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

Blast From the Past: The Gruffalo

We’re wrapping up our week of Arts Education shows with The Gruffalo, which marked the grand finale of the 2017-18 Arts Education season! Eager students joined Mouse on an adventure through the deep dark wood in Tall Stories’ musical adaptation of the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The story highlighted values of courage and self-esteem. And, of course, the students were thrilled when Education Committee member Lisa Cogswell was dressed up once again, this time as a mouse!

One teacher said of the show, “If we could see that performance every year, we would! It was valuable for my students to see the ARTS come alive through this outstanding performance!” Another commented, “Children were engaged and ‘living’ the story of The Gruffalo. What an amazing experience!”

Our public matinee of The Gruffalo featured a pre-show Mother’s Day Tea in our Founders Lounge, and guests got a special visit from Gruffalo characters Mouse and Fox! The Education Committee also hosted a story hour at New Dominion Bookshop the day before the show.

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 #3

It’s Friday, and you know what that means! Time for our next Paramount crossword puzzle! The theme for this week’s crossword is history and facts about the Theater, and we have to warn you – it’s pretty tricky! How fast can you complete it?

Click here to play online. 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: Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live

Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live was a roaring good time! Dinosaurs roamed the stage for one public show, which allowed ten families to participate in a pre-show meet & greet to get up close and personal with the dinosaurs, along with two Arts Education shows, which saw nearly 1,800 students and teachers in attendance. Following the school shows, the Dinosaur Zoo cast and their puppets visited UVA Children’s Hospital for interactive engagement and fun, bringing many smiles to many children!

Fun fact: The life-sized puppets were all designed and constructed in consultation with paleontologists, the latest science, and fossil evidence!

“Our time with the dinosaurs was a blast and one we will always remember, and all of this was in large part thanks to support from UVA Children’s Hospital!” said Cathy von Storch, The Paramount’s Education & Outreach Manager. “Students, teachers, and families were on the edge of their seats, as these amazing puppeteers and their life-sized puppets led the audience on an interactive tour through prehistoric Australia, introducing them to some of the insects, mammals, and dinosaurs that once roamed the planet millions of years ago. The decibel level in our auditorium surely broke a record between the dinosaurs roaring and the hundreds of children bellowing back!”

This was certainly a show the students will never forget. One student wrote in a thank you letter to The Paramount, “We had such an amazing time. It was so cool to see the dinosaurs up close and touch them. It is the best to learn while having fun.” Several teachers agreed it was their favorite Paramount Arts Education performance to date.

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 featured in The Scout Guide

Thank you to The Scout Guide for featuring The Paramount! Though our stage is dark, we hope we can add some brightness to Charlottesville residents’ lives with fun and free activities like our weekly crossword puzzles, coloring pages, and more! Check out the article here.

Blast From the Past: Peter Rabbit Tales

Peter RabbitTM Tales brought the classic story by Beatrix Potter to the stage for this heartwarming Arts Education show. The students journeyed along with Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny as they escaped from Mr. McGregor, outfoxed Mr. Tod, and rescued the Flopsy Bunnies from the disagreeable badger, Tommy Brock. But it wasn’t just the students who were enthusiastic about the play – Education Committee member Lisa Cogswell dressed up as a rabbit, much to the students’ delight! “She greeted the children upon arrival, with Peter Rabbit books in hand, making sure that each and every child felt the warm embrace and welcome from their Paramount Theater,” said Cathy von Storch, The Paramount’s Education & Outreach Manager.

One group of 1st graders loved the show so much, they even wrote thank you letters to The Paramount. One student wrote, “Thank you for having us see Peter Rabbit. My favorite part was everything.” Two more students agreed that their favorite part was when Peter “saved the day.”

One of our Paramount Volunteers, Marty, who has been volunteering for more than 15 years, usually keeps an eye on the students in the balcony during Arts Education shows. “I give them the three rules for sitting in the balcony,” she shared. “1. Backs against the back of the seat. 2. No feet on the railing (if in the front row) or on the chair in front of you. 3. Clap really loud for the performers. The kids really love to show how loudly they can clap.” Marty told us that one time, after an Arts Education performance, one student stopped to tell her which actor he’d clapped the hardest for. “He wanted me to tell the actor,” Marty said. “I told him I would try to get the message to the performer. Then the next ten or eleven youngsters had to stop and tell me who they clapped loudest for. Whenever I think of it, I smile.”

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