Blast From the Past: Wynonna Judd

A real treat for country fans, Wynonna Judd first performed at The Paramount in 2007. She returned to the stage in 2013 for her holiday tour, which is a fond memory for Paramount Volunteer Judy Schultz.

“I took my daughter to see Wynonna Judd in 2013,” Judy shared. “There was an opening act and then intermission. We waited and waited and finally she came on stage and did a great job. I found out later from Jason King, the House Manager, that Wynonna was really sick, and he was afraid that she was not going to be able to do the show. She was a real trooper…the show must go on!”

We are diligently working to reschedule many of our events that have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, and we know that we will suffer a devastating loss of revenue as a local nonprofit theater. Please consider making a donation to The Paramount.

Photos by Rob Garland Photographers

Paramount Crossword #4

Have you been following our daily #BlastFromThePast posts? Then this crossword should be a piece of cake! Enjoy our Blast From the Past pop quiz. How fast can you complete it?

Click here to play. If you’re a fan of the more traditional way to play crosswords, you can also print it out. Good luck!

Blast From the Past: Whose Live Anyway?

The Paramount audience got a real treat when the stars of the hit TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? took to the stage for their live show: Whose Live Anyway? The Paramount’s Front of House Manager & Volunteer Coordinator, Cade Wiberg, shared his memories of the experience:

“The Whose Live Anyway? performance was such a surreal experience,” Cade said. “I watched the TV show every Friday night when I was a kid; it shaped the way I view live comedy to this day. I saw them tour during my freshman year at JMU, and it was the most I had ever laughed at that point in my life. When I saw they were performing at The Paramount, I KNEW I had to buy tickets. My friend and I attended the Founders Lounge Reception before the event and enjoyed complimentary drinks and snacks. Our seats ended up being much better than expected – I think we ended up being about 6 rows from the front. The place was PACKED. The incredible improvisers took the stage: Greg Proops, Chip Esten, Joel Murray, and last minute replacement sketch comedy icon Dave Foley teleported me back to my youth when I first saw them all on TV. They played tons of great improv games, had a lot of audience participation, and everyone was very involved in the show. Definitely an unforgettable night at The Paramount Theater!”

We are diligently working to reschedule many of our events that have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, and we know that we will suffer a devastating loss of revenue as a local nonprofit theater. Please consider making a donation to The Paramount.

Photos by Rob Garland Photographers

Blast From the Past: Denyce Graves

Two days after Tony Bennett gave the first public performance following the completion of The Paramount’s renovation, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves performed at the Theater’s grand reopening in 2004. The evening was a well-deserved, jubilant celebration more than two decades in the making after the Theater was purchased and saved from demolition by Charlottesville citizens in 1992.

The Paramount’s Education & Outreach Manager, Cathy von Storch, shared with us a special gift she received from Jeff Suling upon his retirement as Fine & Performing Arts Coordinator for Charlottesville City Schools. This beautiful ink drawing of The Paramount, titled “The Grand Re-Opening,” features Denyce Graves’ name up in lights on the marquee. Mr. Suling’s drawing won “Best In Show” in the 2012 C2D Art Show sponsored by ArtInPlace, the theme of which was “250 Years of Charlottesville – in honor of the full life of our town, past, present, and future.”

We are diligently working to reschedule many of our events that have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, and we know that we will suffer a devastating loss of revenue as a local nonprofit theater. Please consider making a donation to The Paramount.

Photo by Bruce R. Pfeifer

Blast From the Past: Gladys Knight

Seven-time Grammy Award-winner Gladys Knight wowed a sold-out audience when she performed at The Paramount last fall. Perhaps not quite as popular as Ms. Knight – but most certainly a hit – was our specialty drink, aptly named “Midnight Train To Georgia,” which sold out that night. Two Paramount volunteers, Delores Herring and Elaine Chapman, reflected on Ms. Knight’s unforgettable performance.

“Seeing Gladys Knight was a dream come true for me!” Delores said. “She looked terrific and her voice was as strong and as beautiful as ever. I will always remember this wonderful evening!”

“Truly, Gladys Knight was the best, given the full audience and their responses!” Elaine said. “She is now 75 years old, but has the same energy, attractive style and voice as ever. The best piece was ‘Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me’ – so many memories for me and so many people! She was a most special performer.”

We are diligently working to reschedule many of our events that have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, and we know that we will suffer a devastating loss of revenue as a local nonprofit theater. Please consider making a donation to The Paramount.

Photos by Rob Garland Photographers

Blast From the Past: George Carlin

The Paramount was fortunate to have comedian George Carlin take to the stage in 2007. Not only did the audience have a good time, but Mr. Carlin also asked The Paramount’s Production Manager, Robert Benjamin, to stand in the dressing room for a bit while he tested some new jokes…

“He was trying out some new material that was going to be used for an HBO special,” Robert shared. “He had pages and pages of notes for jokes that he was writing, and he brought me into his dressing room as he was making some adjustments. I remember thinking to myself, ‘I was trained as an actor and a theatrical lighting designer…yet nothing has ever prepared me to be in this kind of position.’ It was very surreal, and I don’t think I could even process the situation enough to provide any constructive criticism (and who am I to have given George Carlin any comedic advice?), but still he asked and thanked me for my time. After also telling the audience he was working on a new HBO show, he did most of his show from the notes he had written on those pieces of paper. That HBO special was filmed just a few months before he passed away in 2008.”

We are grateful not only to have hosted Mr. Carlin, but also to have witnessed a bit of the magic behind how he wrote his jokes and put a show together.

We are diligently working to reschedule many of our events that have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, and we know that we will suffer a devastating loss of revenue as a local nonprofit theater. Please consider making a donation to The Paramount.

Photo by Rob Garland Photographers

Blast From the Past: Diana Ross

The one and only Diana Ross had the audience on their feet in 2015. She brought uninhibited energy to the stage that was matched only by the audience’s excitement. An unforgettable performance overall, The Paramount’s Executive Director, Chris Eure, recalled one particularly iconic moment:

“Being Diana Ross, I’m sure she was used to much larger venues,” Chris said. “However, the audience completely won her over, and she really responded to the intimate space. When the performance was over, I went out to the lobby to talk with patrons as they left…but no one ever came out! I finally went back into the auditorium, only to see Diana on the stage again. She was dressed in leggings and a T-shirt with a towel around her neck, and she was giving an encore! Her stage manager was just as shocked as we were – encore performances from Diana Ross were completely unheard of. At the end of the song, the owner of Cappellino’s Crazy Cakes, who was sitting in the front row, handed her a cupcake, and she took a bite as she exited the stage. It was truly an unforgettable night.”

We truly cannot wait to be able to safely bring us all together again for more magical nights on stage at The Paramount. We are diligently working to reschedule many of our events that have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, and we know that we will suffer a devastating loss of revenue as a local nonprofit theater. Please consider making a donation to The Paramount.

Photos by Rob Garland Photographers

Blast From the Past: Lily Tomlin

Before her Netflix hit show, Grace and Frankie co-starring Jane Fonda aired, stand-up comedian Lily Tomlin took to The Paramount’s stage in 2015. She immediately had everyone doubled over in laughter. The Paramount has seen a variety of comedians over the years, and it seems Ms. Tomlin holds the reputation for being the kindest of them all. Several Paramount staff members described her as being “down to earth” and “incredibly gracious and thankful.”

We are diligently working to reschedule many of our events that have been interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These events contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, and we know that we will suffer a devastating loss of revenue as a local nonprofit theater. Please consider making a donation to The Paramount.

Photos by Rob Garland Photographers