‘A Soulful Christmas,’ co-produced by Norfolk’s Anthony Wayne, makes its debut in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s not the Jackson Five but the Harlem Five, and it’s not Diana Ross and the Supremes but “Tiana Ross and the Extremes” who have sold out shows Off-Broadway in the wildly popular musical review “A Soulful Christmas.”

“A Soulful Christmas” makes its Hampton Roads debut on the evening of Dec. 16 at Zeiders American Dream Theater — AKA The Z — in Virginia Beach Town Center.

The musical review was created by Norfolk’s own Anthony Wayne and Kendrell Bowman.

“We are excited to bring it to Virginia Beach my hometown of Tidewater 757,” said Wayne in a recent interview from his home in New York.

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Inspired by the iconic television entertainment show Soul Train — created and hosted by the late Don Cornelius — “A Soulful Christmas” features veteran Hampton Roads actor Michael Lemelle who plays the role of Ron Cornelius.

Wayne, a Maury High school graduate, has starred in Broadway productions including “Tootsie,” “Pippin” and “Anything Goes.” But it all started in Hampton Roads with Centerstage Children’s Theater, the Governor’s School for the Arts, and The Hurrah Players.

He returns often to train the next generation of stars from Hampton Roads, which is well represented on the Great White Way.

“We have Derrick Williams a great performer — he was with me in Centerstage — he’s doing the ‘Book of Mormon’ on Broadway we have Rashidra Scott who is doing a show called “Company on Broadway,” and of course there’s the incomparable Adrienne Warren — whom I’ve known for years — who just won a Tony Award for Tina Turner in the Tina Turner musical,” Wayne said.

“A Soulful Christmas” could set the stage for the next generation of stars from Hampton Roads.

‘Everybody on this stage shines. There are many people — young people who are going to watch the show and be encouraged and inspired just like I was — from the 757 to know that they can do great things too,” said Wayne.

Ticket information and showtimes can be found on The Z’s website. For information by phone call 757-4990317.

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