[image-1]COMEDY | Don’t stop ’til you get enough
The Have Nots! and Theatre 99 host the Improv-A-Thon, a high-impact, endurance-testing tour-de-force of comedic muscle. It’s the survival of the funniest. Well, not really. It’s an event to raise money for the annual Charleston Comedy Festival. But it’s no mere fundraiser. This one’s got lots of bang for your buck: six and a half hours of nonstop improv featuring a slew of comedy groups, including The Have Nots!, Improv Riot, Moral Fixation, Big Dicktionary, Neckprov (think about the kind of conversation that takes place when two country rubes are fishing and drinking) and the one and only Doppelganger (or is that two?). The Charleston Comedy Festival (produced in partnership with the City Paper) will open in January and presents all manner of live comedy performance: stand-up, sketch, improv, and even puppet theater (though they’re not the kind for kids; see, you’ve been warned). Oh, and did we mention there’s beer? Let’s say that again, with feeling — You can drink beer. It don’t get better than that, amigo. —John Stoehr SATURDAY Nov. 10, 6-11 p.m. $20, (843) 853-6687. Theatre 99, 280 Meeting St. www.thehavenots.com
[image-2]CIRCUS | No lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
Don’t expect elephants, tigers, or monkeys at the Moscow International Circus. Do look for motorcycle daredevils, acrobats, clowns, contortionists, and jugglers. This animal-free traditional Russian circus performs 540 polished, theatrical-style shows per year. The world’s strongest man bends a bar of steel around his neck. Aerial ballerinas lifted high in the air contort themselves on silk fabric and hoops. A trampolinist combines acrobatic ability with a knack for comedy. Critics have described the 90 minutes of Las Vegas-style magic, comedy routines, and athleticism as a cross between Cirque du Soleil and the Ringling Brothers Circus. An international cast of second- and third-generation performers carries on the cultural tradition of the Russian circus, which began in St. Petersburg during Catherine the Great’s reign and flourished thanks to 70 years of massive state support under Communism, when towns in even the most remote corners of the U.S.S.R. would see about 100 different acts each year. Other nations had the ballet and the opera, but the Soviet State focused on improving and enlarging the circus, establishing schools and developing it into a lucrative cultural export. Buy tickets online (if you don’t mind a $3 surcharge) or at the box office starting one hour before showtime. Visit the website to print a free child’s ticket (limit two per paying adult) and show up an hour early to get in on the kid’s activities. —Rachel Ward FRIDAY Nov. 9, 5 and 8 p.m. $22/adult, $8/child, (863) 993-4807. Gaillard Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. (843) 577-7400. www.moscowinternationalcircus.com
MUSIC | Party with the vets
November 11 is Veterans Day, and there’s no shortage of events in the Lowcountry geared toward honoring and celebrating vets. The inaugural National Veterans Day Celebration will be held at several Charleston area venues this week, with the purpose of entertaining while paying tribute to all U.S. veterans. A free night at the movies will take place at Marion Square on Thurs. Nov. 8, featuring old war-time movie reels and a screening of Good Morning Vietnam. A U.S.O.-style show at the Charleston Music Hall called “Thanks for the Memories: A Tribute to Bob Hope” is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday evenings, and at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. On Sat. Nov. 10, legendary Southern rock/outlaw country group Charlie Daniels Band headline an American Salute at Patriots Point, which includes family-friendly activities, jump castles, fireworks, and ’40s-style swing/dance music by the Andrew Thielen Big Band. Headlining the free grand finale on Sun. Nov. 11 at Riverfront Park in North Charleston are classic rock legends Grand Funk Railroad with support from the U.S. Air Force Academy Stellar Brass Band and shag/soul ensemble East Coast Party Band. Music at the Riverfront Park event goes from 3-8 p.m. —T. Ballard Lesemann Through Nov. 11. Free-$20, (843) 559-0843. North Charleston Riverfront Park. nationalveteransdaycelebration.org
[image-3]SKATE | It’s Skate & Bake… and I helped!
Let’s start by saying, this isn’t what it sounds like. Yes, skaters are often stereotyped as stoners, but the “bake” in this event is nothing more than yummy gourmet baked goods. That said, skaters, this is your chance to get a real skate park in Chucktown. Pour It Now, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to raising money to help build local skate parks, is holding its first-ever Skate & Bake fundraiser. The all-volunteer staff is currently working with city governments with the hopes of building skate parks here in Charleston and in Columbia. The goal is to raise $1.5 million for a 35,000 square foot skate park, with half the funds needed for construction coming from private and corporate sponsors. Pour It Now is currently in negotiations with the City of Charleston to contribute the other half. The group hopes to secure funding from the city soon in order to allow the project to receive non-profit grants and to encourage other sponsors to increase donations. The event will feature demonstrations by several groups, including the Trucker Skate Team. There will be gourmet treats for sale and entertainment for all ages including a live bluegrass band, a jump castle for the kids, and a raffle. All proceeds will go to the construction of the Charleston Skate Park. If our city doesn’t have a skate park, then the city is the skate park. —Madelyne Adams SATURDAY Nov. 10, 12-4 p.m. Free, www.pouritnow.com
PAGEANT | Man, I feel like a woman
If you were one of the financially challenged Halloweiners forced to get creative and find a costume at Goodwill this year, you would have seen that men in this town are not afraid of dressing in drag. The women’s sections were filled with more frat boys than females, and the dressing rooms overflowed with boys in skirts and muumuus. Perhaps some of them were gearing up for the Womanless Beauty Pageant. The Kickin’ Chicken is throwing this gender-bending event, which features 12 men competing for the title of pageant king, er, queen. The pageant is made up of two rounds of questions, where the contestants will be dressed in casual and then formal wear. The wo-men will be judged by Kickin’ Chicken owners, a Charleston Miracle League employee, and others. Proceeds from the pageant benefit the Charleston Miracle League, which gives special needs kids the opportunity to play baseball. Organizers expect to sell out, so get your tickets early. —Erica Jackson MONDAY Nov. 12, 7 p.m. $15, (843) 853-6687. Theatre 99, 280 Meeting St.
[image-4]THEATRE | The very model of a modern minor musical
The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players are the keepers of English light opera. The repertory company swings through town to present the classic H.M.S. Pinafore. The story takes place on an English battleship. It’s the late 19th century, and a sailor named Ralph goes ga-ga for the captain’s daughter. With this kind of threat to the social status quo (a commoner giving affection to a woman of privilege — it’s outrageous!), all this sounds like trouble. And, by George, it is. But it’s the high-spirited kind of goofiness we love in Gilbert & Sullivan’s opera buffa. There’s even some Shakespearean plot-twist revelations that make everything all right in the end, allowing the star-struck lovers to consummate and evil-doers (well, not really evil, per se, just that old schlub, Sir Joseph; he’s a textbook boor) to get their comeuppance (he ends up marrying one of his “groupies”). Expect a fine performance from an ensemble established more than 40 years ago and considered to be the preeminent interpreters in North America of the Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire. —John Stoehr TUESDAY Nov. 13, 8 p.m. $15-$55. Gaillard Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. (843) 577-7400. www.charlestonconcerts.org