Suffolk Center launching new season

Published 3:09 pm Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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Susan Stone


The Suffolk Center stage will come alive with music, dance and theatrical productions when the 13th season opens in mid-September.

“This year we have one of the most exciting performance schedules we’ve had since opening,” said Executive Director Susan Lawrence. “Three theatrical productions, seven music and dance performances, and seven movies offer some of the best entertainment options in Hampton Roads. Our Gallery exhibits will feature a number of artists who have never exhibited at the Center, and we’re thrilled to offer them to our community.”

An addition to the Suffolk Center line-up this year is “Downstairs at the Center,” performances featuring local and regional bands and solo artists. Kicking off the series is The Ben Phelps Project, a six piece band from Hampton Roads, who plays a style all their own merging jazz, blues and rock. They will perform on Saturday, Sept. 29. Local country crooner and Navy veteran Luke Willette will perform some of his own songs as well as country music favorites on Saturday, Nov. 17. Willette was the winner of the 2017 Tidewater Arts Outreach Emerging Artist Competition. Rounding out the “Downstairs” series on Friday, Jan. 18 is North Carolinian Will Overman who performs a mix of folk, country, rock and pop. He performed on NBC’s “The Voice.”

Theatrical productions are always a hit with Suffolk Center patrons, according to recent surveys. “Pinkalicious: The Musical” begins the season on Sept. 22. Celebrating 10 years as an off-Broadway favorite, “Pinkalicious” returns to Suffolk by popular demand. The excitement continues in October when the Hurrah Players present “Annie.” New to the Suffolk Center stage next February is Mike Wiley Productions’ “Jackie Robinson: A Game Apart.”

Three new music and dance groups and three returning favorites will have the joint jumpin’ and toes tapping.

Movie buffs will have a chance to see some of their favorites on the big screen with themed movies throughout the year.

The schedule for performances, Gallery openings, and movies is below. The Suffolk Center will be participating in “2nd Saturdays” family-friendly events in conjunction with other downtown venues.


  • Gallery Exhibit and Studio Open House

“The Art of the Center”

An Exhibit of Work by the SCCA Students and Instructors

Thursday, Sept. 13, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On View: Sept. 13 to Oct. 13

All Suffolk Center art studios will be open for tours

  • “Pinkalicious: The Musical”

Saturday, Sept. 22, 11 a.m.

A partnership with the Suffolk Center and Healthy Suffolk

  • Downstairs at the Center: The Ben Phelps Project

Saturday, Sept. 29, 8 p.m.


  • Y’Art Sale

Oct. 19-21

Opening Reception and Sale, Friday, Oct. 19, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, Noon to 4 p.m.

A sale of pre-owned original art

The Y’Art Sale is a partnership between the Suffolk Center and the Suffolk Art League

  • “Annie”

Presented by the Hurrah Players

Saturday, Oct. 20, 2 p.m.

  • Gallery Reception

“Joy Unfolding”

The Art and Recycled Creations of Dale Wayne

Thursday, Oct. 25, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On View: Oct. 25 to Dec. 21


  • Move – “The Lorax”

Thursday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m.

  • Downstairs at the Center: Luke Willette

Saturday, Nov. 17, 8 p.m.

  • The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra

Friday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m.

Jeremy Davis and Clay Johnson and their 17-piece big band. Fashioned in the style and swagger of the legendary entertainers like Frank Sinatra, Davis and Johnson put their own stamp on the Great American songbook. Their performance will also feature Christmas favorites.


  • Movie – “Paddington 2”

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 p.m.

  • Virginia Choral Society

Saturday, Dec. 15, 4 p.m.

Carols & Lullabies of the Southwest

In Partnership with the Suffolk Center


  • Movie Month! A partnership with Suffolk Tourism

Featuring “old school movies” – movies with a “school” theme

(What better place to view them than the former Suffolk High School)

Thursday, Jan. 10, 7 p.m. – “Grease”

Thursday, Jan. 17, 7 p.m. – “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

Thursday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m. – “Clueless”

Thursday, Jan. 31, 7 p.m. – “Mean Girls”

Gallery Reception

  • The Sister City International Exhibit

Thursday, Jan. 17, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On View: Jan. 17 – Jan. 30

  • Downstairs at the Center: Will Overman

Friday, Jan. 18, 8 p.m.


  • Mike Wiley Productions’ “Jackie Robinson: A Game Apart”

Written and performed by Mike Wiley

Tuesday, Feb. 5, 7:00 p.m.

Acclaimed actor and playwright Mike Wiley shows Jackie Robinson’s life during a bygone era. “A Game Apart” is a powerful lesson of courage through dedication, perseverance and leadership.

  • Gallery Reception

“Coastal Conversation”

An exhibit by Stephie Jones and Ed Obermeyer

Thursday, Feb. 7, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On View: Feb. 7 – March 30

  • Movie – “Remember the Titans”

Thursday, Feb. 7, 7 p.m.

  • Suffolk Center Annual Fundraiser

Lamp It Up!

Saturday, Feb. 23, 6 to 11 p.m.


  • Soul Street Dance Company

“Breakin’ Backwards”

Saturday, March 9, 8 p.m.

Houston-based Soul Street Dance company displays technical and artistic skills, stage presence and wit that allow them to push the performance envelope to an amazing standard of excellence. The performance consists of high-energy movement and an eclectic mix of music ranging from hip-hop to classical.

  • The Next Generation Leahy

Saturday, March 23, 8 p.m.

Doug and Jennifer Leahy and their six children are keeping their Celtic traditions alive through music, song and dance. Playing nine different instruments among them, their step dance and vocals are astounding for such young performers.


  • The Embers featuring Craig Woolard

Friday, April 5, 8 p.m.

The Embers are a band who has become synonymous with beach music in the Carolinas, Virginia, and the mid-Atlantic with a loyal following.

  • Gallery Reception

“Fire, Form and Function”

The Ceramic Designers Association

Thursday, April 18, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

On View: April 18 – May 17

  • Chowan University Choirs

Sunday, April 28, 3:30 p.m.

Chowan Singers, Men’s Chorus and Community Chorus will present a concert of varied classical and sacred music.


  • Masters of Soul

Saturday, May 11, 8 p.m.

Back by popular demand, a celebration of the legendary songs and performers that defined Motown and soul music, a stylishly costumed, fully choreographed performances backed by a live band.

  • Gallery Reception

Thursday, May 30, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Hampton Roads Digital Photography Club

On View May 30 – June 29

SUSAN STONE is the development coordinator at the center. Contact her at 923-0003 or Visit for more information and updates as the season progresses.