EVENT | Save the polar bear, save the world
Carolina Climate Convergence
Sun., July 22
The two billion people across the globe who tuned into a Live Earth concert in person, online, or on television last week are fair evidence that the world is concerned about our warming planet. HeatIsOn.org, who hosted the Charleston Live Earth event at the Music Farm, have organized a Climate Convergence to express public solidarity in making climate change a "hot" topic at the Democratic debate on Monday. "Today, all the communities of South Carolina are endangered by the looming threat of global climate change," says State Rep. Bakari Sellers (D-Bamberg), who will speak at the event. "We have both an opportunity and an obligation to tell visiting candidates that we expect presidential leadership to help usher our country into a new, clean, sustainable future." Local faith and conservation leaders will also address the gathering, calling for clean energy solutions to our gas-guzzling culture. As the frequent flooding downtown attests, Charleston's low elevation makes it particularly susceptible to the threat of rising oceans. At one in the afternoon, this event will be a steamy opportunity to think about slowing down our carbon emissions. —Stratton Lawrence SUNDAY
FESTIVAL | No worries on James Island
Reggae Nights w/ Mystic Vibrations
Sat. July 21
$6 (children under
871 Riverland Dr.
Presented by the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, the summertime "Reggae Nights" series continues this week with a special performance from popular combo Mystic Vibrations. Led by singer/guitarist Ric Williams (pictured), the band is comprised of a rotation of members from Jamaica and the States, including drummer Matthew Flemming, bassist Raheem Johnson, singer/keyboardist Sista Janae, and various guests. Their smooth, groove-heavy style draws from the more uplifting roots of traditional reggae music. They average over 200 gigs a year and pack 'em in on the Isle of Palms every week with outdoor gigs at Coconut Joe's. Fans can catch them at Chai's Lounge & Tapas on Wednesdays this month as well. Expect a mix of standards by such acts as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Jimmy Cliff, as well as a handful of funky originals off of their recent album. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. and the jams kick off at 8:30 p.m. —T. Ballard Lesemann SATURDAY
THEATRE | Trailer parks and white trash
July 20, 21, 26-28, Aug 2-4
The Cigar Factory, 701 East Bay St.
For its second summer slam production, PURE Theatre turns to a dark comedy of a play whose mere existence, to say nothing of its past success, is proof that live theatre does not have to be highbrow to be good. Set in a trailer home somewhere in the asshole of Texas, Killer Joe is the story of Chris, his father Ansel, stepmother Sharla, and sister Dottie, four paragons of redneckdom who make your typical white trash look like landed aristocracy. When they find Chris' mother has a fat life insurance policy that names Dottie as sole beneficiary, Chris and Ansel enlist the help of "Killer" Joe Cooper, a detective who moonlights as a hit man, to off said mama. Joe, with an eye to the yet undeflowered Dottie, demands a little down payment for the job, and the game is on. Written by Steppenwolf actor and playwright (Bug, Man From Nebraska) Tracy Letts, Killer Joe is both brutally funny and brutally honest. The three-week run at PURE's black box in the Cigar Factory is directed by R.W. "Smitty" Smith and stars David Mandel (BOC Best Actor, 2006) as Joe, Tara Denton as Sharla, Ryan Mitchell as Chris, David Roach as Angel, and Courtney Fenwick as Dottie. Although Letts' play predates anything by Quentin Tarantino by at least two years, the two writers share a taste for black (and blue) comedy. If guns, foul language, bags of body parts, or the very improper use of a fried chicken leg distresses you, best to sit this one out. —Patrick Sharbaugh OPENS FRIDAY
MUSIC THEATRE | Are the kids all right?
South Hall: The Musical
July 19-21 at 8 p.m.
July 22 at 2 p.m.
20 Queen St.
It's hardly revolutionary to suggest that college kids of any era are as horny as they are indiscreet, or that the sexual exploration that goes on among the early twenty-something set would make Magellan's jaw drop. But never more than today have the trappings of "dating" been more outré. Among the collegiate MySpace generation, having a steady boyfriend or girlfriend is on par with bringing your mom to the dance. Playing the field is becoming the game of choice for girls and guys — yet the emotional (and often annoyingly medical) consequences are timeless and eternal themes. Recent college grad Toby Singer, now music director of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim Synagogue downtown, observed this and saw, not surprisingly, the grist for a full-length stage musical. South Hall is (mostly) a comedy about a group of college freshmen and their relationships, sexual escapades, and inability to connect with each other on any level but a physical one. With an initial run at Theatre 99 last March, Singer is bringing the show back with a tweaked script and an almost entirely new cast. "The show isn't based on reality," he says, "but it is based on the kind of cold and impersonal interactions that I observed in college." Though South Hall doesn't propose any solutions to this trend, it does showcase the problem in an entertaining fashion that may have you humming tunes like "STD" or "The Facebook Song" the next time you're shacking up with that "buddy." — Jillian Stephenson OPENS THURSDAY
EVENT | Transforming the negative into the positive Metanoia Five-Year Anniversary Banquet
Fri., July 20
The Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College
The word "metanoia" comes from the original Greek translation of the New Testament, meaning "a positive transformation." It's a fitting label for a program which has rejuvenated South Carolina's poorest neighborhood, Chicora/Cherokee in North Charleston. What began as an after school and youth leadership development program five years ago has blossomed into an array of offerings for the neighborhood's young people, including a "Summer Freedom School," a "small business incubator" for middle school students, and a housing rehabilitation program to repair the houses of the elderly and help families become homeowners. Last week, they organized a rally to lower the speed limit on Spruill Avenue, making it safer for pedestrians, and they're working with the S.C. Department of Agriculture to start a farmers market in North Charleston that will allow residents to purchase Johns and Wadmalaw Island produce with food stamps. "It's all rooted in an approach to this community that does not spend time lamenting problems, but instead tries to identify its assets and its jewels that are not yet polished," says Metanoia CEO the Rev. Bill Stanfield. "We lift those things to be what ultimately transforms the neighborhood." North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey will address the banquet, and a 15-minute video on their programs will be shown. On the menu? Lowcountry boil. —Stratton Lawrence FRIDAY