Piccolo Spoleto has announced his 2022 schedule, except for some pop-up shows that have not yet been shared and will take place in the city of Charleston in the coming weeks.
The local arts festival running alongside Spoleto Festival USA runs from May 27 to June 12 and will feature dozens of cultural events throughout the city, from comedy and music to theater, dance and visual arts.
Most paid events can be purchased in advance from the festival website at piccolospoleto.com. Many more are free.
“We are thrilled that the Piccolo Spoleto Festival is making a full and robust return this year,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said. “For 17 days, the city will come alive through the arts, as we come together again to enjoy the music, theatre, exhibitions and other great offerings this year’s festival has to offer.
After a two-year absence due to COVID-19, the festival’s favorite opening ceremony, the Sunset Serenade, is among the events to return.
Led by concertmaster Yuriy Bekker, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra will perform outside the US Custom House at 200 East Bay Street to kick off the festivities at 8 p.m. on May 27.
To celebrate the return of the signature event, this year’s Piccolo Spoleto poster also spotlights the Sunset Serenade. The poster features a photograph of Jack Alterman capturing Mary Whyte conducting the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.
The Wadmalaw photographer has been framing the faces, buildings and landscapes of the Lowcountry since the 1970s.
A few other festival traditions also return, including the Isle of Palms Sand Sculpture Contest from 9-11 a.m. on June 11; the Memorial Day Concert featuring the Charleston Concert Band and the Columbia Community Band playing spirited marches and Broadway show tunes at 3 p.m. in Hampton Park on May 30; and a Midnight Pajama March and Patriotic Parade with the Abominable Seed & Feed Marching at the US Custom House at 10:30 p.m. on May 28 and 12 p.m. on May 29, respectively.
The finale will also be back, according to City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs Director Scott Watson, but details are pending until the Memorial Day weekend opening ceremonies are complete.
Also according to Watson, several pop-up programs will not be announced until the week of the festival.
What aired was a solid lineup of theatrical, musical and comedy events.
Concerts include Early Music Series, Organ Music Series, Chamber Music Series, Charleston’s Men’s Chorus, New South Festival Singers, Taylor Festival Choir, Jazz Performances, Cafe Cantata from the Charleston Opera Theatre, the Charleston Musical Heritage Series and a show featuring the sounds of South Carolina.
On the comedy front, dubbed “Piccolo Fringe,” there’s The Have Nots! improvisation, Mary Kay Has a Posse, The Complete History of Charleston for Morons, FBI (Finch Boys Improv), a Clean Improv Family Comedy Show, and Laughway to the Weekend. All take place at Theater 99, 280 Meeting Street.
On stage you can see theatrical performances such as “Boy Vey”, “Dot”, “Secrets of Dracula… Unearthed” and “You Might as Well Live”. The College of Charleston’s Stelle Di Domani series will next feature dance performances “The Swing of the Sea” and “Over the Rainbow.”
In poetry and literature, Piccolo Fiction returns to Blue Bicycle Books at 420 King Street and the Sundown Poetry series will return to Gibbes Museum of Art’s Lenhardt Garden at 135 Meeting Street with four readings.
And of course, Piccolo wouldn’t be Piccolo without the long-running annual outdoor art exhibition in Marion Square, now in its 43rd year.