SCCA announces 10th season

Published 10:39 pm Thursday, September 1, 2016


"The 7 Bridges Band”  is an Eagles review band that will perform at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts this season.

“The 7 Bridges Band” is an Eagles review band that will perform at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts this season.

The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts plans a season with something for everyone that responds to the results of a survey the center conducted earlier this year.

Respondents said they wanted more community theater, more comedians, more musicals and a speaker series, Executive Director Jackie Cherry said. They’re getting exactly what they wished for — and open auditions for community theater take place this month.


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“We’ve hit every main genre that was requested,” she said. “This is really here for them. Everything we do is for the community.”

Following the military-themed September events (see related story), the season continues in October with the gallery exhibit “My Favorite Things” by Charlotte Chan on exhibit from Oct. 13 to Dec. 22. An opening reception will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 13.

Next up is the continuation of the speaker series, with the pianist Prisca Benoit and neurologist Dr. Kamal Chemali presenting a lecture and concert highlighting the beneficial and therapeutic effects of music on health and disease at 7 p.m. Oct. 27. The show is free thanks to the partnership of Sentara Neurosciences Institute and Sentara Music and Medicine Center.

On Nov. 12, “The 7 Bridges Band” will turn the Suffolk Center into the Hotel California.

“This is a top-shelf Eagles review that will rock the house,” Cherry said.

December will feature family-friendly and Christmas-themed entertainment.

“The Wright Brothers — Those Daring Young Men and Their Flying Machines,” a musical, will show at noon Dec. 2.

“It’s a little history, a little local interest and a nice musical theater piece,” Cherry said.

The next day, Meagan Taylor, great-niece of Chet Atkins, and Jason Coleman, grandson of Floyd Cramer, will hit the stage with “A Tennessee Christmas.”

“That is really what Christmas is about in terms of music,” Cherry said.

Disney Pixar’s “Finding Dory” will show free at 2 p.m. Dec. 10, and the Children’s Theatre of Hampton Roads will present “Uncle Wiggily’s Christmas Carol” at 11 a.m. Dec. 17.

After the new year, the second annual Hampton Roads Digital Photography Art Exhibit will show from Jan. 12 to Feb. 11, with an opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12.

Answering the call for comedians, “The Blackpack — All Laughs Matter” will show at 8 p.m. Jan. 21.

“I think everybody will get a laugh out of them,” Cherry said. “They’re funny, they’re smart and they’re quick.”

Continuing the speaker series, James Farmer, a gardening author and Southern Living editor-at-large, will speak at 11 a.m. Jan. 26.

“I really think it’s going to be a packed show,” Cherry said. Farmer’s books will also be available for purchase and signing.

The family-oriented comedian and juggler Mark Nizer will perform Feb. 4.

A return engagement at the center will be “Deep River: The Marian Anderson Journey” by the Virginia Opera on Feb. 11. Anderson’s ground-breaking career saw her become the first African-American artist to sing with the Metropolitan Opera.

The Children’s Theatre of Hampton Roads will perform “Freedom Song” at 11 a.m. Feb. 18.

A gallery exhibit, “The Spirit of a Woman — A Celebration of Women in the Arts,” will begin with an opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23 and be on view until March 18.

In March, the Chowan University Singers and Men’s Choir will give a free performance March 2.

On March 18, “The Rock and Roll Jubilee — The Titans of Teen Town” will be performed.

“They’re comedians in it as well, but it is a real rock and roll fun night,” Cherry said.

Bringing the season to a close on the stage will be the locally produced “Shrek the Musical,” starring all local actors. Auditions are open to anyone and take place Sept. 24.

“I wanted something that was diverse, that could have old people, young people, the whole gamut,” Cherry said. “Shrek the Musical was the perfect fit. You can have anywhere from 25 to 40 people cast in it, so all sorts of talent can be represented.”

The show will be staged April 1-2 and April 8-9.

Last in the gallery is the Chesapeake Bay Art Association’s annual juried exhibit, opening with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 11 and running until June 17.

“We’re just expecting a great season,” Cherry said. “I think folks have got plenty to choose from.”

Visit or call 923-0003 for more information on shows, including ticket prices, as well as classes offered at the center.