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Theatre News Wire

Aurora's Paramount Theatre Announces 2103-14 Season
Mar 7, 2013


Paramount Theatre in AuroraFor 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 13,000 subscribers signed up for its inaugural Broadway season in 2011-2012. 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 soon-to-open 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 Theater. 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 1, 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
Rated PG
September 11-October 6, 2013

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 for 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.

Miss Saigon
Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg
Lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and Alain Boublil
Directed by Jim Corti, Paramount Artistic Director
Rated PG-13 for adult themes and language.
October 30-November 24, 2013

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.

42nd Street
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Music by Harry Warren
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
Rated G
January 15-February 9, 2014

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.

RENT
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
Rated R: Includes strong adult language and themes. Not recommended for those under 18.
March 12-April 6, 2014

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.


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