Blast From the Past: National Geographic Live – Brian Skerry

The National Geographic Live! series is a Paramount favorite! Underwater photographer Brian Skerry was one of the first Nat Geo photographers to take to The Paramount’s stage in this riveting series. Mr. Skerry’s talk, Ocean Soul, centered on our world’s oceans and the creatures that inhabit them. He enraptured the audience with his stunning photos of sharks, seals, dolphins, and other amazing creatures of the deep!

Have you been to a National Geographic Live! event at The Paramount? Which has been your favorite so far, and who would you like to see on stage in the future?

While we are diligently working to reschedule many of our spring events, which contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, we know 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: Black Violin

Classically trained hip hop duo Black Violin performed at The Paramount while on their Classical Boom Tour in the fall of 2018. Before they brought the house down at their evening performance, the duo performed for a student-filled auditorium as part of the Arts Education Program. Kev Marcus and Will B. shared their inspiring stories and encouraged the students to break stereotypes and pursue their dreams.

Visit our Facebook or Instagram pages to check out a 30-second time lapse of the concert, courtesy of The Paramount’s Systems Specialist, Rylie Peacher. (If you are sensitive to flashing lights, please view with caution.)

While we are diligently working to reschedule many of our spring events, which contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, we know 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: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo performed for an ecstatic audience at The Paramount last spring. Delightfully eccentric and spectacular, this all-male ballet troupe graced our stage en travesti, displaying not only their incredible skills, but also their humor as they poked fun at the conventions of classical ballet.

We had the opportunity to interview the Trocks last spring, and not only did they share a bit about themselves, they also gave some insight into their danseur personas. Alberto Pretto, for example, performs as Nina Immobliashvili, “the Great Terror of the international ballet word,” and Stanislas Kokitch, “The Forgotten Man of ballet.” Another Trock, Giovanni Ravelo, performs as Irina Kolesterolikova who “was discovered…adrift in a basket on the River Neva by kindly peasants,” and Boris Mudko, “a drunken but talented Russian.” To read more about the Trocks and their personas, scroll back through our Instagram page to April 2019.

While we are diligently working to reschedule many of our spring events, which contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, we know 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: Holiday Evening Candlelight Tours of the Historic Theater

Did you spend the holidays at The Paramount? This holiday season, we held our inaugural Holiday Evening Candlelight Tours of the Historic Theater. Not only were these tours a wonderful opportunity to see the Theater in all its festive splendor, they also gave families the chance to pass their love for The Paramount down to the next generation.

One Candlelight Tour patron, who brought her grandsons along to experience the magic, was particularly pleased with the tour and left us the following review: “Our tour was fabulous through the entire candlelit halls, up and down, ALL around. From every thoughtfully decorated tree to each very special staff member and very sharp docent, Board members, volunteers – oh my! They fed our minds as each station leader educated us. In the quiet and beauty and knowledge, these men and women flawlessly created true Holiday Spirit for our hearts. And the unexpected dessert bar and [specialty drinks] truly set the stage for gratitude to all who labor at our beloved Paramount on Virginians’ behalf. No wonder authors, entertainers, scientists, and school children say they want to come back again and again! Thank you. Thank you.”

While we are diligently working to reschedule many of our spring events, which contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, we know 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: Renée Fleming

Superstar soprano Renée Fleming is no stranger to The Paramount’s stage! Today’s “Blast From the Past” features the renowned opera singer both in her first Paramount performance in 2015, and in her most recent one earlier this month. Both times, her incredible voice enraptured the audience. After receiving a standing ovation at her most recent performance, she stunned the audience yet again with an encore aria.

You can see Ms. Fleming during tonight’s free Met broadcast of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at 7:30PM EST. Visit the Met’s website to learn how you can watch!

While we are diligently working to reschedule many of our spring events, which contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, we know 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: Kenny Rogers

On Friday, September 23, 2016 we were honored to welcome country music legend Kenny Rogers to our stage. It was a special evening at The Paramount for more than 1,000 friends of the Theater. From “Islands in the Stream” to “Coward of the County”, “The Gambler” and “Lucille” he performed hit after hit to an enthusiastic and thankful crowd.

Avid Paramount Star Circle Member, Volunteer, and patron-extraordinaire Heather Walker shared in a tribute to Mr. Rogers earlier today about her memory from the performance. “We were so lucky to see Kenny Rogers perform live at The Paramount. He was so kind during our meet and greet! He gave me an autographed tambourine at the end of the night!”

Today’s news that he passed away brought a flood of memories from this night, along with extreme thankfulness for the music he shared with us so many for decades. If you were in attendance, we would LOVE to hear YOUR special moments and memories of the evening, too. Please visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to leave a comment as we remember together this legendary performer.

Photos by Rob Garland Photographers

Blast From the Past: Patti LaBelle

Patti LaBelle had the audience on their feet when she took to The Paramount’s stage in 2017. Her contagious energy filled the auditorium – it was impossible not to dance!

The Paramount’s Front of House Operations Manager, Malcolm Dyson, was a relatively new employee at the time. “It was the first big show I worked, and the Founders Lounge was as lively as I’ve ever seen it,” he shared. “I only caught the last couple of songs, but it was great to see a true Philly legend performing on stage in Charlottesville.”

While we are diligently working to reschedule many of our spring events, which contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, we know 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: Dr. Maya Angelou

Legendary poet, singer, and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou graced The Paramount’s stage in 2007. “Her presence, physically and spiritually, was so commanding even in that stage of her life,” shared Cat Ratliff, The Paramount’s Box Office, Education & Outreach Assistant. “We were all blessed.”

The Paramount’s Production Manager, Robert Benjamin, did some digging and managed to find the call sheet from that night – check it out!

Robert recalls that Dr. Angelou couldn’t see over the lectern while sitting. “It was too hefty for her to adjust, so Kyle Rodland [stagehand] rearranged everything for her in front of the audience,” Robert said. “Dr. Angelou embraced the moment, making it more comfortable for everyone, by cracking a joke with him, and they laughed together as he walked off the stage. There’s a really good photo of Kyle looking back at her as he was walking through the curtains.” (We found the photo!)

One of our favorite moments from the night was Dr. Angelou’s presentation of “Still I Rise.” As Cat put it so graciously, “It is so iconic that poem is what we associate with her immediately.” We hope you will take a moment to share this memory with us:

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

While we are diligently working to reschedule many of our spring events, which contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, we know 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: Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett reopened The Paramount Theater after some of its darkest days – 30 years of sitting dark and forgotten. While our Stage is dark right now, we KNOW the arts are important to our community, and The Paramount will continue to be a gathering place for Charlottesville again soon. For each day that we are dark during this public health crisis, we will post photos from past events as part of our “Blast From the Past” campaign. We encourage you to share your memories as we patiently wait for the magic to return. In the meantime, our Blade and Marquee still shine brightly, ready to welcome you back to your community Theater!

After performing at The Paramount’s grand reopening in 2004, Charlottesville’s second favorite Tony Bennett returned to the stage in 2016.

Both performances were that of which dreams are made. Performing to a sold-out audience both times (1,000+ seats filled), Mr. Bennett put down his microphone at the end of his performance and just sang. It was almost as if time stood still, and there was no greater gift of music than what Paramount patrons were experiencing in that moment.

The Paramount’s Director of Marketing, Maran Garland, recalls a fun memory from that night. Upon wrapping up the stage remarks before the performance, she and Executive Director Chris Eure exited the stage – and nearly bumped right into Mr. Bennett! They didn’t think he’d be backstage, but plans had changed. “We were able to quickly say, ‘Welcome to The Paramount,’” Maran shared. “And with a smile and a wink, he continued up the steps and took to the stage, while we watched in awe. It was a moment I personally will never forget.”

While we are diligently working to reschedule many of our spring events, which contribute significantly toward our yearly operating budget, we know 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