Okay, it’s time once again for your guide to things you can do in and around Charleston and the Mountain state as we enter the second weekend of FestivAll along with, for West Virginians, a four-day weekend and a big old baseball-slide into Summer. In this week’s edition of STUFF TO DO, we’re going to start off with a radio note, and then just skim a few of the hundreds of things going on in town. There is so much STUFF TO DO in Charleston this weekend that your PopCulteer is sorry that he won’t be here for any of it. I’ll be telling you about the Marx Toy Show in Wheeling tomorrow.
Wednesday afternoon’s Curtain Call on The AIR is the radio note I mentioned. This week Mel Larch presents her annual highlights show featuring the Tony Award winner for Best New Musical. In this case, as awarded just last Sunday, it’s Kimberly Akimbo.
The musical comedy Kimberly Akimbo stars the 60-plus-year-old Victoria Clark as a teenage girl with a medical condition that causes rapid aging. Based on a play by David Lindsay-Abaire, the show features music by Jeanine Tesori, the Tony-winning composer of Fun Home; a book and lyrics by Lindsay-Abaire, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his play Rabbit Hole; and direction by Jessica Stone, a longtime actress making her Broadway directing debut.
In addition to winning for Best New Musical, Kimberly Akimbo also picked up Tony’s for Best Lead Actress in a musical, Best Book, Best Score and Best Featured Actress in a musical.
So Wednesday at 3 PM, Curtain Call will let you sample this acclaimed Tony-winner. You can tune in at the website, or you could just stay right here and listen to the convenient embedded radio player lurking elsewhere on this page.
In Charleston, FestivALL wraps up this weekend, and rather than repeat the many, many things I’ve written about this cool arts festival in Charleston over the years, I’m just going to point you to their website, and let them do all the heavy lifting.
Part of FestivALL is the Charleston Light Opera Guild production of Little Shop of Horrors, at the Guild workshop on Charleston’s West Side. Mel and I got to see this production on Sunday, and it’s loads of fun and very well done. Mel gives the show her stamp of approval, which is no small honor since Mel was the Guild’s first Audrey, back in 1987. You have three more chances to catch this show.
Live Music is back at Taylor Books. There is no cover charge, and shows start at 7:30 PM. They’re bringing in the big guns this weekend. Friday it’s The Carpenter Ants. Saturday Spencer Elliott entertains the crowd at Charleston’s beloved Bookstore/Coffee Shop/Art Gallery.
The World Famous Empty Glass Cafe has some great stuff through the week to tell you about. Thursday from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM, Swingstein and Robin play fiddle and piano and sing swing and early jazz standards. Each week they donate their tips to a local nonprofit or worthy cause. Later on Thursday, at 10 PM, Kenny Booth hosts “Shred Night” so metallically-inclined peoples can come out and jam and not worry about upsetting the folk singers. Friday Tim Courts plays during happy hour. Check the graphics below for other cool shows at the Glass.
Please remember that the pandemic is not over yet. It’s still a going concern. And now there are seasonal allergies, the flu, raging wildfires, global climate castrophes, alien invasions, disgraced former presidents and other damned good reasons to be careful. Many people who have very good reasons are still wearing masks, and many of us, understandably, are still nervous about being in crowds, masked or not. Be kind and understanding while you’re out.
If you’re up for going out, here are a few suggestions for the rest of this week, roughly in order, but with some theater stuff listed first…