If it’s the performing arts you want to experience while vacationing in Virginia Beach, there is no finer place than Norfolk’s Chrysler Hall!
This past Saturday, I returned to Chrysler Hall. This performing arts center has stood as a beacon of art and culture in Coastal Virginia for as long as I can remember. Even though I have been more times than I can remember, I still thrill when I enter the glass doors, and the usher takes my ticket and scans it. An elegant staircase stands before me, with stunning chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. The sights and sounds make the venue feel otherworldly. Instantly I’m transported from the mundane, and I’m a cultured and sophisticated patron. Excited theatre-goers, most dressed to the nines, mill around, their voices filling the lobby with a hum of anticipation. I had tickets to see Shen Yun, a colorful and exciting show which features Chinese dance and music.
Accompanying me to Shen Yun was my mom and my niece and nephew. It was their first time attending a performance at Chrysler Hall. This made me remember one of my first experiences at Chrysler Hall. My friend invited me to see West Side Story with her. As an avid theatre lover, I thrilled at the stunning sets, the amazing performances and the swell of the live orchestra. I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but the experience was so overwhelming that tears slipped down my face as I watched the performance. A beautiful show still chokes me up. And my most recent experience at Shen Yun was no different.
Chrysler Hall attempts to bring the best the world has to offer to their grand staging area. And for the cultural experience that Shen Yun promised to be, almost every one of the 2,500 seats were filled. When the red curtain lifted, the audience was treated to an epic spectacle. A digital backdrop seamlessly combined the action on stage with picturesque settings. The backdrop also allowed characters to fly from the sky and seemingly appear on stage. World class dancers told the ancient Chinese creation story and different folktales through music. They also wowed us with regional and ethnic folk dances. Amazing costumes were used to make the stage swim with color and movement. One dance in particular, Fairies of the Sea, used delicate fans to recreate the motion of water. My eyes couldn’t take in all the beauty and movement, but they devoured as much of the wonder as possible. If you missed it this year, don’t worry! Shen Yun graces the Chrysler Hall stage yearly. So if you’re a visitor to Virginia Beach, and you want to catch this must-see show, you may want to plan your visit around their performance schedule.
Chrysler Hall Performing Arts Center
Chrysler Hall is just one of the “Seven Venues,” which are centers of culture, art and entertainment in Norfolk. For over 40 years, Chrysler hall has strived to bring the best performers from all over the country, and even the world, to Coastal Virginia. And there’s always a variety. You can see regional arts organizations like the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Virginia Ballet and the Virginia Arts Festival, a spring festival focusing on arts education in the region. All these are in addition to the touring Broadway shows, concerts and comedians who come through the area to perform at Chrysler Hall.
If it’s more cutting edge theatre you are looking for, check out the Generic Theatre. In this small playhouse, offbeat productions are mounted. Plays that challenge and delight, and that you’re not likely to see anywhere else.
CLICK HERE to view Chrysler Hall’s upcoming show schedule, and take in a performance during your Virginia Beach vacation.
Chrysler Hall Information
215 Saint Pauls Boulevard
Norfolk, Virginia 23510
To learn about the other Seven Arts & Entertainment Venues in Norfolk, CLICK HERE.