Radio still has the power to change the way people perceive their world, just as it did in 1933 when Orson Welles fooled a nation into thinking he was hiding inside their radio credenza. Watch an old medium evolve with this GrouponLive deal to see Radiolab at the Paramount Theatre. For $31, you get one ticket for mezzanine 1 or 2 seating on Saturday, August 25, at 8 p.m. (up to a $62 value, including all fees). Doors open at 7 p.m. Accessing the mezzanine requires the use of stairs, and is not accessible by elevator.
What is it like to walk in space? Can two blind men agree on what it's like not to see? Is it possible to dance on the radio? Sheer human curiosity lies at the heart of Radiolab, the podcast that asks questions such as these. Every episode, host Jad Abumrad and NPR science correspondent Robert Krulwich take their back-and-forth banter for a stroll along the blurry boundaries of science, philosophy, and human perception. Their mingling of field interviews, ambient soundscapes, and gorgeous music uncovers a perpetually expanding universe where people can touch distant stars with a finger of focused light and millions of bloody Stalingrads play out every day among ants on suburban sidewalks across America. Along the way, they chat with enough scientists to populate the NASA control room in a bafflingly plotted beach-party movie.
During the podcast's live show and its discussion of the evolution of the eye, Dave Foley of The Kids in the Hall fame weighs in on the concepts of light and dark with his signature brand of offbeat humor. Thao Nguyen leavens the blend of cosmic significance and intimate human wonder with shuffling rock ‘n’ roll as the shape-shifting undulations of dance troupe Pilobolus keep eyes thinking about what an evolutionary wonder the eye is in the first place.
In the 74 years between the Paramount Theatre's opening night—when people lined up eight abreast to see something called a "talkie" 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.