A Paramount Theater Exclusive Interview with Hilaree Nelson








Check out our exclusive interview with the 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Hilaree Nelson. Hilaree has been on over 40 expeditions in the last 20 years. She joins us tomorrow, live on stage at The Paramount, for a story that will have you on the edge of your seat. CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets now.

Continue reading for details on how Hilaree prepares for her expeditions, how she manages a family both at home and while away, and her favorite climbing adventures.

Q: Can you paint a picture of your climbing experiences in one sentence?

A: “My Career as an adventurer and climber has changed my worldview through rich experiences in culture, team dynamics, risk, and the emotional relationship with both success and failures in the mountains.”

Q: What climbing adventure was your favorite and why?

A: “I have many favorite climbs mostly because they are all so incredibly different. If I had to choose one it would likely be an expedition many years ago to the Isle of South Georgia due to the inclusion of extreme sailing and abundant wildlife. The remoteness was unique to any other trip I’ve ever done.”

Q: For all of the people who are not climbers, how do you physically and emotionally prepare for an adventure? Can you tell us about the physical and mental training?

A: “I’ve been on upwards of 40 expeditions over 18 years and each one requires a different preparation. Physically I do my best to train in the outdoors through long, aerobic adventure. I work hard at maintaining the technical skills needed to undertake these expeditions by rock climbing, ice climbing and just overall familiarizing myself with the equipment. Mental preparation is often the more challenging aspect of training for an expedition. It’s very difficult to prep for leaving my children but they are also a crucial part of my mental training in that they are always keeping me on my toes.”

Q: As a working parent, how do you and your family prepare for each adventure climb?

A: “Now that my boys are older, ages 9 and 11, I have fairly detailed conversations with them about the in’s and out’s of the expedition. They are much more independent and in that regard, the prep is less so than when they were younger. This ties in with the mental preparation because it goes hand in hand with planning the logistics of any adventure. A benefit of modern day climbing is that I can stay fairly well connected throughout any trip via satellite phone, internet modems, etc. This allows me to manage any problems at home in the present versus trying to have plan for everything in advance.”

One More Reason to See MARNIE…

Do you know who performed on stage December 17, 2004 for the Opening Night of The Paramount Theater’s 2004-05 Season? Mezzo-soprano, Denyce Graves!

Imagine our delight while creating programs for Saturday’s Met Live in HD broadcast of Marnie, when we discovered Denyce Graves will be playing Marnie’s mother in the Live in HD Broadcast

This discovery sent us digging through our archives. Look at the treasure we found- the program from Denyce Graves’s 2004 performance at The Paramount!

Consider joining us tomorrow, Saturday, November 10 at 12:55PM for the Met Live in HD series continuation on The Paramount’s big screen with Nico Muhly’s new production MarnieCLICK HERE for tickets!






Following the Manhattan Short Film Festival at The Paramount’s screening, Paramount patrons cast their vote for the best overall film and actor. The Paramount audience voted Two Strangers Who Meet Five Times written and directed by Marcus Marcou (UK) as Best Movie, and Felix Grenier from the film Fauve, directed by Jérémy Comte (Canada) as Best Actor.

It just so happens that The Paramount’s audience vote aligned perfectly with the international festival’s winners! Two Strangers Who Meet Five Times was this year’s Gold Medal winner, and Felix Grenier from the film Fauve was this year’s Gold Medal winner for Best Actor! Congratulations to the winners. We can’t wait for the return of the Manhattan Film Festival next year!






Come see “Roseberry’s Charlottesville” at CitySpace Art Gallery on August 3!

Looking for plans before the David Cross – Oh Come On tour tonight? Look no further! Come to CitySpace Art Gallery’s First Fridays from 5:30-7:30PM to see Roseberry’s Charlottesville. This exhibit showcases a selection of rarely seen images of Charlottesville from the collection of photographer Ed Roseberry. Come get a glimpse into the past and even see images of The Paramount Theater in its original state!

Photo by: Ed Roseberry

National Geographic 2018 Award Winners Include Joel Sartore and Hilaree Nelson

Photo By: Cory Richards

When National Geographic announced their annual award winners, we were thrilled to see that two of the National Geographic Live series presenters won! The National Geographic Society recognized Joel Sartore as the 2018 recipient of the Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year Award. Ski Mountaineer, Hilaree Nelson, who will present at The Paramount Theater on November 14, was named one of National Geographic’s 2018 Adventurers of the Year. If you want to hear the stories responsible for her award first-hand, be sure to come to Paramount Presents: National Geographic Live – Hilaree Nelson, Point of No Return.

Read more about these award recipients here:




Joel Sartore is one step closer to photographing every living species currently residing in a zoo or wildlife sanctuary. He has recently captured a photo of a Pyrenean Desman, marking his  8,000th photo in the  National Geographic  Photo Ark; a collection of his images taken to shed light on animal conservation. This is also the collection of images he will share with us at The Paramount Theater this June!

You can learn more about Sartore’s story, and see his amazing photographs at The Paramount on Friday, June 22 for the opening night of our National Geographic Live Series. To purchase tickets please visit: http://charlottesville.theparamount.net/single/SYOS.aspx?p=3343.

To learn more about the Pyrenean Desman Click Here.

To read more about Joel Sartore’s Photo Ark Click Here

The Paramount’s Online Store

Make your Paramount experience complete!

Shop The Paramount’s online store and bring the magic home.  From Paramount heat activated mugs to Tervis Tumblers, Land End Paramount Bags to your own Paramount Blade ornament, you can now shop the store online as well as in person at events. See the Online Store link for a complete listing of Paramount items.

*Photo credit: Thank you to the Monticello High School Photography Department.


Vote For Your National Theatre Favorites in the 2018 WhatsOnStage Awards!

This season, we have had the pleasure of presenting spectacular National Theatre Live in HD productions on our big screen, such as Angels in America parts I and II, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Follies! We are thrilled to congratulate these nominees for their recognition by the WhatsOnStage Awards, the only major theatre awards in which the audience is the judge. Each year, WhatsOnStage draws a UK-based shortlist of productions to help theatergoers recognize their favorites! Learn more about the awards here.

Share your love for the National Theatre Live in HD series by voting for the incredible nominees that made their appearance on The Paramount’s big screen!

See the full line-up of nominations here and cast your vote here. Voting closes on January 31, 2018, with the winners announced on February 25. Stay tuned!

Congratulations to the nominees!

Angels in America

  • Best Play Revival
  • Andrew Garfield, Best Actor in a Play
  • Nathan Lane, Best Supporting Actor in a Play
  • Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Best Supporting Actor in a Play
  • Denise Gough, Best Supporting Actress in a Play
  • Marianne Elliot, Best Direction
  • Paule Constable, Best Lighting Design


  • Best Musical Revival
  • Janie Dee, Best Actress in a Musical
  • Tracie Bennett, Best Supporting Actress in a Musical
  • Dominic Cooke, Best Direction
  • Vicki Mortimer, Best Costume Design
  • Paule Constable, Best Lighting Design

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

  • Best Play Revival
  • Imelda Staunton, Best Actress in a Play
  • Imogen Poots, Best Supporting Actress in a Play

Don’t miss the continuation of the National Theatre Live in HD series:

Young Marx
Sunday, January 28

Rory Kinnear (The Threepenny Opera, Penny Dreadful, Othello) is Marx and Oliver Chris (Twelfth Night, Green Wing) is Engels, in this new comedy written by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman. Broadcast live from The Bridge Theatre, London, the production  is directed by Nicholas Hytner and reunites the creative team behind Broadway and West End hit comedy One Man, Two Guvnors.

CLICK HERE to learn more and purchase your tickets today!

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Starring Sienna Miller!
Sunday, February 25

Tennessee Williams’ twentieth century masterpiece Cat on a Hot Tin Roof played a strictly limited season in London’s West End in 2017. Following his smash hit production of A Streetcar Named Desire, Benedict Andrews’ ‘thrilling revival’ (New York Times) stars Sienna Miller alongside Jack O’Connell and Colm Meaney.

CLICK HERE to learn more and purchase your tickets today!

“Traces of Greatness” with Leontyne Clay Peck, Followed by The Opulence of Integrity

We are excited to offer a complimentary pre-show lecture with Paramount Presents: The Opulence of Integrity, A Movement Odyssey Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Muhammad Ali on January 18, 2018 in the Balcony Lounge at 6:45PM. The lecture, titled “Traces of Greatness: All Of Us Are Made From Clay,” will be conducted by Leontyne Clay Peck.  CLICK HERE to purchase tickets and learn more about The Opulence of Integrity.

A descendant of John Clay, who arrived in Jamestown in 1613, Peck is also the distant cousin of Kentucky Senator Henry Clay as well as the Abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay (for whom Muhammad Ali – A.K.A. Cassius Clay – was named). Peck’s lecture will touch on themes of The Opulence of Integrity; the greatness in all of us and the characteristics that make all of us great in our own way. She will also share family anecdotes, which include stories of Ali’s personal inspiration to become one of history’s most celebrated athletes as well as a social activist.

Leontyne Clay Peck is an educator, author, and speaker with more than 30 years of experience in presenting African American Cultural Programs and Family Histories. She received her education from American University, the American University of Rome, and West Virginia University.

She gives presentations to educational institutions, faith organizations, libraries, genealogical societies, and private businesses on her experiences in finding her roots and encouraging others to search for their ancestors. Her ancestry is also connected to Benjamin Banneker, Civil War soldier Job Gaiter, and the enslaved communities of Presidents James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.

Peck is the recipient of a host of awards including Maryland Business and Professional Woman of the Year and Maryland Commissioner on African American History and Culture. She is also a Ford Foundation Scholar in African American Studies.

She is the author of “Our Mother’s Dresses: An Ancestry Tribute to my African, European and American Mothers,” “Silver Children:  The African American Family of Henry Clay,” and “Paxton Street.”

In addition, Peck was involved in the “The Mere Distinction of Colour” exhibit at Montpelier, where she participated in the excavation of the slaves’ quarters along with other slave descendants. Read more about the dig in The Breeze.

She is married to Lyle Peck and they are the parents of two adult daughters, Whitney and Alexis.

Learn more at https://www.leontynepeck.com.

Q&A With the Stars of Piano Battle: Paul Cibis and Andreas Kern

Let the games begin! The stars of Piano Battle face off on The Paramount’s stage on February 6 – get to know these fierce performers with a behind-the-curtain interview! CLICK HERE to learn more about Paramount Presents: Piano Battle and purchase your tickets today.

Andreas Kern

Why do you perform your concert as a “battle”?

PAUL: Piano Battle started more or less by accident. We were both in contact with the Hong Kong City Festival and there was only one concert slot left. The festival suggested that we share….
ANDREAS: And it did not take us long to discover that we definitely did not want to perform together! The fight was on and we decided to battle it out right on stage.
PAUL: To our surprise, the show was so successful that we were invited back and since then have been performing Piano Battle a lot in Asia and Europe.

Do you feel limited as an artist by this “battle” format because you have to take turns performing, for instance?

PAUL: Not at all because we have to give our very best at each moment of the show, not only in performing but also in connecting with the audience. “Trust Your Ears” is all I need to say. If you do that, the right one will win.
ANDREAS: The difficulty of convincing every member of the audience and being flexible and creative in my responses to Paul is actually my favourite part. If the audience pays close attention, they will notice that the more interesting and exciting pieces are played by me, and the winner will be obvious. “Stay curious”!

What makes this unique format special?

ANDREAS: Six rounds, no rules … and the audience will decide who wins. Preferably me, of course!
PAUL: We’ll see about that. Fact is that in each round we play one piece of the same musical style, trying to outperform each other. It is a serious competition and we always go out on stage to win.
ANDREAS: So the audience has to listen very intensely because they are absolutely in charge of the outcome.
PAUL: There is a master plan and depending on who wins a certain round, we will continue one way or another. But there is still a lot of flexibility, which makes it a lot of fun for us as well.
ANDREAS: We also have a proper improvisation round where we spontaneously play suggestions called up to us by the audience. And I always like to throw a surprise or two at Paul – just to keep him on his toes!

Paul Cibis

Which famous composer of the past would you like to have met?

PAUL: Chopin.
ANDREAS: Schumann.

How many days can you last without playing the piano?

PAUL: After three days I get a bit nervous, and after five-six days really restless, almost unhappy. But the strength of these feelings only become evident once I started playing again.
ANDREAS: I don’t play on Sundays.

What is your mobile phone ring tone?

ANDREAS: Don’t know, most of the time it’s on silent.
PAUL: A rehearsal recording of Andreas messing up the beginning of the first Chopin Etude.

What is your favorite classical piece of music?

PAUL: It’s impossible for me to define a few, let alone just one. But among my all-time favorites I would name Schumann’s Kinderszenen, Liszt’s B-minor Sonata, Schubert’s “Die Taubenpost”, and Brahms’ 1st and Mahler’s 2nd symphonies. There are also Mozart’s Dminor piano concerto, Beethoven’s 4th and 8th symphonies, Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde… Don’t get me started!
ANDREAS: Michael Jackson’s “She’s Out Of My Life”.

What is your favorite classical piece of pop music?

PAUL: Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror.
ANDREAS: Bach’s piano concerto in d-minor.

What was your most exciting experience on stage?

PAUL: Whenever there is one of those wonderful silent moments at the end of a piece. It’s mesmerizing with an audience of several hundred people being so actively quiet. Only a live concert can create this kind of concentration and atmosphere.
ANDREAS: A true story: once when I was performing Beethoven’s Sonata op. 111 in Bangalore, India, there was a power cut. I continued to play. Then I started talking to the audience about the piece although I couldn’t see anything. In the end a little boy came on stage with a candle and I resumed playing.