DERBY LINE – Comedic legend and Emmy-award winner Paula Poundstone is performing at the Haskell Opera House in Derby Line Sunday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m. The performance is the result of the efforts of film director, screenwriter, producer, and professor of Film Studies Jay Craven of Peacham; Lynn Leimer, the Haskell Opera House manager; and the Haskell Board of Trustees.
Poundstone is known for leaving her audiences gasping for air with her sharp wit, spontaneity, interactions with the audience, and her ability at improvisation. Poundstone researches the area where she is slated to perform to include local flavor during her show, making it unique, explained Craven in a phone interview Tuesday.
Poundstone is known as one of Comedy Central’s “Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time” and is a frequent guest on Leno, Letterman, "A Prairie Home Companion," and the NPR’s show "Wait Wait! Don’t Tell Me!"
“Poundstone is so quick that audience members often leave complaining that their cheeks hurt from laughter,” Craven said.
Some of the material for which she is famous is drawn from her own complex life: three kids, 13 cats, motherhood, demanding job, crazy travel schedule, her frustration at getting older, and a bag of neuroses, including her famous inability to ever shut up. In other words: she’s just like many of us, Craven said.
Craven approached Leimer about presenting Poundstone this fall as part of his new efforts for the arts in the NEK. Craven, who has lived in Vermont for 38 years, is reviving his music theater and dance production with "Kingdom County Productions.”
Last year, Poundstone performed in Lyndonville and the show was a huge hit with the audience laughing so hard they could barely breathe, Craven said.
Craven loves the Haskell Opera House as a venue and wants to utilize it more in the future with his productions. Not only does he love the Haskell, but he really appreciates the potential for a superb audience that is poised to respond to a world class entertainer, he said.
Poundstone lives in California and will also perform in Bellows Falls while in Vermont.
Leimer said Poundstone is one of her all-time favorite female comedians. “She is that combination of dry humor, great timing and superior delivery. I hope that everyone that grew up with her the way I did and even folks that haven't seen her, come to the Haskell, Nov. 4, to experience an unforgettable evening of laughter. She is comic genius.”
When she heard the November date, Leimer said her “heart sank” as the Haskell Opera House closes before November for the winter. But she approached the Board of Trustees to persuade them of the importance of having such a renowned performer. This will be a “huge draw for the Opera House and possibly open the door for more famous performers to start coming,” Leimer said. “We are finally getting headliners at the Haskell and I'm sure that is going to help us turn the corner in the next fiscal year and put the Haskell back on track.”
The Haskell fell into some financial troubles when the economy tanked in 2008, but Leimer and others have worked tirelessly to keep the unique international venue alive with superior entertainment. “It's just getting the right acts on the stage and, for November, Jay Craven is the one to make the magic happen,” Leimer said.
Please note that Paula Poundstone’s shows contains adult situations and language.
Reserved seat tickets are now on sale at the Catamount Arts Regional Box Office or by calling 802-748-2600. Online sales are available at www.CatamountArts.org .
Paula Poundstone’s Nov. 4 show is being produced by Kingdom County Productions with sponsorship support from The Community National Bank. For more information, contact Kingdom County Productions at 802-357-4616 or series producer Jay Craven (firstname.lastname@example.org ).