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Here’s our 2024 Spring Arts Preview

The Hampton Roads Performing Arts Scene has become increasingly Queercentric over the past few years, and we’re here for it. From LGBTQ musicians, dancers, and comedians to theatrical productions with a queer storyline, there’s something for everyone this spring and summer.

February 1: Dial M for Murder
Hampton Roads Pride Night at Wells Theater, Norfolk
Virginia Stage Company’s successful partnership with Hampton Roads Pride presents Dial M for Murder, the next in the Hampton Roads Pride Night production series. Step into a world of deception, suspense, and betrayal as a retired tennis player plots to murder his wealthy wife…until his plan takes an unexpected turn. Whether you’re a devoted fan of Alfred Hitchcock’s renowned film adaptation or experiencing this thrilling masterpiece for the first time, Dial M For Murder is guaranteed to keep audiences guessing, gasping, and smiling until the final curtain call. With his deft hand for timing and humor, mystery and comedy, director Mark Shanahan (The 39 Steps, The Hound of the Baskervilles) returns to surprise and delight VSC audiences.

 
February 8: A Raisin in the Sun
Little Theater of Virginia Beach Pride Night

The Little Theater of Virginia Beach’s Pride at the Theater Night benefits three of our local LGBTQ non-profits: Hampton Roads Pride, Stonewall Sports Norfolk, and the LGBT Life Center. Theatergoers on Pride Night can enjoy a pre-show reception in the lobby with raffle prizes and a cash bar.  The performance in this series is Lorraine Hansberry’s celebrated play concerning the divergent dreams and conflicts in three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis, and matriarch Lena. When her deceased husband’s insurance money comes through, Mama Lena dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. Hansberry’s portrait of one family’s struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration.

March 14: The Three Musketeers
Hampton Roads Pride Night at the Wells Theater
In this beloved tale, follow the adventures of a young man named d’Artagnan as he joins the king’s Musketeer of the Guard.  Joined by friends and fellow Musketeers Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, they must travel through the rustic landscapes of early 17th century England and France to protect the royal family they have sworn an oath to.  Scandal, intrigue, romance, and good old-fashioned sword-fighting can be expected in this swash-buckling adventure.

March 15: Wanda Sykes
Chrysler Hall, presented by Seven Venues
In case you didn’t know, Portsmouth native Wanda Sykes is an Emmy-winning stand-up comic, writer, actress, and producer who has been entertaining audiences for over twenty years. She is also an unabashed LGBTQ advocate. In 2023, Wanda was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Nominations; two for her Netflix special Wanda Sykes: I’m an Entertainer (her sixth stand-up special) and another for her role as ‘Gladys Murphy’ in Crank Yankers, a role she originated in 2004.  Wanda’s guest-starring role on ABC’s Black-ish also brought her two back-to-back Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series” in 2017 and 2018.

March 28: A Murder is Announced
Little Theater of Virginia Beach Pride Night
An announcement in the local paper states the time and place when a murder is to occur in Miss Blacklock’s Victorian house. The victim is not one of the house’s several occupants, but an unexpected and unknown visitor. What follows is a classic Agatha Christie puzzle of mixed motives, concealed identities, a second death, and a determined inspector grimly following the case’s twists and turns. Fortunately, Miss Marple is on hand to provide the solution – at some risk to herself – in a dramatic final confrontation.

March 29: Randy Rainbow
Harrison Opera House, Norfolk
Randy Rainbow is a four-time Emmy and Grammy-nominated American comedian, producer, actor, singer, writer, satirist, host, and New York Times bestselling author best known for his popular web series The Randy Rainbow Show. The LGBTQ influencer and Internet sensation’s viral comedy videos have received hundreds of millions of views across all social media and digital platforms. His musical parodies and political spoofs have garnered him worldwide acclaim and four consecutive Emmy nominations for Outstanding Short-Form Variety Series. His debut solo album A Little Brains, A Little Talent (Broadway Records) earned him a 2023 Grammy nomination for Best Comedy Album.

March 29: Riddick Dance Company
The Mixed Bag Series, American Theater, Hampton
Riddick Dance (formally known as Beauty for Ashes Dance & Theater, Inc.) was founded in 2009 by artistic director David F. Riddick.  Riddick Dance is a contemporary dance company known for its broad dance repertory, expressive movement, athleticism, and fusion of dance styles.  Riddick Dance creates and presents a broad dance repertory to enrich the range of cultural offerings of the Hampton Roads region. Performances intricately combine storytelling and movement to produce thought-provoking works on stage.

April 25: Blues for an Alabama Sky
Hampton Roads Pride Night, Wells Theater, Norfolk
The Blues are getting bluer, and the gin is running dry. A free-spirited Cotton Club singer has just been fired with nowhere left to go but down. So she turns to her best friend – an extravagant costume designer with plans to dress Josephine Baker in Paris. Maybe they can run away together? Or maybe the handsome Southerner that just came knocking can offer an even better life? But the saxophone dreams of Harlem rarely end as smoothly as they start.

May 10-24: The Book of Mormon
Chrysler Hall, Norfolk
This outrageous musical comedy follows the adventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. With standing room only productions in London, on Broadway, and across North America; The Book of Morman has truly become an international sensation. The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century.” The Washington Post says, “It is the kind of evening that restores your faith in musicals.”

May 23: The Outsider
Little Theater of Virginia Beach Pride Night
Ned Newley doesn’t even want to be governor. He’s terrified of public speaking andhis poll numbers are impressively bad. To his ever-supportive Chief of Staff, Ned seems destined to fail. But political consultant Arthur Vance sees things differently – Ned might be the worst candidate to ever run for office, unless the public is looking for the worst candidate to ever run for office. Don’t miss this timely and hilarious comedy that skewers politics and celebrates democracy.

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