On March 24 - 26, 2017, THE MAIN Event: A Celebration for the Arts, presented by TowneBank, will bring a private weekend celebration of arts and culture to downtown Norfolk.
With presenting partners Virginia Arts Festival and the Business Consortium for Arts Support, Gold Key | PHR will celebrate the arts community with the goal of raising more than $1 million for local arts institutions and programs.
Throughout the weekend of ticketed events, guests will be treated to an array of curated visual art experiences along with a diverse program of live performances from Virginia's leading performing arts organizations. Headlining the weekend of performances, Tony Award-winner Kelli O'Hara will take center stage at Saturday's black tie Gala.
Accompanied by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, conducted by internationally acclaimed Music Director, Rob Fisher, Kelli O'Hara will perform a collection of songs from Broadway and beyond.
"Kelli O'Hara is one of Broadway's greatest stars," said Virginia Arts Festival Perry Artistic Director Robert W. Cross. "Putting her front and center with Broadway's go-to music director, conductor and arranger Rob Fisher-a Norfolk native-and the city's own Virginia Symphony Orchestra makes this evening a must-see event."
One of Broadway's most prominent leading ladies, Kelli O'Hara is most widely known for her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the 2015 revival of The King and I, which garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress. Her performance as Francesca in the musical adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County earned her Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Additionally, she starred as Mrs. Darling in NBC's live telecast of "Peter Pan" alongside Allison Williams and Christian Borle, and on New Year's Eve 2016, Kelli made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the production of The Merry Widow with opera star Renee Fleming.
"The Main Event" will offer many ways to experience the wealth of the area's cultural offerings under one roof-and what an extraordinary roof it is! From the Friday evening opening of the Celebration for the Arts weekend, attendees will be treated to nonstop entertainment and amazement, with a full schedule of the Commonwealth's most spectacular performers. Virginia Opera, the Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, will be featured throughout the weekend. Other musical acts during the weekend include the Virginia Chorale, performing popular and jazz standards in Great American Song Book, I. Sherman Greene Chorale, a civic chorus based in Norfolk, Virginia since 1982, and additional performances by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Instrumental musicians from The Governor's School for the Arts, a center for innovation that develops excellence, nurtures creativity, inspires artistic vision and builds communities with a passion for the arts, will perform as well.
The theatrical arts will be showcased by Virginia Stage Company as they present scenes from their production of The Wiz, a multiple Tony Award-winning musical adventure, adapted from L. Frank Baum's classic children's novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Norfolk's acclaimed children's theater The Hurrah Players will present scenes from the Disney's new Broadway version of ALADDIN. Virginia Musical Theatre brings their concert Cheek to Cheek: A Broadway Romance with actress and singer Tiffany Haas-a show that has toured across the country after debuting to sold-out crowds in New York.
Representing the art of dance, The TRDance and Virginia Ballet Theatre ensembles present an exciting mixed bill of modern dance, classical and contemporary ballet featuring original choreography and classical arrangements.
Galleries and exhibits will be open throughout the day, each displaying the best of the local community's visual arts including Chrysler Museum of Art, d'Art Center, Hermitage Museum & Gardens, Norfolk Botanical Garden, and Virginia MOCA.