2016 Best of GAY HRVA Reader’s Poll: Arts, Entertainment & Nightlife
NARO Expanded Cinema
Often the first and only cinema in Coastal Virginia to show indie and art house films, the Naro Cinema has been an active supporter of the LGTBT community since 1977. The Naro Expanded Cinema next door also offers all the films you’ve never seen but wanted to, including the largest collection LGBTQ DVD rentals in the region.
Best Local Band
Yeah, we miss the 80s. But The Deloreans bring it all back with their high energy show. Every member of the band gets a turn in the spotlight performing favorite 80s covers by the likes of Billy Idol, Cyndi Lauper, and Journey. And the costumes! It’s almost like an MTV video.
Best Comedy Cub
Virginia Beach Funny Bone
The Virginia Beach Funny Bone draws national stand up comedy acts to Coastal Virginia six nights a week. Many gay and LGBT-friendly acts like Wanda Sykes, Sampspn, Loni Love and Caroline Rhea have made a stop here.
Best Local Author
Dr. Charles Ford
Dr. Charles Ford with his new book at Prince Books in Norfolk on April 9, 2016.
Following his first published work in 1996, Dr. Charles Ford has gone on to publish a number of articles and books dealing with desegregation of the Hampton Roads public school system. His latest work, co-authored with Jeffrey Littlejohn, is “LGBT Hampton Roads(Images of Modern America)”.
Best Dance Company
Virginia Ballet Theater
The Virginia Ballet Theatre is Hampton Roads’ oldest professional ballet company and now a part of Todd Rosenlieb Dance, the only full time professional dance company in Hampton Roads, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.
Best Stage Company
Virginia Stage Company
Celebrating its 38th season his year, Virginia Stage Company is Hampton Roads’ only professional theatre company. The Company brings to the stage world premieres, new adaptations, family traditions, and magical collaborations at the Wells Theater in Norfolk.
The Chrysler Museum of Art
In 1971, automotive heir, Walter P. Chrysler Jr. donated most of his extensive collection to the then-named Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences. Today, the Chrysler Museum houses priceless permanent collections, hosts world-renowned traveling exhibits, and is one of Hampton Roads’ most valuable treasures.
Hampton Roads Pride
Attracting thousands of visitors each June, Hampton Roads Pride has grown into Virginia’s largest pride festival, which includes the country’s only Pride Boat Parade, works-reneowned recoding artists, and Pride Eve block party.
Best Classical Performers
The Virginia Symphony
Under the direction of JoAnn Falletta, the orchestra presents over 200 Classics, Pops and Family concerts in Norfolk, Newport News, Williamsburg and Virginia Beach. In addition, their educational and outreach programs touch the lives of more than 100,000 students and adults each season.
Best Overall Gay Bar
The Rainbow Cactus Company
Featuring the best in LGBT entertainment, the Rainbow Cactus has been bringing together people from all walks of life for over 20 years. From live music to drag performances, the cactus has something for everyone.
Best Drag Show
Drag Yourself to Brunch at Croc’s 19th Street Bistro
Every Sunday, Victoria Foster and her drag entourage throw down with two scandalous shows at Croc’s 19th Street Bistro.
Best Live Music Venue
With every possible musical genre performed by local up-and-coming acts up to national recording stars, where else but the Norva?
Best Dance Club
Foam parties and nationally recognized DJs are just part of what makes the Wave the best LGBT dance club in Coastal Virginia.
Best After Work Happy Hour
MJ’s is the LGBT community’s meeting place. And the nightly happy hour cocktails are spot on.