SCCA announces season

Published 10:45 pm Friday, September 12, 2014

Children’s classics like Rapunzel and the Berenstain Bears will mix with older folks’ fare like “Masters of Soul” and bluegrass band “Balsam Range” to create the 2014-15 season at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.

The center announced the season this week.

“I think it’s an amazing season, and I really am proud of it,” said Jackie Cherry, executive director of the center. “I think we’ve got a really nice, diversified lineup.”

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The season kicks off Oct. 25 with pop singer Juice Newton with Exile.

“That’s going to be a great opening,” Cherry said.

On Nov. 13, near Veterans Day, the United States Air Force Heritage of America Rhythm in Blue Jazz Ensemble will perform in a free concert.

“We’re trying to reach out to the community and open it up for everyone,” Cherry said.

On Nov. 23, “The Berenstain Bears Live!” hits the stage in a recreation of the children’s books about a family of bears that teach valuable lessons for children.

“It’s a wonderful show, and it teaches children a lot of things,” Cherry said. “It’s got a story and a message behind it.”

On Dec. 6-7, what’s become a Christmastime tradition for the center returns for yet another year. “The Nutcracker Suite” by Ballet Virginia International will be preceded both days by the Sugarplum Tea, which allows youngsters to meet the ballet dancers, taste sweet treats and make a craft to take home.

The Chowan University Chorus and special guests will perform “A Chowan Christmas — A Holiday Variety Show” on Dec. 9. It’s also a free show.

“It’s a great way to get into the season and enjoy it,” Cherry said.

On Jan. 24, Bria Kelly — a Smithfield native of “The Voice” and “America’s Got Talent” fame — will hit the stage with her band in a show that’s sure to bring out plenty of her young fans.

“We’re reaching out to new generations,” Cherry said. “We’re including the younger audiences.”

On Valentine’s Day, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra will present the jazz show “I’ll Take Romance” to make for a nice complement to a dinner downtown, Cherry said.

On Feb. 28, “Masters of Soul” will be back by popular demand. Cherry said she’s never brought back a performance two years in a row, but the calls she received over the summer made it clear she ought to make an exception this time.

“All summer, I was getting calls about, ‘Can we buy tickets for Motown,’” Cherry said.

March will feature Popovich Comedy Pet Theater and “GRITS: The Musical.”

GRITS stands for “girls raised in the South.”

“It’s for women, and it’s generational,” Cherry said. “It’s a hoot.”

On April 25, “Rapunzel! Rapunzel! A Very Hairy Fairy Tale” will hit the stage.

In May, Black Violin is also back by popular demand.

“Then we’re ending the season with bluegrass with a group called Balsam Range,” Cherry said. They were recommended by someone in town.

“I think they’ll blow them away,” Cherry said.

The season also includes plenty of performances by the Children’s Theatre of Hampton Roads and Virginia Opera school shows.

For more information or to purchase tickets for the shows, visit or call 923-2900.