CBT getting into birthday suits
Their heavily promoted mid-Piccolo gigs under the Angel Oak with Asheville chanteuse Christine Kane became a casualty of tropical storm Barry on June 2. But Charleston Ballet Theatre shrugged, rescheduled the shows in the group’s King Street studio the next day, and plowed forward, knocking out a total of 17 shows in the space during the festival. As they prepare for their big 20th anniversary season this fall, it’s awful hard to rain on CBT’s parade — they’re celebrating the anniversary all summer long, and though they’re still not operating in the black, exactly, they’re in better shape artistically and financially than they’ve been in a long time.
Only 40 percent of the cost of presenting CBT’s shows and education programs is raised through ticket sales each season. And those shoes make for a habit only Imelda Marcos could love. Think $75 a pop — and they only last for a single gig. The good news is CBT board president Charles W. Patrick recently announced he’s matching buck for buck up to $100K in donations to the ballet to celebrate its two decades as a professional company. To date, they’ve reached 80 percent of that fundraising goal. Patrick and his wife, Celeste, have a history of getting behind local arts groups and making extraordinary things happen (just ask Julian Wiles and Charleston Stage Company). CBT’s also got Jon Teeuwissen, executive director of the Joffrey Ballet, coming in to help the board strategize, as they’re also going to have to move out of their 477 King space eventually.
“We hope to skyrocket to a different level,” Bahr says. “Our goal is to be in the black before the end of our fiscal year on June 30, which we can do if Charles’ challenge is met. Also, the Donnelley Foundation of Chicago has awarded us a $50,000 strategic plan grant to look into our long-term plans for a permanent home on the peninsula.” —Patrick Sharbaugh
They’re virtually the only tenants left in the building, but it’s looking less and less like PURE Theatre will be producing their fourth season in The Cigar Factory this fall. Earlier this month, Atlanta-based developer the Simpson Organization bought the historic structure and two weeks ago announced plans to lay some adaptive mixed re-use on the brick building, which includes 77 residential lofts, 37,000 square feet of retail space, and 26,000 square feet of office condominiums. Somebody send them a copy of Rent, quick! —PS