EVENT — C’mon baby, light my fire(works)
Fourth of July
Tues. July 4
Various times, locations,and events

It’s time to celebrate: our crazy little country is finally 230 years old! As is traditional, people across the peninsula will load up the grill, light some sparklers, drink some brewskis (or cherry Kool-Aid), and pretend that America isn’t descending into a sinkhole of petty partisanship, ugly campaign smear tactics, and widespread willful ignorance. But enough pessimism (realism?) — let’s see some fireworks! There are plenty of shows happening across the Lowcountry, which we’ve collected for you in a neat little package below. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a boat, you could see multiple explosions in the sky at once from a well-chosen vantage point in the Charleston Harbor. See pg. 36, in our Summer Guide, for a word on fireworks from the man behind the RiverDogs’ annual spectacle.

THEATRE — What good is sitting alone in your room?
Cabaret Kiki
Thurs. June 29
8 p.m.
Theatre 99
280 Meeting St.

After earning high praise from virtually every person lucky enough to snag a ticket to one of their pre-Spoleto sold-out shows, Cabaret Kiki returns to Theatre 99 this week. In one of the most ambitious local projects seen so far this year, a highly talented group of musicians, artists, and dancers unite to present a deliciously arousing and amusing show patterned after the decadent pre-WWII cabarets of Berlin. Matt Bivins (formerly of Jump), transforms into emcee Jonny Panick and presides over a veritable Who’s Who of Charleston creative types, including musicians Cary Ann Hearst, Evan Bivins, Bill Carson, Ash Hopkins, and Nathan Koci, plus several dancers from the Charleston Ballet Theatre, as they sing, dance, joke, and generally have a rip-snortin’ good time, accompanied by short films, shadow puppets, and pretty much any manner of entertainment you can imagine. The party starts early for Thursday’s performance, as the group hosts a Kiki-themed benefit dinner at Sermet’s Corner (276 King St.) starting at 5:30 p.m., followed by a parade to Theatre 99 that will kick off the show.

MUSIC — One hot “Okie from Muskogee”
Carrie Underwood
Fri. June 30
8 p.m.
North Charleston Performing Arts Center
5001 Coliseum Blvd.

Until American Idol producers deemed her worthy of a trip to Hollywood, the Oklahoma-born and raised Carrie Underwood had never been on an airplane. Underwood, 23, drove on a whim through the night from Tahlequah, Okla., to audition for the show. Her renditions of Martina McBride and Bonnie Raitt were enough to convince judges of her vocal talent, which she cultivated as a youngster in church and for a few school performances. Her first single, “Inside Your Heaven,” broke Billboard records as the first country single ever to debut in the Hot 100. With the wild popularity of “Jesus Take the Wheel,” it looks as if she might give Kelly Clarkson a run for her money as the post-Idol star with the most potential.

VISUAL ARTS — Can’t get enough Hopper?
Opening Reception for Lin Barnhardt’s Homage to Hopper
Thurs. June 29
5-7 p.m.
The Meeting Place
1077 E. Montague Ave.

After you’ve seen the new Edward Hopper exhibit at the Gibbes, venture a bit north to explore another celebration of the American realist. Using Hopper’s paintings as inspiration, Lin Barnhardt honors the artist with hand-crafted clay houses, most of which weight 10 pounds and took 200 hours to complete. Each piece reflects a historically significant landmark from a bird’s-eye view. But Barnhardt has distorted each one as a way of experimenting with light and perception. A North Carolina native and retired schoolteacher whose exhibits have crisscrossed the United States, Barnhardt will be on hand to chat with guests about his interpretation of the famous New Yorker. The exhibit will be on view through July 30.

EVENT — Your bills on Donald or Daisy?
Million Dollar
Duck Race
Sat. July 1
4 p.m.
from $5-500
Old Santee Canal Park
900 Stony
Landing Road
761-5360, ext. 5

Rubber duckies mean more than bathtub playtime for the Callen-Lacey Center for Children, a service of the Carolina Youth Development Center. The Center — the only children’s shelter in Berkeley County — invites the public to adopt a range of ducks for the big race across the pond. From five bucks for those flying — well, swimming — solo to Big Ducks on the Pond for $500, the sponsorships fund the refuge the shelter provides for abused or abandoned children. Those whose ducks cross quickest are eligible to win prizes that include passes for Walt Disney World and Stono Ferry Golf, Target and spa gift certificates, and Stingrays tickets.

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