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Dramatic Escapes

(Left to right) What If? Productions opens The House of Yes tomorrow; Charleston Stage is putting on Legally Blonde, The Musical beginning August 31; and the Footlight Players’ Porgy and Bess finishes its run at the Dock Street this Sunday. Photographs (The House of Yes & Legally Blonde, The Musical) courtesy of the theater companies & (Porgy and Bess) by Kayla Brown

august 15, 2012

Dramatic Escapes
Elude the dog days of summer with three theatrical productions hitting local stages

Vacation’s over; back-to-school’s in full swing; and there’s no stepping outside without breaking a sweat, getting doused by a rain storm, or both. You need an escape. And luckily, our local theater companies have you covered. This month, three exciting productions take to our stages: a locally inspired classic, a pop culture fave, and an outrageous dark comedy. Read more below, and then make a date for a quick—but memorable—getaway.

August 16-19
Porgy and Bess

This week brings your last chance to catch the Footlight Players’ momentous production of Porgy and Bess, which is being staged at the Dock Street Theatre for the very first time. It took the company’s executive director, Jocelyn Jenkins, two years to obtain rights to the show, as they are typically only granted to venues more than twice as large as the 450-seat Dock Street. Seasoned director and actor Henry Clay Middleton leads a cast and crew committed to the original opera by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward with George and Ira Gershwin. Transport yourself to Charleston’s fabled Catfish Row to watch Porgy and Bess’ love story evolve this Thursday through Saturday (Sunday’s show is already sold out!). Dock Street Theatre, 135 Church St. Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m. $35; $30 senior; $22 student; $18 ages 12 & under. (843) 722-4487,

August 16-19 & 23-25
The House of Yes

Still haven’t caught one of Charleston’s newest theater companies in action? This week and next, you’ll have the perfect opportunity, as two-year-old What If? Productions stages Wendy MacLeod’s outrageous 1990 play, The House of Yes. The plot line is anything but boring in this story of a dysfunctional family in the midst of a hurricane. Prepare for an unconventional Thanksgiving at the Pascal household, complete with JFK assassination re-enactments, line-crossing dialogue, and incestuous seduction. Threshold Repertory Theatre, 84 1/2 Society St. Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 19, 3 p.m. $18; $12 student. (843) 793-1972,

August 31-September 23
Legally Blonde, The Musical

Based on the hit movie starring Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde, The Musical follows Elle Woods on her journey from a seemingly ditzy sorority queen to an impressive Harvard Law student. Reconnect with the stylish blonde during this Charleston Stage production as she uses her overwhelmingly positive attitude and her signature “bend-n-snap” move to get ahead at Harvard. And don’t forget her dog, Bruiser! La Mein, the Chihuahua that plays the pooch, has come a long way since his sick days in the Pet Helpers shelter. Charleston Stage is currently fostering the superstar dog, but he will be up for adoption after the production’s run. Have a grand time during this musical full of catchy tunes, lovable characters, and heartwarming laughs. Dock Street Theatre, 135 Church St. Wednesday, September 5, 7:30 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. $53-$23. (843)577-7183,

For more events coming up this month, click here.

Wed, 08/15/2012