SCCA introduces ‘American’ series

Published 9:35 pm Friday, July 31, 2009

Get ready for Thomas Jefferson, Thunder Creek, Franklin D. Roosevelt, The Harlem Gospel Choir, The Nutcracker and Oliver Twist.

The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts unveiled its 2009-2010 performance season during a press conference on Friday. The above bands and characters are only a few of the 24 acts gracing the SCCA stage in the upcoming season.

“Elements of America” represents the theme for the season, SCCA Executive Director Paul Lasakow said.

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“America has taken a lot of hits lately,” he said, noting decreasing morale over the economy. “We need to remind ourselves what’s great about America.”

The 28-performance series includes elements of American music, history, dance and theater, as well as the SCCA Family Entertainment Series.

“These are great acts,” Lasakow said. “While we’re here to celebrate our new performance series, we are more than a performing arts center. We are dedicated advocates of arts education for both youth and adults and tie everything we do back to that centerpiece of our mission.”

During a press conference at the center Friday, the Thunder Creek band played country songs before and after Lasakow’s speech. Thunder Creek will perform at the center Feb. 20. Also in the American Music series are Riders in the Sky, Sept. 25; The Tony Rice Unit, Oct. 17; Suffolk Gospel Fest, Nov. 1; Hal Ketchum, Nov. 7; Boys of the Lough: A Celtic Christmas, Dec. 11; The Harlem Gospel Choir, Feb. 7; USAF Vector Ensemble, March 21; and An Evening with Pam Tillis, April 30.

In the American History series, local favorite Clay Jenkinson will portray Thomas Jefferson in “Holidays at Monticello,” Dec. 19. Joining him in the series will be Ed Asner portraying Franklin D. Roosevelt, Nov. 8; An Evening with John and Abigail Adams, Feb. 27; and Sojourner Truth, April 25.

“I Dream of Jeannie” star Barbara Eden joins Hal Linden in “Love Letters,” on April 17 in the American Dance and Theater series. Also in the series are Todd Rosenlieb Dance, Oct. 10; and Say Goodnight Gracie: The Love, Laughter and Life of George Burns and Gracie Allen, May 16.

In the family entertainment series, the SCCA Community Players will perform “OLIVER!” a musical adapted from the Charles Dickens novel “Oliver Twist,” in four performances March 12-14. Also in the series are “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Nov. 15; Avner the Eccentric in Exceptions to Gravity, Nov. 21; The Nutcracker Suite, Act II, Dec. 12-13; BAM! Percussion, Jan. 16; Ballet Virginia International’s Sleeping Beauty, March 27; Tom Sawyer with the Hurrah Players, March 28; and The Hundson Vagabond Puppets: The Silly Jellyfish, April 24.

For more information on the series, visit