PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

FestivALL Notes And Stuff

Let me add my voice to the chorus of folks pimping FestivALL. To be honest, I skipped last year’s FestivALL–other commitments and all–but this year I’m really getting into the diversity of entertainment and arts offerings around town. I’m planning on spending a big chunk of Saturday taking in the sights and sounds of the best of Charleston’s arts community.

However, with so much cool stuff going on at the same time, some of the more interesting events seem to have gotten lost in the sauce, so to speak. So rather than blog about all the cool stuff that everyone else is covering, I thought I’d single out a couple of cool happenings that could use the spotlight.

I can’t understand why this hasn’t gotten more attention, but Saturday evening at 9PM at the Walker Theater in the Clay Center, Marshall University Theater is putting on a production of “Tomfoolery,” a musical revue based on the work of satirical songwriter Tom Lehrer. Anyone who ever listened to Dr. Demento knows the work of Lehrer (“Poisoning Pigeons In The Park” is a favorite). Melanie has been itching to do this show for years, so I’m familiar with it. I think tickets are ten bucks, and it’ll be well worth it. Lehrer’s songs are both intelligent and funny, and this could be a good way to cap off a fun day. Competition is fierce Saturday night, so maybe Marshall University Theater could reprise their performance in the future.

I’ve written about the No Pants Players several times here in PopCult. West Virginia’s only improv comedy troupe will be performing “street theater” at the Capitol Street Art Fair stage three times over the weekend: Saturday at 10 AM and 5 PM and Sunday at 2 PM. If you enjoy “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” you will love the No Pants Players.

Last night I got to take in the “preview” performance by Drew The Dramatic Fool, who will also be performing at the Capitol Street Fair Art Stage this weekend. He’ll be there Saturday at 11 AM and 2 PM and Sunday at 11 AM. He’ll also be hosting a clowning workshop Saturday at 4 PM at the WVSU Capitol Center Theater on Summers street. Drew put on a fantastic show of semi-pantomime comedy, and anyone who enjoys laughing out loud will want to catch one of his family-friendly performances this weekend. You can read more about the dramatic fool at the Gazz here. If you like Bill Irwin, you have to see Drew the Dramatic Fool. He’s a world-class visual comedian.

At the Gazz preview party last night, something else happened. Our esteemed Gazz editor, Doug Imbrogno, who co-hosted the evening with Mountain Stage’s Larry Groce, made an official announcement: Under the auspices of The Gazz.com, I will be reviving Radio Free Charleston as an internet video show! You may have noticed some of the “subtle as a cinderblock to the face” hints that I’ve been dropping lately. “Hmmm….”

I delivered the pilot yesterday, and hope to take RFC weekly by the end of July. We’re going to feature local music, weird short films, comedy from The No Pants Players, and more, all in a tight little ten-or-fifteen minute package. As an added deterrent…er…bonus, you get to see my ugly mug hosting the show. I’ll have more info on Monday, including details on how you can watch Radio Free Charleston, and maybe even a production diary with behind the scenes poop on how we filmed the pilot.

“Uh, we went over there and filmed some, and then they made us leave, so we had to go over there.” You know, real meaty insider stuff. Check back here at PopCult Monday, but first go enjoy FestivALL.