Eliane by Alice Colin

Charleston’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival is back with a broad range of performances — from free outdoor concerts, family-friendly fun and exhibitions to ticketed events to whet your cultural whistle in theater, music and more. Get out during the 17-day festival to experience the Holy City’s creative community.

This year’s Piccolo Spoleto Festival includes a number of surprise pop-ups around Charleston as well as  outdoor poetry recitations and a chamber music series that will blow you away. And, of course, Piccolo Spoleto features an outdoor arts exhibition that you know and love in Marion Square as well as two weekends of crafts markets nearby.

For tickets and more information on everything about the festival, visit PiccoloSpoleto.com.

Festival Traditions
Music
Piccolo Fringe
Theater
L’Organo
Poetry

FESTIVAL TRADITIONS

Sunset Serenade with Charleston Symphony

Piccolo Spoleto’s annual curtain-raiser is a free, outdoor concert that features the Charleston Symphony under the direction of Artistic Director Yuriy Bekker.

8 p.m., May 27.
Location: U.S. Custom House, 200 East Bay St.

Midnight Pajama March with the Seed & Feed Marching Abominable

You’ll have more fun than you can imagine when watching this colorful and wild marching band from Atlanta. The all-volunteer group electrifies crowds. 

10:30 p.m. to midnight, May 28.
Location: U.S. Custom House, 200 East Bay St.

Patriotic Parade with the Seed & Feed Marching Abominable

Daytime merriment, colorful street theater and explosive sound from this eclectic band. 

Noon to 1:30 p.m., May 29.
Location: U.S. Custom House, 200 East Bay St.

Memorial Day Concert

This annual patriotic tradition features the combined Charleston Concert Band and Columbia Community Band in a concert ranging from rousing marches to Broadway show tunes. It concludes with a stirring musical tribute to each of the nation’s armed forces.

3 p.m., May 30.
Location: Hampton Park, 30 Mary Murray Blvd.

Sand Sculpting Competition

Visit the front beach of Isle of Palms to watch artists transform the beach into art as they compete for prizes in six categories of the annual sand sculpting competition. Family-friendly and free.

9 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 11.
Location: Isle of Palms, front beach.

Piccolo Spoleto Finale

The consummate culmination for another memorable festival, as friends, family, and neighbors gather and groove to a fantastic lineup with an infectious vibe that brings together some of Charleston’s hardest working musicians. Family fun, food vendors, and the beautiful backdrop of Hampton Park make this night the ideal way to close out Piccolo Spoleto.

5 p.m., June 11. Location: Hampton Park, Charleston.

MUSIC

All shows are ticketed.

Visit: PiccoloSpoleto.com.

Early Music Series

A major part of Piccolo Spoleto since 1986, the Early Music Series this year moves to Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, 89 Hasell St, Charleston. Bach, Vivaldi, and Mozart are the composers that will be featured in an intimate setting with stunning acoustics.

All concerts start at 3 p.m. and last an hour. Buy tickets ($25) online.

May 31, June 6 – Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
June 1 – Bach’s Violin
June 2, 8 – Mozart in Old St. Mary’s
June 7 – The Virtuoso Recorder

Chamber Music

Piccolo Spoleto Festival’s chamber music offerings in 2022 feature unique performances from world-class musicians who call Charleston home.  For tickets, visit PiccoloSpoleto.com.  

Yuriy Bekker and Gary Levinson
6 p.m., June 1.
Location: Second Presbyterian Church, 342 Meeting St.

Charleston Academy of Music Faculty
6 p.m., June 3.
Location: Second Presbyterian Church, 342 Meeting St.

Natalia Khoma and Volodymyr Vynnytsky
6 p.m., June 4.
Location: Second Presbyterian Church, 342 Meeting St.

The Romantic Harp with Abigail Kent
6 p.m., June 6.
Location: Cannon Street Arts Center, 134 Cannon St.

Palmetto Bronze handbells

Free event.
4 p.m., May 29.
Location: Bethel United Methodist Church, 5 Pitt St., Charleston.  

Charleston Men’s Chorus

Celebrate those who sacrificed for the nation in this Memorial Day concert at a new venue, the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul on Coming St.
Noon, May 30.

New South Festival Singers

Free. This group, formerly known as the William Baker Festival Singers, has delighted capacity Piccolo audiences annually since 1989 with classical works, spirituals and gospel songs. This year’s program includes the Charleston premieres by distinguished composers Sean Sweeden, Carolina Mallonee and Daniel Sabghabaei.
3 p.m., May 30.
Location: Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St., Charleston.

Taylor Festival Choir 

The Taylor Festival Choir, led by founder Rob Taylor, performs a program of inspiring spiritual music featuring two settings of the Miserere liturgical text: one being Allegri’s famous setting that was for centuries only heard in the Sistine Chapel; the other by Sir James MacMillan, one of today’s classical scenes greatest composers. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus will perform with the group on June 1. (Two locations over three days.)

Reaching for the Light: 
5 p.m., May 30
Second Presbyterian Church, 342 Meeting St., Charleston.

Soloists: 
5 p.m., May 31
Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St., Charleston.

Reaching for the Light: 
7 p.m., June 1
Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St., Charleston.

Jazz

Music lovers will hear the warm sounds of jazz throughout Piccolo Spoleto Festival in 2022. Among the treats awaiting you are:

Magnolia Singers with Ann Caldwell
7 p.m., June 2.
Location: Second Presbyterian Church, 342 Meeting St., Charleston.

All that Jazz with the College of Charleston Jazz Combo 1
Noon, June 3.
Location: The Hill Gallery, College of Charleston, 161 Calhoun St., Charleston.

Gershwin and Jazz with an All-Star Cast
2 p.m., June 5.
Location: Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St., Charleston.

Charleston Jazz Momentum
6 p.m., June 10.
Location: Hampstead Square, 67 Columbus St., Charleston.

Shaggin’ and Braggin’

Experience what is half concert and half TEDTalk about South Carolina’s music and its fun personalities. Enjoy the sounds of Dizzy Gillespie, James Brown, Hootie and the Blowfish and more. Edgy, as music always is, but appropriate for all ages!

7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., June 4.
Location: Cannon Street Arts Center, 134 Cannon St.

Charleston Musical Heritage Series

The Sound of Charleston, featuring music of Charleston’s history, from gospel to Gershwin, is a Festival favorite that this year offers more than ever.

All shows at Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St.

The Sound of Charleston:
1 p.m., May 28; 2 p.m., June 4 and June 8.

Oh Happy Day Gospel Concert:
2 p.m., May 29.

Gershwin and Jazz with an All Star Cast:
2 p.m., June 5.

Piccolo Spoleto Rising Stars

Now in its 14th year, Palmetto State Arts Education will host its Rising Stars Series, which will showcase six young actors, dancers, musicians, writers or visual artists in each of six programs. All shows in the parish hall of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 1 Vanderhorst St.

11 a.m. and 3 p.m., May 30.
11 a.m. and 3 p.m., June 4.
11 a.m. and 3 p.m., June 11.

Charleston Opera Theater

Charleston Opera Theater and the Summerville Orchestra partner to stage this charming double bill of Bach’s Coffee Cantata and Menotti’s The Telephone.

5 p.m. June 2; 6 p.m. June 3; 4 p.m. June 4; 6:30 p.m., June 4.
Location: Mercantile and Mash cafe, 701 East Bay St.

PICCOLO FRINGE

Tickets online at PiccoloSpoleto.com.
All shows at 280 Meeting St.

The Have Nots! Comedy Improv Company offers powerful improvisational comedy in Charleston’s longest running show.

Shows on May 28, June 3 and June 11 at 8 p.m.

Other Theatre 99 shows

Take the Funny and Run
Bring your improv suggestions. 
May 27, June 4, June 10. All shows at 8 p.m.

Mary Kay Has a Posse
Unforgettable night of all-female improv comedy. 
7:30 p.m., June 9; and 6 p.m., June 11.

F.B.I.
The full name belies the family nature of this group, Finch Boys Improv, featuring Timmy Finch and the next generation. 
8 p.m., June 2.

The Complete History of Charleston for Morons
350 years of Lowcountry history in 60 minutes. 
6 p.m., May 28.

Clean Improv Comedy Show
You can bring your parents and kids to enjoy improv. 
6 p.m., June 4.

Laughway to the Weekend
Midweek fun featuring up to three acts per night. 
8 p.m, June 1 and 8.

THEATER

Tickets online at PiccoloSpoleto.com.

Boy Vey
A solo show ripped straight from Rachel’s teenage diary. 

7 p.m. May 27 and 28; 1 p.m. May 29.
Location: Cannon Street Arts Center, 134 Cannon St.

Dot
A heartfelt holiday comedy-drama by Colman Domingo and offered by Art Forms & Theatre Concepts. In the show, Dottie’s memory is slipping as her unique children clash over how to best care for her. Eight performances over 11 days. 

8 p.m. on June 2, 3, 9, 10 and 11; 2 p.m., June 4; 3 p.m., 6 p.m., June 5; 3 p.m., June 12.
Location: Queen Street Playhouse, 20 Queen St.

Secrets of Dracula…Unearthed
Celebrate the 125th anniversary of Dracula with dramatic readings and more, including a Dracula scholar and descendant of writer Bram Stoker. 

7:30 p.m. on June 2, 3 and 4; 2 p.m. on June 4 and 5.
Location: Chapel Theater, 66 George St.

You Might As Well Live
A one-woman show that’s the story of literary icon Dorothy Parker. 

7:30 p.m., June 4; and 3 p.m. June. 5.
Location: Threshold Repertory Theatre, 84 Society St.

Stelle Di Domani
Stelle Di Domani is a broad, lively series by students, faculty and alumni of the College of Charleston of Charleston’s award-winning Department of Theatre and Dance.

All shows at the College of Charleston’s Chapel Theatre, 172 Calhoun St., Charleston.

This season’s performances include a play about growing old without aging (The Swing of the Sea), a one-person show about an 18-year-old’s coming out (Over the Rainbow); the festival’s first stage readings in three years, and modern dance works by Annex Dance Company that celebrate the resilience of human connection (Beautifully Weathered).

  • The Swing of the Sea: 6 p.m., May 27 and May 29; 3 p.m. May 28 and May 31; 7 p.m., May 30. 
  • Over the Rainbow A Coming Out Story: 6 p.m., May 28 and May 31; 3 p.m., May 29; 5 p.m., May 30. 
  • Stage Readings from the Todd McNerney Playwriting Contest 4 p.m., May 31, June 1; 3 p.m., June 2 and June 3.

Beautiful Weathered
7 p.m., June 9; 6 p.m., June 10.

L’ORGANO

Musicians will explore the range of pipe organs in nine churches throughout the Holy City in Piccolo Spoleto’s annual L’Organo performances. Learn more about the music and locations online at PiccoloSpoleto.com. Free, but contributions welcome.

3 p.m. May 29: Michael Ging
10 a.m., May 30: Nicholas Quardokus
10 a.m., May 31: Eric Pickford
10 a.m., June 1: John Alexander
10 a.m., June 2: Rees Taylor Roberts
10 a.m., June 3: Timothy Tikker
3 p.m., June 5: Anthony Rispo
10 a.m., June 6: Daniel Sansone
10 a.m., June 7: Julia Harlow
10 a.m., June 8: Debra Dickensheets
10 a.m., June 9: Jacob Benda
10 a.m., June 10: Thomas Fielding

POETRY

Sundown Poetry Series

Piccolo Spoleto’s annual Sundown Poetry Series features acclaimed poets who read from their work in the coziness of the Gibbes Museum of Art’s Lenhardt Garden (135 Meeting St.). Bring your lawn chairs and picnic baskets to this free event. Free.  Performers during the first few days of the festival include:

Laurel Blossom:  6 p.m., May 31.
Ed Gold: 6 p.m., June 1.
Lisa Hase-Jackson: 6 p.m., June 2.
Cornelius Eady: 6 p.m., June 3.


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