Arts and Culture

Shani Gilchrist



Flip-flopping weather across the pond, and arts events that keep you dry

Posted 7/8/2013 2:23:00 PM

The past week has proved that you really can’t predict the weather when you’re half-way around the world. When I packed clothing for my family for our London trip, I was looking forward to the cool, grey, rain-spattered days that the city is so famous for. I imagined cool mornings spent wrapped up in sweaters, walking through the monochrome blend of concrete and sky, and an umbrella constantly tucked under my arm.

Apparently, that (minus the sweaters) is what my friends in South Carolina have been experiencing, instead. In London, we are in the midst of what is predicted to be a fortnight of sunshine and warmth. Last week it was as if everyone in the city had contracted spring fever to the point of mania. Playgrounds were impassable. We couldn’t walk across a grassy area without tripping over sunbathers every three feet. Thursday night I attended a Fourth of July party in Chelsea hosted by Christy Osborne, an American expat who is originally from California. The party was held at No. 11 Pimlico Road, a new “all around” restaurant and bar that has quickly become popular with the Brits and expats, alike. Up on the first floor (that’s second floor, in American) guests were greeted with bourbon cocktails and photo opportunities with Wonder Woman. It was a wonderful, friendly crowd whose origins were about even split on both sides of the Atlantic.

I met a woman with relatives in Columbia whom I’d met before, and I also met am entrepreneur who had grown up on a cattle form on the English coast. Everyone was warm and welcoming, and apparently used to the lack of air conditioning. Each person remained unruffled and matte-skinned as we crowded into the event space. I, on the other hand, turned into a beaming pool of runny makeup. Surviving 80 degrees may be child’s play in South Carolina, but in England, without the Southern American’s tools for beating the heat, I’ve just resigned myself to looking a mess!

I’m hearing that many of you are in despair over the soggy weather, but don’t fret! There is still plenty to do as long as you have an umbrella and a car (or kayak, perhaps?). Don’t let the soggy weather keep you from going out to an arts event.

Here are some suggestions for things happening around The Palmetto State this week:

* Tonight: Head to Conundrum Music Hall in West Columbia to hear Glenn Jones, a singer/songwriter touted as “The best guitarist you never heard of,” by The Boston Globe. Jones works through a tradition of American Primitivism that he makes his own with “inventive use of alternate tunings and partial capos.” Columbia-based siblings Alex and Emily McCollum, known as Stagbriar, will also perform. (626 Meeting St., West Columbia.)

* July 10: Step back into one of the most active periods of American music when you go see “Jersey Boys” at The Peace Center in Greenville at 7:30 p.m. The musical is based on the true story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. Hum along to songs that are a part of the American psyche as the play traces the development of one of the most successful music groups of the era. (300 South Main St. Greenville)

* July 12: Catch a flick in an historic, art deco setting at the Sumter Opera House. On Friday “The Curse of the Pink Panther” will play at 7 p.m. as part of the Downtown Friday Nights Movie series. Tickets are $2.50 and proceeds benefit the Sumter County Library’s children’s programs. (21 North Main St., Sumter)

* July 13: Purchase art and give to a good cause at S & S Art Supply’s 3rd Annual Silent Auction Fundraiser. Admission is free to enjoy the musical stylings of Preach Jacobs, who will be DJ-ing, and The Plowboys, who will perform live. An open bar will be provided by The Whig and Rosso. Where does the “give” part come in? With the art, of course! More than 100 works created by local artists will be available to purchase via a silent auction. All pieces begin at $25. Proceeds go to the Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter, 2-6 p.m. (1633 Main St., Columbia)

Have fun and stay dry!