FAIR | Corndogs and Country
The Coastal Carolina Fair has been entertaining the young at heart since the 1950s with the same simple pleasures year after year — corn dogs and cotton candy, down-home country music, barnyard animals, fireworks, and carnival rides. Hosted by the local branch of the national service group the Exchange Club, this volunteer-run event benefits around 40 tri-county charities with its proceeds. The fair features over 60 rides, 25 of which are suitable for young children, and the rest of which are referred to as “spectaculars” — not for the faint of heart. Besides the traditional fairground attractions, each night features a different musical act, and this year includes some big names from Nashville and beyond. The fair kicks off on Oct. 25 with a performance by country crooner Blake Shelton. Other acts include Jamie O’Neil, the Marshall Tucker Band, Tracy Lawrence, and a Halloween performance by Percy Sledge. The week wraps up with country pretty-boy band Emerson Drive. Advance tickets available at Piggly Wiggly through Oct. 24. —Erica Jackson STARTS THURSDAY Oct. 25-Nov. 3. Kids: $4/adv., $5/gate Adult: $6/adv., $8/gate Handstamp Ticket (Ride all day) $14/adv., $17/gate. Exchange Park Fairgrounds, 9850 Hwy. 78, (Ladson). (843) 572-3161 www.coastalcarolinafair.org.
Nasal-voiced comedian Mike Birbiglia has been on the road over the last seven years, jumping in as a talk show regular on the nationally-syndicated radio show Bob & Tom (broadcast locally on Q104.5 FM) and on various late-night television programs. He’s starred in two Comedy Central Presents specials and already has a sitcom idea in the works with NBC. He’s been touring the country since August in support of his new live album, My Secret Public Journal Live. “There are very few comedy albums that capture one’s attention for a full hour,” he says. “My goal was to create an album where people listen to it as a one-hour experience rather than a five-minute experience. It’s like free-writing exercise where I make observations, ruminations, and tell stories.” My Secret Public Journal Live is very funny, meandering from one childhood and early-adulthood misadventure to another — from his early days as a reluctant trinket salesmen during his time at St. Mary’s School in rural Massachusetts and his summertime exploits with older brother “Joe Bags” to his most awkward moments on stage and inappropriately booked celebrity events. —T. Ballard Lesemann THURSDAY Oct. 25, 8 p.m. $26, www.etix.com. Charleston Music Hall, 37 John Street, (Downtown), (843) 853-2252, www.charlestonmusichall.com.
VISUAL ART | Toil and trouble
Dark yet colorful. Muted yet bright. Solemn yet enlivened. That’s how you might describe John Hull’s painting, “A Picture from Life’s Other Side,” one of a series to be found at his retrospective at the College of Charleston’s Halsey Institute. Along with fellow CofC professor Barbara Duval, Hull examines a none-too-pretty side of society that we tend to avoid: the one rife with poverty, alienation, and struggle. That, at least, is the evocation of “Life’s Other Side”: a solitary man shouldering a soiled box spring out of a junkyard. A young boy, shirtless, leans against an ancient pick-up truck and observes the man, cast in shadow, as he hoists his burden. Or is it treasure? Duval seems to share this sensibility. Yet where Hull is melancholic, she trades in danger and implied violence. In one particular untitled painting, five figures are set amid bold vertical trails of orange-red. It suggests men running, but it’s hopeless. They appear engulfed in flame. For some viewers, the lost Charleston 9 will no doubt easily, and sadly, come to mind. —John Stoehr OPENS FRIDAY Oct. 26-Dec. 7. Free. Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, 54 St. Philip St. (843) 953-5680, halsey.cofc.edu.
DANCE | He can fly, he can fly
The thing about stories like Peter Pan is this: they last a long, long time. They mean something to us, even after repeated readings. Even when we aren’t
SPORTS | Paddle for the Coast and a tiki stein)
Whether you’re a total newbie or a seasoned pro, the Seventh Annual Island Giant Kayak Race wants you paddling your tail off to protect South Carolina’s coast. Benefiting the Coastal Conservation League, contestants can choose between a 3-mile and 6-mile course that begins at the Isle of Palms Marina and meanders through inland creeks, up the Intracoastal Waterway, and back through Morgan Creek in a loop. The race begins promptly at 10 a.m., and is sponsored by Half Moon Outfitters, Chaco Sandals, and Coastal Expeditions eco-tours, all of which have donated to the raffle that’ll go down during the (free with entry fee!) Morgan Creek Grill lunch that follows. You could walk home with new Chacos, a sweet kayak paddle, sunglasses, or if you’re a winner, a coveted giant blue tiki stein. The race is casual, and tandem kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, dragon boats, and whatever floats (for 3 miles, mind you) are welcome. Those not paddling are invited to come cheer and enjoy lunch. It’s a guaranteed good time and a great way to do your part to make sure our coast stays protected and beautiful. And what better way to get some muscle juice flowing before you poison it all during Saturday night’s Halloween festivities? —Stratton Lawrence SATURDAY Oct. 27. $35/singles, $55/tandems $25/age 17 and under, (843) 881-9472, www.halfmoonoutfitters.com
SPORTS | Stingrays heating up the ice
The S.C. Stingrays kicked off their 15th season last weekend, and after a trip up north, they’ll be returning to Charleston to play the Charlotte Checkers on Tuesday. The team, a training team for the Washington Capitals, welcomes Jared Bednar as the new head coach (though he’s been with the team as player and assistant coach for 12 years), as well as lots of fresh faces — only seven of the 20 team members are returning from last year. Though things can get pretty rowdy, it’s a family-friendly event, and the Stingrays welcome all young hockey fans to trick or treat at the rink after the game. For the grown-ups, they’ll be hosting a business networking event beforehand with $2 beer all night. —Erica Jackson TUESDAY $13-$18, (843) 744-2248. North Charleston Coliseum, 5001 Coliseum Dr. North Charleston, (843) 529-5050, www.coliseumpac.com. www.stingrayshockey.com
The Charleston Concert Association isn’t wasting time. Last week, it presented a performance by the Bavarian Philharmonic. This week features one of the best repertory companies in the country, the 21-member Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. The ensemble triumphed this summer, as it usually does, at the American Dance Festival in North Carolina. It reprised Twyla Tharp’s 1979 masterpiece, Baker’s Dozen, as well as newer choreography by Susan Marshall and Jiri Kylian. They were met, again as usual, to popular and critical acclaim. Expect to see works flirting with the burlesque, cheeky, and risque. Like Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity, Hubbard Street is hardly immune to the recent trend of infusing dance with sexual innuendo. As one dance critic put it, few can match Hubbard Street’s achievement in “emphasizing the groin.” —John Stoehr TUESDAY Oct. 30, 8 p.m. $15-$55, (843) 571-7755. Gaillard Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. (843) 577-7400.