Monthly Archives: January 2012

NOM: Wild Game Dinner at Tristan 2/16 to benefit SEWE

Tristan beet restaurant review

Tristan's Beet Salad is to die for.

If you haven’t been to Tristan lately, you have no excuse.

Chef Nate Whiting is a dedicated craftsman of fine cuisine.  They have a fantastic menu nightly.  They serve a great brunch.  There’s even half-priced bottles of wine every Monday and Tuesday nights AND complimentary valet!

For you adventurous meat eaters, their upcoming Wild Game Dinner sounds incredible.  There are dishes that even I don’t know what it is, but I know I want it.  Plus the first course is an heirloom beet salad, and if you read the profile on Chef Nathan Thurston of Ocean Room, you know that I love beets.  Tristan has a fantastic beet salad.

Let me give you a few words to salivate over:

Chef Nate Whiting of Tristan

quail. black truffle. braised kale. lemon ‘caviar.’ risotto. pheasant. roasted boar. smoked grapes.  goat cheese. huckleberry cobbler.

YES PLEASE.

Make your reservations for their February 16th Wild Game Dinner now.  $100 + per person.  All inclusive.  Remember that valet?  ‘I can’t find a parking spot’ is not an issue anymore!  Call 843.534.2155 to make sure you don’t miss a mouth-watering moment.

Tristan is collaborating with local cheese purveyors Goat. Sheep. Cow. and Vidalco Wine will provide the wine pairings.  Dinner is begins at 7 pm.  Five percent of ticket sales will support Southeastern Wildlife Expo, February 17 – 19, 2012.

words: Stacy Huggins

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Two Sets = Twice the Fun at Charleston Jazz Orchestra

On Saturday night, the Charleston Jazz Orchestra presented Symphonic Swing in the first of their new ‘two-performance, one-night’ format.  Last season, the performances were all at 7 pm, with a two sets split by a 10 minute intermission.  And they were selling out weeks in advance.  A good problem, but a problem none the less.

Charleston Jazz Orchestra Symphonic Swing

The resident big band decided to try something new.  In order to have room for all the jazz fans, the CJO will now play two 90-minute shows at 7 pm and 10 pm, sans intermission.  The best part is that you can enjoy dinner without having to order the early bird special, or have dinner in between and catch both performances!

Charleston Jazz Jack McCray

photo by Alice Keeney

In a touching homage to the late Jack McCray, Charleston’s ‘Jazz Angel,’ the program notes, typically written by McCray, were left blank.  “Goodnight, Mr. Charleston,” was written simply at the bottom of the page.  McCray’s signature hat rested on the podium throughout the performance, exactly where it should be.  Special guest emcee Mark Quinn did a great job, especially given that there are BIG shoes to fill.

Symphonic Swing took classical selections and rearranged them for a fresh, funky, jazz explosion of well-known classical pieces like “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” arranged for the CJO by trumpeter & leader Charlton Singleton, and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5 – Movement One,” arranged by alto sax player Jon Phillips.  Everyone knew the tunes, but the fresh take brought them to life.

Photo by Reese Moore

“Palladio,” a tune by Karl Jenkins, which you surely know from the ‘diamonds are forever’ commercials, was arranged by CJO alto sax player Robert Lewis, as well as “Les Toreadors” and “Habanera” from Carmen, both of which the crowd loved.  Salsa rhythms seeped in, and people were dancing in the aisles.  I kid you not, because I really wanted to be one of them.

As a child who grew up on classical ballet, NPR and annual performances by the North Carolina Symphony, this was one of the most enjoyable nights of classical music I’ve ever had.

Charlton Singleton, Leah Suarez and Mark Quinn; photo by Reese Moore

Symphonic Swing was accessible to everyone in the audience.  Surprising arrangements by the very musicians performing the songs on the Charleston Music Hall stage proved bandleader Singleton’s point: you DO know classical music, and it IS good, sometimes it just needs a more modern, jazzy spin.

Jack would have been proud.

Please support live music.  Support the Charleston Jazz Orchestra.  Our lives are so much better for the beautiful music these beautiful people make.  www.thejac.org

words: Stacy Huggins

Practically Perfect in Every Way: Mary Poppins comes to Charleston February 1-4!

Mary Poppins is flying into Charleston for a four night stay at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center February 1 – 4, 2012.

Mary Poppins Charleston SC

A spoonful of sugar really does help the medicine go down.

Art Mag recently got the chance to sit down with the stars of Mary Poppins, Rachel Wallace and Case Dillard, Mary and Bert respectively, tour director Anthony Lyn, and tour choreographer Geoffrey Garratt, in an intimate interview with some of Charleston’s finest journalists.

Rachel Wallace knew she simply had to play Mary Poppins

From the time that Mary Poppins hit the Broadway stage, Rachel Wallace said her heart ached to be part of that show, to simply be in the building where such a magical production was taking place.  Wallace believes that the story of Mary Poppins, and particularly this stage interpretation, is about family and communication.  Mary offers the Banks family the opportunity to be themselves, to be happy, and to share that side of themselves with people they love the most.

She has loved the never ending pursuit of becoming ‘practically perfect,’ the challenge of the role, physically, emotionally and vocally, and the chance to work on truly being Mary Poppins each night.

Case Dillard Mary Poppins Charleston SC

Case Dillard, the original Bert

Case Dillard played Bert in the original Broadway production of Mary Poppins, and the cast and crew agree: he IS Bert.  Dillard will walk up the walls, and tap dance on the ceiling, just like on Broadway.  “All I ever worry about is flipping right side up!” he says.  Dillard strives to show Bert as a real person, not just a Dick Van Dyke regurgitation.  He quips that if ever tries to tell a joke, it bombs…but just being himself hits home every time.

Dillard also loves that while he’s played every role from ensemble member to the star, he has always felt integral to the story.  This is a production the cast simply loves being part of.

Anthony Lyn Mary Poppins Charleston SC

Mary Poppins Tour director Anthony Lyn

Anthony Lyn, the tour director, went back to the books.  No, not to school.  The original books by P. L. Travers.  In order to flesh out the story of Mary, Bert and the Banks family, and successfully take a beloved movie to a stage production, he looked to the English children’s book series, first published in 1934.  This allowed the characters to have more of an arc, and “gives more texture to the story,” he says.

To him, the story of Mary Poppins is one of charity in the broadest sense.  Michael Banks learns compassion for the people he fears and deems ugly.  Mr. Banks learns that family is more important than his job or bank account.   ‘Antz,’ as the cast affectionately calls him, loves the wonder of the children in the cast, their heartfelt enthusiasm for each new adventure in the theatre.

Geoffrey Garratt Mary Poppins Charleston SC

Geoffrey Garratt wants his actors to be themselves, with British accents

Geoffrey Garratt serves as the tour choreographer for Mary Poppins, and has created new movements for the cast that showcases the individuals behind the movement.  Both Wallace and Dillard agree that the diversity of the numbers keeps the production exciting for them.  The show is tailored to the cast who gets on stage each night, rather than Garratt squeezing them into a cookie-cutter mold.  They are encouraged to rethink the essence of their characters, to be themselves, with British accents.  Garratt says that through the “process of fine-tuning and reinvention, then they own what they do so much more.”

This production promises all the magic of the New York Broadway show, with incredible costumes, set design, lights, flight and more.  The crew arrived extra early on January 11th to begin set construction, and this production kicks off the North American right here in Charleston.  Currently, there are four productions of Mary Poppins running on three continents, and the musical has won 44 major theatre awards.

Tickets are on sale now, at the PAC box office, Ticketmaster online and over the phone at 1.800.745.3000.  Performances run February 1 – 4 at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive, at 7:30 pm.  Groups of 10+ can get a discount, call 843.529.5007.

words: Stacy Huggins

photos of cast and crew: Matthew Rickerby

HEADS UP: Wicked Tix on Sale FRIDAY 2/10 at 8 AM

BIG NEWS: The biggest blockbuster runaway hit that Broadway has ever seen in coming to North Charleston.  That’s right.  It’s time to defy gravity.  WICKED is coming to the Performing Arts Center April 18 – 29.  Oh wait, we already told you that.

Wicked comes to North Charleston April 18 - 29

TICKETS GO ON SALE TO THE PUBLIC FRIDAY 2/10 AT 8 AM.

Just a guess, but you should probably get your camping gear ready.

Wicked fans fill the lobby

It’s like this: tickets go on sale to the public Friday, February 10 at 8 am, but you have to be there, in person, at the North Charleston PAC box office, to purchase them.  On the slim chance there are any left at 10 am, they will go on sale via phone and Ticketmaster.

Wicked comes to Charleston April 18 - 29

A lot happened before Dorothy dropped in...

Got a big group?  Get your tickets now.  For groups of 20 or more call (843) 529-5007.

Art you live your life in: Cynthia Rowley Sample Sale this weekend!

We love the ladies over at Cynthia Rowley on King Street, and now you can afford to too!  Their Sample Sale this weekend will have discounts up to 80% off!  Visit them at 341 King Street (beside the college/hangover favorite Kickin’ Chicken), Thursday – Sunday, January 26 – 29!

SCOOP’s Bill Mead at the Footlight Players Theatre

There are few things that we love more than connecting a talented artist with a great venue like the Footlight Players Theatre. When they contacted us about finding someone to feature on their walls for the upcoming Charleston Comedy Festival, we were excited to help!

"Trio" by Bill Mead

If you made it to SCOOP Studios before their final show, you will surely recognize Bill Mead’s unique landscapes by the large vegetables in the foreground of each piece. While the closing of  SCOOP’s Broad Street location was a bittersweet event, their online gallery is still alive and well. We are glad to be sharing Bill Mead’s talents with a new audience, thanks to the suggestion of SCOOP’s Colleen Deihl.

Footlight Players loves displaying art inside their theatre

Six of Bill Mead’s pieces will be on display at the Theatre from now through the month of February, including the fantastic trio of squashes above. Stop by the Footlight Players Theatre on Friday or Saturday for the Charleston Comedy Festival! Showtimes vary. Get more info: www.charlestoncomedyfestival.com