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Showing posts with label Paramount Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paramount Theatre. Show all posts

Saturday, March 17, 2018

SAVE THE DATES: PARAMOUNT THEATRE’S 2018-19 BROADWAY SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT

PARAMOUNT THEATRE’S FIRST WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL, AUGUST RUSH, CAPS
2018-19 BROADWAY SEASON ANNOUNCEMENT


WORLD PREMIERE CO-PRODUCTION WITH ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA'S SIGNATURE THEATRE, DIRECTED BY TONY WINNER JOHN DOYLE, BASED ON THE OSCAR-NOMINATED 2007 FILM, JOINS
LEGALLY BLONDE, THE WIZARD OF OZ AND THE PRODUCERS
IN PARAMOUNT’S 2018-19 BROADWAY LINE-UP

For the first time in its history, Aurora’s Paramount Theatre will present a brand new musical.

August Rush, a world premiere co-production with Arlington Virginia's Signature Theatre, was announced today as the thrilling finale of Paramount’s 2018-19 Broadway series.

Internationally acclaimed director John Doyle, who earned a Tony Award for Sweeney Todd and also staged the Broadway revival of The Color Purple starring Jennifer Hudson, will direct this new live stage adaption of the Oscar-nominated Warner Brothers film about a musically gifted orphan and his search for his birth parents. The movie August Rush starred Robin Williams, Keri Russell and Freddie Highmore and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.

August Rush, debuting April 24-June 2, 2019 at the Paramount, press opening Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m., will be preceded in the theater’s 2018-19 Broadway series by three more blockbuster productions: Legally Blonde (September 5-October 21, 2018), The Wizard of Oz (November 14, 2018-January 6, 2019) and The Producers (February 6-March 17, 2019).

Just as it has since it launched its first Broadway Musical Series in 2011, Paramount will offer the same “Buy Two Shows, Get Two Shows Free” subscription offer, with 2018-19 four-play packages starting as low as $72.

Renewals begin today, Monday, February 5 at 10 a.m., with current subscribers given first chance to secure their seats for all four shows.

During the renewal process, new subscribers can pre-order before the general public to get in line for seats. Pre-order reservations can be made online only at ParamountAurora.com for the first week. Starting Monday, February 12 at 10 a.m., new subscribers can pre-order over the phone or in person as well.

Single tickets go on sale in June.

For information, visit ParamountAurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or visit the Paramount Theatre box office, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora.




More about Paramount’s first world premiere musical 
August Rush

“When our Broadway Series began in 2011, we had big dreams for what it could become. Over the years, those dreams have been brought to life again and again. And now, one of our biggest dreams is finally becoming a reality,” said Jim Corti, Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre. “August Rush, the first major project from our New Works Development Program guided by my colleague Amber Mak, represents the next step in Paramount’s evolution into one of the nation’s preeminent regional theaters. What does this mean to our subscribers? It means they could be the first ever to see this production before it goes anywhere else, perhaps even to Broadway!”

“I’m excited about the development of this new and unique musical,” said director John Doyle. “August Rush centers on the emotional and musical journey of a young boy – a lost boy. Through music he reunites with the parents he otherwise may never have found. The ‘hope’ that the story highlights is powerful. That, more than anything, is what attracted me to the material, and I’m honored to be a part of its journey.”

August Rush is the story of Evan Taylor, an 11-year-old orphan who believes in music like some believe in fairytales. In a cruel twist of fate, Evan’s mother, an accomplished classical cellist, and his father, the lead singer of a rock band, don’t even know of his existence. From one foster home to the next, Evan refuses to give up hope in finding his parents. On this relentless search, he surrenders himself to the symphony of sounds in the city and follows the music, discovering his own genius along the way. In this inspiring love story, music is everywhere, but will it lead Evan home?

Working closely with Paramount and Signature is Mark Mancina, the celebrated composer of the film’s platinum selling soundtrack, who continues as composer and co-lyricist for the new stage version of August Rush. Mancina arranged and produced many songs for The Lion King and contributed music to Pixar’s hit film Moana.

The creative team includes Emmy Award-winning bookwriter and co-lyricist Glen Berger, who co-wrote the book for Broadway’s SPIDER-MAN Turn Off The Dark.

Orchestrations and additional music are by Dave Metzger, who orchestrated the films August Rush, Training Day and Tarzan and received a Tony nomination for his work on Disney’s The Lion King.

The film August Rush was written by Paul Castro and Nick Castle.

Like Paramount’s Million Dollar Quartet earlier this season and Once still to come, the actors in August Rush will replace the orchestra and play all instruments live on stage, creating the beautiful symphony of this moving, inherently musical story.

The cast, TBA, will be shared by both productions, first at Signature, February 5-March 3, 2019, and then at Paramount, April 24-June 2, 2019. Paramount’s press opening is Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m. August Rush is rated PG for some adult themes and language.


Paramount Theatre’s 2018-19 Broadway series also includes:





















Legally Blonde
September 5-October 21, 2018  
Press opening: Saturday, September 8 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Trent Stork
Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin
Book by Heather Hach
Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture

OH MY GOD. Oh my God, you guys! Paramount is kicking off its 2018-19 Broadway season in high fashion with the one and only Elle Woods.

A member of UCLA’s Delta Nu sorority, Elle has a seemingly perfect life and perfect future. All she needs is her boyfriend Warner to cement it with a proposal. But her dream life turns into a nightmare when Warner decides to break it off because she’s not serious enough for him. As if! Heartbroken and in despair, Elle hatches a near-impossible plan to win him back: get into Harvard Law School. What? Like it’s hard? A story of rising to a challenge and defying expectations, all while looking fabulous, Legally Blonde is the perfect way to push Paramount’s eighth season into high gear and never let up.

Trent Stork, a veteran of 16 productions and casting director at the Paramount, will make his Aurora directorial debut with Legally Blonde. A big heart, bigger dance numbers, comedy, devastating ballads and more are all in store for Stork’s fresh take on the 2007 film starring Reese Witherspoon, bringing Blonde into 2018 and exploring what it’s like for a young woman to defy expectations and achieve her dreams. Legally Blonde is rated
PG-13 for some profanity and sexual references.



The Wizard of Oz
November 14, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Press opening: Saturday, November 17 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Amber Mak
By L. Frank Baum
With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company
Based upon the classic motion picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros.

You may have been to Oz before, but never like this.

Stuck on a Kansas farm with her aunt, uncle and dog Toto, Dorothy Gale wishes for a better and more exciting life. When a twister hits, Dorothy is whisked away to the wonderful world of Oz, a fantastical place full of munchkins, a cowardly lion, a tin man without a heart, a living scarecrow…and a wicked witch who will do whatever it takes to stop Dorothy.

Director Amber Mak absolutely dazzled audiences with Disney’s The Little Mermaid. She made kids of all ages believe in Santa again with Elf The Musical. Next she’s taking audiences over the rainbow in what is sure to be one of Paramount’s most talked about musicals yet.

Thousands of families come through the Paramount’s doors each holiday season, and with its two-story Christmas tree and fully-decorated lobby, everyone can celebrate the season by reliving their cherished memories of this classic movie, live on stage at the beautiful Paramount Theatre. Just remember, my pretties, The Wizard of Oz is rated PG for some scary moments.



The Producers
February 6 – March 17, 2019
Press opening Saturday, February 9 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Jim Corti
Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks
Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan
A New Mel Brooks Musical

Under the right circumstances, a producer could make more money with a flop than he could with a hit. And so begins one of the most hilarious cons in musical theater history.

Max Bialystock used to be the king of Broadway, but after producing one too many flops, he’s now just a has-been forced into seducing little old ladies for money. After an off the cuff comment from his accountant Leo Bloom, dollar signs go off over his head (as well as “beautiful girls wearing nothing but pearls.”) With reluctant help from Bloom, Max goes in search of the worst musical ever. Will it be a flop? It better, or they might find themselves in prison.

Who doesn’t adore the original, uproariously funny 1967 film starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder? Or the 2001 live stage version starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, which got its start in Chicago and went on to win a record 12 Tony Awards? Or the 2005 major motion picture that had audiences laughing out loud? All three were the true definition of farce: “a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations.”

Of course, nobody does comedy like Mel Brooks. And nobody does shows like the Paramount, particularly when helmed by Artistic Director Jim Corti, director of Chicago’s past three consecutive Jeff Award winners for Best Production-Musical-Large (Les Misérables, West Side Story and Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), and Best Director of two (Les Misérables and Sweeney Todd.)

“Who doesn’t love a backstage musical comedy, and nowadays we all sure could use a laugh,” said Corti. “The Producers is outrageous and over the top. No stereotype is spared!”

Audiences can expect a really big show that looks spectacular, moving from the office, to the street, to the theater, and brings the hustle and bustle of Broadway New York right to the Paramount stage. Reminder to little old ladies: The Producers is rated PG-13 for strong language, sexual humor and adult content.


Subscribe now to Paramount’s 2018-19 Broadway Series for as little as $18 per ticket

The rewards of subscribing to Paramount’s 2018-19 Broadway Series are ample – four amazing, Broadway-quality musicals at one of the most glamorous Art Deco theaters in the Midwest, all for less than the price and hassle of seeing just one show downtown.

In addition to the lowest major theater subscription prices in Illinois, exclusive benefits for Paramount Broadway subscribers are first choice of the same seats for all four shows, free ticket exchange privileges and first notice of added shows and special events, all delivered with a smile by Paramount’s Subscriber Services Staff. Broadway subscribers also receive first notice and exclusive pre-sale discounts of 10% off single tickets for Broadway performances and other select shows at the Paramount, including concerts by internationally acclaimed music artists, comedy, dance, holiday shows, movies and family presentations.

Look for an announcement of the balance of the Paramount’s 2018-19 season in the summer.






About The Paramount Theatre
The Paramount Theatre (ParamountAurora.com), 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora, is the center for performing arts, entertainment and arts education in the second largest city in Illinois.

The Paramount opened on September 3, 1931. It was designed by renowned theater architects C.W. and George L. Rapp, and is graced with a beautiful Venetian decor with a strong 1930s Art Deco influence. It also was the first air-conditioned building outside of Chicago. From silent films to the first “Talkies,” from Vaudeville to Bobby Vinton, from Dionne to Donny and Marie, the Paramount Theatre has provided Aurora and the Fox Valley the best of entertainment for generations.

In 1976, the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA) restored the Paramount to its original grandeur. The Paramount Arts Centre reopened in 1978, offering a variety of touring theatrical, musical, comedy, dance and family programming. In 2006, a 12,000-square-foot, two-story Grand Gallery lobby was added including a Grand Staircase, new box office, café and art gallery.

In 2010, ACCA hired Tim Rater as President and CEO of the Paramount Theatre. Rater’s mission was to boost the theater’s programming and audience base by transforming the Paramount into one of Chicago’s top self-producing, professional Equity musical theaters. Rater hired award-winning Chicago director Jim Corti as the Paramount’s first-ever artistic director. In 2011, the Paramount introduced its inaugural four-play Broadway Musical Series with Corti’s critically acclaimed production of My Fair Lady.

In just six blockbuster seasons since, Paramount has leapt to the top of Chicago’s musical theater scene, winning unanimous audience and critical acclaim, and an unprecedented number of Joseph Jefferson nominations and awards, including Best Musical-Large for the past three seasons.

Today, the 1,888-seat Paramount Theatre remains nationally renowned for the quality and caliber of its presentations, historic beauty and superb acoustics. More than 36,000 subscribers from throughout the city and suburbs enjoy Paramount’s Broadway-quality productions at highly affordable prices, making Paramount the third largest subscription house in the nation.

In addition to its Broadway series, Paramount continues to present an eclectic array of internationally known comedians, music stars, dance events and family shows, and on most Mondays, screens a classic movie for just $1.

The Paramount Theatre is one of three live performance venues programmed and managed by the ACCA, which also oversees the Paramount’s “sister” stage, the intimate, 173-seat Copley Theatre located directly across the street from the Paramount at
8 E. Galena Blvd., as well as RiverEdge Park, downtown Aurora’s summer outdoor concert venue at 360 N. Broadway.

Additionally, Rater and his team are preparing to open the new Paramount School of Performing Arts in the John C. Dunham Aurora Arts Center, now under construction directly adjacent to the Paramount. Registration opens in the fall for a full roster of classes, private lessons and camps in acting, music and dance to launch in early 2019. Courses for children as young as six months will be offered with opportunities for adults and seniors, as well. Paramount’s new school will encourage and train young actors, dancers and musicians for a culture-filled life, nurture the arts in Chicago’s western suburbs and add to the excitement, cultural and economic activity in downtown Aurora.

The Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Tim Rater, President and CEO, Aurora Civic Center Authority; Jim Corti, Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre; a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theater and music professionals.

For more, visit ParamountAurora.com or call (630) 896-6666.

Monday, July 31, 2017

OPENING: Million Dollar Quartet To Rock Paramount Theatre 9/13-10/29

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

GREAT BALLS OF FIRE! 
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET 
OPENS PARAMOUNT THEATRE’S 2017-18 SEASON, 
SEPT. 13–OCT. 29, 2017


Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're elated to hear that the Million Dollar Quartet will be rockin' the Paramount this fall! We reviewed this show in Chicago during their epic run of 2,500 performances, and loved it. This is a true multigenerational crowd pleaser full of instantly recognizable classics and larger than life personas. Don't miss this! 

Paramount Theatre is excited to tune up for its rollicking 2017-18 Broadway Series opener Million Dollar Quartet, the wildly popular rock and roll musical.
Travel back in time to Memphis’s Sun Records recording studio on December 4, 1956, when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins played together their first and only time and created an explosive album that has yet to be matched. Million Dollar Quartet tells that story with all the raw energy and monumental talent everyone has come to expect from these music giants.

Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti, the man responsible for the past two Jeff Award-winning Best Musicals (Large), Les Misérables and West Side Story, will stage Paramount’s rockin’ opener.

Playing the Quartet are Adam Wesley Brown as Carl Perkins, Kavan Hashemian as Elvis Presley, Gavin Rohrer as Jerry Lee Lewis and Bill Scott Sheets as Johnny Cash, with Nicholas Harazin as Sam Phillips, Zach Lentino as Brother Jay, Courtney Mack as Dyanne and Scott Simon as Fluke.

The production team is Kory Danielson, music director; Trent Stork, associate director; Ethan Deppe, associate music director; Kevin Depinet, scenic design; Sally Dolembo, costume design; Jesse Klug, lighting design; Adam Rosenthal, sound designer; Katie Cordts, wig, hair and makeup design; Amanda Relaford, properties design; Susan Gosdick, dialect coach; Maggie O’Donnell, stage manager; and Matthew McMullen, assistant stage manager. 

Don’t miss Paramount’s high-spirited, nostalgic new take on the three-time Tony Award nominated musical, featuring some of the biggest and best songs of all time like “Peace in the Valley,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk the Line,” “Hound Dog” and “Great Balls of Fire.”

Previews start September 13. Press opening is Saturday, September 16 at 8 p.m. Performances continue through October 29: Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Thursday at 7 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Single tickets are $36 to $64. Million Dollar Quartet is rated PG.

But hold on, there’s still time to include Million Dollar Quartet in Paramount’s “Buy Two Shows, Get Two Shows Free” 2017-18 Broadway subscription offer. For less than the cost of a ticket to one show downtown, patrons can see three more Broadway-quality musicals: Elf The Musical (November 22-January 7), Cabaret (February 7–March 18) and Once (April 25-June 3). Four-play packages start as low as $72. The rewards are ample – four amazing, Broadway-quality musicals, at one of the most majestic theaters in the Midwest. 

The Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora, is surrounded by affordable parking and a variety of restaurants for pre- or post-show dining. For subscriptions and single tickets, visit ParamountAurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount box office Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and two hours prior to evening performances. 


Behind the scenes: 
Paramount’s Million Dollar Quartet
There was no plan for Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins to record together on December 4, 1956. But as fate would have it, their impromptu jam session left behind a historic and mind-blowing album. The evening begins in the Sun Records recording studio in Memphis. Up and comer Jerry Lee Lewis is recording songs with rockabilly king Carl Perkins when the iconic Elvis Presley stops by with his girlfriend. The not-quite-yet-guitar-god Johnny Cash is there to pay a visit to music manager Sam Phillips. Throw them all together, and you have one of the most unexpected, unprecedented and unforgettable musical moments in history. It was the first and only time they played together and, through their musical genius, created an explosive album that has yet to be matched.   

Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux wrote the book for Million Dollar Quartet based on Mutrux’s original concept and direction. The Chicago production ran from 2008 to 2016 and became the third longest-running show in Chicago theater history. Critics called it “the most exuberant theatrical event,” “dazzling from first beat to last” and “the best live rock ‘n’ roll show I have ever seen.” 

Fast forward to the kick off of Chicago’s 2017-18 theater season, featuring Paramount’s talented lead cast for Million Dollar Quartet. Adam Wesley Brown (Jerry Lee Lewis) played Eamon in Once on Broadway, has numerous regional credits and has been seen on local stages including Lookingglass and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Kavan Hashemian (Elvis Presley) began performing his Elvis tribute at age three. Today he performs all over the world, including in London where he won the title of "The World's #1 Rock N Roll Elvis” on BBC-TV. Gavin Rohrer (Jerry Lee Lewis) is fresh from playing the role at Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma City, where Broadwayworld.com raved “his piano skills are unrivaled, and his brash certainty provides some of the funniest moments of the night.” Bill Scott Sheets (Johnny Cash) just played the “Man in Black” at Berkshire Theatre Group in Massachusetts. Berkshire Fine Arts wrote “particularly strong was Bill Sheets, whose voice and delivery were sublime.” 

"Icons Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash were southern, rockabilly country boys before they were discovered by Sam Phillips, the young, upstart record producer and owner of Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Their purely by chance meeting for the first and only time on Dec. 4, 1956, is a seminal moment in the birth of Rock ‘N’ Roll,” said Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti. 

“The show, exploring the connections of these four to their music and each other, is full of intriguing surprises and is not only a fascinating, short history but a full scale, no holds barred, in-your-face jam session of the kind of music that grabbed hold of our youth culture back then and hasn’t let go ever since,” Corti added. “From our Chicago and national talent pool, we’ve assembled a dynamite cast; you won’t believe your eyes and ears! There’ll be a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on, all live, all on the Paramount stage, all made in Aurora!”

Jim Corti (director) was hired in 2011 to be the first-ever artistic director in the Paramount’s 80+ year history. He was instrumental in launching Paramount’s inaugural Broadway Series and directed and choreographed Paramount’s first self-produced Broadway Series show My Fair Lady, which played to rave reviews. Corti’s 2013 Paramount production of Fiddler on the Roof was a smash hit, and his Miss Saigon was the only musical to make the Chicago Tribune’s Top Ten Shows of 2013. Rent in 2014 was a critical and box office success, followed by consecutive productions of The Who’s Tommy and Les Misérables, which collectively garnered five Jeff Awards for Paramount in its first year of eligibility, including Best Production – Musical - Large for Les Misérables and Best Director - Musical for Corti. He also staged Paramount’s 2015-16 opener Oklahoma! and closer West Side Story, Paramount’s second-consecutive Jeff Award winning Best Musical. Last season, Corti directed memorable productions of Mamma Mia! and Sweeney Todd. Before Paramount, Corti was a seasoned Broadway veteran, appearing in the New York casts of Ragtime, A Chorus Line and Candide and national tours of Urinetown, Cabaret and Bob Fosse’s Dancin’. Career highlights over three decades include being the only director in Chicago to have two productions at the same time in the Chicago Tribune’s list of 10 Best Shows in 2009 – Drury Lane’s Cabaret and Writers Theatre’s Oh, Coward!. He remains the sole honoree to have garnered a Jeff Award as an actor (in Marriott’s Grand Hotel), a choreographer (Drury Lane’s Singin’ in the Rain) and director (Paramount’s Les Misérables, Drury Lane’s Sweet Charity and Northlight’s Blues in the Night).

Kory Danielson (music director) is coming back for his 11th consecutive musical at the Paramount, after serving as co-music director and associate conductor with Tom Vendafreddo on Jesus Christ Superstar, and assistant music director and associate conductor for Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Mamma Mia!, West Side Story, Hairspray – The Broadway Musical, A Christmas Story - The Musical, Oklahoma!, Les Misérables and The Who's Tommy. Other Chicago credits include Assassins, The Full Monty, Loving Repeating, Heathers, Tomorrow Morning (Kokandy Productions); Passion (2014 Jeff Award for Outstanding Music Direction), Smokey Joe's Cafe (Theo Ubique); How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Porchlight Music Theatre); Hedwig, Wedding Singer (Haven Theatre); and Zanna, Don't!, Lucky Stiff, Triumph of Love (The Music Theatre Company). Danielson has also worked with Drury Lane, Broadway in Chicago, Chicago Children's Theatre, Bailiwick and Hell in a Handbag.

Paramount’s 2017-18 Broadway Series is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank and The Dunham Fund. Broadway Series Orchestra Sponsor is Rush-Copley Medical Center. Broadway Series Lighting Sponsor is ComEd. Broadway Series Costume Sponsor is Gerald Kia. Million Dollar Quartet is also sponsored by Asbury Gardens.


More about Paramount Theatre’s 2017-18 Season
In addition to Paramount’s Broadway Series, Paramount’s 2017-18 season also includes Tim Allen (August 18), 60s music favorite The Happy Together Tour (August 25), Unforgettable: Falling in Love with Nat King Cole (November 5) featuring Evan Tyrone Martin (Jesus in Paramount’s 2017 smash hit Jesus Christ Superstar), comedian and impersonator Frank Caliendo (November 10), The Second City’s Non-Denominational Christmas Show (December 1-23 in the Copley Theatre), Las Vegas’s #1 ventriloquist Terry Fator (January 20), the incredible magic of Penn & Teller (March 23), Chicago’s own Jersey boys Under the Streetlamp (March 24), country star and American Idol winner Scotty McCreery (March 25), late night comedy legend Jay Leno (April 13), Judy Garland: Come Rain or Come Shine featuring Angela Ingersoll (June 10) and the world’s #1 Bee Gees tribute band Stayin’ Alive (June 15).

For subscriptions, single tickets or more information, go to ParamountAurora.com, call
(630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora.



About the Paramount Theatre
The Paramount Theatre (ParamountAurora.com) is the center for performing arts, entertainment and arts education in Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois. Named "One of Chicago's Top 10 Attended Theatres" by the League of Chicago Theatres, the 1,888-seat Paramount, located in downtown Aurora at 23 E. Galena Blvd., is nationally renowned for the quality and caliber of its presentations, superb acoustics and historic beauty.

The Paramount opened on September 3, 1931. Designed by renowned theater architects C.W. and George L. Rapp, the theater captures a unique Venetian setting with a 1930s art deco influence. The first air-conditioned building outside of Chicago, the Paramount offered a variety of entertainment, including "talking pictures," vaudeville, concerts and circus performances for over 40 years. In 1976, the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA) purchased the Paramount, closed the theater for restoration and returned the Paramount to its original grandeur. The Paramount Arts Centre reopened in 1978, offering a variety of theatrical, musical, comedy, dance and family programming. In 2006, a 12,000-square-foot, two-story Grand Gallery lobby was added, with a new, state-of-the-art box office, café and art gallery.

Today, the Paramount self-produces its own Broadway Series, presents an eclectic array of comedy, music, dance and family shows, and on most Mondays, screens a classic movie. 

The Paramount Theatre is one of three live performance venues programmed and managed by the ACCA, which also oversees the Paramount’s “sister” stage, the intimate, 173-seat Copley Theatre located directly across the street from the Paramount at 8 E. Galena Blvd., as well as RiverEdge Park, downtown Aurora’s summer outdoor concert venue. 
                                                                             
The Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Tim Rater, President and CEO, Aurora Civic Center Authority; Jim Corti, Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre; a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theatre and music professionals. For tickets and information, go to ParamountAurora.com or call (630) 896-6666.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

OPENING: Sondheim's Sweeney Todd Begins Making Meat Pies and Music This February at Paramount Theatre in Aurora

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

PARAMOUNT TO MINE BEAUTY FROM SONDHEIM'S 
DARK TALE OF BLOODTHIRSTY BARBER SWEENEY TODD, FEBRUARY 8-MARCH 19 



Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we've always had a taste for the macabre, and dark musicals are a delightful paradox. We'll be "road tripping" a bit south west of Chicago to Aurora, IL for the press opening, so check back shortly for our full review.

Some call Sweeney Todd Stephen Sondheim's most perfect score, filled with ravishing beauty. Others describe this Victorian melodrama as a pitch-black comedy, filled with thrills and terrors. Many herald this musical about an English barber, who murders his customers with a straight razor and, with his accomplice Mrs. Lovett, processes their corpses into meat pies, one of the single greatest achievements of American theater in the last 50 years.

Some, others, many and bloody well everyone need to strap themselves in for Paramount Theatre's bold new production of Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Artistic Director Jim Corti - who staged last season's Jeff winning best musical West Side Story, winner of 2015 Jeff Awards for director and musical for Les Misérables, and the only Chicago theater artist to win Jeffs for directing, choreography and acting, will stage and choreograph Paramount's new take on Sondheim's beautiful, yet terror-filled musical. Paramount favorite Tom Vendafreddo returns for his tenth consecutive Paramount production as music director and conductor.

Previews start February 8. Press opening is Saturday, February 11 at 8 p.m.
Performances run through March 19: Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Thursday at 7 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Single tickets are $44 to $59. Sweeney Todd is rated PG-13.

The Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora, is surrounded by affordable parking and new restaurants for pre- or post-show dining. Click HERE to purchase tickets or call (630) 896-6666, or visit the Paramount box office Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and two hours prior to evening performances. 


Behind-the-scenes of Paramount's  Sweeney Todd
It's just another day in 19th Century England. Benjamin Barker has returned home. The only thing is, it's been 15 years since the once fresh-faced barber has seen his family. Barker was unjustly imprisoned on trumped up charges by the corrupt Judge Turpin, who had his leering eyes on the barber's beautiful wife. Upon his arrival to the pie shop where he and his family once lived above, Barker's old friend and confidant Mrs. Lovett unravels the events of the past decade. She explains about the seduction of his wife by the Judge, which led her to take her own life. And to sharpen the pain, she breaks the news that the Judge adopted and is raising Barker's daughter as his own. Barker vows revenge and turns to the tools with which he'll exact his plan: a razor and a barber chair. While the ensuing events are unfortunate for some, others - including Mrs. Lovett, her struggling pie shop and her customers - quickly prosper from the body count.

"Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece resonates powerfully and creepily with penny dreadful gallows humor not unlike today's political satire," said director Jim Corti. "The leads, Todd and Lovett, are examples of how ordinary humans can become monsters capable of atrocity when vengeance and survival are forced upon perfectly good, wholesome people. Poisoned and toxic, they approach us to tell their tale. It's all perfectly, grotesquely beautiful. Perfectly human."

Paul-Jorden Jansen (Sweeney Todd) 
and 
Bri Sudia (Mrs. Lovett) 

Paramount's principal cast members are Paul-Jordan Jansen as Sweeney Todd,
Bri Sudia as Mrs. Lovett, Matt Deitchman as Adolfo Pirelli, John Herrera as Judge Turpin, Cecilia Iole as Johanna, Anthony Norman as Tobias Ragg, Emily Rohm as Beggar Woman, Patrick Rooney as Anthony Hope and Craig W. Underwood as Beadle.

Ensemble members are Julie Bayer, Harter Clingman, Nathan Maurice Cooper, Evan C. Dolan, Thomas Forde, Emily Glick, Emily Goldberg, Alana Grossman, Teressa LaGamba, Harriet Nzinga Plumpp, Matthew Thomas Provencal, Rob Riddle, Dan Riley, Will Skrip, Jason Slattery and Abby Murray Vachon.

The Sweeney Todd production team includes Trent Stork, associate director; Kory Danielson, assistant music director/associate conductor; Jeff Kmiec, scenic designer; Theresa Ham, costume designer; Nick Belley and Jesse Klug, co-lighting designers; Adam Rosenthal, sound designer; Ethan Deppe, electronic music designer; Katie Cordts, wig, hair and make-up designer; Amanda Relaford, properties designer; Patrick Ham, special effects designer; Ryan Bourque, fight choreographer; Jinni Pike, stage manager; and Nora Mally, assistant stage manager. 

Sweeney Todd is a fictional character who first appeared as the villain of the Victorian penny dreadful "The String of Pearls" (1846-47). Claims that Sweeney Todd was a historical person are strongly disputed by scholars, although his tale became a staple of London urban legend. 

His story has been retold many times since, including in Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler, Sweeney Todd has been nominated for Tony Awards in three different decades. The original 1979 production received nine Tony nominations and brought home eight including best musical, score and book. A 1990 remount saw four more Tony nominations. Tim Burton directed Johnny Depp in the lead role in the acclaimed 2007 musical fantasy horror film. Back on Broadway, a 2016 New York revival landed six more Tony nods. Popular musical numbers include "A Little Priest," "My Friends," "Epiphany," "Worst Pies in London" and "Pretty Women."
                                                                       
Jim Corti (director) was hired in 2011 to be the first-ever artistic director in the Paramount's 80+ year history. He was instrumental in launching Paramount's inaugural Broadway Series and directed and choreographed Paramount's first self-produced Broadway Series show My Fair Lady, which played to rave reviews. Corti's 2013 Paramount production of Fiddler on the Roof was a smash hit, and his Miss Saigon was the only musical to make the Chicago Tribune's Top Ten Shows of 2013. RENT in 2014 was a critical and box office success, followed by consecutive productions of The Who's Tommy and Les Misérables ,  which collectively garnered five Jeff Awards for Paramount in its first year of eligibility, including Best Production - Musical - Large for Les Misérables and Best Director - Musical for Corti. He also staged Paramount's 2015-16 opener Oklahoma! and closer West Side Story, Paramount's second-consecutive Jeff Award winning Best Musical. Earlier this season Corti directed Mamma Mia!. Before Paramount, Corti was a seasoned Broadway veteran, appearing in the New York casts of Ragtime, A Chorus Line and Candide and national tours of Urinetown, Cabaret and Bob Fosse's Dancin'. Career highlights over three decades include being the only director in Chicago to have two productions at the same time in the Chicago Tribune's list of 10 Best Shows in 2009 - Drury Lane's Cabaret and Writers Theatre's Oh, Coward!. He remains the sole honoree to have garnered a Jeff Award as an actor (in Marriott's Grand Hotel), a choreographer (Drury Lane's Singin' in the Rain) and director (Paramount's Les Misérables, Drury Lane's Sweet Charity and Northlight's Blues in the Night).

Tom Vendafreddo (music director and conductor) is helming his tenth consecutive musical at Paramount, preceded by In the Heights, Mary Poppins, The Who's Tommy, Les Misérables (Jeff Nomination, Music Direction), Oklahoma! (Jeff Nomination, Music Direction)A Christmas Story - The Musical (Jeff Nomination, Music Direction), Hairspray - The Broadway Musical, West Side Story (Jeff Nomination, Music Direction), Mamma Mia! and Disney's The Little Mermaid. Other credits include Company and Sweet Charity (Writers Theatre); On the Town and Godspell (Marriott Lincolnshire); Road Show and Shrek: The Musical (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); The Spitfire Grill (BoHo Theatre - Jeff Nomination for Music Direction); and Pump Boys and Dinettes (Metropolis Performing Arts Center). Regional credits include RENT (San Diego Musical Theatre), Odyssey (Old Globe Theatre), Forever Plaid (Chestnut Fine Arts) and It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play (Cygnet Theatre). As a cabaret artist, he has performed in Chicago, New York, San Diego and Melbourne. In 2014, he became the Founding Artistic Director of the Chicago Artists Chorale, a choral ensemble of working professionals in the Chicago theatre community. He received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Music Education from Eastman School of Music and a Master of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University. tomvendafreddo.com

Paramount's 2016-17 Broadway Series is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank and The Dunham Fund. Broadway Series Orchestra Sponsor is Rush-Copley Medical Center. Broadway Series Lighting Sponsor is ComEd. Broadway Series Costume Sponsor is Gerald Kia.


More about Paramount's 2016-17 Season
 Paramount's 2016-17 season line-up is anchored by its acclaimed Broadway musical series. Following Sweeney Todd is Jesus Christ Superstar, Apr. 19-May 28, 2017. 

In addition, Paramount's 2016-17 season also includes Defending the Caveman (Jan. 20), God Save The Queen (Jan. 21), Home Free (Mar. 24), Madeleine Peyroux and Rickie Lee Jones (Mar. 25), Golden Dragon Acrobats (Mar. 26), Riverdance: 20 Years (Mar. 31-Apr. 2, five shows), Piano Men: A Tribute to Elton John and Billy Joel (Jun. 10, two shows) and Barbra and Frank: The Concert That Never Was... (Jun. 11).

Back in 2016-17 is Paramount's popular Classic Movie Monday series, presenting everyone's favorite flicks in one of Chicago's top former movie palaces on a two-story screen, for just $1. Paramount also serves the community with low-cost children's shows designed to entertain while they educate: Miss Nelson is Missing (Mar. 22) and Laura Ingalls Wilder (Mar. 23). 

For subscriptions, single tickets or more information, go to ParamountAurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora.


About The Paramount Theatre 

Inside the historic Paramount Theatre

The Paramount Theatre (ParamountAurora.com) is the center for performing arts, entertainment and arts education in Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois. Named "One of Chicago's Top 10 Attended Theatres" by the League of Chicago Theatres, the 1,888-seat Paramount, located in downtown Aurora at 
23 E. Galena Blvd., is nationally recognized for the quality and caliber of its presentations, superb acoustics and historic beauty.   

The Paramount opened on September 3, 1931. Designed by renowned theater architects C.W. and George L. Rapp, the theater captures a unique Venetian setting portrayed in the art deco influence of the 1930s. The first air-conditioned building outside of Chicago, the Paramount offered the public a variety of entertainment, including "talking pictures," vaudeville, concerts and circus performances for more than 40 years. 

In 1976, Aurora Civic Center Authority purchased the Paramount and closed the theater for restoration. The $1.5 million project restored the Paramount to its original grandeur. On April 29, 1978, the Paramount Arts Center opened, offering a variety of theatrical, musical, comedy, dance and family programming. In 2006, a 12,000-square-foot, two-story Grand Gallery lobby was added, with a new, state-of-the-art box office, café and art gallery.

Today, the Paramount self-produces its own Broadway Musical Series, presents an eclectic array of comedy, music, dance and family shows, and on most Mondays, screens a classic movie.

The Paramount Theatre is one of three live performance venues programmed and managed by the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA). ACCA also oversees the Paramount's "sister" stage, the intimate, 173-seat Copley Theatre located directly across the street from the Paramount at 8 E. Galena Blvd., as well as RiverEdge Park, downtown Aurora's summer outdoor concert venue.

The Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Tim Rater, President and CEO, Aurora Civic Center Authority; Jim Corti, Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre; a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theater and music professionals. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

PARAMOUNT THEATRE NOMINATED FOR 14 JEFF AWARDS

PARAMOUNT THEATRE LEADS 2015-16 
JEFF AWARDS  RACE WITH 14 NOMINATIONS, MORE THAN ANY OTHER CHICAGO THEATRE







Here at ChiIL Live Shows we've been hearing rumors of Paramount Theatre's high caliber productions for years. Now the Jeff Awards judges have made it official, granting the Aurora based venue more nominations for the 2015-16 season than any other theatre in the region. Here's a recap of the shows that are up for Jeff Awards this October and a look at great things to come in Paramount's 2016-17 Broadway Series.

Oh what a beautiful day it is at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Aurora!

Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Committee just announced the 2015-16 Equity Jeff Award nominees, and the Paramount is thrilled to share that its Broadway musical series productions earned 14 nominations - more than any other Chicago theater - for outstanding performance, direction and/or design in Chicago theatre last season.

Additionally, all four of its 2015-16 Broadway Series productions - OKLAHOMA!
A Christmas Story - The Musical, Hairspray - The Broadway Musical and West Side Story - were nominated.

Here's the list:

West Side Story - seven nominations 

Production - Musical - Large
Director - Musical - Jim Corti
Actress in a Supporting Role - Musical - Mary Antonini (Anita)
Choreography - William Carlos Angulo
Music Direction - Tom Vendafreddo
Scenic Design - Kevin Depinet
Lighting Design - Jesse Klug


The Sharks vs. The Jets in Paramount's West Side Story


OKLAHOMA! - four nominations  

Production - Musical - Large
Actor in a Principal Role - Colte Julian (Curly)
Choreography - Katie Spelman
Music Direction - Tom Vendafreddo

 

Colte Julian as Curly and Allison Sill as Laurey in Paramount's OKLAHOMA!



Hairspray - The Broadway Musical - two nominations

Actress in a Supporting Role - Musical - E. Faye Butler (Motormouth Maybelle)
Costume Design - Large - Theresa Ham


(center trio, from left: Amelia Jo Parrish (pink dress) as Tracy Turnbald, E. Faye Bulter as Motormouth Maybelle and Landree Fleming (green dress) as Penny Pingleton in Paramount's Hairpray - The Broadway Musical



A Christmas Story - The Musical - one nomination

Music Direction - Tom Vendafreddo


Michael Harp as Ralphie in Paramount's A Christmas Story - The Musical


"We couldn't be more thrilled for this much-appreciated recognition from the 
Jeff Committee for Paramount's Broadway team and every theater artist who worked on last season's productions," said Paramount President and CEO Tim Rater. 

"We weren't joking when we launched the Broadway series five years ago with a goal of producing the very best musicals in the entire Chicago area. Judging from the Jeff Committee's response to our work for two consecutive seasons, I'm happy to say we are attaining that goal."

"I'm very grateful to the hard working Jeff Committee, Chicago theater lovers all! As always, I'm also very happy for the creative and technical teams, on stage and behind the scenes, for this recognition," said Artistic Director Jim Corti. 

Last season, Corti won the Jeff Award for Best Director/Musical (Large) for his 2015 staging of Les Misérables, which also won Best Musical - two of five top Jeff Awards from an unprecedented 16 nominations in 2014-15, the Paramount's first year of eligibility.

Mark your calendars: the 2015-16 Jeff Award winners will be announced 
October 17, 2016. 
To see the full list of nominees, visit jeffawards.org.


More about Paramount's 2016-17 Broadway Series
Looking ahead to more award-winning, Broadway caliber productions, Paramount's 2016-17 Broadway season includes Mamma Mia! (Sept. 7-Oct. 30, 2016), Disney's The Little Mermaid (Nov. 23, 2016-Jan. 8, 2017), Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Feb. 8-Mar. 19, 2017) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Apr. 19-May 28, 2017).

Paramount anticipates more than 30,000 subscribers will take advantage of Paramount's now-familiar Buy Two, Get Two offer, or four musicals for no more than $29.50 per show.

The rewards are ample - four amazing, Broadway-quality, award-winning classic American musicals at one of the most majestic theaters in the Midwest, all for the price of one show downtown. 

To purchase subscriptions or single tickets, visit ParamountAurora.com, call 
(630) 896-6666 or visit the Paramount Theatre box office, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in the heart of downtown Aurora.

Paramount's 2016-17 Broadway Series is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, The Dunham Fund, Rush-Copley Medical Center, Gerald Kia and ComEd.


About The Paramount Theatre 
The Paramount Theatre (ParamountAurora.com) is the center for performing arts, entertainment and arts education in Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois. Named "One of Chicago's Top 10 Attended Theatres" by the League of Chicago Theatres, the 1,888-seat Paramount, located in downtown Aurora at 23 E. Galena Blvd., is nationally recognized for the quality and caliber of its presentations, superb acoustics and historic beauty.   

The Paramount self-produces its own Broadway Musical Series, presents an eclectic array of comedy, music, dance and family shows, and on most Mondays, screens a classic movie.

The Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Tim Rater, President and CEO, Aurora Civic Center Authority; Jim Corti, Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre; a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theater and music professionals. 

For tickets and information, go to ParamountAurora.com or call 
(630) 896-6666.




Inside the historic Paramount Theatre

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