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Calling All Local Teachers

Our Paramount Theater Arts Education Program is back!

Join us for a reception in anticipation of the 2022-2023 Season.
RSVP to Cathy von Storch by email or at 434.293.1000

We hope to see you there!

The Game of Law

‘Jodie Comer takes the stage by storm’ -The Times

Prima Facie is filmed live from the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End and is in cinemas worldwide from 21 July. The play was entirely sold out during its nine-week run in
the West End and has proved hugely popular with audiences.

The plot follows a young barrister, Tessa (Jodie Comer), as she progresses from a working-class upbringing in Liverpool to tackling the cut-throat world of law, defending those accused of sexual assault. Until she faces an unexpected event that changes her life and career forever.

It’s a career-best acting masterclass from Jodie Comer throughout this 90 minute one-woman show by award-winning writer Suzie Miller. Prima Facie has been met with critical acclaim, especially for Jodie Comer’s performance, the beautiful staging, and score by Brit-nominated musician Self Esteem.

Get Tickets to Prima Facie here.
This Thursday, August 11 at 7PM!

Finding Mr. Right

 

Charlottesville Opera returns to The Paramount for their final show in July with Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow!

Hanna Glawari is perhaps the most eligible widow in town, and her many suitors intend to win her hand, at any cost. However, Hanna’s heart belongs to a man from her past who may be too proud to admit his love to win her hand.

Before we join Hanna for a raucous night of dancing, singing, and the best party in all of opera, here’s a cheat sheet of what this operetta’s all about!

The Music

  • Bubbly, beautiful, and full of tunes you’ll be humming as you leave the theatre.
  • Lehár packed his score with dance tunes, from his famous waltz to marches, cancans, gallops and a polonaise. His score is more sophisticated than many operettas, which often pair the melody with a simple orchestral accompaniment. Lehár filled out his orchestration with colour and harmony — the sound is rich and full.
  • Listen out for eastern European folk tunes that set a Balkan scene for Pontevedro.

The Composer

  • Franz Lehár was born in 1870 to an Austrian infantry bandmaster and his Hungarian-German wife.
  • As a teenager, Lehár went to the Prague Conservatory to study violin. It was Antonín Dvořák who spotted his talents as a composer, and suggested he study the craft. The conservatory rules did not allow a student to have two specialties, so Lehár taught himself.
  • After a time as a bandmaster in the army, like his father, Lehár became a successful composer and was able to resign his commission. He was famous for his operettas, although he also wrote an opera, famous waltzes, sonatas and marches.
  • He died in 1948, aged 78 years, and was buried near Salzburg

The Fun Facts

  • The cash-strapped theatre where The Merry Widow premiered wouldn’t pay for new sets and costumes, so the stars shelled out for their own threads.
  • The Merry Widow has been translated into more than 25 languages, transformed into a ballet and inspired several films.
  • Lehár’s music was popular with Hitler and other Nazis. However, the composer frequently worked with Jewish librettists and was married to a Jewish woman.
  • The Nazi regime awarded his wife, Sophie, the status of ‘honorary Aryan’.
  • Lehár was a savvy businessman, and went into publishing towards the end of his career. He bought back the rights to his hits to ensure he and his estate would continue to profit from them.

Source: Sydney Opera House

Catch The Merry Widow
this Friday, July 22 at 7:30PM and
Sunday, July 24 at 2:00PM!

One of “My Favorite Things”

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…
bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens…”

Surely you know the rest, because The Sound of Music is perhaps one of your favorite things! Charlottesville Opera returns to The Paramount Theater with the beloved true story of Maria and the von Trapp family as they discover their love and talent for singing amidst the turmoil of a country at war.

Featuring Maria Valdes, Branch Fields, Claudia Chapa, and the Ader Emerging Artists, directed by Cara Consilvio, and conducted by Michael Slon, the highly anticipated performance is surely one that will have you singing along.

Before the show opens tomorrow, here are a few quick facts on the musical’s (and the movie’s) history:

  • The Sound of Music opened at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 16, 1959, and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s last musical was a triumph.
  • It ran for 1,443 performances and earned five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
  • The cast album earned a Gold Record and the Grammy Award. Florence Henderson starred in the first national tour, which played for over two years.
  • Jean Bayless created the role of Maria in the original London production, which ran for over six years, long holding the record as the longest-running American musical in London.
  • In 1965 the motion picture version of The Sound of Music, directed by Robert Wise, was released, making Hollywood history.
  • Since Hammerstein died in 1960, Rodgers revised the score and composed both music and lyrics for two songs added to the film: “I Have Confidence” and “Something Good.”
  • Hollywood’s most famous unseen voice, Marni Nixon, here has an on-screen role as Sister Sophia.
  • The actual real-life Maria von Trapp has a cameo appearance in the Salzburg market scene.
  • Winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, The Sound of Music has become the most popular movie musical ever made.

Source: Concord Theatricals

 

 

Dates and Showtimes for The Sound of Music:

  • Thursday, July 7 at 7:00PM
  • Friday, July 8 at 7:00PM
  • Saturday, July 9 at 7:00PM
  • Sunday, July 10 at 2:00PM

Click here to get tickets!

Volunteer Appreciation 2022

On Sunday, June 26, our wonderful volunteers were treated to a party in the Founders Lounge before the public screening of The Blues Brothers. Each year we host a special Volunteer Appreciation Event to celebrate the volunteers who do so much for our Theater and our community.
Everyone had a blast enjoying some good food, good laughs, and of course — a great film!

Thank you again to our Paramount all-stars!

Behind the Scenes

NT Live: Kit Harington on Henry V

Kit Harington (Game of Thrones) plays the title role in Shakespeare’s thrilling study of nationalism, war and the psychology of power.

Fresh to the throne, King Henry V launches England into a bloody war with France. When his campaign encounters resistance, this inexperienced new ruler must prove he is fit to guide a country into war.

Captured live from the Donmar Warehouse in London, this exciting modern production directed by Max Webster (Life of Pi) explores what it means to be English and our relationship to Europe, asking: do we ever get the leaders we deserve?

Collisions, Chaos, and Collaborations

Warren Ellis on nearly 30 years with Nick Cave: “I’m there for him, whatever he wants”

As their new film hits cinemas, we dig into one of music’s most singular duos

Collaborations are really curious things,” says Warren Ellis, the multi-instrumentalist, author, composer and – most potently – yin to Nick Cave’s yang. “Because you don’t have to question them if they’re working. There’s something about the very nature of me and Nick getting into a room that leads to something. It may not always be good, but it always leads to something.” After almost three decades together, theirs is one of rock music’s most indelible – and unbreakable – partnerships. “We’re both still curious about the process,” he adds. “These collisions that happen.”

“Collisions” is a beautiful way to describe the Ellis/Cave musical rapport, one that’s flourished since Ellis became an increasingly prominent member of Aussie rockers The Bad Seeds. If Cave brings the poetry and the front-man flamboyance, his fellow Australian is like the backroom engine, scooting around stage with all the energy of a whirling dervish. Ellis’ mesmerizing abilities with a vast array of instruments (accordion, flute, mandolin, to name but three) has seen him gain a reputation as one of the most soulful and skillful musicians on the planet.

“When me and Nick get into a room, it always leads to something”

We’re speaking over Zoom, Ellis ensconced in his studio in Paris, where he lives with his wife and son. In the background, Stanley Kubrick’s masterful period epic Barry Lyndon is playing on a flat screen, the strains of the main theme – Handel’s ‘Sarabande’ – tinkling away. “It’s such a great [movie] and the soundtrack is fabulous to work out too as well!” Ellis enthuses. “If you need your cardio, you’ve always got the requiem to keep you in check. A good ‘Sarabande’ and a harpsichord beats around the head when you’re flagging round the corner!”

The idea of Ellis jogging to the 18th century composer is an amusing one, particularly given his wild-man appearance (long streaks of silver-grey hair and an untamable beard). “I realize I’ve still got my lockdown look,” he chuckles. “But I had that a long time before anyone! I patented that.” Sprouting from his chin like an unruly ferret, his distinct facial hair is “probably at record length” now after two years of not performing live. In the ‘Before Times’, it could “cause problems” on stage, snagging in the strings of his beloved violin. “It gets stuck, and I have to pull it out,” he chuckles, “but the show must go on!”

Warren Ellis
CREDIT: Charlie Gray

Like every other musician, the pandemic meant cancelled tours for Ellis, with the extraordinary 2019 Bad Seeds album ‘Ghosteen’ a victim of closed venues. Yet rather than sulk, the affable Aussie kept fiercely busy. He released his first book, Nina Simone’s Gum, wryly recounting what happened after he nicked the titular singer’s chewing gum when she performed at the Cave-curated Meltdown Festival in London in 1999. He collaborated with his dear friend Marianne Faithfull – more of which later – and dug back into his hard drive to pull together The Bad Seeds’ ‘B-Sides & Rarities Part II‘, released last October.

Unsurprisingly, it’s his ever-evolving relationship with Cave that really came to the fore in lockdown. The two chipped away at the music for the just-released snow leopard documentary The Velvet Queen and Andrew Dominik’s upcoming Marilyn Monroe movie Blonde. They also knocked out ‘Carnage’, their first studio work as a duo (aside from the various soundtracks they’ve collaborated on). It’s this eight-song LP and ‘Ghosteen’ that form the basis of Dominik’s other new movie – and the reason we’re chatting today – This Much I Know To Be True.

Warren Ellis
Cave and Ellis at the piano. CREDIT: Charlie Gray

Part-documentary, part performance-piece, it’s a dazzling look at Cave and Ellis’ creative process, and their on-stage fusion. Dominik stages the songs in a church-like warehouse space, his camera circling the musicians as they deliver truly electric versions of ‘Hand of God’, ‘White Elephant’, ‘Albuquerque’ and others. “It’s kind of operatic, the way everything moves in sync with the music and the lights,” says Ellis. “The way this film looks is so extraordinary. I’m not a fan of musicals… but it seems like a musical you can actually watch!”

Better yet, This Much I Know To Be True is an illuminating, incisive look at Ellis and Cave’s friendship. “I’m there for Nick, whatever he wants,” says the 57-year-old Ellis, who is seven years Cave’s junior. “Our collaboration feels, to me, to be codependent. We each do something that the other doesn’t. I don’t know much about words. I can get in there and make a mess of music and then Nick can order me. That was interesting watching the film – I realized how chaotic I am. Andrew amazingly chopped it together – this absolute chaos that seemed to be around me. And then Nick is so ordered. I’d never really thought about that, until I saw it.”

Courtesy of NME Magazine.

Read the full interview from NME here.
Catch the global cinema event at The Paramount Theater on Wednesday, May 11 at 7:30PM.