The festival catches its breath

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After four wild days of nonstop, balls-to-the-wall, pedal-to-the-floor intensity, both Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto take a breather today, and thank god. The big operas all have their premieres behind them. The main play, The Constant Wife, settles into its 19-show run with a clutch of hyperbolic reviews in its pocket. Chamber Music and an Intermezzo program keep the pulse ticking in the meantime, along with an intimate solo show from Enrico Pieranunzi at Recital Hall.

On Thursday, though, the volume goes up to 10 again. The Big Festival throws open the doors on Major Bang: or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Dirty Bomb. Shen Wei Dance lights up the Gaillard with its program of dancers as living paintbrushes, and the first Festival Concert brings together the SFO, Emmanuel Villaume, Brahms, and Ravel in the Sottile Theatre. Thursday also sees the first Westminster Choir concert and the Menotti tribute program.

Piccolo, meanwhile, continues apace, with scads of theatre, comedy, music, and the kitchen sink, too. In 20 minutes, the Lowbrow’s gonna be sitting in on Martha Teichner’s conversation with members of the Gate Theatre, talking about The Constant Wife. After that, he may dabble in some Piccolo and see if he can grab an audio interview or two intends to get some much-needed sleep. (Look for Buzzcast #5 this evening, an outrageously enlightening chat with Cabaret Kiki, whose Dangerous Strangers leave their mark on the Buxton's Stage on June 1.)

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