[image-1]EVENT | A kinky, slinky, winky good time
Seeing a Cabaret Kiki performance is an experience you won’t forget. Their dramatic multimedia shows, which include some of the city’s most talented performers (Matt and Evan Bivins and Cary Ann Hearst) are downright hypnotizing, taking cues from everything from 20th century Parisian cabarets to the glam/punk scene of the ’70s and ’80s. Sadly, shows have gradually tapered off as members of the ensemble have pursued other projects, leaving fans salivating at the chance to see them, and now (you may want to sit down for this) may be your last chance. The Bivins Brothers are moving from the Holy City to the Windy, bringing their crowd-pleasing creation with them. Matt Bivins says, “Join emcee Jonny Panick, chanteuse Caramella Guillotine, and a cast of brightly (and scantily) costumed characters (including Bill Carson, Nathan Koci, and members of the Theatre 99 comedy troupe) in an evening of song, dance, improvisation, and satire.” They’re promising new skits and faces. You really don’t want to miss this. —Erica Jackson Through May 17, 10 p.m. $20-$25, (843) 853-NOTS, www.cabaretkiki.com. Theatre 99, 280 Meeting St. (843) 853-6687, www.thehavenots.com.
[image-2]EVENT | Ahoy, mateys
The Charleston Maritime Festival/Tall Ships Charleston is back with a new name, and it’s better than ever, with locations on both sides of the harbor for a true harbor-wide celebration of the sea. The weekend, which typically brings tens of thousands of visitors to town, includes all kinds of events at various locations — and most of them are free. These include a living history exhibit, extreme water sports, helicopter rides ($20), sailing lessons, a boat exhibition, a children’s village, a pirate camp, family boat building, food, music, and lots more. For a small fee, guests can tour the tall ships at the Maritime Center docks: the Amistad, the Schooner Virginia, the Corwith Cramer and South Carolina’s very own tall ship, the Spirit of South Carolina. Events will be taking place at the Maritime Center, Liberty Square, Ansonborough Field, and Patriots Point. To reduce traffic and parking issues, the public is encouraged to park at Patriots Point and use the shuttle buses and water taxis to get downtown. Wristbands are required to use the shuttles (and to board the tall ships) — Get them in advance for $12 or $5 for children 6-11 years old. Proceeds from the festival support educational programs for South Carolina youth aboard the Spirit of South Carolina. —EJ May 16-18. www.charlestonharborfest.org.
EVENT | Not bad
The popular summertime music series Rockin’ on the Point (previously Party at the Point) is in full swing and will be nearly every Friday through August 1. For just a $5 cover, you’ll enjoy “the biggest happy hour in Charleston,” featuring food, drinks, and live music right by the harbor. The view can’t be beat — you’re in the shadow of the Yorktown, looking out across the harbor to the Charleston skyline, with boats passing by. Beer and cocktails are for sale from the inside bar or tiki bars spread throughout the grounds. Get out your sequined gloves for this week’s act: Who’s Bad is a Michael Jackson tribute band from Chapel Hill. Upcoming bands include The Tams, Sol Driven Train with Joal Rush, Uncle Mingo, Occasional Milkshake, Bye Week, Zac Deputy, Tokyo Joe, and the Blue Dogs. Grab a drink and some grub, let the sea air and Michael Jackson tunes wash over you, and say hello to the weekend. —EJ Fridays, 5:30 p.m. Continues through Aug. 1. $5, www.rockinonthepoint.com. Charleston Harbor Resort, 20 Patriots Point Blvd., (Mt. Pleasant), (843) 856-0028, www.charlestonharborresort.com.
[image-3]MUSIC | Dine alfresco with the CSO
Checkered blanket and plates? Got it. Fried chicken and lemonade? Check. Background music? Double check. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra is performing a free concert in idyllic, pond-front Smythe Park this Saturday at 7 p.m. Guests are invited to bring their picnic baskets and really go all out with their spreads — prizes will be awarded for the most elaborate and creative picnickers. Set-up begins at 5:30 p.m., and judging is at 6:30 p.m. If you’re not the competitive picnic packin’ type, Ted’s Butcherblock will be on hand with spring-inspired goods for sale like smoked kielbasa sandwiches and ribs, and beer on tap and wine by the glass or bottle. Sweets from Mr. Koolie will also be available. After the performance, there will be fireworks — we expect they’ll be pretty magical reflecting off the pond. This annual concert is sponsored by the Daniel Island Community Fund. Rain date Sunday, May 18. —EJ Sat., May 17. Free, (843) 971-9816, www.dicommunity.org.
EVENT | First Flush Festival
If there’s one thing besides soccer that most Americans just don’t do, it’s grow tea. But this weekend, the only tea plantation in all of Los Estados Unidos hosts its First Flush Festival right here in Charleston, out on beautiful Wadmalaw Island. The festival, now in its second year, is named for the brew produced by each spring’s first tea leaves, which are considered uniquely potent. That strength is traditionally credited to the release of pent-up energy trapped within each plant over the dormant winter months. This year’s First Flush features an array of live music, games, food, and plenty of sweet Southern table wine. Mike Doughty of Soul Coughing fame will perform songs from his solo efforts. He is joined on stage by Andrew “Scrap” Livingston. Other exclusive treats include the opportunity to buy your own supply of loose first flush leaves to brew up at home, and a tour of the on-site brewing facilities for tea enthusiasts. —Josh Eboch Sat., May 17, 12 p.m. $8, $5/children 6-12, free/children under 6. Charleston Tea Plantation, 6617 Maybank Hwy., (Wadmalaw), (843) 559-0383, www.charlestonteagardens.com.
[image-4]EVENT | Beach babe bash
Isle of Palms beach club The Windjammer kicks off their annual Budweiser Bikini Bash this Sunday with live music and dance beats, Special Ed from co-sponsor 95SX, and a glistening gang of scantily clad hotties on the spacious beachfront deck. For over two decades, the Windjammer has showcased some of “Charleston’s finest bikini-clad ladies” — all of whom model string bikinis, tankinis, bandinis, monokinis, thong bikinis, halter bikinis, and various customized and classic pieces. The series began in 1985 at the old club (before Hurricane Hugo knocked the structure over), picking up where the club’s notorious wet T-shirt contests left off. Contestants at least 18 years of age can participate. No nudity is allowed; too much skin earns a disqualification. The winners are determined by the volume of the crowd’s response — the lady who earns the loudest cheer wins, so audience participation is crucial. Round One kicks off with live party-funk and reggae music on the deck from DJ Yonni of Tropix International Sounds from 3:30-6 p.m. and inside from local classic rock cover band Stoneking following the contest from 6-9 p.m. or so. The Sunday afternoon series continues through mid August. —T. Ballard Lesemann Sun., May 18, 3:30 p.m. $2, (843) 886-8948. The Windjammer, 1008 Ocean Blvd., Isle of Palms, (843) 886-8596
Next Week: LPGA, Kids in the Hall, Accidental Evil Art Show, and more.