Hot Seats: Fall Arts Preview

The arts are alive in Coastal Virginia this fall. Don’t miss these movers, shakers, singers and makers.
Aladdin Photo by Deen Van Meer, Courtesy of Disney/Broadway in Norfolk

As always, there is a lot going on for lovers of the fine arts in Coastal Virginia during this season of falling leaves and chilling temps, including an exciting lineup of performances, exhibits and special events. Check out our editorial picks for some of the season’s don’t-miss arts happenings.

On the arts news front, Virginia MOCA and Virginia Wesleyan University made a big announcement in July that MOCA would be relocating to the campus of VWU following construction of a new state-of-the-art facility to be built on the university’s Virginia Beach campus. But that will be a process at least a year or two in the making, so don’t miss MOCA’s intriguing Collector’s Edition exhibit in the meantime, on view through Dec. 31.

Beloved community theater Little Theater of Virginia Beach recently unveiled a new mural on the side of its building near the Virginia Beach Oceanfront to celebrate its 75th anniversary season. The theme of the mural, painted by Roger “Rogu” Westmoland, is “Broadway the Beach Way.” Check it out as you’re arriving for their season opener, The Play That Goes Wrong.

At Norfolk’s iconic Wells Theatre, Virginia Stage Company patrons will have a chance to discover new meaning behind the phrase “best seats in the house.” That’s because recent renovations to the house of this 110-year-old architectural gem include some new theater seats that are cozier and wider than their predecessors. But hopefully you won’t be in them long when the curtain falls on VSC’s production of Fiddler of on the Roof, sure to bring the audience to its feet.

Be sure to check specific venues and arts organizations for the most-up-to-date event and ticket information.


The Possibilities of Paper
Through Oct. 15
Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center
Christopher Newport University
An exploration of the unusual ways paper can be used to craft masterpieces that ignite the imagination, featuring 13 artists from the U.S. and Canada.

Heather Beardsley: Strange Plants
Through Oct. 29
Chrysler Museum of Art
Local artist Heather Beardsley works across a range of media to create eerie depictions of architecture seemingly reclaimed by the environment.

Collector’s Edition
Through Dec. 31
Virginia MOCA
This exhibition highlights Virginia MOCA’s special connection to art collectors, honoring patrons who support creative culture by welcoming art into their homes and lives.

Fashioning Innovation: Madame Alexander at 100
Through Dec. 31
Barry Art Museum
In celebration of the founder of The Madame Alexander Doll Company, this intimate exhibition examines her history and legacy in doll design.

En Plein Air Art Exhibit
Sept. 8-28
Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts
This exhibit will feature work created by more than 40 professional artists during the annual Suffolk Plein Air Festival, including landscapes and more.

Beethoven Festival
Sept. 15 & 16
Chrysler Hall & Ferguson
Center for the Arts
Conducted by Eric Jacobsen with brilliant soloists, this composition master class will showcase why Beethoven is one of the most admired composers of all time.

The Play That Goes Wrong
Sept. 15-Oct. 8
Little Theatre of Virginia Beach
This 1920s whodunit has everything—an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead and actors who trip over everything (including their lines).

Vinyl Radio
Sept. 16
Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts
Vinyl Radio returns to the Birdsong Theater at your request, with a wash of vocal power and a righteous regard for the great rock-n-roll music of the ’70s.

Proteus Festival
Sept. 28-Oct. 7
Zeiders American Dream Theater
Dive into hot-off-the-press new plays, music, comedy and more by local amateur and early career artists, creative competitions, and a big Saturday block party at the Z.

Fiddler on the Roof
Virginia Stage Company
Oct. 4-29
Wells Theatre
The Stage Company’s first large-scale musical since 2019, this all-new production of an electrifying classic will feature a cast of 30+ and a lavish orchestra.

Oct. 7
The American Theatre
Zimbabwean female acapella group Nobuntu wows audiences with pure voices, minimalistic percussion, and traditional instruments and dance.

Radium Girls
Oct. 20-Nov. 5
Little Theatre of Norfolk
This gripping drama is based on the true story of early 20th century female laborers who were poisoned and killed by their factory’s radium-based paint.

Lake Street Dive
Oct. 25
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
Lake Street Dive creates soulful rock-n-roll with ingenuity, intelligence and a keen talent for combining sociopolitical commentary with catchy pop.

Disney’s Aladdin
Broadway in Norfolk
Oct. 25-29
Chrysler Hall
Discover “A Whole New World” with this hit Broadway musical, based on the Disney classic featuring Aladdin, Genie and Princess Jasmine.

The Barber of Seville
Virginia Opera
Nov. 3-5
Harrison Opera House
After VO opens its season with Wagner’s Siegfried, Assistant Stage Director Nora Winsler will have her mainstage directorial debut with The Barber of Seville.

The Secret Garden
Virginia Musical Theatre
Dec. 1-3
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
Based on the beloved
Victorian children’s book, this incredibly romantic show features some of the most beautiful music ever written for the Broadway stage.

The Nutcracker
Ballet Virginia
Dec. 15-17
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
Enjoy a heartwarming Hampton Roads holiday tradition with delicate snowflakes, adorable gingersnaps, and a cast of talented dancers with a live orchestra.

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