Mark Scarpelli and Dan Kehde’s rock opera, MARY,a Charleston tradition, opens this coming Friday. This year they’re going to be doing an unplugged version of the show, semi-staged, to better take advantage of the intimate performance space at the Elk City Playhouse.

To get you in the mood for this production by Charleston Youth Arts Company, you can sample a Radio Free Charleston playlist of clips from previous  productions in the video at the top of this post. This year MARY happens at the Elk City Playhouse at 218 W Washington St, Charleston, on the city’s historic West Side.

I’m going to quote from CYAC’s press releases for the rest of this post, but if you haven’t seen MARY: A Rock Opera, you really should…

Mark Scarpelli and Dan Kehde’s seasonal opus, MARY, has been performed every Christmas season for the past 27 years!  The story of Mary, the future mother of Jesus, over the nine months prior to the birth, MARY provides a timeless score and poignant lyrics to the most famous story of all time.

Coming out of the pandemic, we’ve been reevaluating how CYAC fits into the world around us. This extends to reimagining how we stage MARY. We want the songs to take center stage and let the energy of the music guide the storytelling process. This means minimal costuming and staging, allowing the cast to have more fun with the songs and characters. We’re calling this new concept “Mary: Unplugged!”
Picture this: 30 people gathered around your living room, singing the music of MARY. That’s the kind of intimate, engaging experience we’re aiming for this year.
It’s worth mentioning that this is the second production of MARY since the passing of composer Mark Scarpelli in 2022. There’s a legacy here, and we are determined to honor his memory in the best way possible, by continuing to share his music with the world.

Seating is limited, so we suggest you purchase tickets ahead of time HERE.

Yu might want to keep in mind that MARY is a wonderful experience that can make for a very nice early Christmas present for the theatre-lover on your shopping list.