In Hampton, the shows will go on. They might just look – and feel – a bit different.
Starting in October, Hampton Arts will kick off its “Welcome Home” season, starting with a juried exhibition showcasing Virginian art at The Charles H. Taylor Visual Arts Center. Main stage performances at The American Theatre will begin in February with the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
For the 2020-21 season, the organization retooled its approach to live entertainment, implementing new safety protocols and offering virtual viewing options in light of the endlessly shifting coronavirus pandemic.
“Our seasons typically take years to plan. We quickly pivoted to reschedule many performers to allow for best practices amid the pandemic," Artistic Director Richard M. Parison Jr., said in a news release.
Both The American Theatre and the Visual Arts Center will operate under reduced capacity to maintain social distancing and have added deep cleaning measures.
To increase accessibility to the arts, The American Theatre is also bringing back its “35 for All” program, which offers all seats at $35 or less.
For those not yet ready to visit venues in person, the American Theatre will introduce a new, encrypted virtual ticket option via MyLIVE Streaming. The virtual ticket will enable ticket buyers to view live performances from the comfort of home, with discounts available through the $35 or less program.
“Now more than ever, it’s crucial to recognize that culture in our community isn’t a luxury: It’s a necessity,” Parison said in the release. “We’ve all turned to television, music, books and hobbies to fill our days during these stressful times. But to commune with others and experience live performance or wander a gallery for the full experience of an exhibition is wholly unique. These shared experiences give us joy and hope for the future.”
Season highlights include:
The American Theatre
The 5th Dimension, Feb. 27
This Los Angeles-based, Grammy-winning soul and R&B group is responsible for iconic hits of the 1960s and 1/4 u203270s like “Up, Up and Away," “Wedding Bell Blues” and “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In."
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, April 24
This all-male comic ballet company returns to Hampton to perform a repertoire that pays tribute to the world of ballet with a gender-bending spin.
Arturo Sandoval: A Jazz Legend, May 1
A Cuban native, Sandoval’s 43-year career has earned him 10 Grammy Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and countless accolades for his musicianship and humanitarian efforts.
An Evening with Melissa Manchester, May 7
The New York City native studied songwriting with Paul Simon and performed as a backup singer for Bette Midler. She’s released 20 albums since 1973, and she’ll perform a collection of favorites at the American.
CeCe Winans in Concert, May 8
She sold the house out last year, so for next year, CeCe Winans will return for two more shows. Claiming the honor of the best-selling and most-awarded female gospel artist of all time, Winans’s dynamic presence has graced stages around the world as she reimagines gospel with the captivating sounds of pop, country and R&B.
Kathleen Turner: Finding My Voice, May 22
You know her from films like “Romancing the Stone" and “Peggy Sue Got Married" and her Tony-nominated Broadway performances in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” For one night, the actress will take fans on a behind-the-scenes journey through her career.
Coastal Virginia Bluegrass and Brew Festival, June 4–6
The festival returns with a trio of genre-defining bluegrass acts and some of Virginia’s finest local breweries, cideries and distilleries. Headliners include Carbon Leaf (June 4, 8 p.m.), Steep Canyon Rangers (June 5, 8 p.m.) and The Steeldrivers (June 6, 8 p.m.).
The Charles H. Taylor Visual Arts Center
Small Works, Dec. 12 – Jan. 2
Hampton Arts League Member Exhibition, Jan. 30 – Feb. 27
Materials, March 25 – May 1
Common Era: A Morgan Gilbreath Solo Exhibition, March 25 – May 1
The American Theatre will remain closed through February. Tickets for next year’s performances will be sold at the Hampton Coliseum Box Office on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Ticketmaster.com, and at 800-745-3000.
For more information on the season and tickets, visit hamptonarts.net.
Amy Poulter, 757-446-2705, firstname.lastname@example.org
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