Modern Moves: 2022-2023 Fall Arts Preview

A bustling fall arts season in Coastal Virginia promises new work, fresh takes on seasoned favorites and stellar performers galore.

by Leona Baker | Sep 1, 2022

Photo courtesy of Suffolk Center for cultural Arts

Photo Courtesy of Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts

Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum of Art will expand horizons and challenge perceptions this fall arts season with what museum director Erik Neil calls a groundbreaking exhibit, exploring the connection between famed African American artist Jacob Lawrence and other international creatives of his time through the Nigerian publication Black Orpheus, which in 1957 became the first African literary periodical published in English and featured visual art, poetry, fiction, commentary and literary criticism.

Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence and the Mbari Club (see image on facing page) opens Oct. 7 and will be on view through Jan. 8, 2023. The exhibit, Neil explains “is very much of a moment when people are [recognizing] that modernism is much more diverse. It’s not monolithic. There are things happening in the world, and modernism takes many forms.” The sought-after exhibit will travel to the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Toledo Museum of Art after it closes at the Chrysler.
It’s just one of a plethora of intriguing offerings from museums, galleries and performance venues large and small around the region over the next several months. Check out our editorial picks for the season’s arts events and reserve your tickets today.

Fall Arts Editor’s Picks

Rhonda Holy Bear: Artist and Story Keeper
Through Dec. 31, 2022
Barry Art Museum
Highlighting the 30-year career of Rhonda Holy Bear (Cheyenne River Lakota), renowned for her exquisite sculpture, the indigenous tradition of dollmaking using micro-beading and meticulous processes to create intricate, highly detailed work.

To See the World in a Grain of Sand
Through Jan. 22, 2023
Chrysler Museum of Art
Featuring glass and glassware created by melting sands collected from around the world by Nadine Sterk and Lonny van Ryswyck of the Dutch design studio Atelier NL to produce glass with unique colors and textures linked to their sources.

Suffolk Plein Air Festival
Sept. 6-11, 2022
Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts
Second annual Suffolk Plein Air Festival expanded to include 45 outstanding plein air artists traveling from across the United States and as far away as the Netherlands to capture Suffolk’s waterways, landscapes and cityscapes.

Sept. 9-Oct. 2, 2022
Little Theatre of Virginia Beach
Everyone’s favorite blood-thirsty count is center stage at Little Theatre of Virginia Beach as Dr. Van Helsing’s beloved daughter Lucy Seward is “bitten” by a mysterious illness that leads audiences through a thrill-filled theatrical experience.

Broadway in Norfolk
Sept. 14-25, 2022
Chrysler Hall
The Broadway sensation that has been “defying gravity” and transfixing audiences with its wildly inventive retelling of what happened in the Land of Oz long before Dorothy dropped in on a certain misunderstood emerald-green witch.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Virginia Stage Company
Sept. 14-Oct. 2, 2022
Wells Theatre
One of many local productions halted in its tracks because of COVID, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Tennessee Williams classic is back in action at the Wells as Big Daddy and Maggie the Cat navigate love, death, lies and sexual tensions in the steamy Mississippi South.

2022 Virginia Artists
Various Artists
Sept. 17-Nov. 12, 2022
Charles H. Taylor Visual Art Center
A much-anticipated annual juried exhibition showcasing many of Virginia’s finest artists and artisans from all across the Commonwealth, working in all styles, genres and media and vying for cash prizes awarded to Best in Show and other distinctions.

Swan Lake
Kyiv City Ballet
Sept. 22, 2022
Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts
The most iconic story ballet in the classical canon taking flight for a once-in-a-lifetime performance in Suffolk as star ballet dancers dazzle audiences while serving as cultural ambassadors during a time of war in Ukraine.

Rhythm and Respighi with Simone Porter
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Sept. 23, 2022—Ferguson Center
Sept. 25, 2022—Sandler Center
Virginia Symphony collaborating for the first time with Norfolk’s own Rhythm Project All Stars to bring local flavor to Louis Gottschalk’s Creole-inspired favorite and Respighi’s explosive “Pines of Rome,” featuring incredible young violinist Simone Porter.

Paremski Plays Rachmaninoff
Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra
Sept. 29, 2022
Williamsburg Community Chapel
Williamsburg’s own professional symphony, under the baton of new music director Michael Butterman, kicking off a busy concert season with guest artist Natasha Paremski at the piano for Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” and more.

The Valkyrie
Virginia Opera
Sept. 30-Oct.2, 2022
Harrison Opera House
The second of Wagner’s four-opera epic Ring Cycle, following the Opera’s hit production of Das Rheingold last year, adapted from Norse mythology (think Thor) and exploring a hero’s destiny and a confrontation between gods–continues in Fairfax Oct. 8-9, Richmond Oct.14 and 16.

Proteus Festival
Oct. 1-8, 2022
Zeiders American Dream Theater
Fresh-out-of-the-box plays and performances on tap for a festival that includes the Proteus New Plays Festival, TasteBreakers Concert Contest, Creative Teams performances and a free block party on Oct. 8 with entertainment and participatory art.

A Hispanic Heritage Month
Celebration Concert
Oct. 3, 2022
Roper Theatre
TCC Performing Arts Center
TRDance and TCC celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a full concert performance and pre-concert talk from Artistic Director Ricardo Melendez, a native of Puerto Rico, on how dance transforms Hispanic culture and stories into dance and movement.

Virginia Musical Theatre
Oct. 7-9, 2022
Sandler Center
A feast of toe-tapping 1950s fun for “Hopelessly Devoted” fans of all ages, swinging and jiving onto the Sandler Center stage by popular demand as Danny and Sandy break hearts and delight audiences in this award-winning romantic comedy musical.

The Savannah Sipping Society
Oct. 7-30, 2022
Smithfield Little Theatre
A laugh-a-minute comedy in which four unique Southern women, all needing to escape their day-to-day routines, are drawn together by fate—and an impromptu happy hour—and decide it’s high time to reclaim their enthusiasm for life.

Black Orpheus: Jacob
Lawrence and the Mbari Club
Oct. 7, 2022-Jan. 8, 2023
Chrysler Museum of Art
More than 125 objects, including Jacob Lawrence’s little-known 1964–65 Nigeria series, exploring the connection between the African American artist and his contemporaries through the Nigerian publication Black Orpheus.

Made in VA 2022
Various Artists
Oct. 8, 2022–February 5, 2023
Virginia MOCA
A celebration of regional artists in the form of an annual juried exhibition at MOCA in Virginia Beach, now in its 26th year (formerly known as New Waves), founded in the roots of a concerned and connected artist community in Coastal Virginia.

Never Break the Chain—The Music of Fleetwood Mac
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Oct. 13, 2022—Ferguson Center
Oct. 15, 2022—Chrysler Hall
A Virginia Symphony-sized twist on “Little Lies,” “Landslide,” “Don’t Stop” and other beloved hits by the famed British-American pop-rock band whose 1977 classic album Rumours was one of the biggest selling of all time.

Mars Fest 2022
Oct. 14-16
Barry Art Museum
Last year the moon, this year Mars on view at the second annual Public Arts Festival at ODU, featuring a large-scale sculpture of the red planet–at nearly 23 feet in diameter and an approximate scale of 1:1 million–by UK-based artist Luke Jerram, along with activities.

Peninsula Community Theatre
Oct. 14 – 30, 2022
Village Theatre
A warm-hearted, lively and truly hilarious examination of backstage shenanigans by one of Canada’s leading playwrights, focused on the trials and tribulations of a provincial theatre company as it approaches opening night of its latest production.

Dynamic/NFK’s NEON Festival
Various Artists
Oct. 15-Nov. 19, 2022
d’Art Center/NEON District
D’Art Center’s annual contemporary arts exhibition, taking place in conjunction with NFK’s NEON Festival, which returns to the NEON District in Norfolk Oct. 20 and 21 and celebrates the energy, passion and creativity in Downtown and the region.

Masterworks I & II
Oct. 16 & Nov. 13, 2022
Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
Virginia Beach’s own Symphonicity kickoff to their masterworks series with two concerts at the Sandler Center, the first featuring “The Firebird Suite” by Stravinsky and the second “Symphony No. 1 (Winter Dreams)” by Tchaikovsky.

The Hobbit
Virginia Stage Company
Oct. 19-Nov. 4, 2022
Wells Theatre
A charming stage adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic tale of Middle Earth, as reluctant hero Bilbo Baggins takes the audience on an epic adventure from the Shire to the Lonely Mountain, encountering trolls, elves and the legendary dragon Smaug.

NEON Festival
Oct. 20-21, 2022
Norfolk’s NEON District
Seventh Annual NEON Festival featuring Glass After Dark at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, an exhibition opening at d’Art Center, The Plot Beer Garden and main stage entertainment, new murals, pop-up galleries, tours and more.

Power and Promise
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Oct. 21, 2022—Ferguson Center
Oct. 22, 2022—Chrysler Hall
Oct. 23, 2022—Sandler Center
Andre Previn’s evocative song cycle “Honey and Rue,” inspired by jazz, blues and American spirituals, along with Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s “The Inextinguishable,” led by Virginia Symphony guest conductor Thomas Wilkins.

Blue Man Group
Oct. 23, 2022
Ferguson Center for the Arts
“Still blue, but all new,” the smash hit phenomenon Blue Man Group’s signature drumming, colorful creativity and quirky comedy featuring pulsing original music, custom-made instruments, surprise audience interaction and hilarious absurdity.

Afro Funk
Riddick Dance Company
Oct. 28, 2022
The American Theatre
Hampton-based company Riddick Dance, returning to the American Theatre stage with a powerful vision of contemporary dance including the world premiere of a piece called “Deconstruction of the ‘Booty in The Groove.’”

Hogwarts Hullabaloo: The Magical Music of Harry Potter
Virginia Symphony Orchestra
Oct. 28, 2022
Sandler Center
Harry Potter’s world of wizardry and wonderment as told through the breathtaking scores, performed by the Virginia Symphony, written by the legendary John Williams and others for the film versions of the hugely popular fantasy book series.

Season Opening Mixed Repertoire
Ballet Virginia
Oct. 28-29, 2022
Zeiders American Dream Theater
Ballet Virginia’s 15th season debuting with an exciting mixed repertoire of contemporary and classical ballet to include a work by Dwight Roden, artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet and a sought-after choreographer.

Bell, Book and Candle
Oct. 28-Nov. 20, 2022
Little Theatre of Norfolk
A love spell cast on her handsome neighbor by a modern-day witch spells and a little romantic comedy magic in this play, originally produced on Broadway in 1950, and popularized by the 1958 film version starring Kim Novak and James Stewart.

Ansel Adams: Compositions in Nature
Oct. 29, 2022-March 5, 2023
Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center
Christopher Newport University
A compelling selection of more than 80 of this major photographer’s most iconic and beloved images, presented alongside some rarely exhibited early photographs, shedding new light on Ansel Adams as an artist, musician and advocate for conservation.

An Evening with Bruce Hornsby
Nov. 4, 2022
Ferguson Center for the Arts
Williamsburg’s native son, multitalented musician and composer Bruce Hornsby, live and still exploring, including songs from his latest album Flicted, the third in a trilogy of sorts inspired by film “cues” written and recorded for director Spike Lee.

The Pirates of Penzance
Virginia Opera
Nov. 4-6, 2022
Harrison Opera House
A modern spectacle for the entire family about a young apprentice pirate, his newly found sweetheart, long-winded but well-intentioned father and a pirate king and his merry band of buccaneers–continues in Fairfax Nov. 12-13, Richmond Nov.18 and 20.

An Evening With Natalie Grant
Featuring Bernie Herms
Nov. 5, 2022
Chrysler Hall
An elegant, intimate evening with world-class vocalist Natalie Grant and her husband, songwriter, producer, pianist Bernie Herms, on their first-ever co-headlining tour, inspired by their popular social media duets during the pandemic.

The New Broadway Musical
Nov. 7, 2022
Ferguson Center
Inspired by the beloved films, a romantic and adventure-filled new musical that transports audiences from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past.

Dear Evan Hansen
Broadway in Norfolk
Nov. 8-13, 2022
Chrysler Hall
Winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, the hit story of a high school student whose social anxiety and desire to fit are woven into a deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it.

Diane Shuur
Nov. 12, 2022
The American Theatre
Grammy-winner Diane Schuur’s powerhouse vocals and dynamic range, influenced by the great Dinah Washington, in a can’t-miss concert of contemporary jazz celebrating a storied career that began with her 1979 discovery at the Monterey Jazz Festival.

Always Patsy Cline
Virginia Musical Theatre
Nov. 18-20, 2022
Sandler Center
More than just a tribute to the legendary country singer, a true story about Cline’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in l961, and featuring some of the icon’s greatest hits of the 1950s and ’60s.

Todd Rosenlieb Dance Fall Concert
Dec. 2-3, 2022
University Theatre
Old Dominion University
Coastal Virginia professional modern dance company Todd Rosenlieb Dance’s Fall Concert Series featuring a mixed program of contemporary ballet, modern and new works from choreographer Ricardo Melendez.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Dec. 17, 2022
The American Theatre
Famously named after an autograph by blues legend Albert Collins, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s decades-long mission to celebrate and revitalize jazz and swing music and bring joy to audiences around the world, live on stage in Hampton.

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