The Hit. For anyone who grew up in Boston, yesterday’s reopening of the Paramount Theatre on Washington Street downtown was both a trip down memory lane and an invitation to an exciting future. The theater opened in 1932 but decrepitude forced its closing in 1976. Emerson College has taken it over, invested a fortune (more than$90 million) into restoring it, and immeasurably enhanced that area. The art deco style is drop-dead gorgeous; the sparkling lights on the marquee, a wondrous beckoning.
To celebrate the opening, the Celebrity Series of Boston hosted elegant and versatile Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester, a German cabaret music presentation that – after some initial difficulty with the microphone – provided 80 minutes of pure enjoyment. The music was all from the 1920’s and early 1930’s and captured the beauty, humor, satire and complexity of relationships during the time of the Weimar Republic, with Cole Porter and other American composers thrown in.
Unfortunately, the Palast Orchester was a one-day event. But keep your eye on the Paramount Theatre and its promise of excitement in the performing arts for Emerson students and the community at large.
The Miss. An email from the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge urged the recipient to “spread the word about ‘Paradise Lost.’ So here goes. Clifford Odets’ 1935 play was written about a family’s struggle during the Great Depression. There is obvious meaning for people today in exploring the despair wrought by economic turmoil, evictions, bank indifference, mental illness, suicide, hopelessness, turning toward crime and opposition to unregulated capitalism.