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Free Night of Theatre

If you're on a tight budget or you've never seen a play and don't know whether it's worth your hard-earned cash, fret no more. Theatre Charleston is organizing a Free Night of Theatre on Oct. 18, aiming to lure newcomers into see shows by PURE Theatre, Village Playhouse, Footlight Players, and Charleston Stage Company.

Combined, the four local companies involved will give away thousands of dollars worth of tickets.

Charleston Stage will hand out a bunch of tickets to Tick, Tick... Boom! at 8 p.m. Mt. Pleasant's Village Playhouse will present Gypsy at the same time. At 9 p.m., Late Night at the Footlights will perform the cheeky contemporary comedy Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight.

PURE will try something different with Suzan Lori-Parks' 365 Days/365 Plays. Parks has been writing a play a day throughout the year; PURE will perform a week's worth on a loop from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets will be available for reservation beginning Thurs. Oct. 4 at noon. For more information on Free Night of Theatre and to reserve tickets visit www.theatrecharleston.com. —Nick Smith

A Fresh Limb on the Tree of Wackiness

Charleston just got funnier. A revived Comedy Zone on King Street is open three nights a week. The Have Nots! improv ensemble continues to expand, with 35 regular performers now in the Theatre 99 Company. Now sketch comedy will get a kick up the rump from Maximum Brain Squad, created by Chris Drake and Henry Riggs.

"Mainstream sketch comedy is really in a rut right now," says Riggs, the actor/director responsible for Piccolo favorite Hobo: The Musical. "We are hoping this is something that will pick up and drive the Charleston comedy scene a little further." Drake and Riggs will be aided by Gray Robbins, Andy Livingood, and Amanda Lester.

If the Squad's name sounds familiar, you may have seen a group of white rap nerds using that name. "Essentially they are one and the same," Riggs explains. "The sketch comedy will be another branch of the Brain Squad tree of wackiness."  

The sketch squad's first show, A day that will live in INDUSTRY!, deconstructs an American blinded from reality by commercials and the latest technological products. If all goes well, monthly shows will ensue.

INDUSTRY! premieres on Wed. Oct. 3 at Theatre 99, sharing the bill with Big Dicktionary. Tickets cost a measly $5. —Nick Smith

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