May 29 2010

Start of Spoleto

 This is the first weekend of the International Spoleto Festival.  

From Wikipedia

Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the world’s major performing arts festivals. It was founded in 1977 by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti, who sought to establish a counterpart to the Festival dei Due Mondi (the Festival of Two Worlds) in Spoleto, Italy. The annual 17-day event showcases both established and emerging artists in more than 120 performances of opera, dance, theater, classical music, and jazz.

When Italian organizers planned an American festival, they searched for a city that would offer the charm of Spoleto, Italy, and also its wealth of theaters, churches, and other performance spaces. Charleston was selected as the ideal location.

 For YEARS, I viewed Spoleto as an inconvenience, just some art show happening downtown.   Every year,  I would hear about it daily on “Spoleto Today”  (PBS radio), read about it in the newspaper, see it on TV but had NO interest in it.   I avoided Spoletoas much as possible and the only time I actually ventured downtown during the 2.5 weeks of the show was with visiting guests.    Spoleto, who needs it?  Bah…Humbug he said with a scowl!!

It is surprising that now, I am a volunteer usher for the festival!  I just love Spoleto.  It changed when I because a volinteer usher.     I heard about volunteering, signed up about 3 years ago.   

I just have to dress smartly with a white shirt and tie, help guests to thier seats, be polite and show up early for that show..   How easy is that!  The advantage is I get to see lots of shows I would never normally select or even have an interest in seeing.    I getting some  “public exposure” of a good kind.   

I have been exposed to some great shows and real crap.   Yes, CRAP!   I felt sorry for those who had to pay.    Just ask me about the ancient Japanese sliding screen show.   Talk about not making a bit of sense!     Or the one person show (Japanese again) where the geisha turns out to be a guy dressed as a woman.   I wondered why the geisha gal seem so flat chested….    Maybe I should swear off Japanese performance….cant seem to understand them.

I have also seen some unbelievably good shows too.  The Italian Marionettes were fantastic.  Little puppets of all kinds which told a fantasy story in exactly the same way one would have seen it in the 1700’s.  The high tech entertainment of the past complete with dragons (fire breathing), marching army’s, witches, all wrapped up in a love story.    Sounds like something we would see today on HBO. 

So here is the deal…..   Over the next 2 weeks, I have about 8 shows that I am assigned to.   After I see them I’ll let you know what there were and if they were good or crap.  

I have one today, May 29th I’ll see Gallim Dance studio perform “I can see myself in your Pupil”   Huh? What the hell?  Hey, I didnt pick it, it was assigned to me by the staff.    Of the 8 shows, I only could choose 3 shows for my “wish list” and indicate to the staff I was available for assignment on other days.   Trouble is I can remember what I chose, but I KNOW I did not pick this one.    Exposure…just what I need.

Today, I did some extensive walking around the city people watching.   Tourists come to Charleston to check out the city, I go to Charleston to check out the tourists.   I think it was even busier today, because a Carnival Cruise ship was in port.  

Lots of walking therefore lots of pictures.    I have grouped them as much as possible.  I am going to try and go into Charleston city center (all of 8 miles away) to take pictures….  Enjoy.

These is a small arts show at the park.   Look closely at the painted pictures, especially the shrimp boats.    Surprisingly, they are photos of painting, printed on matted paper (to look like stretched canvas) put into a frame, and then the “artist” uses clear RTV to high light things such as rigging, cable, etc., different things on the print.  It really looks good, and is an easy way to make a print look like a painting…. so easy a caveman can do it!

I have been looking for an egg plate for a long time and purchased a beautiful ceramic red deviled egg plate from a vendor….      They had a bunch of different colors, so I just put the fake eggs on different trays, asked a few passing women for a group vote on which presentation (with the white and yellow eggs) looked the best.  The all chose the red one.   Bet they enjoyed spending my money.

I enjoy making deviled eggs and taking them to parties.  Easy to make, lots of my “secret” doctoring to the recipe and who doesn’t like deviled eggs?  I like competition and it is fun to see which plate empties first when other people also bring their egg resipes to a gathering.   I rarely take any home.

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