Showing posts with label Paramount's BOLD series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paramount's BOLD series. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Paramount’s BOLD Series Presents A Streetcar Named Desire March 13-April 21, 2024

ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar
Paramount’s BOLD Series revival of 
A Streetcar Named Desire 
March 13-April 21, 2024
Paramount’s BOLD Series production of A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by (top, 
from left) Jim Corti and Elizabeth Swanson, features (bottom, from left) Amanda Drinkall as Blanche DuBois, Casey Hoekstra as Stanley Kowalski and Alina Taber as Stella Kowalski.

New Orleans. The heat is sweltering, the liquor flows, and the secrets are thick as humidity. To your left is Stanley, hard drinking, hard playing, and hard fists that get used a lot. On your right is Stella, who would do anything for her husband. And there, right in front of you, is Blanche, vulnerable, alone and ready to break. 

Tennessee Williams’s 1947 drama A Streetcar Named Desire is forever seared into the collective memory of American society. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, A Streetcar Named Desire is one of the most critically acclaimed plays of the 20th century and Williams's most popular work.

This spring, jump aboard Paramount’s Streetcar, the finale of the theater’s second BOLD Series for audiences who crave intimate, honest, fervent and emotionally intoxicating theater experiences. 

Artistic Director Jim Corti and Elizabeth Swanson are teaming up to direct Paramount’s revival, with a cast led by Chicago A-listers Amanda Drinkall as Blanche, Casey Hoekstra as Stanley and Alina Taber as Stella.

With a set by Angela Weber Miller and costumes by Mara Blumenfeld, just two members of a stellar design team, Paramount’s Copley stage will be transformed into a shabby New Orleans apartment, hot and sticky with desire, where morality melts away.

A Streetcar Named Desire pulls into Paramount’s Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora, March 13-April 21, 2024. Press openings are Wednesday and Thursday, March 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. Single tickets, $40-$55, are on sale now. 

Visit for tickets and information, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount box office, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Monday–Saturday, 
10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and until show time on show days.

Paramount’s A Streetcar Named Desire: A look under the hood

A Streetcar Named Desire famously recounts how the faded and promiscuous Blanche DuBois is pushed over the edge by her handsome, toxic brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. This classic American drama confronts audiences with the tenuous relationship between reality and illusion, hope and despair and the brutal battle for beauty and tenderness when the world feels like it’s conspiring against you.

A Streetcar Named Desire is Tennessee Williams's most popular work and one of the most critically acclaimed plays of the 20th century. It was first performed on Broadway on December 3, 1947, produced by Irene Mayer Selznick and directed by Elia Kazan. Selznick originally wanted to cast Margaret Sullavan and John Garfield, but settled on the less well-known Jessica Tandy as Blanche and a virtual unknown at the time, Marlon Brando, as Stanley. The opening night cast also included Kim Hunter as Stella and Karl Malden as Mitch.

Immortalized on film in 1951, Streetcar launched Marlon Brando’s film career, and remains one of Vivien Leigh’s most indelible performances, as Blanche. It also solidified the position of Tennessee Williams as one of the most important young writers of his generation, as well as that of Elia Kazan as the greatest American directors of the 1940s and ’50s.
Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando in a press photo
for the 1951 film, A Streetcar Named Desire.

Paramount’s cast for A Streetcar Named Desire (at press time) includes Amanda Drinkall as Blanche DuBois, Casey Hoekstra as Stanley Kowalski, Alina Taber as Stella Kowalski, Ben Page as Mitch Mitchell, Joshua L. Green as Steve Hubbell, Andrea Uppling as Eunice Hubbell, Roberto Antonio Mantica as Pablo Gonzales and Desiree Gonzalez as Nurse. External understudy is Gabriel Fries.

All three leads are making their Paramount debuts: Amanda Drinkall (Blanche) is truly one of Chicago’s leading ladies, with credits including Venus in Furand A Cherry Orchard at Goodman, Mary Page Marlowe at Steppenwolf, King Charles III at Chicago Shakespeare and Last Train to Nibroc at Haven (Jeff Award, Best Actress). Casey Hoekstra (Stanley) has credits at Chicago Shakespeare, Guthrie Theater, Northlight Theatre, Writers Theatre, American Players Theater, and recently appeared in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Milwaukee’s Chamber Theater. Alina Taber (Stella), best known as Lexi Olinsky for four seasons on NBC’s Chicago P.D., played Rizzo in Grease at Drury Lane Theatre and performed in Marriott’s Beautiful: The Carol King Musical

Amanda Drinkall (from left) plays Stella, Casey Hoekstra is Stanley, and Alina Taber plays Stella in Paramount's BOLD Series production, A Streetcar Named Desire.

Paramount’s design team includes Jim Corti and Elizabeth Swanson, directors; Angela Weber Miller, scenic designer; Mara Blumenfeld, costume designer; Cat Wilson, lighting designer; Forrest Gregor, sound designerKevin O’Donnell, composer and audio associate; Aimee Plant, properties designer; Susan Gosdick, dialect coach; Erin Nicole Eggers, stage manager; and Emma Franklin, assistant stage manager.

Jim Corti (Paramount Artistic Director, director) inaugurated Paramount’s Broadway Series with President and CEO Tim Rater in fall 2011 with the critically acclaimed My Fair Lady and a subscriber base of 12,500 patrons. In 2015, Paramount’s Broadway Series became Jeff Award eligible. Since then, Paramount has garnered 115 nominations with 29 wins, including three consecutive Best Large Musical awards for Les MisérablesWest Side Storyand Sweeney Todd. Corti helmed all three, and won Best Director for two of them, Les Misérables and Sweeney Todd. Corti also directed Paramount’s Fiddler on the RoofMiss SaigonRENTThe Who’s TommyOklahoma!Mamma Mia!, Million Dollar QuartetOnce, The ProducersNewsiesGroundhog Day: The MusicalNext to Normal, and co-directed Into the Woods and Fun Home. A Broadway veteran, he appeared in the original New York casts of Ragtime and Candide, joined the long running A Chorus Line, and toured nationally in UrinetownCabaret and Bob Fosse’s Dancin’. Other highlights include being the only director to have two productions in the same year in the Chicago Tribune’s 2009 list of 10 Best Shows for Drury Lane’s Cabaret and Writers Theatre’s Oh, Coward! He remains the sole honoree to have won Jeff Awards as an actor (Marriott’s Grand Hotel), choreographer (Drury Lane’s Singin’ in the Rain) and director (Paramount’s Sweeney Toddand Les Misérables, Drury Lane’s Sweet Charity and Northlight’s Blues in the Night).

Elizabeth Swanson (director) is a Chicago-based director dedicated to complicating, questioning and celebrating new and classic works. Recent projects include: Emma Donoghue’s I Know My Own Heart (North American premiere, Pride Arts Center), Cabaret (Columbia College Chicago) and the sold-out, critically acclaimed Head Over Heels (Kokandy Productions, Jeff directing nomination). Swanson recently served as Artistic Director of BoHo Theatre, programming and producing the company’s 19th successful season, including tick, tick…BOOM! (dir. Bo Frazier), REMOTE (dir. Ruben Carrazana), and the world premiere of Valen-Marie Santos’s National Merit (dir. Enrico Spada). Swanson currently teaches at Columbia College Chicago, and is developing Saint Hildegard, a new musical. Previous credits include Where All the White Sneakers At? (Second City, director), Fun Home (Victory Gardens, assistant director, dir. Gary Griffin) and Love’s Labor’s Lost (Chicago Shakespeare Theater, assistant director, dir. Marti Maraden). Swanson studied history and theater at Princeton University and received their MFA in directing from the Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College, Dublin.

Tennessee Williams was one of the preeminent American dramatists of the 20th century. His major plays include The Glass Menagerie (New York Drama Critics' Circle Award), A Streetcar Named Desire (Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics' Circle Award), Summer and SmokeThe Rose Tattoo(Tony Award), Camino RealCat on a Hot Tin Roof (Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award), Orpheus DescendingSuddenly, Last SummerSweet Bird of YouthThe Night of the Iguana (Tony Award), The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore and Vieux Carre. Born Thomas Lanier Williams in 1911 to a shoe salesman and a southern belle, Williams grew up in Mississippi and later St. Louis, Missouri. He attended university in Missouri and became interested in theater, adopting the name Tennessee. Williams died in 1983 at the age of 71.

Performance schedule

A Streetcar Named Desire starts previews on Wednesday, March 13, with two Pay-What-You-Can Previews, Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m. Opening Nights are Wednesday and Thursday, March 20 and 21 at 7 p.m. Performances run through April 21: Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Thursdays at 7 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 
8 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Note: A Streetcar Named Desireincludes mature language, domestic violence, alcohol abuse and mental health topics.

Access Services

Paramount will offer an American Sign Language interpreted performance on Friday, April 19 at 8 p.m. 

Paramount offers assistive listening devices free of charge at all performances. Check in at the box office before the show to borrow a listening device.

If you require wheelchair or special seating or other assistance, please contact the box office at (630) 896-6666 or in advance.


Paramount’s 2023-24 BOLD Series is sponsored by Old National Bank. 

Also playing at Paramount: Billy Elliot and Beautiful

Right across the street from the Copley, Paramount Theatre’s 12th Broadway Series continues this spring with:

Billy Elliot: The Musical
February 7-March 24, 2024
Opening Night: Friday, February 16, at 8 p.m.
Directed by Trent Stork
Book and Lyrics by Lee Hall
Music by Elton John
Originally directed by Stephen Daldry
Orchestrations by Martin Koch
Nominated for 15 Tony Awards with 10 wins, including Best Musical

The music of Elton John brings to life the story of Billy Elliot, an 11-year-old English boy who stumbles upon a ballet class during his weekly boxing lesson. His surprise love for dance must be hidden at all costs, especially from his coal miner father. With help from his sharp-tongued teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson, Billygets the chance to attend a prestigious ballet school and must decide what is most important: doing what he loves or doing what other people want. 

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
April 24-June 16, 2024
Opening Night: Friday, May 3, at 8 p.m. 
Directed by Jim Corti and Johanna McKenzie Miller
Book by Douglas McGrath
Words and Music by Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil
Orchestrations, vocal and incidental music arrangements by Steve Sidewall
Nominated for seven Tony Awards, with two wins, plus a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album

Carole King made more than beautiful music. She wrote the soundtrack to a generation with songs including “You’ve Got a Friend,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “It’s Too Late,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “So Far Away.”
Before she was the Carole King we know today, she was a young songwriter from Brooklyn trying to make a name for herself. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical tells the inspiring true story of her remarkable rise to stardom with her husband and songwriting partner, Gerry Goffin, and how she went on to become one of the most successful singers, songwriters and musicians in contemporary music history. 

For tickets and information, visit, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount Theatre box office, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and until show time on show days. 

About Paramount Theatre

Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., is the center for performing arts in Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois. The beautiful, 1,843-seat theater, graced with a strong 1930s Art Deco influence and original Venetian décor, nationally known for its high-quality productions, superb acoustics and historic grandeur, has been downtown Aurora’s anchor attraction since 1931.

Since launching its own Broadway Series in 2011, Paramount has amassed more than 37,000 subscribers, making it the largest subscription house in the U.S. 

For over 50 years, the Joseph Jefferson Awards has recognized excellence in Chicago area theater. Paramount has been honored to earn 115 Jeff nominations and 29 wins over the last 12 years, including six Jeff Awards in 2022 for Kinky Boots, including Best Musical-Large, Paramount’s fourth win in that category following Sweeney Todd (2017), West Side Story (2016) and Les Misérables (2015). 

Paramount Theatre is one of four live performance venues programmed and managed by the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA). Paramount’s “sister stage” is the newly renovated, 165-seat Copley Theatre, home to Paramount’s BOLD Series, across the street in North Island Center. ACCA also programs and manages RiverEdge Park, a 6,000-seat outdoor summer concert venue in downtown Aurora, Stolp Island Theatre, an immersive space opening on the Fox River riverwalk in 2024, and the Paramount School of the Arts.

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 the latest updates, visit or follow @paramountaurora on Facebook and Instagram, and Paramount Theatre on LinkedIn.      

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