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It's Show Time


(From left to right) Carl Palazzolo’s artwork goes up at the Gibbes in “The Spoleto Watercolors of Stephen Mueller and Carl Palazzolo;” the opening reception for “Rebound” is this Thursday at the Halsey; and A Midsummer Night’s Dream premieres on Saturday. Photographs (left to right) by Julia Lynn, courtesy of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art/provided by Spoleto Festival USA, & by Simon Annand/provided by Spoleto Festival USA

May 22, 2013

It’s Show Time
We hope you’re rested and ready: the first of the Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto Festival happenings start tonight!


The Holy City’s annual arts extravaganza has arrived! Some of us have been studying the Spoleto program for months and perusing the overwhelming array of Piccolo offerings. Others are suffering from a case of “What, it’s already here!?” If that’s you, it’s time to get in gear—here are some CliffsNotes to get you started.

Though the festivals officially begin on Friday, May 24, previews start tonight for Le Grand C—in which Compagnie XY’s acrobats soar and stack into amazing formations to traditional French music at Memminger Auditorium—and tomorrow night for A Midsummer Night’s Dream with theater troupe Bristol Old Vic and Handspring Puppet Company presenting a magical U.S. premiere.

On Thursday, head to the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art for the opening of “Rebound: Dissections and Excavations in Book Art,” featuring sculptures created by five artists from printed books and other literary works. There’s a gallery walk-through with the artists from 5-6 p.m. and then a reception from 6-8 p.m.

Friday’s Spoleto Festival USA Opening Ceremonies officially kick things off, with fanfare outside City Hall from noon to 1 p.m. And that’s when the true onslaught begins, with 10 Spoleto events on tap for the day, including the Gibbes Museum’s debut of “The Spoleto Watercolors of Stephen Mueller and Carl Palazzolo,” the first of the twice-daily Bank of America Chamber Music concerts, and the Opening Night Fête block party.

As for Piccolo, the Outdoor Art Exhibition opens in Marion Square, with award-winning South Carolina artists displaying their works and giving free demonstrations through June 8. You can also find the 29th annual Juried Art Exhibition at the Charleston Visitor Center, kids programs including Peggy the Pint Sized Pirate at Charleston Acting Studio, PURE Theatre’s Clybourne Park, and the Reformed Whores musical comedy duo performing at Theatre 99. And that’s just a sampling of the dozens of events going on this Friday alone.

To make your festival plans for the weekend—and the coming weeks—view the full event schedules at and

For help in making your selections, check out our list of top 10 Spoleto picks here.

To read our “Arts Profile” interview with painter Carl Palazzolo, click here.




Wed, 05/22/2013