AURORA – Aurora’s award-winning Paramount Theatre – the second largest subscription house in the U.S. – announced today the four blockbuster musicals on tap for its 10th anniversary season in 2020-2021:
Rock of Ages, Paramount’s 10th season opener, will take audiences back into the iconic music era of the ‘80s, where rock-n-roll dreamers turn their fantasies into reality. Nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Rock of Ages is a Hollywood love story told through the mind blowing hits of top 80s rock bands like Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Poison and more. Paramount Theatre New Work Development Director Amber Mak directs. Are you ready to rock? Performances are September 2-October 18, 2020.
Cinderella, the classic musical from the genius minds of Rodgers and Hammerstein, is an enchanting story that will make entire families wish fairy godmothers and glass slippers weren’t just for fairy tales. Paramount is planning a mesmerizing new production that gives parents and children a familiar yet reimagined take on the story families have returned to over and over across generations. Performances are November 11, 2020-January 17, 2021.
Groundhog Day, based on the classic Bill Murray film comedy, will be a Midwest regional premiere, produced by Paramount Theatre. Imagine being stuck in a time loop, waking up and realizing you’re living the same day over and over and over and over again. Set your alarm to make sure you see this uproariously funny, surprisingly touching and simply inspirational musical comedy, nominated for seven Tony Awards. Paramount Theatre Artistic Director Jim Corti will direct. Performances are February 10-March 28, 2021.
Ragtime, the turn-of-the-century American musical set in the age of “ragtime,” a new form of music that electrified the country. But beneath the pounding of piano keys are three different families trying make their way through tumultuous times in a country still experiencing growing pains, class struggle and racial prejudice. Appropriately, Paramount Theatre Artistic Director Jim Corti, who famously played Harry Houdini in the original Broadway production, will direct. Performances are April 28-June 13, 2021.
Paramount will offer the same affordable “Buy Two Shows, Get Two Shows Free” subscription offer, just as it has since it launched its first Broadway Series in 2011. Broadway Series packages start as low as $72. Fees not included.
Renewals begin today, Monday, February 3, at 10 a.m. Current subscribers will be given first chance to secure their seats for all four shows, February 3 through March 29. Non-subscribers can pre-order new subscriptions to get in line for priority seating. Pre-orders are available online only from today, February 3 through Sunday, February 9. Phone and in-person pre-orders begin Monday, February 10. For information, visit ParamountAurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or visit the Paramount Theatre box office, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora.
Behind the scenes of Paramount Theatre’s 2020-2021 Broadway Series:
Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti said, “Season 10 mirrors a kaleidoscopic panorama of 20th century musical genres blasting off with the ‘80s rocker flashback of heart and soul and head-bashing fervor, Rock of Ages! Our family-friendly tradition presenting holiday spectacle ensues with the timeless riches of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Time literally and hysterically repeats itself in the 2017 Broadway musical adaptation of the ‘90s Bill Murray comedy film classic Groundhog Day. In 1902, new music called Ragtime sent the century spinning accompanying industrialization, immigration, class and racial conflict. In this historical fiction exquisitely scored by 1998 Tony Award winning Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, injustice and hope two-handedly play America like an old piano tune at once devastatingly poignant and refulgent, resonant and relevant.”
“We have an incredible season in store with stories that rock, enchant, charm and inspire,” added Tim Rater, President and CEO, Paramount Theatre.
More details about Paramount’s 2020-21 Broadway Series line-up
Rock of Ages
September 2-October 18, 2020 Press opening Friday, September 11, 8 p.m.
Directed by Amber Mak
Book by Chris D’Arienzo
Arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp
Suggested for ages 14 and up, includes adult language and sexual content
Are you ready to rock? Like, really rock?!
Nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Rock of Ages will take Paramount audiences back into the iconic music era of the ‘80s, where rock-n-roll dreamers line up to turn their fantasies into reality – and you can be in the front row to watch it all come to life.
Rock of Ages is the story of a small-town girl with Hollywood dreams who meets a big-city boy chasing his rock-star fantasies on L.A.’s infamous Sunset Strip. With the historic Bourbon Room as the backdrop, their love story unfolds right where the biggest names in rock got their start – all told through the mind blowing hits of top ‘80s rock bands like Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Poison and more.
Paramount’s 10th anniversary season opener will be a show for the ages that will have you singing “Here I Go Again” all the way home. Don’t miss this trip back to when rock was king, and every song was a kingmaker. Relive some of the biggest, baddest rock songs of all time including “Just Like Paradise,” “Sister Christian,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and a whole lot more.
November 11, 2020-January 17, 2021 Press opening Friday, November 20 at 8 p.m.
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
New Book by Douglas Carter Beane
Original Book by Oscar Hammerstein II
Orchestrations by Danny Troob
Music adaptation and arrangements by David Chase
Suggested for ages 5 and up
Cinderella, from the genius minds of Rodgers and Hammerstein, the masters behind The Sound of Music and Oklahoma!, is an enchanting musical that will make audiences wish fairy godmothers and glass slippers weren’t just for fairy tales.
Experience one of the most beloved and cherished stories of all time like you’ve never seen it before, live on Paramount’s stage with all the spectacle and splendor audiences have come to expect. Paramount is planning a mesmerizing production that gives parents and children a familiar yet reimagined take on the story families have returned to over and over across generations. Experience jaw-dropping magic like never before. From pumpkins that turn into enchanted carriages to tattered rags that suddenly become a beautiful gown, Cinderella will captivate young and old alike.
Fit for a royal ball, Paramount’s Grand Gallery will be decked out for the holiday season with a giant two-story, fully decorated Christmas tree and all the trimmings. With its feel-good message for the entire family, Cinderella is the perfect fit for the holiday season that will leave all ages feeling like the impossible is possible.
Midwest regional premiere
February 10-March 28, 2021 Press opening Friday, February 19 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Jim Corti
Book by Danny Rubin
Music and lyrics by Tim Minchin
Based on the Columbia Pictures motion picture and the story by Danny Rubin
Orchestrations and arrangements by Christopher Nightingale
Suggested for ages 14 and up, includes adult language and mature content
Imagine being stuck in a time loop, waking up and realizing you’re living the same day over and over and over and over again.
Meet cynical weatherman Phil Connors, who is living a never-ending nightmare stuck in a small hick town whose biggest claim to fame is meteorologist groundhog Punxsutawney Phil. What sounds like an outlandish fantasy becomes an insightful look at discovering what you’re capable of when you finally lower your defenses, find the selfless person within and make the most of each day.
Based on the classic Bill Murray comedy, Groundhog Day is full of “fertile and feverish theatrical imagination” (The New York Times). Nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score, Paramount Theatre is beyond proud to present the Midwest regional premiere of this uproariously funny, surprisingly touching and simply inspirational musical comedy.
Will the groundhog see his shadow? Will you want to see this marvelously manic musical again and again? And again and again and again? We think so!
April 28-June 13, 2021 Press opening Friday, May 7 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Jim Corti
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahren
Book by Terrence McNally
Based on the novel “Ragtime” by E. L. Doctorow
Suggested for ages 12 and up, includes adult language and mature content
How far would you go for the American dream? For your family to have a better life?
It’s the early 1900s – the age of “ragtime,” a new music that is electrifying the country. But beneath the pounding of piano keys is a white, affluent New Rochelle family in crisis, a black piano player from Harlem trying to win back the love of his life while fighting a tragic injustice and a Latvian Jewish immigrant artist determined to give his child a new life in America.
Watch and marvel as three different families make their way through tumultuous times in a country still experiencing growing pains. Set amidst a backdrop of class struggle and racial prejudice, Ragtime reconstructs an era of hard-fought hope and change, whether some want it or not. By mixing historical with fictional characters, Ragtime unpredictably and undeniably moves people, and makes contemporary audiences rethink what it means to grasp for the American dream.
Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti, who played Harry Houdini in the original Broadway production (go listen to him sing beautifully on the cast recording!) will direct Paramount’s 10th anniversary season finale.
Subscribe now to Paramount’s 2020-21 Broadway Series
Paramount subscribers enjoy rewards by signing up for Paramount’s 2020-21, 10th anniversary Broadway Series, namely 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 percent off single tickets for Broadway performances and other select shows at Paramount, including concerts by internationally acclaimed music artists, comedy, dance, holiday shows, movies and family presentations.
New! Subscribers receive 10 percent off all eligible group classes at Paramount School of the Arts.
Paramount’s 2020-21 Broadway Series is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, Dunham Fund, ComEd and City of Aurora.
Look for an announcement of the balance of Paramount’s 2020-2021 season in the summer
About Paramount Theatre
Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora, is the center for performing arts, entertainment and arts education in the second largest city in Illinois. 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 and 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, Paramount has provided Aurora and all of Chicagoland the best of entertainment for generations.
In 1976, the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA) restored Paramount to its original grandeur. 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. His mission was to boost the theater’s programming and audience by transforming Paramount into one of Chicago’s top self-producing, professional Equity theaters. Rater hired award-winning Chicago director Jim Corti as Paramount’s first-ever artistic director. In 2011, Paramount introduced its inaugural four-play Broadway Series with Corti’s critically acclaimed production of My Fair Lady. In just nine 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 three years in a row.
Today, the 1,843-seat Paramount Theatre remains nationally renowned for the quality and caliber of its presentations, historic beauty and superb acoustics. More than 41,000 subscribers from throughout the city and suburbs enjoy Paramount’s Broadway-quality productions at highly affordable prices, making Paramount the second 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.
Paramount is one of three live performance venues programmed and managed by the ACCA, which also oversees Paramount’s “sister” stage, the intimate, soon-to-be-renovated 165-seat Copley Theatre located 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.
Rater and his team also celebrated the grand opening of the new Paramount School of the Arts on June 1, 2019. Paramount’s new school, which anchors the John C. Dunham Aurora Arts Center directly adjacent to the theater, is encouraging and training young actors, dancers and musicians for a culture-filled life, nurturing the arts in Chicago’s western suburbs and adding to the excitement and cultural and economic activity in downtown Aurora. Courses for children as young as six months are offered with opportunities for adults and seniors. Registration is now open for a full roster of classes and private lessons in acting, music and dance. For more, visit ParamountSchool.com.
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.