Best of Charleston 2008 » Culture, Arts & Entertainment

Best Renovation of a Venue Ravaged by Hugo

Memminger Auditorium

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Memminger Auditorium
56 Beaufain St.
www.spoletousa.org

Spoleto Festival USA has been staging operas at the old Memminger Auditorium for years now (many remember its innovative production of Don Giovanni), but has been slow to renovate the building. That is, until now. The festival has put about $6 million into renovating the Memminger, an old Colonial-style theater built in the 1930s that was whacked by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The first opera to be performed there will be Spoleto's biggest production of 2008 — a revamped Amistad, a 1997 work by Anthony Davis about a slave ship revolt. Given the rate at which venues are disappearing, the establishment of a new performance space is a refreshing contrast to an ominous trend.

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