Electric night last night! The fresh, renovated Copley Theatre was officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony led by President & CEO, Tim Rater, Chief Management Officer for the City of Aurora, Alex Alexandrou, and the Chair of the Board of the Aurora Civic Center Authority and Paramount Theatre, Jonathan Hylton, joined by our ACCA Board right up there on the new set for Sweat, the opener for Season 1 of the BOLD Series!! The occasion was lit up as well by the big reveal announcing Paramount’s Season No. 11: the second decade of the Broadway Series begins here!
Aug. 31, 2022 – Oct. 16, 2022
Dreamgirls premiered on Broadway in December of 1981, won 6 Tony Awards and the 1983 Grammy Award for Best Cast Show Album. The score and performances of this show are legendary, Jennifer Holliday’s Tony winning star turn leading them. It became a film directed by Ron Marshall in 2006 and won an Academy Award for Jennifer Hudson and as well starred Beyonce, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy. That’s some heavy hitters! That’s how good this particular backstage show business story is! With music by Henry Krieger and book and lyrics by Tom Eyen, this hit show follows the story of the meteoric rise of a Chicago R&B girl group based on the success of such Motown singing acts as The Marvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, and The Supremes. With the ins and outs of making music with friends as family and the ups and downs in the game of love, it’s a powerful story of women and sisterhood gaining on the road to superstardom in the 1960’s. Chicago native Christopher Betts helms this production making his Paramount debut directly from the Yale School of Drama and New York’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Nov. 9, 2022 – Jan. 8. 2023
It’s 1938, a nun-in-training is sent for by Captain George Von Trapp, an officer of the Austro-Hungarian Navy and a widower in need of a governess for his seven children. Enter: Maria Ranier filling their lives with love and music and a life ahead none of them ever imagined could be possible. Our magnificent Paramount Orchestra will fill the theater with the beloved songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ever-enduring score from the peak of the Golden Age of Broadway. Dominating the 1960 Tony Awards with five wins including Best Musical, it was produced in 1965 as a major motion picture directed by Robert Wise, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer scoring five Oscars including Best Picture with a soundtrack that sold over 20 million copies. Chillingly, the Third Reich march into Austria creates a dramatic backdrop to this story of how fate brought together the legendary Trapp Family Singers. And all of this is in the hands of Director Amber Mak returning from her Paramount successes having directed Hairspray, The Little Mermaid, The Wizard of Oz, and Beauty and the Beast – it’s guaranteed to be another Broadway Series musical theatre spectacular! Come join us around the holiday tree in the Grand Gallery which has become a theatre-going tradition for everyone here in Aurora’s downtown.
Feb. 1, 2023 – March 19, 2023
Stephen Sondheim’s gorgeous musical tapestry of interwoven fairy tales premiered on Broadway in 1987 and won Tonys for Best Score and Best Book, directed by James Lapine and starring none other than Bernadette Peters (who has graced our stage in concert on occasion)! The 2014 film adaptation directed by Rob Marshall starred Meryl Streep grossing over $213 million worldwide. The reach of a work of art can be vast. Where the familiar classics Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel begin, we are taken on a wild ride of storytelling by turns comic and poignant lead by the introduction of a baker and his wife prevailing over a witch’s curse cast upon them to be childless. Through the genius of Sondheim’s music and lyrics and Lapine’s book, there are revelations on the making of a wish and never considering the consequences should it be fulfilled. Can we come “out of the woods” of loss and abandonment stronger and mature? The relationship of parents and children and an individual’s responsibility to community are going to be set here in a lush and lavish theatrical environment, rapturously orchestrated to be an adventure you will never forget.
April 12 – May 28, 2023
School of Rock with music by Andrew Lloyd Weber? What? Well, think for a minute about Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar – Sir Andrew has chops and range! Forget Phantom of the Opera this is headbanging rock played by the most precocious child prodigy virtuosos you have ever seen or heard! This show made it’s Broadway debut in 2015 before it debuted on London’s West End the following year and is based on the 2003 movie that opened at #1 and became the highest grossing music themed comedy of all time. Jack Black starred playing guitarist Dewey Finn, who’s over-the-top onstage antics get him kicked out of his band. Flat broke, he scams his way into a substitute teaching job and discovers the musical genius of these fifth-graders and coaches them to enter the “Battle of the Bands.” The plans for this production have just begun and it’s absolutely stupefying to me how we are going to find these kids! But the search is on and I know with Trent Stork here being Paramount’s Casting Director for the past several years now and directing this show, (and remember Legally Blonde and this season’s opening smash Kinky Boots?) we’re in good hands for it to be the Ultimate Feel Good Finale to Season 11!
And this morning from Kevin Berls, Director of Audience Services:
Renewals for the 2022-2023 Broadway Season begin today! Already today, we have successfully renewed over 800 patrons for the upcoming season – a promising start to the day.
Current Broadway Subscribers will have until May 29 to renew their subscriptions and can easily renew a few different ways – calling the box office: (630) 896-6666, online by signing into their account at paramountaurora.com, in person at the Paramount Box Office: 23 East Galena Blvd, Aurora, IL 60506 or by mailing in their renewal form that they will receive this week.
Anybody that is not a current subscriber can also pre-order a subscription now through May 29. The benefit of pre-ordering is that patrons will get the best seats in the house before tickets go on sale to the general public later this summer.
The subscription brochure is now live and can be found here.
Dear reader, the excitement doesn’t end here! Tonight is Final Dress Rehearsal for Sweat and tomorrow previews begin! Sitting in on a few rehearsals, I can tell you, Director Andrea J Dymond and this cast aren’t pulling any punches. Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer winning play is a knock out, timely, heartfelt, devastating. Everyone at last night’s event commented on the set by Scenic Designer Jeff Kmiec. They know this bar. Wait until they meet these people.
Love & thanks,