CONCERT EVENT — Like a Baskin-Robbins of Southeastern pop
Holy City Pop
Fri. March 24, 8 p.m.
Sat. March 25, 6 p.m.
301 King St.

Charleston’s music festivals seem to be awfully few and far between, a problem that The Explorers Club’s Jason Brewer is setting out to rectify with this weekend’s Holy City Pop festival, a two-day extravaganza of young, energetic bands from across the Southeast performing in a wide variety of pop-kissed styles. Friday night’s lineup (in no specific order) includes Band Marino, The Fabulous Bird, Kill Gordon, and Charleston’s April Invention, Bill Carson, and The Specs. On Saturday, music aficionados can check out 10 different bands for just $10 (yes, just $1 per band!): Actress, The Californias, Dodger, The Good Players, The Green Fields, Schooner (pictured above), Second Shift, and local groups The Chimney Sweeps, The Explorers Club, and Charleston’s darling (and reigning Best Female Vocalist), Cary Ann Hearst. Brewer’s looking out for the penniless masses, too, as evidenced by the free Saturday night pre-show show at the Upper Deck Tavern (353 King St.) with Hartwell James (of the Ex-Lovers), Chapel Hill’s Pleasant, and Giant Squid. For more in-depth coverage of the festival, check out pg. 50 in this week’s Music section, and do keep in mind that even if one particular band isn’t your cup o’tea, they’ll be off the stage in fewer than five songs!


DANCE — Burning the spindles at both ends
Sleeping Beauty
Sat. March 25, 7:30 p.m.
Sun. March 26, 3 p.m.
Sottile Theatre
44 George St.

Gracing Charleston’s stages for the first time, the legendary ballet adaptation of Sleeping Beauty is considered “the crowning achievement” of choreographer Marius Petipa and is set to music by Tchaikovsky, the man who wrote some of his most beautiful orchestral pieces specifically for ballets. The Charleston Ballet Theatre, led by producer and CBT resident choreographer Jill Eathorne Bahr, presents the full-length tale of the princess Aurora, who is cursed by an evil fairy to die at age 16 and saved by the Lilac Fairy, who declares that the princess will simply sleep until she is awakened by the kiss of a true prince (it only takes the guy 100 years to come along … and we wonder why we can’t find any single “princes” in Charleston!). Bahr points out that “even though our company is on the small side to do such a large production, I felt it was important for us to create our chestnut version of the production … the classical ballet is entirely too magnificent for Charleston audiences not to experience.”


BOOKS — Read to help others read
Trident Literacy Association Book Sale
Sun. March 26
12-4 p.m.
Jewish Community Center
1645 Wallenberg Blvd.

The helpful folks at the Trident Literacy Association (TLA) don’t just talk the talk about improving literacy rates here in the Lowcountry, they walk the walk, offering free classes in adult basic education, GED prep, English as a second language, and basic computer skills to adults in the tri-county area, where, according to TLA, one in every four people is functionally illiterate. At the third annual “Shine A Light On Literacy” book sale, browsers can pick through books, books-on-tape, videos, DVDs, games, magazines, and more, with the knowledge that every penny spent on reading material will go toward the TLA’s goal of teaching adults to “read, write, and reason,” closing the grand karmic circle.


JAZZ CONCERT — The universal language of jazz
Low Country Aid to Africa Benefit Concert
Sat. March 25
8 p.m.
$30, $500/10-chair table
Gaillard Auditorium
77 Calhoun St.

Some of Charleston’s most venerated community leaders, who also happen to be skilled musicians, come together for one night a year to play some jazz and raise some money. The players include alto saxophonist Lonnie Hamilton III, the retired Charleston County Council chairman and educator; tenor saxophonist George Kenny (pictured above), a retired former public high school band director and member of the David Archer Band; keyboardist John Tecklenburg; and jazz vocalist Mildred Brevard, a retired former high school principal who has performed all over the East Coast. These four, along with a handful of other local “all-star” jazz musicians, will be playing to raise money for Low Country Aid to Africa, a local nonprofit organization that works to bridge the gap between the Lowcountry and the continent of Africa by donating to selected African nonprofits that work to eliminate social problems, such as the HIV/AIDS pandemic, across the vast continent. In the spirit of giving back locally, too, a portion of this year’s proceeds will also be donated to assist families who were displaced to the tri-county area after Hurricane Katrina — and to celebrate the integration of these families into our community, there will be both New Orleans and Lowcountry cuisine at the concert.


FUND-RAISING EVENT — Feeding “friend”-zy
Pet Helpers Oyster Roast and “Whine” Tasting
Sat. March 25
2-5 p.m.
$25/advance, $30/day of roast, $10/children ages 6-12, free for children under 6
Irvin-House Vineyards
6775 Bears Bluff Road, Wadmalaw

OK, you’ve probably been to what, two, three, maybe five oyster roasts already this season? So why should you set aside three hours on Saturday for yet another one? Well, do you like puppies and kittens? The people affiliated with no-kill animal shelter Pet Helpers sure do, and so do their partners-in-roast, the Irvin-House Vineyards and Rosebank Farms Café. Shuckers can enjoy all-you-can-eat oysters all afternoon, and those who aren’t into oysters can chow down on hot dogs, veggie dogs, or chili, all prepared by the talented Rosebank Farms staff. There will also be live music courtesy of Rick Huff and 4-Legged Productions, a silent auction, and a 50/50 raffle. Beer will be on sale for a nominal fee, and since the roast takes place at Charleston’s only winery and vineyard, there will be glasses of Irvin-House’s finest vintage available for just $5. Naturally, dogs are welcome, too (leashed and vaccinated, please).