Friday, May 18, 2007

Fishy FestivALL 2007

As a follow up to my recent post about Charleston being featured in Kiplinger's Best Cities At Every Stage of Your Life it reminds me to mention that FestivALL is on its way (June 21-24).

FestiVALL is just one example of why I think Charleston received a postive ranking in Kiplinger's bohemian factor. Here are posts (here and here) about last year's Charleston's premier arts event. For more background check out What is FestiVALL.

I got excited earlier this week after seeing the production photos of the 2007 FestiVALL Catfish over at friend and fellow blogger, Dale Morton's Costume Blog. (official FestiVALL catfish photo above).

Here is the quick overview of FestiVALL 2007 (For more info on 2007 FestiVALL check out the full schedule of events). Also, to stay up on FestiVALL check out the FestiVALL Blog by Adam Harris hosted via the Gazz Blogs.

This year our kick-off concert features the soulful sounds of The O’Jays at the beautiful Maier Foundation Performance Hall of The Clay Center on Thursday.

Friday night is party time on the river! Fund for the Arts’ Blues, Brews & BBQ will take place outdoors along the banks of the Kanawha at the University of Charleston with The Robert Cray Band and more. Phenomenal Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel will be in concert at The West Virginia State University Capitol Center Theater and A Gershwin Gala music and story tribute to the great George Gershwin will be at The Clay Center in a cabaret setting.

Saturday brings one of Charleston’s most popular events, Fund for the Arts’ Wine & All That Jazz, again outdoors on the U. of C. lawn. Smooth jazz sax man Eric Marienthal heads a bill that also includes the finest local and regional jazz artists and the fruits of local vineyards. Also on Saturday, The Capitol Street Art Fair fills two blocks with quality artists and crafts artists. They will be selling and, in some cases, demonstrating their work. On Saturday evening enjoy part one of The WV One Act Play Festival at The Clay Center. This year it will be topped off by a Late Night Cabaret performance. Also on Saturday night, at The WVSU Capitol Center Theater, you can hear the WV brother/sister duo of Tim and Mollie O’Brien in concert. Tim won a Grammy in 2005 for best traditional music recording and you may know Mollie as a long time regular on A Prairie Home Companion.

On Sunday, The Capitol Street Arts Fair returns and The One Act Theater Festival continues. On Sunday night, FestivALL 2007 ends with a very special edition of Charleston’s own internationally popular live music radio program, Mountain Stage.

On Wednesday, June 20, there will be a FestivALL West Virginia Day Celebration on the lawn of the Clay Center. It will feature popular local bands including the reunion of two of Charleston’s most popular 60’s and 70’s rock bands, The Mojos and Quiet. Later that evening, it’s the Gazz FestivALL Preview at Blues BBQ restaurant with more music and a discussion of FestivALL’s theme, “A City Becomes a Work of Art”, by city artists.

Check the Dance listings for performances by The Charleston Ballet, The River City Youth Ballet, West Virginia Dance Theatre, JADCO, Allegro and other companies. There will be 36 hours of free music on stages at Davis Park (blues, jazz), Haddad Riverfront Park (Charleston dance bands), Capitol Market (country and bluegrass), Charleston Town Center (eclectic mix) and at The Capitol Center FOOTMAD Stage (traditional Appalachian and folk). FOOTMAD will also be having a big Contra Dance Weekend.

Chalk artist Julian Beever will be coming in from Belgium to do one of his incredible “three dimensional” sidewalk drawings and the popular GO FISH catfish sculptures will be back in Brawley Walkway (Fife Street) and elsewhere. Street performers of all types will perform up and down Capitol Street. There will be family activities on The West Side and East End and, especially for the kids, The Kanawha Public Library’s Street Fair will take place on Saturday.

The City of Sistersville River Taxi will be ferrying folks across the Kanawha and last year’s extremely popular Location!Location!Location! “Ten Minute Play” contest winners, staged in the lobby of the Security Building, will be encored. Plus, a new contest, “A Streetcar Named…” will result in a twenty minute play that will be acted on a KRT Trolley as it makes its rounds.

In short, there will be plenty to keep the whole family entertained.

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