Politics, soul and theater
Published 7:08 pm Saturday, August 29, 2015
SCCA announces a big new season
From Beatles to bluegrass and from Peter Rabbit to Masters of Soul, the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts’ upcoming season is sure to have a show, gallery exhibit, movie, children’s performance or educational class to delight anyone.
“I think it’s one of the best yet,” Executive Director Jackie Cherry said of the 2015-16 season. “We’re thrilled with the season itself, the community support, and opportunities we’ve had to partner with other groups.”
Cherry said the center has tried to cater to more people’s schedules with Friday evening shows and Sunday matinees this year.
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The season kicks off Oct. 9 with The Capitol Steps, a political satire group.
“I think the timing on that is fabulous,” Cherry said. “I think you’ll have enough material to work with that everybody will have a good time, no matter what your preference is.”
The U.S. Air Force Langley Winds will perform a free concert on Oct. 30. Tickets are required, and there is a convenience fee if obtained online.
Another free show is A Chowan Christmas on Nov. 21.
“They are really premiering the show here,” Cherry said. “They leave us and head for Carnegie Hall. It’s going to be a ‘knock ‘em out of the park.’”
On Dec. 13, “It’s a Wonderful Life — Live from WVL Radio Theatre” will be performed. The adaptation of Frank Capra’s beloved film is set as a 1940s live broadcast in the golden age of radio.
“It was available last year, and we could not get it,” Cherry said. “It was booked solid.” She went ahead and booked this year’s performance.
After the Christmas break, the season picks up again on Jan. 16 with “Peter Rabbit Tales” to celebrate Beatrice Potter’s 150th birthday anniversary.
“It’s a good family show,” Cherry said. “Just the costuming and all of that is fabulous.”
On Jan. 24, Virginia Opera will bring “Deep River: The Marian Anderson Story” to the Suffolk Center. Anderson was a ground-breaking classical musician who became the first black person to perform at the Metropolitan Opera and was invited by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to perform on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Valentine’s Day will see Alice Tan Ridley at the Suffolk Center. Ridley was featured in the fifth season of “America’s Got Talent” after more than two decades performing in the subway stations of New York City. She is the mother of “Precious” actress Gabourey Sidibe.
On Feb. 19, the Beatles are coming to town. Well, not really them: it’s “Yesterday and Today, the Interactive Beatles Experience.”
“You tell them what you want to hear,” Cherry said. “There is no script. They just bellow it out.”
Bluegrass fans will be clamoring to see The Boxcars on March 18, Cherry said.
“We have had requests over and over for this kind of music,” she said.
On April 9, “Married to Broadway” will come to the center. Ron Sharpe and Barbra Russell, who played the young romantic leads in “Les Miserables” and eventually decided to get married in real life, will present all the best songs from Broadway musicals past and present.
On May 7, favorite Masters of Soul will aim to once again sell out the Suffolk Center.
“You can’t get tired of that music,” Cherry said.
The season rounds out with “The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told,” featuring a crew of misfit pirates desperate to return home.
“It’s interactive and only half-scripted, so the audience fills in, and they just have a good time,” Cherry said.
Gallery shows this year will include “The Form and Function of Wood” from Sept. 17 to Oct. 31; “Artfully Done: Gifts for All Seasons” from Nov. 13 to Dec. 23; “Down Home: Retrospective” from Jan. 14 to March 3; Sister Cities’ “Peace Through People” from April 12-30; and “40 Years of Visions in Glass: Neil Duman Retrospective” from May 5 to June 25.
Family movies, including “Cinderella” on Dec. 12, are sprinkled throughout the season.
And some new classes also are on tap this year, Cherry said.
“That’s part of our mission, is education,” she said.
The Children’s Theatre of Hampton Roads also will continue its shows at the center every third Saturday from October through May. The shows begin at 11 a.m. and cost $5 each.
For more information, to see classes and workshops, or to purchase tickets to any show, visit www.suffolkcenter.org.