passes for The Flowertown Players’ 44th Season!!!! The Santa Special allows you to buy next season’s pass for ONLY $100 and is now available through December 31st! This pass gives you 1 ticket to each main stage show next season. Makes a wonderful gift for the holiday season!
Not sure you want to give the whole season? No worries!?We have another deal you might like!
Gift cards are now buy 2 get 1 FREE through December 15th. You can call 843-875-9251 or stop in to purchase some gift cards today!

AtomaCon: Charleston’s first multi-genre, sci-fi, gaming, fantasy, science and technology convention – November 30 – December 2

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For Immediate Release:


Charleston Area’s first multi-genre sci-fi, gaming, fantasy, and science and technology convention.

North Charleston, SC – All Types of Media Arts Convention (ATOMACON) returns to North Charleston for its fifth annual 3 day convention on November 30 – December 2, 2018. The family friendly convention will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn near Tanger Mall. ?Attendees will to enjoy Sanctioned Pokémon Tournaments, and discussions such as, Costuming (Cosplay), Fringe Sciences, Science and Technology, Art and Music, Literature, and general Fandom such as Star Trek, Dr. Who, Star Wars, Marvel and DC Universes, and much more. New this year is our Independent Short Film Festival which will feature 20 or more short films in the Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror Genres.

At this year’s convention, ATOMACON will feature Guest of Honor, Star Wars Author Jason Fry; Artist Guest of Honor, John Hairston, Jr. and Special Author Guest: Bestselling author-Gail Z. Martin. ?In addition to these guests, we will feature over 35 other guest authors, paranormal experts, artists, and filmmaking professionals.

Other features include a charity auction to benefit the Sea Turtle Care Center; Costume Contest, Vendor Room, Concerts from the Dimensional Riffs, Antler Hill, Nefarious Filk Ferrets, Gray Reinhart, and over 130 hours of workshops, discussion panels, movie screenings, kid’s activities and many more interactive events.

Convention hours are Friday, 3pm- midnight; Saturday, 10am-Midnight; Sunday 10am -3pm. At the door three-day convention memberships are $45 adults, $25 teens 13-18, and children 12 and under are free with a paying adult. ?Pre-register rate of $40 and $20 are available until November 15th.? Single day memberships are also available.

ATOMACON is sponsored by DK Publishing, Final Draft Software, Baen Publishing, Southern Recipe Small Batch Pork Rinds, iPitch.? Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

ATOMACON, Inc. (http://atomacon.org) is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for science fiction, fantasy, and science through related literary and other popular art forms. This is accomplished primarily through a convention to celebrate the history of and on-going contribution of science fiction, fantasy, science and related genres to art and popular culture.

Registration Information


Janet Iannantuono – Chairperson

A Holiday Tradition, an All-New Charleston Christmas Special Takes the Stage for 13 Shows in December

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CHARLESTON, S.C. – More than 10,000 people make the Charleston Christmas Special part of their holiday tradition each December, and this year will be no exception. Producers Brad and Jennifer Moranz of Mount Pleasant have worked all year to create a brand-new holiday show that’s nothing short of spectacular.?
Some of the most talented singers, dancers and musicians from around the country will gather on stage at the Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St., for 13 shows from Dec. 8 to Dec. 23. Tickets are on sale now at www.bradandjennifermoranz.com or at the Charleston Music Hall Box Office. The show is family friendly, and the Thursday, Dec. 20 show is Kids’ Free Night. Purchase one full price adult ticket and get one kids’ ticket for free.
“We spend all year working on this Christmas show, creating just the right mix of music from the serious to the silly,” Brad Moranz said. “Ask me about the highlights and I have to say every single selection is a highlight. People who have been attending for years and first-time audience members will be moved by the musical moments we’ve compiled for this year’s all-new show.”??
Performing in the Charleston Christmas Special for the first time is New York City baritone Matthew Billman, who will sing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and Josh Groban’s version of “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
For the last two years, teenage performer Jenna Flaherty stunned audiences with her operatic performance of “Ave Maria.” Flaherty, who is now living in New York City, will return to the Charleston Christmas Special to showcase her powerful vocals with Christian music icon Sandi Patty’s rendition of “O Holy Night.”??
Another young performer will make her debut with the Charleston Christmas Special. Wando High School student Eliza Turner, 16, will bring her energy to performances of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Be a Santa.”
After bringing down the house at Moranz Entertainment’s summertime show, Manny Houston, one of Charleston’s most talented singers and musicians, is back for the Charleston Christmas Special. Houston will perform “What Christmas Means to Me” and Wham’s “Last Christmas.”
Audience favorite Michael Minor returns to sing and delight the crowd with a ventriloquist act to the tune of Ray Steven’s “Santa Claus is Watchin’ You.”
The sultry and soulful Tiffany Parker returns for her 16th year with the Charleston Christmas Special. She’ll perform “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Merry Christmas Baby” while also joining Matthew Billman for a stirring rendition of “The Christmas Song.”?
Also, part of this year’s cast is soprano Julie Bell, who has been headlining on international cruise ships, along with gospel singer Rodney Archie. They will join forces for a powerful duet of “How Great Thou Art.”?
Violinist James Anderson also joins the cast, accompanying Julie Bell on Celtic version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” This year’s musical director is local performer and pianist Demetrius Doctor.
And of course, no Moranz Entertainment show is complete without comedy sketches and dance numbers featuring Brad and Jennifer Moranz.?
The show will end with a powerful performance of “Amen” – a song Brad Moranz said they purposely use to close out the evening and remind the audience of the meaning of the season.?
“We spend the night entertaining and having a whole lot of fun, so it’s nice to end by bringing it back around to why we’re celebrating this time of year,” he said. “This song completely celebrates Jesus’ birth.”?
Performances are:?
2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8
7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8
3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9
7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14
2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15
7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15
3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16
7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18?
7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 (Kids’ Free Night)
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21
2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22
3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23
Tickets are $41 for adults; $38 for seniors (age 62 and up) and military; $22 for students 21 and under; $19 for children 12 and under. For groups of 15 or more, tickets are $35 each. Tickets are on sale at www.CharlestonMusicHall.com or by calling 843-853-2252 (Box Office hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday).?
Purchase a Dinner & Show Ticket for a night out on the town. This ticket is $70 per person and includes one adult ticket to the Charleston Christmas Special and a pre-fixe dinner menu at Vincent Chicco’s, located next door to the Charleston Music Hall. Dinner reservations required; call Vincent Chicco’s at 843-203-3002.
Moranz Entertainment on Social Media:
Instagram @MoranzEntertainment?
Photos of the Charleston Christmas Special – Photo credit Damon R. Smith

The MUSC and Friends and Christ Church Presbyterian Host Dinner and Bible Study Every Tuesday

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The MUSC and Friends weekly Bible meets each Tuesday night for dinner and Bible study. We begin with dinner at 6:45 and are studying Jesus In His Own Words.

Please let Pastor Ross know if you have any questions. ross@christchurchcharleston.org

When:? Every Tuesday until December 18, 2018 – 6:45pm – 8:45pm

Where:?Christ Church Presbyterian –?104 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401

Official Event Page

Christ Church Presbyterian Official Website

Three Charleston Harbor attractions offering one convenient pass

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The South Carolina Aquarium, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, and the Charleston Water Taxi announced a new, joint promotion: the Charleston Waterfront Pass. For the first time, the three organizations have partnered to create a special pass that is perfect for families and visitors who want to see two of the top Charleston-area attractions and enjoy a boat ride across the harbor.

Passholders can choose to begin their waterfront adventure at either the South Carolina Aquarium or Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum and then take in breathtaking views of the Charleston Harbor while riding the Charleston Water Taxi to the remaining attraction. Visitors may show each attraction’s ticket staff their pass, and it will be redeemed for one standard admission ticket. Visits to each attraction are not required to take place on the same day, but must be used before the expiration date noted on the pass.

The Charleston Waterfront Pass is available exclusively through the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and can be purchased at its four staffed visitor centers:

? Downtown Charleston at 375 Meeting St.

? Kiawah Island at 4475 Betsy Kerrison Pkwy.

? Mount Pleasant at 99 Harry M. Hallman, Jr. Blvd.

? North Charleston at 4975-B Centre Pointe Dr.

The combined price of the pass allows visitors to save nearly $15 off the price of visiting each participating attraction on its own. Pricing is as follows:

? Adults (ages 13+): $52.95

? Children (ages 6-12): $38.95

? Children (ages 3-5): $26.95

For more information, media may contact South Carolina Aquarium Public Relations Manager Bethany Morgan (bmorgan@scaquarium.org) or Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum Public Information Officer Chris Hauff (chauff@patriotspoint.org).

About Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum:

Located on the Charleston Harbor, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is the top attraction in Mount Pleasant, SC and includes a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships, 28 historic aircraft, and the only Vietnam Support Base Camp in the United States. The museum is also headquarters to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and the agency’s official Medal of Honor Museum. Visit www.patriotspoint.org for more details, or find us at @patriots_point on Twitter and Instagram, and Facebook at www.facebook.com/PatriotsPoint.org. Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The museum is only fully closed on Christmas Day and closes early (at 3:30 p.m.) on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and New Years Eve.

About the South Carolina Aquarium:

The South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston’s No. 1 family attraction, features thousands of aquatic animals from river otters and sharks to loggerhead turtles in more than 60 exhibits representing the rich biodiversity of South Carolina from the mountains to the sea. Dedicated to promoting education and conservation, the Aquarium also presents sweeping views of the Charleston harbor along with interactive exhibits and programs for visitors of all ages. The South Carolina Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the Aquarium is closed Thanksgiving Day, half day Dec. 24 (open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Dec. 25. Visit www.scaquarium.org for more information.

Charleston SC Dolphin Tours Harbor Boat Cruise & Historical Day Trips Announced

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Charleston, South-Carolina boat tour company Carolina Marine Group has announced new dolphin tours and historical day trips aboard their fleet of cruise boats.

Charleston, United States – July 9, 2018 /PressCable/ — Charleston, South Carolina-based boat tour company Carolina Marine Group has announced new dolphin tours aboard their fleet of marine boats. Dolphin tours and boat cruises are a popular, memorable tourist activity in South Carolina for people wanting to do something fun and different on their vacation.

More information can be found here: https://www.carolinamarinegroup.com

A dolphin tour with Carolina Marine Group can be the highlight of any vacation as dolphins are sociable and lovable animals and very friendly towards humans. Every time a boat tour takes place in the Charleston harbor they come across dolphins playing together so it is almost a guarantee customers will see dolphins on their boat cruises.

Their fleet of boats include the Hatterass, Southern Comfort and the Ship of Fools. Day trips on the “Hatterass” or the “Ship of Fools” and overnight stays on the “Motoryacht Southern Comfort” bed and breakfast can be booked online.

Prices vary based on the time of year. Charleston Harbor Cruises include historical sights including Shutes Folly Island, Castle Pinckney, Civil War Forts, 18th-century homes, Ravenel Bridge, USS Yorktown and the historic Battery.

Other tours include sunset tours, sunrise tours, corporate parties, weddings, bachelorette and bachelor parties, engagement cruises, cigar and bourbon tours, wine cruises and air and sea tours. The company is a member of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and a proud member of the Buy Local business directory. Previous customers have loved their experiences with the Carolina Marine Group.

One online testimonial reads, “The boat was exactly as described and looked even better and more spacious in person than the pictures show. It was truly a unique way to enjoy Charleston! Captain Dave was very accommodating – even helping us ship back home items we left on the boat. We’ll be back!”

Interested patrons both local and from abroad can find more information and book their tour online at the link above. For groups of more than 6 people, please call 1-843-779-5711 for group rates and availability.

Contact Info:
Name: Dave Gugliotti
Email: info@carolinamarinegroup.com
Organization: Carolina Marine Group
Address: 17 Lockwood Drive, Charleston, SC 29401, United States
Phone: +1-843-779-5711

For more information, please visit https://www.carolinamarinegroup.com

Source: PressCable

Salute From the Shore Set for July 4th in the Lowcountry – Check Out Complete Schedule

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The 9th Annual Salute from the Shore will begin, as always,?at 1:00 PM on July 4th in Cherry Grove, SC, just north of Myrtle Beach.

This year’s Salute will include a flyover of F-16s from the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, as well as a fleet of vintage military aircraft. The flight will include a loop through Charleston Harbor and, for the first time ever, a Salute over Lake Murray! The jets will fly over Spence Island on Lake Murray around 1:45.

Organize your patriotic displays in groups, big and small, and share your tributes online for our armed forces around the world to see. Please share this schedule and information with your friends and family!

Official Event Website

Beach Blanket Big Band Opens this Saturday at the Charleston Performing Arts Center on James Island (June 16)

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Beach Blanket Big Band?Opens Saturday!

Let’s go to the Hop with Sue, Jasper, Linda, Charles, and Patricia! Together, this group of high school friends perform a summer show, “Beach Blanket Big Band”, to help their friend Danny receive his diploma. These teens will rock & roll, and bop and stroll through the 50’s to all your favorite tunes! You’ll fall in love with this kitchy 50’s-inspired sitcom musical. Fun for the entire family!