VISUAL ARTS — A new take on an old town
CHAD: Charleston Historical Art, Dude
Opening reception: Wed. Oct. 18, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Weekend party/reception: Sat. Oct. 21, 9 p.m.-12 a.m.
Keane & Co.
310 King St.

Charleston is constantly trying to blend the future with the past, as evidenced by the ongoing (and annoying) streetscape renovation currently tearing up the sidewalks on King Street. Athens, Ga.-based artist, musician, designer, and photographer Michael Lachowski, as an outsider who frequently visits our city by the sea, aims to capture this convergence in his new exhibit, CHAD: Charleston Historical Art, Dude, which melds fashion-style photography with the true stories, myths, and legends that populate Charleston’s biography. CHAD includes photographs featuring model Atom (a.k.a. Adam Burdett) posing as Joe Riley, William Rhett, and other famed Holy City personalities, plus drawings and paintings, and two 50-foot-long murals composed of photographs Lachowski has taken of each side of King Street during the months of the aforementioned streetscape. Besides the opening reception on Wednesday and weekend party on Saturday with Lachowski, Burdett, and Philip Estes on the turntables, the two-week exhibit has various events planned to tie in with CHAD, including a panel discussion titled “A Visitor’s Guide to the Future of Charleston” on Thurs. Oct. 26 at Keane and Co. and a concert on Sat. Oct. 28 by Athens band Modern Skirts during the Charleston Moves Festival at the Maritime Center.


FESTIVAL — Dig on these hoes
Charleston Garden Festival
Oct. 19-22
Middleton Place
4300 Ashley River Road

Bucking the old “spring’s in bloom!” cliché, the Charleston Horticultural Society and the Middleton Place Foundation put on the Charleston Garden Festival in October of each year. Could it be because, with boards made up of longtime locals, they know that the 10th month is often Charleston’s most temperate (and least touristy)? Regardless of the reasons behind the scheduling, this year’s slate of events, with a “Fantasy in the Garden … Gardening With Wit and Wisdom” theme, has something for anyone with even a hint of green on their thumbs. On Thursday night from 6-9 p.m., those attending the “Unveiling the Fantasy” opening party can wander around the ample Middleton Place grounds and catch the first glimpses of the whimsical garden creations on exhibit. Keynote speakers Rosamund Wallinger and David Ruston will be flying in from Great Britain and Australia, respectively, and for those uninterested in speeches (a.k.a. children), there’s lots for them to do throughout the weekend, too, including an interactive kids’ garden and a Saturday night “Groovin’ in the Garden” party from 7-11 p.m. with cocktails, live music, and noshes from Good Food Catering. For details on vendors, daily horticultural tours, and tours of private downtown gardens, please visit the Festival website.


DANCE — See the “Dancing Nancies”
The Parsons Dance Company
Sat. Oct. 21
8 p.m.
Gaillard Auditorium
77 Calhoun St.

The Charleston Concert Association, a group dedicated to bringing a wide variety of family-friendly international culture to town, kicks off their 2006-2007 season with an invigorating performance by The Parsons Dance Company, a New York City-based contemporary dance group with a strong focus on creating new works set to original musical scores. The 10 full-time dancers will twirl, stomp, crouch, and flip through five pieces choreographed by Artistic Director and Founder David Parsons, with subjects ranging from the bubonic plague, highlighted in “Ring Around the Rosie,” to “Nascimento Novo,” a piece commissioned by Parsons Board member Stephen Morris for his wife’s birthday, with music composed by Brazilian samba and Clube da Esquina pioneer Milton Nascimento. Fans of both contemporary dance and the Dave Matthews Band, you’re in for a treat: the last piece in the program, “In the End,” features all 10 dancers bringing down the house with a diverse assortment of DMB songs from throughout the band’s career. Don’t be caught “wasting time” — head to the Gaillard to catch this slice of New York City in their one-night-only performance.


FESTIVAL — Paddle party
Edisto Island Fall Festival
Sat. Oct. 21
9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Various prices
Edisto Island

Unlike the traditional fall festival — which usually means jump castles for the kids, kitschy arts and crafts, and perhaps a candied apple or two — the Edisto Island Fall Festival is an outdoor celebration of the verdant life and meandering waterways that make up the island. Those looking forward to getting out on the water can start off at Live Oak Landing with a Paddle Poker Run ($10/registration fee, B.Y.O. or kayaks/canoes available for rental) from 9-11 a.m., with prizes for the winners and lunch provided by The Sea Cow, then head over to Edisto Watersports & Tackle for the ACE Basin Nature Tour ($10/registration, B.Y.O. or kayaks/canoes available for rental) from 1-4 p.m. The Festival offers a variety of events for the non-boaters, too, with a special reptile presentation at the Edisto Island Serpentarium from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ($6/adults, $3/children) and a Boardwalk Nature Tour at the Edisto Island Interpretive Center from 1-2:30 p.m. (free w/park admission). All you Legends of the Hidden Temple fans can sign up for the Relic Hunting Adventure ($75/adults, children under 10 free with paying adult), which starts at King’s Market at 1 p.m. and is a three-hour escapade. Everything wraps up with an oyster roast at Whaley’s, where the Otis Campbell Band and the Cotton Blue Band will provide the tunes as you shuck and suck, ending the day with a toast to nature’s bounty.


EVENT — A whole new ball of yarn(s)

Storytelling DaySat. Oct. 21
10 a.m.-3 p.m.
$5/adults, $3.25/S.C. seniors, $3/children ages 6-15, free for children under 6
Charles Towne Landing
1500 Old Towne Road

Is there a better place in the Lowcountry for good, spine-tingling ghost stories than the recently renovated Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site? Find out the answer at this weekend’s fourth annual South Carolina Storytelling Day, where for the meager price of regular admission, kids and parents alike can hang on the words of Southern storytellers Joada Hiatt, who specializes in tales from the Upstate and the Blue Ridge Mountains; Hawk Hurst, who will present stories and music from S.C.’s tribal peoples; William Wilder and his Revolutionary War anecdotes; and Festival director and Lowcountry favorite, the tow-headed Tim Lowry, who will lead a group discussion about “Storytelling in South Carolina: Past, Present, and Future.” After the program, listeners can stroll through the Landing and imagine the first settlers sharing their yarns — see how people entertained themselves when there was no television … or, for that matter, computers!


CONCERT MUSIC — Balcony balladry
“Out on the Veranda”
Sat. Oct. 21
8 p.m.
$20-$30, $5/students
Charleston Music Hall
37 John St.

This Saturday night, slip on some blue jeans and a T-shirt and head out to … the Symphony? Yes, you read that right. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra’s Casual Classics Series begins this weekend with “Out on the Veranda,” the first in the CSO’s Breaking the Mold mini-series. Resident Conductor Scott Terrell will lead the CSO and renowned soprano Esther Heidman as they fill the Charleston Music Hall with the gleeful sounds of John Corigliano’s “Gazebo Dances” and Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915,” along with selections by Mozart and Tchaikovsky. As if the music alone weren’t enough, Terrell will create a rapport with the audience as he discusses the ideologies, styles, trends, and people behind the compositions between songs.