Monthly Archives: June 2011

Paula Lonneman Likes It Hot

We’re going to start a new feature to the weekly lineup, and the title is still in the works, but you’re definitely going to like it.  We’ll check out a different artist’s work each week and report back to you here…so you can take a little walkabout inside the brain of the artist.

Tomorrow night, Paula Lonneman of Indigo Fine Art opens her newest show Some Like It Hot, partially titled to reflect the weather and partially because of her warm, even hot, palette.

It’s all floral, and it’s loose.  She layers transparent colors until the very top when opaques come into play and then only uses 5 brushstrokes per flower (!!!) .  They are bold, they give you just enough information to know what you’re looking at without having to spell the whole thing out.

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Join Lonneman and the ladies of Indigo Fine Art tomorrow, Friday July 1, from 5 – 8 pm for margaritas while the fling open the doors to the courtyard and check out Some Like It Hot

102 Church Street, www.indigofineartgallery.com

Art Mag Summer 2011 Issue is here!

IT’S HERE!

The Summer 2011 issue of Art Mag has hit the streets and there are tons of great articles to check out.

visual art–explore Tivoli Studios and Gardens, read artists profiles on Tammy Papa, Karin Olah, Michelle Dunaway, Martha Sharp, check out Michael Moran’s artistic process with Moran Woodworked Furniture, CFADA Palette & Palate Stroll,

culinary art–Summer Essentials: Burgers and Beer, featuring COAST Brewing; profiles on Chef Nate Whiting of Tristan, local darlings Roots Ice Cream and  Giddy Goat Cheese, wine recommendations from Sommelier Brad Ball and the Creative Entrepreneurs of Sugar Bakeshop

performing art–Footlight Players Theatre turns 80, performing artist profiles on Crowfield and actor Kyle Barnette, Mozart in the South Festival and more.

wearable art–profiles on style makers Rosita Jones, Shelby Lee Parbel and Troubadour

Poet Jack Tracey’s take on Dealing with Charleston; Creative Inspiration–advice from our Facebook friends on how to get through the creative block; Tips from the Pimp; Charleston Green Fair; Arts Destination: Hilton Head Island; Calendar of Events and more!

Check our webpage for all the places you can find Art Mag!

A Show of Strength is up!

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This is going to be one bad ass exhibit.

Art Mag has gotten together a stellar lineup of artists for A Show of Strength: a benefit to kick cancer’s ass.  Join us Friday from 6 – 9 pm at the Real Estate Studio (214 King Street) while we raise money for the Integrative Cancer Care at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center.

Participating artists include: Ali Cavanaugh, Angela Chvarak, Angeline Herron, Ben Timpson, Betsey Carter, Christopher Murphy, Deborah Sisco, Fred Jamar, Hirona Matsuda, John Stango, Julio Cotto, Karen Silvestro, Kenton James, Kevin LePrince, Kevin Taylor, Kip Bulwinkle, Lisa Shimko, Megan Aline, Mickey Williams, Nathan Durfee, Rick Reinert, Shelby Lee Studio, and Tim Hussey.

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who is making this awesome event happen–we can’t wait to kick ass with you on Friday!

It’s Officially SUMMER!

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I’m not going to show you yet, but just in time for the official first day of Summer, the Summer 2011 issue of Art Mag has arrived!!

It’s pretty awesome issue, with a lot of the fun and useful features you’ve come to expect like profiles on artists and guides to the galleries, restaurants, theatres and much more, with some fun new things added in too!

Look for the feature on Tivoli Studios and Gardens and their hip, eco-conscious space on upper King Street; local band Crowfield, who just two days ago released their 2nd album; profile on local designer Troubadour and her city chic meets sweet southern charm; Footlight Players turns 80!; and lots more.

Happy Summer!

Circa: Contemporary Circus Comes to Charleston/Sayonara Cirque du Soleil!

 

This spring I saw my first Cirque du Soleil performance, and it was incredible.

Last night I saw Circa, the Australian contemporary circus performing at Spoleto Festival USA.  It was so much better than anything contrived under elaborate costumes and masks.

It was a simpler everything–costumes were leotards for the women, pants for the men; no fire breathers, no silly clown costumes, although they did have ‘clowns’ with humorous interludes between larger acts.  With no cliche story line to follow, just incredible movements of the human form in the most extreme, backed by synthetic beats and ethereal songs in foreign languages which allowed the movement to be the main focus.

The performers were insane machines of muscle and sinew, flexibility and control.  The ‘perfect facade’ wasn’t there–this was real.  They were really doing these insane handstands, balancing acts, hula hooping, squeezing body parts through hoops; it looked like one guy even dislocated his shoulder!  Tossing people through the air and catching them in a perfect lift–the entire audience cried out simultaneously.

At the curtain call, EVERYONE in Memminger Auditorium was on their feet instantly.  Standing ovations are becoming rarer at the performances we’ve attended lately, but everyone seems to have an appreciation for the physical talent of acts like Circa and Corella Ballet.

Circa will be performing their incredible feats of physical daring through June 12th at Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain Street, times vary.  If you only see one more thing, go to Circa!

Tickets at www.spoletousa.org, Gaillard Auditorium 77 Calhoun Street, or call 843.579.3100

She’s Got An Angry Inch, and You Need to Know About It!

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If you’ve never seen Hedwig and The Angry Inch, in film or on stage, you owe it to yourself to get over to the American Theatre for the last two shows tonight and tomorrow, 8 pm.

What If? Productions brings back their opening show for Piccolo Spoleto 2011 and I’m ever so glad.  If, like myself, you missed it the first go around, think of this as your make-up extra credit assignment.

Brian J. Porter and Beth Curley star in this tale of a washed up glam rock goddess, who knows her way around the odd (blow) job or two.  Porter is fantastic in drag, and a voice to match the job.  Porter has a gift for the one-liners and engaging an audience with words, song, and self.  Curley provides the comic relief and emotional support Hedwig (begrudgingly) needs.  They make an entertaining pair.

“Without a question, Hedwig and The Angry Inch is my favorite performance so far of Spoleto.  It strikes a fantastic emotional balance of humor and sadness, in a very impressive way,” says Art Mag publisher Olivia Pool.  “I totally has a crush on Hedwig…if she’s willing to go on a date, I will happily oblige!”

What If?’s own Alex Hennessey is the Music Director and Kyle Barnette directs.  Don’t miss the last two performances June 7 & 8!!

American Theatre 446 King Street, 8 pm.  Tickets $23 at Piccolo Spoleto online or call 843.811.4111.

I Fekkin’ LOVED The Cripple of Inishmaan

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There are hardly words to describe how much I adored the Druid Theatre‘s production of The Cripple of Inishmaan, part of Spoleto Festival USA.  Performed in the historic Dock Street Theatre on Church Street, the setting felt oh so right for the play set in 1934, on a tiny island of the coast of Ireland.

The opening scene takes us into the Aunties Kate and Eileen‘s shop, where they spend their time worrying over Billy Claven, the cripple boy they took in after his parents drowned when he was just a baby.  All your characters are there, the gossipy old man JohnnyPateenMike, the ridiculous siblings Bartley and his prone-to-violence sister Slippy Helen, the doctor, the surly widower BabbyBobby, who lost his wife Ann to TB…and of course, Cripple Billy.

Their acting was perfect.  Spot on and hysterical.  It wasn’t quite as ‘dark’ as some of the pre-press had made it out to be, but still had plenty of questionable moments, clergy sexuality jokes, Hitler references, so on and so forth.  Slippy Helen was particularly barbed, with her lack of filter and flapping gums.

BabbyBobby was the unlikely good guy…well unlikely soft-hearted guy.  Billy does con him pretty badly, playing on his past hurts for sympathy, and BabbyBobby’s retribution is severe.  The Aunties are hysterical, with wry observations on their neighbors and the human race in general.

Perhaps one of the best moments was old Mammy O’Dougal, JohnnyPateenMike’s drunkard mother, whom he’s been trying to kill with the drink for 65 years or so…she is priceless.  However nasty they are towards one another, they all possess the Irish pride…”Ireland can’t be that bad a place if Hollywood is coming here to do their filmin’!”

The requisite morals are there: cherishing what you have rather than longing for the greener grass, looking beyond the surface to the person underneath, the unwitting truth in lies…but any way you put The Cripple of Inishmaan, it’s a wonderful production full of fekkin’ great humor and terrific acting.

There are plenty of performances left, but get your tickets now! www.spoletousa.org, call 843.579.3100 or visit the box office in the Gaillard Auditorium at 77 Calhoun Street.

Have You Met Miss Suarez?

the captivating Leah Suarez

Jazz has a friend in Leah Suarez.

The daughter of a Mexican and American, Suarez has strong ties to her Latin American roots, and it shines through in her music.  Suarez sings in both English and Spanish, jazz standards and Brazilian bossa nova, with equal ease.  She can take a song you know by heart and make it her own, with love, and just a little seduction too.

In addition to sharing her talent for song with the jazz community and world at large, she also gives 190% every day with the Jazz Artists of Charleston, a 501c3 non-profit organization for the promotion of jazz music in the community and beyond.  As President of the JAC, Suarez has and continues to work tirelessly to promote jazz music, and it’s clear the work she does is paying off.

I’ve attended three of the 2011 Jazz Series Upstairs at McCrady’s this season, and they have each been, if not completely sold out, just shy of it.  People have been lining up to see if extra seats become available.  This the direct result of two things: quality programming and good marketing.

The JAC’s mission statement includes “foster a solid and professional environment for jazz musicians, artists, students and enthusiasts in the Charleston area,” which they are clearly accomplishing.  At one Jazz Series performance, I sat across from a young musician who told me it was better, professionally, for him to stay in Charleston, than go to a big city like New York or Chicago–he could actually make a living here!  There, his contemporaries sometimes had to even pay to play a gig (?!?*&!?!).

We commend her talent both on stage and behind the scenes, and say a big Thank You to Miss Suarez!

check her out at High Cotton, 6 – 10 pm tonight, 199 East Bay Street

Holy City Homecomin’: The Art of the Song

the 2011 Jazz Series poster by Jay Fletcher

Jazz is making a mark in Charleston.  With the founding of the Charleston Jazz Initiative and the Jazz Artists of Charleston and people like Jack McCray, Leah Suarez, Dr. Karen Chandler and Erin Fornadel toiling away, jazz is growing stronger every day.

Last night was the Holy City Homecomin’ at McCrady’s, who has welcomed the JAC back for a second year of Jazz Series Upstairs at McCrady’s.  It was a sell-out show, yet again.  This year’s theme was The Art of the Song, where they paired local musicians of the more rock n roll persuasion with jazz standards.

Nathan Koci, piano, Kevin Hamilton, bass, and Ron Wiltrout, percussion made up the corps of each song, with a different vocalist on each tune.  Lindsay Holler, Cary Ann Hearst, Michael Trent, Joel Hamilton, Bill Carson and Michael Flynn sat in, bringing their individual and distinctly different flavors to well known jazz standards and some not so-jazz songs.

Highlights:

Joel Hamilton singing “Cherokee” through a CB radio

Lindsay Holler singing “Dazed and Confused” by Led Zeppelin (one of the not so-jazz songs I mentioned)

Michael Flynn playing piano and singing “Porgy”

Bill Carson dedicating “Young at Heart” to his sweetheart and “Write Myself A Letter” was really awesome too

Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent closing with “You’ve Really Got a Hold On Me” backed up by the rest of the singers

Michael Flynn and Bill Carson were the most natural transitions from their typical styles into jazz standards.  Joel is a good soloist, reminds me a bit of Ryan Adams (but should I compare?  It may be violent…).  Lindsay was awesome but it felt like she was holding back a little, but the restraint may have been necessary for these songs.  Cary Ann and Michael Trent have a magical rock n roll authentic feel–they are a rich, raspy honky tonk, rootsy and passionate duo of awesomeness.

The Red Shoes: Kneehigh Theatre returns with another reinvented tale

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Two years ago, Kneehigh Theatre came to Spoleto with Don John, their re-imagined tale of the ultimate lover.  It was sexy and provocative, boundary pushing (crossing?) and really well done.  The soundtrack was amazing.  Naturally, expectations were super high when Spoleto announced Kneehigh would return with The Red Shoes.  There have been mixed reviews trickling to my ears, but I’m going to tell you my own thoughts.

Like Don John, they used their set creatively and made many locations out of a minimal set with simple yet effective changes.  Costuming also was minimalistic, base costumes were nothing more than skivvies and undershirts, layering outfits over top for each character.  We particularly loved Lydia’s big pimping coat.  I have to say, the white dress for the Girl reminded me more of mental patient than innocent confirmation candidate, but I loved the transition of her dress from white to red as the story wore on.

The makeup also had a slightly sinister or decaying look, with darkened eyes that looked like a ghost or a corpse.  Made the whole ‘dance until you die’ thing very believable, as they already looked dead, or at least impoverished.

While no one seems to be quite as impressed with The Red Shoes as they were with Don John, I still think it is a very worthy production.  They communicated a lot with very little in the way of set or costumes, which makes you have to work much harder as an actor.  Elaborate sets, flashy effects, over the top costumes all can mask a flawed production, like an overly chilled cheap white wine.

So, I vote yes, go see The Red Shoes.  If you still need more convincing, there is an accordion.  You know how we love accordions over here.  Enjoy.