A debate is raging inside the offices of the Spoleto Festival USA. Though no one involved cares to speak on record, the outcome may have lasting ramifications for the festival, the city of Charleston, and the arts.

The debate centers on a single question: What should I wear to the opening of Addicted to Bad Ideas: Peter Lorre’s 20th Century (first performance is Wednesday at 9 p.m.).

No one, City Paper has learned, can agree inside the organization. Consensus outside is far from likely.

The problem evidently stems from the dual nature of Addicted to Bad Ideas: It’s a punk show of various styles (ska, rockabilly, hardcore) and it’s a cabaret show (with its own litany of styles).

On the one hand, the music of the World/Inferno Friendship Society normall inspire knee high Doc Martin’s, thick black mascara, and perhaps even a tasteful mohawk (feux-hawks need not apply).

On the other hand, doesn’t a cabaret show about the life and times of one of Hollywood’s greatest and creepiest stars call for something more sophisticated — a pin-stripe two-piece suit, perhaps, or the lady’s favorite little black dress?

Reconciliation is far from reach, insiders tell City Paper. And the debate is likely to get more heated.

Spoleto Festival USA has announced tickets to the opening performance to anyone with $20. That buys you a floor ticket where you can dance in chunky heels or stilettos all night long.

Expect the evening to be a mishmash of style, ideology, and expectation. And please, enjoy. -JS