I saw them perform about two weeks ago, so this can’t be a Morning After post. But still, I need to mention it. And I’m going to mention Hubbard Street like this: Charleston, you’re on lucky town. Here’s what I mean. The quality of that show was superb, as good as anything you’d see in New York. That’s not why I say Charleston’s lucky. I say it’s lucky, because of the people who brought Hubbard Street here, the Charleston Concert Association. Whatever this group is doing to get quality this high, it needs to do nothing more than more of the same. Maintaining the status quo is no shame if the status quo is like this. And the audiences rallied around the performance. It was terrific.
There is a large and energized and discerning audience in this town. Very encouraging for the arts and the artists who devote their lives to them. Forgive my gushing a little. This boils down to context and perspective. There are places in this country that are one of two things: empty vessels of culture or petri dishes of culture. In one, there’s nothing. In the other, there’s something growing, but it’s just getting started. I’ve lived in both. So it’s heartening to see people enthusiastic about the arts, especially an art that is, frankly, on the margins.
Tonight’s performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore is more in line with the light comedy musical-going crowd. Hubbard was entertaining, don’t get me wrong, but it was also meaty. With one, you get a sugar high. With the other, your belly is full. Each is satisfying in its own way. But no one should fool themselves into thinking dance is for the ordinary tickets buyers. It’s not and there’s nothing wrong with saying so. Charleston seems unafraid. So I’m glad to be here. Again, please forgive me this bit of happiness. I’ve lived among the empty vessels, the petri dishes. I have known want.
Now’s the time for feasting.