The sounds of the Americas and the sounds of the Gullah culture will be brought to life at the Paramount Theatre. Holiday music will also fill the theater. And imaginations will run wild when Jack plants his magic beans.
All of this and more will be part of the 11th annual Paramount Performing Arts Series, which starts next month and runs through March.
“This was something unique when we opened the theater before the fire,” said Sherry Archibald, director. “Our theater was used often, but it was just mostly local theater.
“With the reopening, we wanted to not only have our local talent, but also bring professional artists from all over the world.”
To make the series different each year, an outreach programming committee was formed a few years ago through a grant.
“It’s helpful to have a group of people around the table who represent all areas of the community, and give feedback on what they think and hear from colleagues and friends,” Archibald said. “I bring 12 to 15 different suggestions of artists to them and they help me choose. Or they might give me suggestions so I can investigate the cost and other details of the artist.”
Archibald said having professional performers here gives the community an opportunity to see high caliber touring artists without having to drive out of town.
“The series has a big economic impact to our community,” she said. “It brings people who are traveling to our community to see shows, stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants and shop our local merchants.
“It also gives outreach to our community, especially our students. The kids come to see the show or we take that artist to them at school to interact with them.”
Archibald said this year’s series is one of the most diverse the Paramount has ever had.
“We have our first bilingual artist, Gina Chavez,” she said.
She blends sounds from the Americas, Central America, South America, said outreach committee member Andrea Freile.
“She will blend English with Spanish,” she said.
Ranky Tanky will keep audience members on their feet for the whole concert, Archibald said.
“They’ve got the sounds from the Gullah culture that blends with funk, jazz and rock,” she said. “You can’t sit still.”
Also, this series, the Lexington Children’s Theatre will perform “Jack and the Wonder Beans.”
“The cool thing about this type of performance is that it’s audience-centered so the audience can participate,” Freile said. “It will be fun to bring the little ones to that. It will be an opportunity for our little ones to observe something different and give them the opportunity to say, ‘Hey, I can do that.’”
Concluding the series will be Evidence A Dance Company.
“And this dance has an element of spoken word poetry along with the dancing,” Freile said. “That’s exciting and new.”
Archibald said Goldsboro has a lot of dance companies and some of them have already been contacting Evidence asking if they could pay to have an outreach at their studio.
“With Evidence, everything this choreographer does is based on faith,” she said. “I think for our community that’s going to be very meaningful.”
This year’s lineup is:
• Ranky Tanky at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4. The quintet, based in Charleston, S.C., performs timeless music of the Gullah culture born in the southeastern Sea Island region of the United States, from playful game songs to ecstatic shouts, from heartbreaking spirituals to lullabies. Tickets are $22 for adults and $18 for youths 18 and younger.
• “Jack and the Wonder Beans” at 3 p.m. Oct. 28. The Lexington Children’s Theatre will spin a tale about a boy, his mom and giants in this retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” set in Appalachia. Audience members will be encouraged to tap their toes and laugh out loud from beginning to end. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for youths 18 and younger.
• North Carolina Symphony’s annual Holiday Pops concert at 8 p.m. Nov. 20. Kick off you holiday season with Downtown Lights Up featuring snow, Santa, free trolley rides and treats, then stop by the Paramount to hear sounds of the season by the symphony. Tickets are $39 for adults and $29 for youths 18 and younger.
• Malpass Brothers at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11. As young boys in eastern North Carolina, Christopher and Taylor soaked up the music of their granddad’s jukebox in his country store. Today, they promote the work and music of the classic country artists, while creating new music and making their own mark in the lineage of a rich American cultural heritage. Tickets are $25 for adults and $22 for youths 18 and younger.
• The Platters at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13. In 1955, Herb Reed, David Lynch, Paul Robi, Zola Taylor and Tony Williams crashed through the racial divide in the music industry, paving the way for The Platters to become the first African-American vocal group to reach international superstardom. Today’s Platters are Wayne Miller, Adele Galinda, D.D. Grey Martin, Lance Bernard Bryant and Kenny Williams. Tickets are $28 for adults and $24 for youths 18 and younger.
• Gina Chavez at 7:30 p.m. March 7. She passes mid-song from English to Spanish and back like it’s the most natural thing in the world. She blends the sounds of the Americas with tension and grace. Her Spanish-language anthem, Siete D, tells the story of her experience volunteering in a gang-dominated suburb of San Salvador where she and her partner founded Ninas Arriba, a college fund for young Latinas. Tickets are $22 for adults and $18 for youths 18 and younger.
• Evidence A Dance Company at 7:30 p.m. March 29. Founded by Ronald K. Brown in 1985 and based in Brooklyn, N.Y., Evidence focuses on the seamless integration of traditional African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word. Its members provide a unique view of human struggles, tragedies and triumphs. Brown uses movements as a way to reinforce the importance of community in African American culture and to acquaint audiences with the beauty of traditional African forms and rhythms. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for youths 18 and younger.
Tickets may be purchased at reduced prices for three or more performances and five or more performances. Season tickets will save you 30 percent.
Tickets are available at the Paramount box office, by calling 919-583-8432 or online at www.goldsboroparamount.com.
This year’s Paramount Movie Nights will have a variety of offerings, too.
There will be two holiday movies in December. “It’s a Wonderful Life” will be shown at 7 p.m. Dec. 18 and “White Christmas” will be shown at 7 p.m. Dec. 20.
“The Color Purple” will be shown at 3 p.m. Jan. 20 and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” will be shown at 3 p.m. March 24.
During movie nights, popcorn, candy and drinks will be sold in the Paramount lobby. Tickets are $5 for adults and free for children 12 and younger with an adult.