Looking ahead to 2018’s entertainment

Published 11:03 am Sunday, December 24, 2017

It’s Christmas Eve and the Austin Area Commission for the Arts has a gift for the community: a full slate of spring programming to inspire, entertain, delight and challenge artists and art lovers.

We start off 2018 with a classic movie, 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz,” on the big screen at the Paramount at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 3. The musical fantasy film, an adaptation of children’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, is widely considered to be one of the greatest films in cinema history and stars Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale, alongside Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Frank Morgan, Billie Burke and Margaret Hamilton. The movie is remembered for its notable for its use of technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score, and memorable characters.

In 1956, CBS began broadcasting the film annually, making it one of the best known films in movie history and an icon of American popular culture. Tickets are $5, available before the show at the concession stand. There are no advanced tickets.

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In February, Americana band Rogue Valley, lead by Chris Koza, will visit Austin for a week of school residencies followed by a performance at the Paramount at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10. One of Rogue Valley’s songs, “The Wolves & the Ravens,” is featured in the 2014 Ben Stiller moive “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

The public is welcome to attend a song writing workshop lead by Koza at the Austin Public Library at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 5. Rogue Valley’s Minnesota tour is supported by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Tickets go on sale Dec. 29.


In March, a three-day watercolor master class will be presented by Bonnie Broitzman at the Ausitn ArtWorks Center. “Winter Watercolor: Buildings and Barns, Trees and Snow” will be held on March 6, 7 and 8. Beginning artists may want to consider taking companion drawing class with Broitzman on Feb. 15 and Feb. 22. Class registration will be available online by Jan. 23.


Get ready to meet a remarkable character in April, the Captain Gravitone. Gravitone, a.k.a. Eli Hoehn, leads The Banjo Hour at the Paramount Theater on Friday, April 6.

This two-hour vaudeville-style show is a celebration of music, words, banjos, and the life of Captain Gravitone — philosopher, physicist, super-hero of the new millennia. It is hosted by magician and comedian, Michael Callahan of 2nd Story Comedy and features the music of Captain Gravitone & the String Theory Orchestra, with music guest, Galactic Cowboy Orchestra. Tickets go on sale Feb. 23.

The capstone of our spring season is “Close to You: the Music of the Carpenters” on Saturday, May 5.

Singer-songwriter Lisa Rock and her six-piece band perform a tribute to the biggest-selling group of the 1970s — the Carpenters. Considered one of the best vocalists of all time, the late Karen Carpenter captured the attention of a generation with her unabashedly catchy pop music.

Enjoy a popular tribute to Karen with all your favorite hits including “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Mondays.” Tickets go on sale March 23.

Coming soon at the Paramount Theatre

•Dec. 27: $5 movie, “Die Hard,” 7:30 p.m.

•Jan. 3: $5 movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” 7:30 p.m.

•Jan. 10: $5 movie, “Citizen Kane, 7:30 p.m.

Coming soon at the ArtWorks Center

•Jan. 12: Gallery Opening: Julie Falkler and Ian Hanson, 5 p.m.

•Jan. 13: Family Open Studio: Special bench painting at the Paramount Annex, 1 p.m.

•Jan. 26: ArtRocks Jam Session, 7:30 p.m.