I have found something I think might be really wonderful. There is a musical now on stage in Charleston called "Gershwin at Folly." It takes place in the 1930s, when George Gershwin came to Folly Beach near Charleston to collaborate with DuBose Heyward on what was to become the iconic opera "Porgy and Bess."
This new musical tells the story of Gershwin's discovery of the Gullah culture and the wonderful history of the Lowcountry. The musical has been created by Julian Wiles of Charleston Stage who worked with famed artist Jonathan Green who created the sets and costumes.
At the time Gershwin arrived on Folly, it was only reachable by boat and very primitive. Luke Peeples, whose own musical efforts at turning the Gullah language and customs into words and music in the same era, was doing his own thing in Bluffton. It is said that the Gershwins learned of Peeples' work and traveled to Bluffton to meet him and learn from his efforts.
Peeples' life and musical works are featured in the new book about him written by his two nieces. It must have been a magical time. Some people say that some nights, if you listen closely, you can hear Luke playing the piano at The Store. I love that.
In "Gershwin at Folly," the stage will look as if you are living in a Jonathan Green painting. The musical features many of Gershwin's wonderful melodies including "Fascinating Rhythm" and the fabulous "Summertime." It opens April 4 and will run for three weeks. Tickets are available at www.charlestonstage.com or you can call 843-577-7183. Charleston Stage at the Dock is at 135 Church St., Charleston.
Babbie Guscio is the social columnist for The Bluffton Packet. She can be reached at The Store on Calhoun Street.