THEATRE — “Together, but worlds apart…”
Big River
Thurs. Jan. 26 and Fri. Jan. 27
10 a.m.
$10, $5/students
7 p.m.
$15, $10/seniors and students
10 adult’s tickets for $100
N. Charleston Performing Arts Center
5001 Coliseum Dr.

Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn may seem a strange choice to turn into a Broadway musical, but Big River lyricist Roger Miller and writer William Hauptman crafted a touching, spiritual adaptation of the classic novel that chronicles the escapades of country boy Huck and his escaped slave pal, Jim, as they float down the Mississippi River on a homemade raft. Miller was a country songwriter (“King of the Road,” “Dang Me”) who had already receieved a number of Grammy Awards before entering the world of Broadway and winning a Tony in 1985 for Big River. The students at Charleston County’s School of the Arts do a huge show like this only once every other year, and they contribute to every single aspect of this production, with an all-student cast, orchestra, and backstage crew setting the stage for an evening of high-energy, sing-a-long songs (keep an ear out for “Waiting for the Light to Shine”) and powerful performances.


THEATRE — And you don’t even have to put up with Tom Hulce’s laugh!
Opens Thurs. Jan. 26
Showing Jan. 26, 27, 28, Feb. 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 at 8 p.m.; Feb. 5, 12 at 3 p.m.
$25, $22/seniors and
Footlight Players Theatre
20 Queen St.

As part of the Mozart in Charleston project, commemorating the 250th anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birth, Rodney Lee Rogers (PURE Theatre) directs Mark Mixson as Salieri and Henry Riggs as Mozart in The Footlight Players’ production of Peter Shaffer’s Tony Award-winning, timeless play about the power struggle between mediocrity and genius. In the court of the Austrian emperor, Antonio Salieri is the established, well-liked composer who becomes insanely jealous when Mozart shows up with his God-given, nearly perfect compositions that are in stark contrast with his ribald, graceless, cavalier behavior. Salieri sets out to destroy Mozart, befriending and then thwarting him at every turn in an attempt to keep attention focused on his own lesser pieces. The 1984 movie version, with a screenplay also written by Shaffer, won eight Academy Awards, and if you’re a fan of the play, the movie, or just Mozart’s music, give this Amadeus a chance to rock you.


CONCERT MUSIC — Draw on those beauty marks
Mozart’s Birthday Bash
Fri. Jan. 27
8 p.m.
Marion Square
Corner of King and Calhoun streets

The city’s four-month-long celebration of the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth hits a fever pitch this week with the opening of Amadeus (see City Pick at left), the screening of The Marriage of Figaro at the Charleston County Library (Sat. Jan. 28, 1:30 p.m., 68 Calhoun St.), and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra’s Birthday Bash. It’ll be a grand ball in the heart of downtown as guests dance under the tent to the sounds of the CSO, performing the music of the man, as led by Maestro David Stahl, and enjoy food and cocktails provided by Fork Fine Gourmet Catering and Events. Period attire is recommended, but not required; as the CSO’s program guide temptingly states: “…who knows who you might see in a pink wig?”


VISUAL ARTS — Think globally, art locally
Beverly Derrick
Opening reception
Fri. Jan. 27
5-8:30 p.m.
Corrigan Gallery
62 Queen St.

Although local artist and photographer Lese Corrigan technically opened the doors of her new gallery a few months ago, the Corrigan Gallery hosts its official grand opening in conjunction with the first solo show for native Charlestonian Beverly Derrick. Derrick’s specialty is her handling of the human figure in her oil paintings, which have captured the eyes of the American Watercolor Society, where she won best in show in 1987, corporations who hang her art in their lobbies, and U.S. Senators Strom Thurmond and Claude Pepper, both of whom commissioned portraits by Derrick. Alongside Derrick’s work in the gallery will be photographs, prints, and paintings by John Moore, Kristi Ryba, Lolly Koon, Kevin Parent, Sue Simons Wallace, and Corrigan herself. In defining the gallery’s objectives, Corrigan promises to show “works that are art for the sake of art,” even giving visitors the chance to see paintings in process on location. Oh, the miracles of creation!


CONCERT MUSIC — If you thought Jerry Garcia was good…
Julian Byzantine
Fri. Jan. 27
8 p.m.
$15, free for CofC students with valid ID
Recital Hall
Simons Center for the Arts
54 St. Philip St.

The globetrotting classical guitarist Byzantine has performed in 76 countries worldwide, appearing with major orchestras, on international concert tours for the British Council, and in a television documentary on Villa Lobos. Byzantine spent his early years under the tutelage of such greats as Andrés Segovia, Julian Bream, and Alirio Diaz and became a Professor of Guitar at London’s Royal Academy of Music at the tender age of 21. He went on to release a number of international CDs and an acclaimed book, Guitar Technique Rationalised. Tonight’s program, part of the CofC Department of Music’s International Guitar Series, includes classical and contemporary guitar pieces by Guerau, Bacheler, Scarlatti, Bach, Ponce, Theodorakis, Houghton, and de Falla.


CONCERT MUSIC AND FILM — Going back in (rag)time
Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd — Gloria Revisited
Sat. Jan. 28
8 p.m.
Sottile Theatre
44 George St.
Tickets: 554-6060
Charleston Concert Association: 571-7755

Rick Benjamin, a longtime historical music buff, founded the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra (the world’s only year-round professional ensemble re-creating the syncopated sounds of ragtime-era music) in 1985 after he discovered thousands of turn-of-the-century orchestra scores, which once belonged to Victrola recording star Arthur Pryor, in an abandoned warehouse. The Charleston Concert Association presents the PRO as an “Encore” in their annual series of internationally renowned groups, which just means that the show is not part of their main series (all the other concerts take place at the Gaillard) and is significantly cheaper to attend. The intimate Sottile (which used to be called the Gloria, hence the title) should be the perfect setting for the music of the RPO, which will accompany a number of silent films by Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd.


EVENT — Ha! That was only my destroyer!
Who Sank My Battleship?
Sat. Jan. 28
12-4 p.m.
$8, $2/children 12 and under (admission to Boat Show)
N. Charleston Convention Center parking lot
5001 Coliseum Dr.

In case you didn’t get enough gamin’ in when C2 held their faux World’s Strongest Man competition in the Coliseum parking lot back in October, now’s your chance to get in on some hot life-size Battleship action. Every year, JBM & Associates, the organization that puts on the boat show, joins together with Clear Channel to raise money for a local charity. This year, as part of the Charleston Boat Show, Plantation Construction will build a life-size version of the Battleship board game, with humans serving as the “pegs.” Any and all boat show attendees are welcome to enter by bringing a canned food item or giving a monetary donation to the Lowcountry Food Bank.