Every morning the Charleston Ballet dancers warm-up their plies and grands battements to a pianist’s live accompaniment. When show time rolls around, the baby grand piano is quarantined to the CBT’s lobby area, where ticket holders can admire it before stepping around it to their final destination their seats in the black box theater.
However, this year, Kyle Barnette, administrative director of the Charleston Ballet Theater, had an idea to coax his attendees into sticking around the lobby a bit longer: he’s hired (for free) local talents and longtime friends Jordan Alexander and Brenda LeFevre to dazzle the keys of that baby grand for a short spell before several Piccolo performances. Alexander will bang out some ragtime tunes appropriately prepping audiences for The Great Gatsby, and he’ll give a mini- Beatles concert before Magical Mystery Tour. LeFevre will fill the lobby with show tunes ’til the show time of (you guessed it) Lullaby of Broadway. Excellent use of space and resources, if you ask me.
Last thing I wanted to mention: Mr. Kyle Barnette is a tad unhappy about the CBT’s Buzz-o-meters in this week’s City Paper. While I lack the power to recant our starring system (though I can explain: the stars represent surrounding “buzz,” not the quality of the act); I am responsible for a comment concerning the “steep ticket prices” of tried and true CBT classic Brown Bag & Ballet. I was, believe it or not, of accord with Mr. Barnette when he said on the phone this morning, “Yeah, ticket prices are steep, but they’re well worth it!” Gotta respect the man’s need to voice his opinion (and, I might meekly add, freedom of the press). He stands by his product, as he should, and as I pointed out, all the more reason to rock out in tomorrow’s premiere performance at noon of Brown Bag, followed by “Magical Mystery Tour (7 p.m.) that same night. My apologies a dancer my whole life, I love our local ballet!