COMEDY | How we do in Dixie
The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition usually brings a pretty distinctive crowd into town. Over the next few days you’ll be seeing an increase in camo and fishing hats, and Theatre 99 has put together a string of shows to make the visitors feel right at home. Do your comedic tastes run more toward Jeff Foxworthy’s jokes? Or are you just plum curious about Southern culture? Join Skeeter, Wild Man, Jackson, Carlene, R.L., Ray Ray, and Petey as they sing “Free Bird” and guzzle beer at the Neckprov show. But when things start to seem too predictable, you’ll see skits putting rednecks in charge of inventing the telescope, the atom bomb, or even duck pâté. This improv show is completely based on audience suggestion, so come with your favorite stereotypes and get ready to yell ‘em out to the comedians. Showtime for Neckprov is 9:30 p.m. both nights, and tickets are $5. If history is more your cup of PBR (or if you just didn’t make it through 8th grade history), The Complete History of Charleston for Morons is a dumbed down, hysterical lesson about our little Southern town. So give up an evening of Pimp My Trailer and attend this history class instead. On Friday, Morons tickets are $10, and on Saturday they’re $12 — showtime is 8 p.m. both nights. —Melissa Xenakis Feb. 15-16. Theatre 99, 280 Meeting St. (843) 853-6687. www.thehavenots.com.
THEATER | Vag time
The penis sure does get a lot of attention — just think about the number of daily e-mails you get pertaining to it and its different, well, “properties.” Fortunately, the Women and Gender Studies Program at the College of Charleston is working to bring some much-needed (and non-Britney-Spears-style) publicity to vaginas. In honor of V-Day Week, an international initiative to eradicate violence against women and girls, the WGS Program hosts a series of events. The climax of this women-focused week is the college’s seventh annual production of The Vagina Monologues. Always well-attended, these productions have raised quite a bit of money for local charities over the years. Last year, proceeds went to the YMCA and People Against Rape. This year, the WGS program hopes to donate several thousand dollars to both My Sister’s House and the Magdalene House of Charleston. Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues (known colloquially as “The Vagina Lady”), started the V-Day organization after being inspired and incensed by so many women’s stories. Listening to the ‘Logues, you, too, will probably be moved to act. The personified genitals, according to WGS Chair Alison Piepmeier, take you on a “roller coaster ride of emotions” and “make you think about women’s bodies and women’s lives in different ways.” Consistent with the wishes of the international V-Day organization, this year’s production is largely student-run. Leigh Dekle, an undergraduate WGS minor, directs, and the cast is composed of 14 undergraduate actors. Melonea Locklair, executive director of People Against Rape, provides exception to the student-only trend; she will be performing as a special guest. WGS women are working hard this week. You, on the other hand, have got it made — affordable, affecting entertainment that encourages you to think and talk about sex! –Meaghan Strickland Feb. 15, 7 p.m. & 12 a.m. $20, $12/student, (843) 953-2280, www.cofc.edu. College of Charleston, Jewish Studies Center, 66 George St.
MUSIC | Hootie channels Ol’ Blue Eyes
Friday night Hootie gets high-dollar during a special benefit concert featuring the music of Frank Sinatra, with the full support of a big band. Proceeds from the concert, set for Friday evening at the Charleston Music Hall, will benefit the Medical University of South Carolina’s Charles P. Darby Children’s Research Institute. “I’m proud to be supporting MUSC Children’s Hospital and excited to be doing this concert again,” says Hootie, aka Darius Rucker. “I’ve loved these Sinatra songs for so long and performing them with a big band is a dream come true.” The Darby Children’s Research Institute is the largest and most comprehensive pediatric research facility in the Carolinas. Born and raised in Charleston, Rucker, 41, studied and performed music before and during his years at the University of South Carolina, where he met Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, and Jim Sonefeld, soon to become Hootie & The Blowfish. Throughout their career, the band has sold over 25 million records and earned several awards, including two Grammys. Rucker released a critically-acclaimed solo record in 2002 titled Back to Then. This week’s program will likely touch on just about everything from the early Hit Parade era through the Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back TV special stuff … and more. “Love and Marriage,” “It Was a Very Good Year,” “Summer Wind,” “Chicago,” “High Hopes” … they’re all in contention. Will “My Way” make it in the set? Fuhggeddaboutit. –T. Ballard Lesemann Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m. $100, $150, $250. (843) 792-7540. Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St. (843) 853-2252, www.charlestonmusichall.com
DANCE | Bally dancing
Russian choreographer George Balanchine came to the U.S. in the 1930s, and over the next quarter century revolutionized the world of classical ballet. In one of their most anticipated shows of the season, Charleston Ballet Theatre will honor Balanchine by performing three of his most celebrated works. Selecting from over 400 pieces was not an easy task, but CBT made an effort to choose three that would accurately represent his career, starting with his final masterpiece Rubies, part of the Jewels ballet which was inspired by a visit to a jeweler in New York City. The dancers, dressed in vibrant red costumes, perform unexpected twists and turns to the music of Stravinsky. They’ll also be performing Serenade, set to the music of Tchaikovsky and developed organically over many years through Balanchine’s improvisations with his students. The final piece is the Broadway-inspired Who Cares? set to the music of George Gershwin before a backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. Perfect for Balanchine devotees and newbies alike. –Erica Jackson Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m. and Sun., Feb. 17, 3 p.m. $35-45, (843) 723-7334. www.charlestonballet.com. Sottile Theatre, 44 George St..
MUSIC | Off the radar
In 2006, improv percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani’s played to a sold out crowd at Redux, and now he’s back to play for the fans he made and those who missed him. Originally from Osaka, Japan, Nakatani is known for creating wildly unique sounds from a range of conventional and avant-garde instruments. He’s even invented some of his own instruments, including singing bowls, metal objects, and sticks. Nakatani has recorded nearly 50 compositions and has performed with almost 200 artists across the world in seven countries. He’s the creator of many of his own techniques, and if it were possible to throw him into a genre, it would be some conglomeration of experimental jazz, free jazz, rock, noise, and folk. However, his music is best known for its ability to embody the aura of beauty and space that is so common within established Japanese folk music. This show will feature Nakatani as a solo artist during one set and collaborating with other Charleston musicians on another. –Melissa Xenakis Feb. 17, 9 p.m. $10, $5/students. Redux Contemporary Art Center, 136 St. Philip St. (843) 722-0697. www.reduxstudios.org.
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