(NEWS RELEASE) — For two consecutive seasons, the Paramount Theatre in downtown Aurora has wowed critics, audiences and skeptics alike with its bold new Broadway musical subscription series.
Today, the Paramount announced the four exciting shows on tap for 2013-14, the theater’s third spectacular Broadway season: In the Heights (September 11-October 6, 2013); Miss Saigon (October 30-November 24, 2013); 42nd Street (January 15-February 9, 2014); and RENT (March 12-April 6, 2014).
Just two years ago, Paramount turned heads all over Chicagoland when over 12,000 subscribers signed up for its inaugural Broadway season. This season, subscriptions have leapt to nearly 20,000, and audiences have been justly rewarded with spectacular, back-to-back hit productions of Grease, Annie, The Music Man and the recently-opened season finale, Fiddler on the Roof.
In year three, Paramount will extend the run of each musical production from three weeks to four to accommodate clear demand for affordable, Broadway-caliber productions conveniently located in downtown Aurora’s beautiful and historic Paramount Theatre. As before, top theater artists from Chicago and all over the country will be tapped to reward Paramount audiences with breathtaking musical theater productions.
At the directorial helm will be a rotation of two of Chicago’s most respected musical theater professionals – Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti, the only person to win a Jeff Award for directing, choreography and acting, and Rachel Rockwell, named “Best Director” by Chicago Magazine in 2010, and most recently, right on the heels of her “Better than Broadway” production Annie last holiday season at the Paramount, “2012 Chicagoan of the Year-Theater” by the Chicago Tribune. Rockwell will stage season opener In the Heights and 42nd Street in January. Corti will direct Miss Saigon and the season finale, RENT.
“Audiences have come out in record-setting numbers to experience our Broadway productions. Critics are calling our shows some of the best musical theater being done in Chicago,” said Paramount President and CEO Tim Rater. “Yet our goal next season remains the same, to produce big, beautiful Broadway musicals with our own Paramount take. We’re also offering what we feel is the best priced subscription package in the state, and it’s the exact same deal as when we debuted the Broadway Series two years ago: Buy two shows, get two shows free.”
With Paramount’s four-play Broadway packages starting as low as $73.80, musical theater fans can enjoy four incredible musicals for the price of just one show downtown. While prices will be low, production values at the Paramount will be high. According to Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti, “Every show in Season Three won the Tony Award for Best Musical and represents an astonishing array of musical theater at its finest. From the Golden Age of Broadway to some of the most popular composers in recent years, these soaring scores will stir your hearts and bring to our audiences a Paramount experience they will never forget.”
Current Paramount subscribers can take advantage of their exclusive opportunity to renew their series starting at 10 am on Monday, April 15, through May 11. New subscriptions are set to go on sale on Monday, June 3. Renewals and new subscriptions can be booked online at ParamountAurora.com, by calling 630.896.6666 or by visiting the Paramount box office, 23 E. Galena Boulevard in downtown Aurora.
More about the Paramount’s 2013-2014 Broadway Series:
The professional Chicago debut of In the Heights
Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Directed by Rachel Rockwell
September 11-October 6, 2013
Press opening: Saturday, September 14 at 8 pm
Paramount’s first professional area staging of one of Broadway’s most acclaimed contemporary musicals will be the show all of Chicago will be talking about this fall.
Nominated in 2008 for 13 Tony Awards, taking home four including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestration, In the Heights follows three days in the lives of residents living on 183rd Street in New York’s Washington Heights. A largely Hispanic neighborhood, family bonds are strong; neighborhood ties are equally as binding; but change is in the air that will impact everyone. It’s a story of dreams and sacrifices, loyalties and love, all taking place in one city block surrounded by millions. The pure energy of Washington Heights pulses with the poetry of rap, soaring ballads and powerful Latin-inspired grooves resulting in one of the most original scores to hit Broadway in years. In a community on the brink of change, full of hopes and dreams, the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you and which you leave In the Heights.
Rachel Rockwell, who staged Paramount’s wildly acclaimed productions of Hair, Annie and The Music Man, and was subsequently named “2012 Chicagoan of the Year in Theatre” by the Chicago Tribune, returns to direct her fourth production at the Paramount, In the Heights.
Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg
Lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and Alain Boublil
Directed by Jim Corti, Paramount Artistic Director
October 30-November 24, 2013
Rated PG-13 for adult themes and language.
Press opening: Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 8 pm
From the creators of Les Miserables comes one of the most epic stage productions of modern theater. Miss Saigon is the riveting story of an American solider that has fallen in love with a Vietnamese bargirl as the fall of Saigon is looming. Following a quick wedding and an evening of passion, the GI is forced to evacuate, pledging to return for his new bride. Years later, he learns his love escaped the country with their son he never knew…beginning a quest that will change everyone.
An emotionally-charged production, Miss Saigon is an experience filled with brilliant imagery, rich unforgettable orchestrations and lyrics, and a story that will pierce your being. Love, loss and the ultimate sacrifice…be a part of Paramount’s remarkable production.
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble
Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes
Original Direction and Dances by Gower Champion
Directed by Rachel Rockwell
January 15-February 9, 2014
Press opening: Saturday, January 18 at 8 pm
It’s the classic story of Broadway. Peggy, the small town girl, leaves the sanctity of family to pursue her dreams in New York. While keeping the big city wolves at bay, she befriends the working class of the theater world – the chorus – and lands a part on the line in the newest play Pretty Lady. But Broadway is full of heroes and villains on-and-off the stage, and Peggy encounters them all on her way to eventual stardom.
Filled with the biggest show-stopping tap numbers on Broadway, 42nd Street is a true spectacle with its gorgeous 1930s costumes, beautiful sets and hit-after-hit including “We’re in the Money, “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo,” and of course the title number “42nd Street,” all performed by the Paramount’s full orchestra.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Musical Arrangements by Steve Skinner
Original Concept/Lyrics by Billy Aronson
Directed by Jim Corti, Paramount Artistic Director
March 12-April 6, 2014
Rated R: Includes strong adult language and themes. Not recommended for those under 17.
Press opening: Saturday, March 15 at 8 pm
Possibly no other musical in recent Broadway history received such anticipation for its opening or such immediate stardom after its very first performance than RENT. Rolling Stone, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and even the front cover of Newsweek all heralded RENT as THE modern musical of our time. It went on to win four Tony Awards, including Best Musical and a Pulitzer Prize.
Based on the experiences of creator Jonathan Larson – and loosely based on the opera La Boheme – RENT immerses audiences in the lives of eight young artists and musicians living in the Lower East Side of the Bohemian Alphabet City. From a poet and a musician to a lawyer and a drag queen, their lives are intertwined as they fight to survive in the Big Apple and, in some cases, fight for their mortality from HIV. In the end, it’s friendship, love and the ability to maintain their individuality that keeps these souls together.
The music is a myriad of styles from rock and funk to gospel and heart-aching ballads. The stage is filled with extraordinary dance numbers celebrating life and mourning mistakes. And when the curtain goes down, RENT will revitalize your soul.
In addition to the lowest major theater subscription prices anywhere in Illinois, exclusive benefits for Paramount Broadway subscribers have never been better. Only Broadway series subscribers are given first choice of the same seats for all four shows, ticket exchange privileges, exclusive invitations to behind-the-scenes events, and first notice of added shows and special events.
Broadway subscribers also receive first notice and exclusive pre-sale discounts from 5% to 15% off single tickets for all other performances presented at the Paramount in 2013-2014, including major concerts by nationally acclaimed music artists, comedy, dance, holiday shows, movies, and family presentations. Look for an announcement of the balance of the Paramount’s 2013-2014 season in May.
BMO Harris Bank and the City of Aurora are the lead sponsors of Paramount’s 2013-2014 Broadway Series.
About The Paramount Theatre
The Paramount Theatre 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 Theatre, located in the heart of downtown Aurora at 23 E. Galena Blvd., is nationally renowned for the quality and caliber of its presentations, superb acoustics and historic beauty.
In Spring 2011, Paramount turned heads by naming Chicago stage veteran Jim Corti the company’s first artistic director in 80 years, then self-producing its first-ever Broadway Series, presenting three-week runs of the popular musicals My Fair Lady, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat, A Chorus Line and Hair, each featuring Chicago’s top professional directors, actors and designers. In less than a year, this new series attracted over 12,000 subscribers, with each show playing to rave reviews and wildly enthusiastic audiences. This season, Paramount has grown its Broadway subscriber base to nearly 20,000, who have all enjoyed four downtown quality musicals – the high-octane season opener Grease, Annie and The Music Man, and the current season finale, Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Jim Corti.
In addition to the 2012-13 Broadway series, Paramount presents one of the most diverse live entertainment line-ups in Chicagoland. Still this spring, the Paramount is offering up American Idol winner Scotty McCreery (Mar. 28), Stayin’ Alive: One Night of the Bee Gees (Mar. 30); Dwight Yoakam (April 10); Stomp (Apr. 13 and 14); and Herman’s Hermits with Peter Noone and The Ides of March (May 18).
The Paramount Theatre opened on September 3, 1931. Designed by nationally 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, cafe and art gallery.
Today, the Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of President and CEO Tim Rater, Artistic Director Jim Corti, a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theater professionals.
Paramount’s 2012-13 season is sponsored by The Beacon News and Naperville Sun. The 2012-13 Paramount Broadway Season is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank and City of Aurora. The 2012-13 season is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. For more, visit ParamountAurora.com.