The city’s Office of Cultural Affairs announced this year’s Piccolo Spoleto program this morning at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park. Featuring its usual host of free and family-friendly events, from the beloved Seed and Feed Marching Abominable community band to the annual Sand Sculpting Competition at the Isle of Palms, the festival also presents a wide array of music, dance, visual arts, and theater events from local and regional performers.
The most noticeable thing about the 2015 program is the truly mammoth array of music events. From early music to jazz and world performances, nearly two-thirds of the program is devoted to music offerings. Some of the more unusual highlights include a Celtic concert by the world-renowned uillleann pipes player Cillian Vallely, and a performance by the chamber ensemble Music in the Barns, which is making their Piccolo debut. The ensemble will perform works by Benjamin Britten, Phillip Glass, Paul Hindemith, and Max Brunch.
We’re also interested in the Moscow Nights performance, a concert of Russian folk and traditional music by Russian musicians, and the two Vivaldi-Piazzola programs — Yuriy Bekker of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra will perform movements from both Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Piazzola’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Sure, they’re so familiar they’re practically cliche, but we love those works.
The dance program features a site-specific commissioned piece by Annex Dance, which will combine music, dance, and visual arts, at the City Gallery. The performance features original music composed by Michael Wall, and will have viewers moving throughout the gallery to see different parts of the piece.
On the theater side, the Charleston Performing Arts Center theater and conservatory presents Charleston, the Musical, and Stan Gill returns with his widely acclaimed one-man show Mark Twain’s Final Tour. There are several family-friendly offerings including the swashbuckling Pirates! Revenge of Colonel Rhett and Footlight’s Miss Nelson is Missing. Our local theater companies, as usual, are bringing back some of their more ambitious plays from the past season for Piccolo audiences — Threshold is doing The Flick (which we’ll have a preview of next week — it opens April 30, before going on its Piccolo run at the end of May) and What If? Productions is doing the dark two-man musical Thrill Me: the Leopold and Loeb Story.