'Book of Mormon' heads up Chrysler Hall Broadway series in 2014-2015

"The Book of Mormon" will headline the Broadway in Norfolk series coming to Chrysler Hall in the 2014-2015 season.

The irreverent musical opens the season in October and will be followed by the return of two popular shows, "Wicked" in November and "The Phantom of the Opera" in January 2015. The lineup will continue with "Sister Act" in February 2015 and close with "Camelot" in April 2015.

Winner of nine 2011 Tony Awards, including best musical, "The Book of Mormon" is a religious satire about two Mormon missionaries sent to a remote village in Uganda where a brutal warlord is threatening the population. It was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, developers of the TV series "South Park," in collaboration with Robert Lopez who wrote words and music for "Avenue Q." Dates for the show are Oct. 28 through Nov. 2.

"Wicked," which will play Nov. 26-Dec. 7, is the pre-Dorothy tale of the two friends from the "Wizard of Oz" who grow up to be the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good witch.

This production of "The Phantom of the Opera" is making its first North American tour after being redesigned by Cameron Mackintosh. It will feature a 52-member cast and orchestra and will play in Hampton Roads Jan. 8-18, 2015.

"Sister Act," playing Feb. 20-21, 2015, comes out on tour following a recent production on Broadway. Finally, "Camelot" on April 3-4, 2015, features classic Lerner & Loewe songs such as "If Ever I Would Leave You" and "The Simple Joys of Maidenhood."

Subscriptions range from $240 to $425, and are available by calling 757-823-4299 or online at http://broadwaynorfolk.com.

Symphony finale

Two principal players are in the spotlight this month when the Virginia Symphony closes its season with a performance of the Brahms Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra Thursday, June 12 in Williamsburg and Saturday, June 14 in Virginia Beach.

Associate Concertmaster Yun Zhang and Principal Cellist Mike Daniels will join the orchestra for this popular piece often referred to as the "Brahms Double."

The program will open with Mendelssohn's "Hebrides Overture" and also feature Schubert's Symphony No. 8, the "Unfinished." Music Director/conductor JoAnn Falletta writes that, "You hear the sound of an orchestra most clearly in this essential 'meat and potatoes' repertoire.

"Playing Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Schubert, you hear the sound of our players, how they think, what their personality is," she says. "This program takes us to the heart of the Virginia Symphony."

Performances take place at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 12, in Crosswalk Community Church, 7575 Richmond Road, Williamsburg; and 8 p.m. Saturday, June 14, Regent University, Virginia Beach. Falletta will give a pre-concert talk one hour before each performance.

Tickets are $22 - $67, $10 for students, and available by calling 757-892-6366 or online at virginiasymphony.org.

June Jazz funder

This year's "June Jazz," the annual fundraiser presented by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Hampton Roads, will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, 6700 Azalea Garden Road, Norfolk.

The event will feature music by The Jim Newsom Quartet, drinks and hors d'oeuvres, and a silent auction. An evening highlight will be the Wet Paint Sale of art works painted by local artists and sold at auction that evening.

Tickets are $50, available by calling 757-889-9479 or online at http://culturalli.org.

Opera appointments

Virginia Opera has filled two key positions for the coming season. Adam Turner, formerly resident conductor, has been appointed to the new position of principal conductor/artistic adviser, and David Smith, formerly technical director, will take over the consolidated position of production and technical director.

Turner has prepared opera choruses and conducted many productions for the company, including "The Mikado," "Ariadne auf Naxos" and "Carmen." In the coming season, he will conduct productions of "Sweeney Todd" and "HMS Pinafore."

Smith returned to Virginia Opera in 2012 after having been the assistant technical director with the company from 2001-2005. He has worked as safety coordinator with Glimmerglass Opera, director of production with New Jersey State Opera and on the national tours of "Avenue Q" and "Sweeney Todd."

David Nicholson can be reached at 757-247-4794.

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