The PopCulteer
August 5, 2011

Once again, Charleston’s theatre scene is blessed with two high-quality shows running at the same time. You can see a video clip of CYAC’s production of Dan Kehde’s “Cupid Falling/Cupid Rising” right here. That original comedy is running at The WVSU Capitol Center Theater. Meanwhile, across tiown at The Clay Center, Charleston Light Opera Guild, in conjunction with the Clay Center, will bring you “Hairspray,” the broadway musical based on the 1988 John Waters movie.

Big Hair = Big Fun

Tracy and Amber, photo by Chip Ellis

“Hairspray” opens tonight at 7:30 PM at The Clay Center, and it’s a fun musical set in Baltimore in 1962. While it tells the story of how young Tracy Turnblad helped break down the walls of racial integration on a local “American Bandstand” style dance show, the deeper message is how Tracy stands up against the rampant sizism, which is still a problem today.

This is a fun production. Nina Denton Pasinetti has mastered the science of distilling hit Broadway productions into the perfect works for the local stage, and the young cast shines brightly as they rip into a score that is a pure valentine to the pre-Beatles era of American music. You’ll hear echoes of Motown, Phil Spector’s “Wall Of Sound” and classic girl groups, all performed with gusto by the cast and recreated faithfully by the orchestra, under the direction of Bobby Hodges.

Jessica Cooper captures the spirit of Rikki Lake, who made her mark as Tracy in the original movie, and Alan Pennington is overwhelming as her mother, Edna, a role created by the late iconic transvestie star, Divine.

Check out the video preview below…

WHEN: 7:30 Aug. Friday, Saturday and Aug. 12-13; 2 p.m. Sunday and Aug. 14

WHERE: Clay Center

TICKETS: $15 and $20

INFO: Call 304-561-3570

Radio Free Charleston Returns!

Our brief summer hiatus comes to an end next week as Radio Free Charleston returns with a brand-spanking-new episode which will include music from InFormation, The Rendfileds and a song from “Hairspray,” plus short films, animation and other goodies. Look for it on Monday or Tuesday.

Sasha Colette at Taylor Books

Sasha, in Davic Park during FestivAll

Recent RFC guest, Sasha Colette, returns to Taylor Books tonight, starting at 7:30 PM. As always, Taylors is cover-free.

This is a great chance to hear one of the area’s best singer-songwriters in an intimate setting.

Sasha’s sweet voice and great songwriting make for a wonderful evening, and you can’t beat the price.

That’s All Folks

Yes, it’s another short PopCulteer, as your loyal correspondent wraps up his semi-vacation, dives deep into production of RFC 142 and deals with an unwanted indoor pool situation in his basement. Check back next week for what we hope passes for a return to normalcy.