Not everyone can remember the exact moment the decision to move to Charleston was made. It was May 27th of 1977 and I was sitting on the upstairs piazza at the famous Poogans Porch restaurant. The meal had been superb and I lingered a bit watching a few horse draw carriages move down Queen Street. That was when Queen Street got quiet late in the evening. My day trip down from Myrtle Beach had surprised me with the Spoleto Festival well underway. In that one day I had seen a drawing room comedy play, shopped for art in the park and attended an outdoor jazz concert. By the end of that day I knew I would never miss the Spoleto Festival again and I was moving to Charleston.
This year marks the 40th season of the festival and it promises something for everyone. There will be a wide variety of events each day in the realms of theater, dance, music ,visual arts and opera. I mention opera specifically because this year holds a special treat for opera lovers. This year for the first time ever the festival will present Porgy and Bess. DuBose Heyward's Catfish Row brought to life a few blocks from the actual inspiration. Famous music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin in the newly completed Gallaird Center. Right now there are only six performances so it's sure to be sold out by the May 27th premier.
If you aren't familiar with Charleston' Spoleto festival you can learn more at spoletousa.org . Buy your tickets early so you won't be disappointed and be sure to arrange for accommodations as well because the town will be in full swing. Come to Charleston during Spoleto and be ready to move.