By the final weekend of the Spoleto Festival, locals in the Lowcountry are exhausted from trying to pack in as many performances as possible into 12 days.
That means this weekend is the ideal time for Midlands residents to zip down to Charleston and soak up some culture.
If you can only go down for one day, consider attending the finale on Sunday at Middleton Place. The gates open at 3:30 p.m., with gourmet picnic food, a beer garden and plenty of local and regional musicians performing through the afternoon. The main act is Charleston’s own Shovels & Rope, the duo of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent with their mash of genres from folk to punk to Americana. Tickets for the finale are $30.
If you want to avoid the finale crowds (it would be a tough drive home to the Midlands that night), there’s plenty on the menu Wednesday through Saturday. The daily chamber music concerts (11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Dock Street Theatre) are always a hit.
Finnish aerialist Ilona Jantti combines ballet, trapeze and projected animation. Dorrance Dance takes tap to a new level.
If you prefer the more traditional, try the Gate Theatre’s take on Daphne du Maurier’s “My Cousin Rachel” at Dock Street. Or maybe Westminster Choir’s pairing with the Charleston Symphony to perform “Te Deum” at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
Go to www.spoletousa.org for more details on the shows or to purchase tickets.
And if the cost of tickets is an impediment, check out the many free or lower-priced events in the concurrent Piccolo Spoleto Festival at www.piccolospoleto.com. The Piccolo finale, which features free music at Hampton Park, is 5-10 p.m. Saturday.