In the 74 years between the Paramount Theatre's opening night, when people used to line up to see “talkies” for 50 cents, and 2002, when it was voted Best Mainstage Theatre in a Seattle Weekly Reader's Poll, the palatial venue faded and decayed alongside its Roaring Twenties brethren throughout America. Luckily, former Microsoft Vice President Ida Cole saved it from the rubble heap in the mid-‘90s when she established the Seattle Landmark Association and vowed to render the Paramount "kissable" once again.
Over the course of seven months, the renovation crew expanded the size of the stage wings to accommodate more ambitious live productions. They also cleared decades of grime from the french baroque plaster reliefs, uncovering long-forgotten designs and causing only one long-dormant horror to snap open its eyes dramatically. They also replaced the gold leaf in the floral designs of the wall medallions, repainted all the surfaces in their original 16 colors, and scrubbed each of the 1.6 million crystal beads in the chandelier by hand with a toothbrush. The original Knabe Ampico player piano was returned to its spot on the four-tiered lobby's lush carpeting, and a 21st-century sound system now shares sonic space with the thundering, luminous sonority of the Paramount's fully restored Mighty Wurlitzer organ. Though the Paramount's calendar runs the gamut from rock concerts to standup comedy to Broadway musicals on the scale of Wicked, its decadent Beaux Arts trappings transport audiences to the days when reality was still black and white.
Musically Minded Academy is a non-profit music school and community arts center located in Rockridge, CA.
Our core mission is to provide high quality music education, to host concerts and other arts-related education programs, and to act as a haven for musicians and music lovers in the greater East Bay Area.
Taking its name from a Sean O'Casey play, The Plough and the Stars wears its Hibernian heritage on its sleeve as it captivates visitors with an atmosphere of Irish whiskeys, heady beers, and live music. The owners and most of the staff hail from the Emerald Isle, charming their guests with authentic accents and a mastery of pouring Guinness the Irish way—easing the black ambrosia into a glass as they recite On Raglan Road while drinking a cup of water. Patrons sip perfectly mixed irish coffees as they watch Celtic set dancing on Thursdays or raise their glasses of draft Kilkenny and Smithwick's to live bluegrass, blues, and traditional Irish tunes almost every day of the week.
The multiple award-winning funny comedian, Ash K. entertains audiences with magic shows ranging from house parties to corporate events. In 2010, he was voted the Best Arts and Entertainment/Theatre performer on the San Francisco Chronicle's Baylist, which he celebrated by turning every section in the newspaper into the funnies. Once described by a reviewer as a mash-up of Borat, Harpo Marx, and Emo Philips, the celebrated performer has delighted spectators with his sleight-of-hand magic, physical comedy, Eastern European accent, and his subversive use of the English language. Click here to see a video of Ash in action.
Housed in a venue that was constructed in 1919, Broadway Studios augments special events with an extensive offering of amenities, services, and staffing options. A grand ballroom with two bars sits beneath towering 30-foot ceilings, with professional sound equipment, concert-style seating capacity, and large wooden dance floors lit entirely from the power generated by troupes of performers doing the Electric Slide. Neoclassical décor adds a touch of the past to performance spaces that have played host to famous entertainers such as Dave Chappelle and Dead Kennedys, along with providing the setting for numerous television and film tapings.
The Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium is armed with stunning acoustics and an intimate 3,165-seat floor plan designed so that no seat is more than 21 rows away from the stage. Dual sound systems will project the deepest registers of the performers’ voices. An extensive array of lighting equipment swathes the stage in shades of blue while olfactory simulators pump out the smell of fresh blueberries.