Blast From the Past: Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly

The Arts Education Program’s 6th season of bringing Dallas Children’s Theater to The Paramount saw a joyful, brilliant production that cleverly integrated three books by award-winning author Doreen Cronin into one play: Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly. “Chock full of earth science facts while celebrating tolerance of others, it was a perfect grand finale to our 2018-19 Arts Education Season!” said Cathy von Storch, The Paramount’s Education & Outreach Manager.

Many teachers commented on how well the performance connected to curriculum, SOLs, and Social Emotional Learning. One teacher wrote: “This was one of our favorite plays to go see! We loved how diverse the characters were and the language they used. It really reflected where our kids come from.”

Cathy also shared a special memory for many of us at The Paramount: “Sponsors Mia and Keith Gardiner (Sarah Lahr Educational Fund) and family and friends of Tana Taylor, in whose memory the show was sponsored, honored us with their presence for the April 15th morning show. It was a special day to celebrate and remember Tana, a dear friend of The Paramount and devoted champion of live theater for young audiences, as it was also her birthday, and there was no better way to celebrate that than with 1,000 happy children soaking up engaging live 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 Andrew Shurtleff

Blast From the Past: Yamato – The Drummers of Japan

In honor of what would’ve been spring break for some local area schools, we’ll be featuring shows from our Arts Education Program this week. Yamato – The Drummers of Japan, brought their contagious energy to the stage earlier this spring, both with an Arts Education show and an evening show that was open to the public. Yamato travels the world to share the ancient art of Taiko drumming, and they definitely did not disappoint: the drums could be heard throughout the building and even from inside the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library on East Market Street!

One educator said of the experience, “It was like traveling to Japan without ever leaving our hometown! I thought it was wonderful how much was conveyed by the music and performance.”

“It was phenomenal!” another educator shared. “Our students benefit so much from seeing diverse groups and learning about the different ways that stories are told and valued. It led to an extremely productive conversation about the ways we tell stories and celebrate people.”

The goal of the Arts Education program is to present the very best educational theater that engages youth in meaningful ways, complements school curricula, and cultivates appreciation of the performing arts. Since the program began in 2004, we have served more than 195,000 students and teachers, averaging 16,000 served on an annual basis. Because of the support of generous sponsors and donors, all tickets are available at subsidized prices for students and teachers.

We are devastated that this year’s season was cut short due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, but optimistically look to the future when we can delight some of our youngest audience members again!

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: Lee Ann Womack

Country star Lee Ann Womack took to The Paramount’s stage in April 2016. Her performance was truly a treat for fans, especially when she performed her hit song “I Hope You Dance.” This was just another example of the wide array of performers hosted by the Theater for our community. From live performances to screened events, programming at The Paramount strives to provide a little something for everyone.

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: Bryan Adams

“Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” singer-songwriter Bryan Adams had The Paramount audience on their feet in 2009. Ashley Brill, who has been a Paramount Volunteer since 2008, shared her memories from assisting at Mr. Adams’ concert that night:

“I was assigned the duty of guarding the stage. Being less than 10 feet from an artist who I loved listening to as a child of the ’80s – and continue to love listening to – made my night! I also remember one of the ladies in the audience was a diehard fan, and she presented him with a bouquet of roses at the end of the performance.”

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: Lang Lang

World-renowned pianist Lang Lang awed a sold-out audience with his mastery of the instrument. The Paramount’s Director of Operations & Programming, Matthew Simon, and the Theater’s Executive Director, Chris Eure, reflected on this extraordinary performance.

“What an amazing show, and to have him play The Paramount was a really big deal,” Matthew said. “He played at the opening ceremonies for the Olympics in Beijing, so to have him play for a 1000-seat hall was special. Lang’s performance did not disappoint. At the end of the show, during the standing ovation, he stood up to take his bow and, with a huge smile on his face, he patted (with some oomph, I might add) the Paramount’s 9′ Steinway as if to say ‘good job’ to it. It was an unforgettable moment, and I’m sure anyone who was at the show remembers it.”

Chris agreed, saying, “Lang Lang exceeded his love of music and was overflowing with joie de vivre. He was the first piano soloist I had experienced, and I will likely be disappointed by any who follow! He traveled with his mom, I believe, and while he was doing the meet and greet, she stood off to his side  It was a long meet and greet, but he kept looking over at his mom to be sure she was okay. He wore gloves the whole time, which at first we thought was to protect his hands from ‘strangers.’ In reality he said it was to keep his hands warm as they tended to get cold easily. You know the expression cold hands, warm heart? Well that was Lang Lang to a T.”

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 Big Lebowski

The Dude abides! Although it was originally a disappointment at the box office, The Big Lebowski has become a cult favorite over the years. The Paramount showed the film in 2008 and 2014, but it was in 2016 that we began our annual screening and costume contest. While Lebowski-lovers are always eager to participate in the costume contest, two years ago we added an extra incentive: the Charlottesville Big Lebowski Best Costume Trophy! The trophy, which is topped with a bobblehead of The Dude, features the name of each costume contest winner – check it out!

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 Bethany Bandera

Paramount Stage Coloring Page

We are so happy to partner with Rock Paper Scissors for their Project Connect campaign! On their website under the “Project Connect” tab, you will find printable PDFs of The Paramount’s stage along with a few puppets to color and use to create your very own production! We’d love to see what the littles come up with. Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using #theparamountpersists or #rpsprojectconnect to share the magic!

Blast From the Past: Dead Air – 22 Bands for 22 Bucks

In January 2019, WNRN and The Paramount partnered to present Dead Air – 22 Bands for 22 Bucks in honor of WNRN’s 22nd anniversary of bringing independent music radio to the Commonwealth. What an incredible night at The Paramount! The sold-out concert spotlighted local Virginia bands and their own unique versions of a Grateful Dead song. Pictured are David Wax Museum, Free Union, The Gladstones, and Steel Wheels.

“It was a night of pure celebration with old friends and new enjoying live Commonwealth music, together,” said Mark Keefe, General Manager for WNRN. “Lasting four hours and twenty minutes, we could have gone on all night, and the crowd would have danced until sunrise. Every inch of the beautiful Paramount Theater shone brightly through our community and beyond – and still does. Stay tuned – we’ll see you again soon.”

In addition to the 22 bands, Dead Air also featured 22 different Virginia nonprofit organizations, which were the financial beneficiaries of a 22-item raffle of signed music memorabilia. 

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 Milo Farineau

Blast From the Past: 2019 NCAA Final Four & Championship

Where were you during the 2019 NCAA Final Four? What about when the University of Virginia Men’s Basketball Team won the 2019 NCAA National Championship? The Paramount’s Front of House Operations Manager, Malcolm Dyson, reflected on watching both of these thrilling games on The Paramount’s Big Screen:

“First of all, I was in Memphis when the Hoos won the heartstopping game against Purdue in the Elite Eight. The next day I immediately started to think about the logistics of showing the Final Four game at the Theater.

“Upon returning to Charlottesville and discovering every other large venue (Pavilion, JPJ, Scott Stadium, Alumni Hall) had a conflict, I knew we would be in for a crazy busy night with a packed house of diehard fans. Suffice it to say, we had a full house with the first fans lining up outside the Theater more than 3 hours before game time. Once the time came that I could get to my seat with some friends (Row FF and GG, right on Aisle 4 in the Balcony), I enjoyed a buzz and energy matched only by watching a game in person. The rollercoaster ride lasted until the final whistle as Kyle Guy sank 3 straight free throws to seal the game. There were many hugs and high fives before the whole scene (and town, for that matter) became a blur. Holy crap, UVa was going to be in the Championship Game!

“Kudos to the Tom Tom team for working with our team to reschedule a dinner that was supposed to happen onstage the same Monday evening of the Final game. Again, we had a packed house, and the energy was once again incredible! Same as the Final Four game, I found our crew in our lucky seats and watched another heart-stopping game that the Hoos had now become accustomed to winning. Another OT game and a great performance led to hugs, tears, and celebrations that Charlottesville rarely sees. It was truly magical being able to share that weekend’s UVa NCAA Championship run with 1000+ diehard fans at The Paramount, and an experience I doubt I will ever forget.”

While our stage is dark, our marquee and blade continue to shine. 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