Airs and graces

By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  March 23, 2010

From the audience’s point of view, the Paramount is a delightful place to see a show. It’s been totally reconstructed to evoke the 1932 Art Deco splendor of the original, with dark woodwork, plush upholstery, faux Baroque murals on the side walls, streamlined light pillars, and a rose, beige, aqua, and dark-green color scheme. The theater lobbies and spaces in the adjacent Paramount Center feature historic photos and panels with information about theatrical events in the old Paramount and surrounding Theater District.

The Paramount is half as big as the opulent, Beaux Arts Cutler Majestic, a former opera house also owned by Emerson College, and it reflects a more recent architectural period. I don’t know how the sightlines will be throughout the house, but my seat at Black Grace allowed a full stage view, which is all-important for dance performances. I also don’t know what the costs of presenting dance will be for outside companies, but I’m hoping the theater’s lower box-office level will attract midsize companies and appeal to audiences looking for theatrical dance in an elegant setting.

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