by William Moultrie
[Editor's Note: This article is reprinted from last year from the time before any of you were reading theDiscust]
Charleston – Following this year’s successful edition of Spoleto Festival USA, organizers believe they have come up with a new plan to bring music and dance to the rest of the state.
“At the conclusion of the 2010 festival, we’ll be packing all the productions, musicians, art shows, and miscellaneous onto a majestic fleet of transport vehicles and will begin a magical journey to bring culture to the masses who have been so deprived for so long,” said Abbie Sniffinbottom, managing director of the festival.
He continued “It’s going to be a wondrous adventure. We’re specifically choosing the cities that have historically been deprived of opera and ballet and other enlightened works. I’m positively giddy anticipating the reaction of the townsfolk in Neeses when when we set up a full staging of Wagner’s Ring Cycle just east of town. Twenty-seven hours of glorious German opera – they are going to be simply beside themselves.”
The touring version of the festival has been dubbed “Spoleto Festival USA: Roadshow.” In addition to Neeses, the tour is expected to hit six to eight other cities including Britons Neck, Denmark, Buck Stand, North, and Due West.
“Of course we won’t be able to bring the entire festival to every city on the tour” said Sniffinbottom, “but we plan on staging a representative five-day sampler at every location. For example, we’ll have the Israeli Ballet performing Giselle in Lodge, but Ketchuptown will get the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s presentation of Haydn in Spring. I’m sure there will be some disappointment on both parts, but we have limited resources.”
“Actually, we anticipate there will be a large number of art lovers following us from town to town to take in the whole experience,” said Jennifer Goshwin, creative director for GSMS, the firm handling the tour’s public relations. “We’ve done a lot of research into traveling entertainment shows such as Ozzfest and Lollapalooza, and we’ve found that numerous patrons will attend shows in multiple towns. We have no reason to believe this will be any different.”
“This will be a boon to the local economy in each of the towns we visit” said Goshwin. “The festival in Charleston brings in arts patrons from around the world, and while it would be overly ambitious to expect the same impact with the Roadshow in its first year, we think we’ll be able to draw in a lot of people who simply haven’t been able to travel the up-to-three hours to get to Charleston.
Also, as part of our coordination with the localities, we’ll be compiling a list of popular vintages and pairings appropriate for the various performances and emailing it to the local merchants. I’m sure they will want to avoid the embarrassment of only having Australian Riesling when the occasion clearly calls for a French Syrah.”
Not everyone is completely supportive of the traveling Spoleto show.
“It’s mine!” said Charleston Mayor Joe Riley. “I mean it’s Charleston’s. We’ve had it forever and we intend to keep it forever. If the theater-loving masses upstate want some culture, they can damn-well come to Charleston for it.”
Riley also expressed some concerns about the true goals of the Roadshow.
“They say they’re touring the state, but trust me, when they get near the Georgia border, they’re going to make a break for Savannah, and then we’ll never see them again. Mark my words.”