The 12 Days of Christmas – Charleston Style

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By Minta Pavliscsak

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
A Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the second day of Christmas:
my true love sent to me:
Two Parking Tickets and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the third day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

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On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

sweetgrass basket 3

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Nine Ladies Shopping
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

surfboards 2

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me:
Ten Guys on Surfboards
Nine Ladies Shopping
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
Eleven Sailboats Sailing
Ten Guys on Surfboards
Nine Ladies Shopping
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

palmetto rose 1

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:
Twelve Palmetto Roses
Eleven Sailboats Sailing
Ten Guys on Surfboards
Nine Ladies Shopping
Eight Sweetgrass Baskets
Seven Dolphins Swimming
Six Pounds of Oysters
Five Horse Drawn Carriages
Four Window Boxes
Three Bloody Marys
Two Parking Tickets
and a Seagull Perched in a Palm Tree

If you see one musical this season in Charleston, see ‘Hollywood: The Golden Age’ at C-PAC

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By Mark A. Leon

From its opening silent film era montage featuring strobe lights, exaggerated body motions and a larger than life announcer to the ensemble showcase finale of ‘That’s Entertainment’, this three-act celebration of the Golden Age of cinema will leave you singing and tapping in the aisles.

In an age of digital dating, fake news, political upheaval and an overall disconnected feeling in society, it is refreshing to find a play that celebrates all that is good in film, music, dance and love.? This is one night at the theater that will leave you smiling all the way home.

With moments of glee, romance and sentimental journey, this musical celebration reminds us of the origins of music and dance on the big screen that pioneered the way allowing us to enjoy the likes of La La Land, Les Miserables, and Glee.? It is a reminder of a simpler time when a smile and a vocal could light up a room, a lady was classy and a man was a gentleman.

The 23 musical numbers accompanied by stunning costumes, a simple reflective and illuminated stage, and vocals that are worthy of the lights of Broadway, have a seamless flow throughout the performance.? In a phrase, “That’s Entertainment”.

As you listen to Cheek to Cheek performed by Kirk Pfeiffer, Tiffany West and Savannah Shoenborn, you feel the aura of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.? When Caitlin Wilson enters stage right in her little pink dress and belts Good Ship Lollipop, the glow you felt seeing Shirley Temple just returns to your face.

Ward Billeison, with his smile that won’t quit plastered across his face charms the crowd on and off the stage with his rendition of Singin’ in the Rain.

Leah Edwards, a guest artist whom recently moved from New York, shows a level of elegance worthy of Ingrid Bergman or Audrey Hepburn.? The soft skin and silky hair and emotional vocals made her a dominant, yet inviting presence.? Her solo of The Boy Next Door brings back feelings of unrequited love we all felt at one point in our lives.

When she concludes Act I with Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the cabaret style audience exploded in applause.

The company provides some of the finest dance numbers we have seen in the Lowcountry for some time belting out leg kicks, twists, turns and dips.? Each costume change was a refreshing zest of life and complimentary of the finely choreographed dance steps.

Leah Edwards and Ward Billeisen, as the guest artists and stars, bring a deep resume to this performance.? Leah, a classical vocalist, has been presented in concert at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall along with her Off-Broadway stage work.? Ward has been seen on Broadway in Anything Goes with Sutton Foster and Joel Gray, Curtains with David Hyde Pierce and Fiddler on the Roof with Harvey Fierstein and Rosie O’Donnell.? With these two leading a very talented cast, it is hard to not be tempted to experience this intimate extravaganza of live theatre.

This performance will be running through April 2, 2018.

Ticket Information and Purchase

Charleston Performing Arts Center Official Website

*Note:? If you have never been to the C-PAC on Folly Road, the entrance is in the back and the parking lot is small and tight.? Next door at the Hen and the Goat, you can park and walk to the next lot at no cost.

Evil Dead: The Musical – A Raunchy Comical Horrorfest

By Mark A. Leon / Edited by Minta Pavliscsak

“Evil Dead: The Musical” is a hauntingly beautiful evil comedy packed with silly madness that will fulfill your need for a Halloween scare.

Set in a misty dark foggy night deep in the heart of the forest, five broke and horny teenagers find their way to an abandoned cabin in the woods where the only thing standing in their way from a perfect spring break is an explosion of demons comedically unleashed via stumbling across The Book of Dead and recordings of passages from its pages.? What follows next is blood, mayhem and sheer lunacy.

Enter Ash, his sister Cheryl, his S-Mart love Linda, fowl mouthed best friend Scott and Scott’s three-day old fast fling Shelly.? Now sit back and enjoy one of the most exhilarating evenings this holiday season.

Based on the book and lyrics of George Reinblatt, the carefully crafted stage direction of Kyle Barnette and the wickedly enchanting cast, What if? Productions and Threshold Repertory take you on a journey combining legendary elements of Grease, Rocky Horror Picture Show and the campy B-Movie essence of Tromaville, the hometown of Toxic Avenger.

The opening number, “Cabin in the Woods” is reminiscent of any great road trip and is soon followed by romantic duet of “Housewares Employee” by Ash and Linda that is so utterly romantic, it will make you think twice about the “no love in the workplace” rule by the time it is over.

After two hours of show stopping numbers, wise cracks and horny banter, you will be treated to a blood soaked Thrilleresque conclusion filled with dancing, ancient chants, a Boomstick and a hair-raising chainsaw hand.

The devil truly has a sense of humor and he blessed us with Evil Dead:? The Musical

As the story unfolds, demons manifest themselves in the bodies of our cast, who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.? The first possessed is Ash’s sister Cheryl, played remarkably by Kelly McDavid.? As the demon locks itself deep in the underbelly, taking over Cheryl’s body, she transforms from a paranoid book worm, to a witty, pun induced laugh track leading the audience into an explosion of excitement with every well-timed line.

A show stopping moment occurs with the introduction of Jake, played by James Ketelaar who transforms his character into a rugged redneck bumpkin whose confidence soon turns into fear. He makes his character lovable with his breakout performance of “Good Old Reliable Jake”, which puts the crowd in a frenzy of extended applause.

Cameron Christensen, as Ash is played with confidence, charm and visual expressiveness.? His complete and uninhibited adaptation into this world of demonic musical silliness provided a prominent presence that inspired.? His energy fueled the remaining members of the troop as they took us down a path to the unknown forces of the dead.

Throw in a talking moose head, dancing beaver, pain in the ass hand, talking head, flying intestines, an audience splash zone and you have a night of entertainment, you will surely not forget.

Late in Act I we are introduced to Ed and Annie.? Ed is only a bit part demon; the extra that is soon forgotten, but don’t feel bad, he will get his moment to shine, sort of.? Annie (who may resemble Shelly), played by Bess Lawson, is the daughter of the professor who initially discovers the Book of the Dead.? Her appetite to steal the spotlight in every scene, makes her an unlikely hero in this story.? But then again, when you are dealing with demonic forces, anything can happen.

Throughout the performance, the actors play fun at the formula of horror movies and without even realizing, make us all a part of the performance.? It is a tactic to engage while still poking fun at the genre to enhance the comedic element.

“Evil Dead” is a raunchy, witty, playful and outrageous evening of sheer fun and a must see during this holiday season, or any season.? Spoiler:? Once you see the musical number “What the Fuck Was That?” choreographed to the tango between Scott and Ash, I think you will understand just what we mean.

A truly great production is a team effort from set design to props; casting to rehearsal; script to music; timing to confidence.? “Evil Dead” is an uninhibited and enthralling theatrical symbiosis.? This production brings all these elements together in a complete experience.

Come to Threshold to experience a remarkable show that will turn your world inside out.? Play along with the banter and get absorbed into a world where demons can be fun too, even if they want to steal your soul and kill you.

Ticket Information – Evil Dead: The Musical

 

 

 

 

 

Charleston Performing Arts Center to Revive “Dream Girls, The Revue”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Charleston Performing Arts Center to Revive “Dream Girls, The Revue”

Charleston’s only cabaret-style theatre located at 873 Folly Road, James Island will revive its sell-out hit “Dream Girls, The Revue.” The original production opened their 2015-2016 season and was so popular it has been brought back to be the season closer.

This original dance musical pays tribute to the girl groups of the 1960s. From Motown to the dowop craze, our Broadway-caliber vocalists will sing hits like “I Met Him on A Sunday,” “Lollipop,” “Please Mr. Postman,” “My Boyfriend’s Back,” and “Leader of the Pack.” You’ll hear the hits from teenage girl group pioneers The Bobettes, The Chantels and The Poquelos. The craze continues with The Marvelettes, Martha and the Vadellas, The Chiffons, and more. The evening culminates with the sound and style maturing into the “dream girls” we all love: The Supremes.

The show stars visiting artists Lisa Lauren Smith, who hails from the city that created the Motown sound, Detroit. Lisa is a performer and solo recording artist who has released her debut album “Rock Steady”. She has graced stages across the nation, including Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas; and is an alumnus of The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute. Career highlights include a featured role as Ella Fitzgerald (alongside Broadway tap dancer Ted Louis Levy) in One More Rhythm; and as Billie Holiday in Queen Of The Blues. TV credits include: Chicago PD; BET Sitcom Lets Stay Together. Film credits: Street Kings 2, Family Weekend, starring Kristen Chenoweth.

Returning to reprise her role that brought audiences to their feet is Broadway veteran, and Gospel recording artist, Deidra Brooks. Most notably, she appeared as Shug Avery (u/s) in the original Broadway production of The Color Purple.? Other performances include BJ in Smokey Joes Cafe, Sylvia in All Shook Up and several other musicals, gospel concerts, stage plays and commercials. Her soulful and powerful voice will have audiences?back on their feet as she performs such hits as R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Mr. Postman, and our show stopping finale!

“Dream Girls, The Revue” also stars Season Company Performers, including Chanbrielle Beason, Maureen Remerowski, and Tiffany West. Other cast members include Steven Cardinal, as Dick Clark, Heather Corson, Lakeia Hodges, and Giselle Koubenec.

Theatre guests enjoy tableside seating while costumed Table Tootsies serve drinks and desserts before and during the show.

“We are so excited to revive this show! It was such a great hit with our audiences and we had to turn away so many people since it literally sold out almost every performance. We want everyone to see this show, so we decided to close the season with it.” said theatre co-founder, Artistic Director, and Broadway veteran Kirk Sprinkles. “The audience will be transported them back to the day when Motown ruled the airwaves—when the ‘girl group’ as we know it was born. Today’s female stars like Lady Gaga, Adele and Beyoncé all draw reference to the tight harmonies, complex arrangements and glamorous styles that started in the 60s.” “Dream Girls, The Revue” plays Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 4:00pm, starting July 29 through August 28. Ticket prices range from $18 (child) to $45 (VIP Adult) and may be purchased online or by phone at 843-991-5582.

Located at 873 Folly Road on James Island, the theatre is just three miles from downtown Charleston and five miles from Folly Beach. The small, intimate theatre is designed to immerse audiences in a true cabaret experience, very similar to the famous cabaret theatres in New York City.

Woolfe Street Playhouse Production of “Rock of Ages” brings down the house in a musical celebration

By Mark A. Leon / Photo by Minta Pavliscsak
By Mark A. Leon / Photo by Minta Pavliscsak

Throw all the rules of theater out the window, bottle up all the fun you can find in Charleston and then unleash it on stage.? Now, envision the quirky appeal of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and the Farrelly Brothers in the throwback free spirited years of hair metal bands and you will be transplanted in the world of Woolfe Street Playhouse’s adaptation of Rock of Ages.

This two hour and fifteen-minute joyride with a soundtrack that includes Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Warrant, Steve Perry, Twisted Sister, Poison, Europe, Pat Benatar and Quiet Riot will keep you tapping your feet and lip syncing throughout the entire production.? As the cast puts their own spin on classic 80’s rock songs, you see a story of love, ambition, heartache and triumph unravel.

Picture Sunset Strip circa 1987 where lipstick dreams of stardom alive and well.? Entire a small town girl with a glow in her eyes and fantasies of the big screen in her head.? As she walks away from Dad in his John Deere suspenders and Mom weeping from the distance she knows a future of endless possibility awaits.? We have all have had that dream. Then she meets a Detroit, Michigan bar back on the strip who wants to light up the stage and rock.

Their worlds soon get turned inside out as this musical celebration of life, love, passion and ambition unfolds.

This cabaret style performance was converted into a virtual arena rock show with the audience playing a key supporting role.? With singing, clapping and even a bit of dancing at the conclusion, Rock of Ages literally will bring the crowd to its feet.

From the open lyrics of “Feel the noise; girls grab the boys; we get wild, wild, wild” and “Don’t need nothin’ but a good time, how can I resist.? Ain’t looking for nothin’ but a good time, and it don’t get better than this” you knew you were in for a ride.

In the final unleashed moment, the entire cast raise their arms with the final burst “Don’t Stop”.? Those final words sum up the true message and that is to live the life you want and never stop believing in yourself and your dreams.

The Bourbon Room is the setting of this love story narrated by the top hits of the 80’s.? Lonny Barnett, played refreshingly by Noah Smith adds his own brand of flirtatious humor and sarcasm as he narrates this rock and roll fantasy.? His over-zealous lust for life and warm-hearted appeal for love adds the perfect mix of insanity and humor to the production.

John Black and Sarah Callahan play Drew and Sherrie, the heart struck lovers who are thwarted by timing and the personal desires as they fight hard to bring their hearts together in the seedy under-belly of Sunset Strip.

Josh Wilhoit unleashes his inner rock star as Stacee Jaxx, the pompous long-haired lead singer of Arsenal who becomes too big for his own britches and learns a number of hard lessons in life.? Even as his career and spirits spiral to the ground, he never loses his thrill to rock.

Robbie Thomas as Dennis Dupree, the old rock star and owner of The Bourbon Club is played harmoniously well as he compliments the ensemble cast serving as the calm voice of reason in a world of musical chaos.

Tierney Breedlove, Scott Thomas and Derek T. Pickens lend a beautiful sub-plot as Regina, Hertz and Franz, a key conflict plotline of this tale.? Hertz and Franz see a future for the Sunset Strip that resembles more of a strip mall than a rock and roll gathering hub.

The energy of the cast and the was brought together harmoniously by the fueled stage direction of Keely Enright and the musical direction of Margaret Coleman.

Whether you want an evening of live musical theater that rejoices in the idea of love, music and a little kinky fun, relive the splendor of your youth or want to experience a place where the only thing in life was a great song and amazing mane of hair, Rock of Ages will sweep you away.

To Purchase Tickets Online – Rock of Ages (May 6 – May 29)

Photo by Minta Pavliscsak

 

Midtown Productions Presents a Hilarious Musical Revue about Love..

Media Release:

Midtown Productions presents:? “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!”

 

Midtown Productions continues its run of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” after a fantastic opening weekend with standing ovations and great reviews! ?
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‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’ is a delightfully madcap take on the crazy little thing we call LOVE…” ?– Lowcountry Today
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The cast plays extremely well off each other… amazing job! …Ryan… Phenomenal”… Haydn… simply Captivating… Leah… Delightful…?
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… a non-stop, raucous, adrenaline ride!
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Director Manny Houston says “this show hilariously reveals the difficulties and joys of connecting with another person at every stage of life… Four actors take on over 40 roles in a collection of vignettes and songs scaling the dizzying spectrum of male/female relationships!
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The show plays each Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm through February?27th,? with a Sunday Matinee at 3pm on February 21st. (Hurry, last Sunday was sold out!) ?
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Duvall Catering will provide charcuterie plates, desserts and specialty drinks plus beer, wine and soft drinks at all performances for an additional cost.
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Performances will be at the beautiful new Midtown Cabaret Theatre, located inside the new DUVALL CENTER at 2816 Azalea Drive in North Charleston. It’s easy to find:? From I-26, Exit 216-B onto Cosgrove, then a quick right onto Azalea Drive.? DUVALL is 1/3 mile down on the left, past the Lowcountry Food Bank.? Lots of FREE PARKING on the premises!
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Click to reserve tickets or email Sheri Grace Wenger atsherigrace@yahoo.com. ?
Box office phone:? 843-557-1163.
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See you at the theatre!

Dock Street Theater’s Little Shop of Horrors – A Horticulturalist Nightmare

By Mark A. Leon

From the moment Crystal, Chiffon and Ronnette walked on the stage singing Little Shop of Horrors, you knew you were in for a musical medley of horror, humor, love and a strange twist. Played wonderfully by Carin Lagerberg, Maggie Saunders and Madeline Glenn Thomas, the choral arrangements of these three middle school dropouts served as a beautiful musical narration of this oddly strange story of alien domination disguised as a unique flower.

Throughout the evening, the three sidewalk dwelling singers transformed from lost teenagers to beauty queens dancing on steps, the street, the shop and for a moment in the balcony. You were even delighted to see them peak through the window of the florist shop.

The stage was designed in thirds to create the perception of three simultaneous acts flowing in perfect symmetry throughout the performance. With the florist shop as the center of attention, the city backdrop, steps, garbage and hobo’s complimented and lent more detail to the area of the city deemed “skid row”.

Early in the production, when we are introduced to Audrey 2, you could not help but feel a sense of comfort as this Muppetsesque plant warms you as it bloomed and swayed in Seymour’s hands; a soothing feeling soon to be washed away as its grew and power reached new heights.

Kent Reynolds creates the role of Seymour, the dorky backroom florist with no direction in life, with precision and accuracy with his shy awkward demeanor, nerdy attire and misguided ambitions for fame and fortune. As you watched him on stage, you cannot help but sense he stepped right off the set of Leave it to Beaver. With his Beaver Cleaver hair, glasses and subtle innocence, he took on the role and made it his own.

George Younts, took on Mr. Mushnik, the down on his luck Skid Row florist owner who is one step away from closing the shop and giving up. His sense of greed and ambition and obliviousness created a character that channeled Zero Mostel from The Producers. As we will learn in Act II, greed truly led him to a dark place.

Katie Arthur as Audrey was charming. Her inner city accent, blond wavy hair, airy personality and pretty girl with low self-esteem image created a balance for the florist shop bringing a naive beauty to Seymour and Mr. Mushnik. Her inability to get out of an abusive relationship with Orin, the dentist, added a sub-plot that would feed into the main focus of the play, Audrey II.

horrorPen Chance, the chameleon of the troop took on five roles during this performance including both genders. His quirky personality was expressed well with each scene he performed in and it was clear he was having fun playing a series of side bar characters. A little nitric oxide inhalation as Orin helped bring humor to the role of the abusive dentist.

The center of the play was Audrey II, played remarkably by puppeteer and actor, Josh Harris and Nathan Burke. As a bluesy singing plant with a thirst for human blood and flesh, Audrey II was a showstopper. As he grew, his presence became more and more prominent. The audience became closer to the sinister plot and soon learned the true plan. With his playful harmonies, whiny calls for “feed me” and deviant behavior, Audrey II manifested a love/hate relationship with the audience.

In the end, you feel a sense of horror, relief, justice, uncertainty and just all around fun. With that combination, director Marybeth Clark and the entire collection of players, musicians and stage hands create a wonderful night at the theater.

Remember Charleston, if you take anything away from Dock Street’s performance, “Don’t Feed The Plants” and most importantly see this production.