Happy Holidays


Playing Santa at the theatre’s holiday party for subscribers and donors isn’t easy.  Kids take this stuff seriously.  You have to be careful.  Parents –  I beg you – if your child tells me what they want for Christmas, give me a sign to let me know if it’s good with you.  I cannot be held responsible for tears on Christmas morning when the pony isn’t under the tree.  Unless you tell Santa otherwise,  the answer is gonna be yes.

However you celebrate the holidays, the Paramount Staff and I wish you good health and joy.


Flowers in the Attic


I think there was a book by that name that my sister read in High School.  It came to mind as I sat here on the floor in the attic of the State Theater.  Actually it’s not really the attic.  It’s the old projection booth.  And now it is my new office.  We moved some offices around to make room for new staff and somehow I landed here.  What does it say about me that my staff picked the spot farthest away from everything and everyone to be my office?

The State Theater was built in 1935 as primarily a movie palace.  Today it is partially closed, but it still houses our school of acting and a few offices – including mine.

We are working hard to reopen the State.  Fingers crossed…

Funny, Funny, Funny

So my staff wanted me to write something about our education and outreach programs at the theatres.  Afterall, the holidays are coming and we really do hope you are considering making a donation to the theatres.   My telling you about the wonderful things we do with children – like the 3,000 school children who came last week to see The Incredible Speediness of Julie Cavanaugh, a play that dealt with bullying, violence, peer pressure, learning disabilities and the struggle to fit in – should put you in the mood to consider a donation so we can do more things like that.   And that really  is what I should be writing about.  I should tell you about the 3rd graders at Hart Elementary who are right now working with professional teaching artists as part of our Literacy to Life program because what we are doing there really is giving children a voice.  I should.  I know I should because the work we do each year with over 20,000 kids is important.  But…

All I can think about right now is how much fun I had at Louis C. K. on Friday night and then again with John Oliver on Saturday night and how much fun I am going to have all this week with Jaston and Joe in A Tuna Christmas.

Louis C.K. was funny as shit.  I have no other way to put it.   He was oh so funny and oh so nasty and oh so damn over the line… and I loved every second of it.  I laughed so hard, the way I laugh has forever changed.

And then there is John Oliver from the Daily Show.   As my good friend Janis Pinnelli said,  “I thought John Stewart was the funny one.  I had no idea how funny John Oliver was.”

And now we have Jaston and Joe.  What can I say?  A few of the residents from Tuna, Texas stopped by to visit today.  The show opens Tuesday and runs through the Thanksgiving weekend…

But I can’t sing…

We opened our 95th season with Omara Portuondo, sweetheart of the Buena Vista Social Club.  Now introduce that show from stage with Invisiline braces in your mouth and you’ll see why I need a little drink before I take the stage.   But what an amazing show it was.   Standing ovations and encore after encore after encore…

So here is what happened back stage…

Just before the show, I met Omara.  She is lovely.  Gorgeous.  Gracious.  And moments before she took the stage to sing for you, she made me sing to her.  That’s right.  Me… singing… to her.  She wanted the audience to join her in a chorus of Deep in the Heart of Texas, but she wasn’t sure if she knew the song well enough. 

“Would you sing it to me?” she asked.
“But I cannot sing.  Really.  I am terrible,” I replied.
“Please.  For me.”

So how could I resist?  I sang it for her, before she sang if for you.   Trust me when I tell you that you got the better end of that deal.

The stars at night, are big and bright,
deep in the heart of Texas,
The prairie sky is wide and high,
deep in the heart of Texas.
The sage in bloom is like perfume,
deep in the heart of Texas,
Reminds me of, the one I love,
deep in the heart of Texas.

The coyotes wail, along the trail,
deep in the heart of Texas,
The rabbits rush, around the brush,
deep in the heart of Texas.
The cowboys cry, “Ki-yip-pee-yi,”
deep in the heart of Texas,
The dogies bawl, and bawl and bawl,
deep in the heart of Texas.

Reynolds Wrap


The first night of Fantastic Fest at the Paramount wrapped up with Ryan Reynolds giving a Q&A from stage after the screening of his newest movie, Buried.   Maybe the film should be…

I got to meet Mr. Reynolds briefly when we pulled together a temporary Green Room upstairs in order to get him out of the line of fire from fan photos  a.k.a. cell phone cameras.  I started the evening thinking that I wanted a photo with him, but by the time I had my chance I decided instead to give him a little privacy… or should I say dignity?  Either way he was very nice, but it reminded me that sometimes it is nicer to meet  a celebrity than to be a celebrity.  I did appreciate, however, the stage crew’s attempts to score me that photo.

Fantastic Fest continues again tomorrow night with Stone – Edward Norton’s newest film with Robert Di Niro.  Norton will be dealing with the cell phones as well.  I am sure…

Vote Twice This Year

The November elections are more than a month away, but you can cast  a vote right now and help the Paramount Theatre win $25,000 from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  It’s easy.  Here’s how:

1. Click here and locate the Paramount Theatre on the map  (we are the blue flag near the “s” in Texas.

2. Enter your name, email and zip code and click SUBMIT.

3.  Click the VOTE button to enter your vote for the Paramount.

It’s a national competition and we are in first place right now, but only by a few hundred votes.  Cast your vote to say that the Paramount Theatre is one of your favorite places in America.   The contest ends September 15th at midnight.   Thanks for your help!

Things we have found along the way…


Well the answer to the question in the previous post is YES.   Today we learned the problem is a big deal and will most likely require  some tunneling.  Life with a 95-year-old theatre…  (donations anyone?)

But for now, I would like to turn your attention towards something slightly more fun.  Above are pictures of items we have found beneath the balcony and in other long forgotten areas of the theatre. 

The beer cans need no explanation and that Nestle’s candy wrapper about “fighting food” is fantastic.   Some ticket stubs… but of course.    However,  I really can’t explain how the egg carton got there…