MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, ONCE and More Set for the Paramount in 2017-18
Aurora's Paramount Theatre, home to more than 33,000 subscribers for its Broadway Musical Series, continues its growth as one of the nation's preeminent regional theater powerhouses with today's announcement of four must-see, blockbuster musicals slated for its 2017-18 season: Million Dollar Quartet, Elf: The Musical, Cabaret and Once.
Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti, the man responsible for the past two Jeff Award-winning Best Musicals (Large), Les Misérables and West Side Story, will stage Paramount's rockin' opener Million Dollar Quartet. Audiences will travel back to Memphis's Sun Records recording studio on December 4, 1956, when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins played together their first and only time and created an explosive album that has yet to be matched. Performances are September 13-October 29, 2017. Press opening is Saturday, September 16 at 8 p.m.
Everyone's favorite oversized imp will be making mischief over the holidays when Elf: The Musical, based on the movie starring Will Ferrell, arrives in downtown Aurora as a fun seasonal delight for the entire family. Director Amber Mak takes the reins of this hilarious and touching all-ages musical about Buddy the elf, her third Paramount blockbuster after gob-smacking audiences earlier this season with her huge production of Disney's The Little Mermaid, along with Hairspray: The Musical in 2015. Dates for Elf: The Musical are November 22, 2017-January 7, 2018. Press opening is Sunday, November 26 at 5:30 p.m.
With the new year comes the dark and sensual Cabaret, one of the most well-known Broadway musicals of all time, world-famous for its extraordinary songs, universal appeal and spellbinding story that still rings true today. Tapped for her Paramount directing debut is one of Chicago theater's top up and comers, Katie Spelman, Jeff-nominated for her innovative choreography of Paramount's Oklahoma! in 2015. Performances are February 7-March 18, 2018. Press opening is Saturday, February 10 at 8 p.m.
For its 2017-18 finale, Paramount presents the first Chicago-area regional production of Once, the 2012 Broadway smash hit and winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Jim Corti returns to stage this modern-day musical about an Irish busker, his immigrant fan and their eventful week in Dublin as they write, rehearse and record songs from which their beautiful love story unfolds. Performances are April 25-June 3, 2018. Press opening is Saturday, April 28 at 8 p.m.
"Paramount's 2017-18 Broadway Series, Season Seven, is pure entertainment! Beginning with the birth of rock 'n roll and the now iconic young country boys who started it all bringing down the house in Million Dollar Quartet, followed by holiday hilarity and heart in a big, brassy Broadway adaptation of everyone's favorite movie Elf, the dancing girls of the divinely decadent Kander and Ebb "Kit Kat Klub" in Cabaret, and the longing for love story, Once, based on the beautiful film score set in contemporary Dublin," said Paramount Theatre Artistic Director Jim Corti. "Our audience will thrall to the varied range of remarkable music and unforgettable stories in these four award-winning, record-breaking Broadway hits!"
Subscribe now to Paramount's 2017-18 Broadway Series for as little as $18 per ticket. Just as it has since it launched its first Broadway Musical Series in 2010, Paramount will offer the same "Buy Two Shows, Get Two Shows Free" subscription offer, with four-play packages starting as low as $72.
The rewards are ample - 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.
Paramount was nominated for 14 Jeff Awards last season, more than any other Chicago theater, and won its second consecutive Best Large Musical for West Side Story.
Add that Paramount always presents each show's original Broadway orchestrations, played live by the city's largest musical theater orchestras, for further proof that Paramount is now a number one destination for "Better than Broadway" musicals anywhere in Chicago.
Renewals for Paramount's 2017-18 Broadway Series begin March 27 at 10 a.m., with current subscribers given first chance to secure their seats for all four shows.
During the renewal process, new subscribers can pre-order before the general public to get in line for seats. Pre-order reservations can be made online only at ParamountAurora.com for the first week. Starting at 10 a.m. on April 3, new subscribers can pre-order over the phone or in person as well. The deadline to renew or pre-order is May 7. After seating current subscribers, the Paramount box office will contact new subscribers in May and June and process subscription requests in the order they were received.
For more information, visit ParamountAurora.com, call 630.896.6666, or visit the ParamountTheatre box office, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora.
More About Paramount's 2017-18 Broadway Musical Series:
Million Dollar Quartet
September 13-October 29, 2017
Press opening: Saturday, September 16 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Jim Corti
With Music Director Kory Danielson
Book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux
Original concept and direction by Floyd Mutrux
Inspired by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins
Suggested Rating: PG
There was no plan for Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins to record together on December 4, 1956. But as fate would have it, they did and left behind a historic and mind-blowing album. Million Dollar Quartet tells that story, with all the raw energy and monumental talent everyone has come to expect from these music giants.
It begins in the Sun Records recording studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Up and comer Jerry Lee Lewis is recording songs with rockaBilly King Carl Perkins when the iconic Elvis Presley stops by with his girlfriend. The not-quite-yet-guitar-god Johnny Cash is there to pay a visit to music manager Sam Phillips. Throw them all together and you have one of the most unexpected, unprecedented and unforgettable musical moments in history. It was the first and only time they played together and, through their musical genius, created an explosive album that has yet to be matched.
Nominated for three Tony Awards including Best Musical, Million Dollar Quartet features some of the biggest and best songs of all time like "Peace in the Valley," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Folsom Prison Blues," "I Walk the Line," "Hound Dog" and "Great Balls of Fire."
Paramount's is the first professional area production of the show that played more than 2,500 performances in Chicago from 2008 to 2016, becoming the third longest-running show in Chicago theater history.
Elf: The Musical
November 22, 2017-January 7, 2018
Press opening: Sunday, November 26 at 5:30 p.m.
Directed by Amber Mak
With Music Director/Conductor Tom Vendafreddo
Book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin
Music by Matthew Sklar
Lyrics by Chad Beguelin
Based upon the New Line Cinema film written by David Berenbaum
Originally produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures in association with Unique Features
Suggested Rating: G
This holiday season, join the Paramount family for the perfect feel-good show that will turn even the grumpiest of grinches into a happy-go-lucky bearer of Christmas cheer, singing loud for all to hear.
If you've ever felt like you don't belong, just be glad you're not William "Buddy" Hobbes. When he was a baby, Buddy crawled into Santa's sack of presents and was whisked away to the North Pole where he lived as an elf for years. Buddy took joy in doing elf things, like making toys. But there was always something off. He towers over his fellow elves and just doesn't get cobbling. When Buddy learns he's human he goes in search of his father, a workaholic New York City publisher. Imagine Buddy's horror when he finds out his dad couldn't care less about Christmas. But that won't deter the infectiously-cheerful wannabe elf from changing people's hearts and minds.
Based on the hilarious 2003 Will Ferrell movie, Elf is one of those rare holiday shows that will have both kids and adults laughing, humming tunes like "A Christmas Song" and "Sparklejollytwinklejingley" for days and rediscovering what it means to be a family.
And with a two-story Christmas tree in the lobby, thousands of sparkling lights adorning the banisters and carolers filling the air with song, Paramount has become the place where families head to for memorable holiday experiences.
February 7-March 18, 2018
Press opening Saturday, February 10 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Katie Spelman
With Music Director/Conductor Tom Vendafreddo
Book by Joe Masteroff
Based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Suggested Rating: PG-13
The sound of the orchestra tuning its instruments fills the air. The smell of liquor and perfume permeates your nostrils, causing a shiver of sinful delight. You catch a dancer's eye and wonder what she's doing after the show. After all, life is a cabaret, and anything goes.
It's the early 1930s in Berlin, and the world is changing. On the horizon is an ugly and dangerous threat, but that's no concern for sensational cabaret singer Sally Bowles whose only goal in life is to have a good time. Sally soon finds herself living with a young writer visiting from America to work on a new novel. While their relationship moves beyond just being friends, around them the lives of citizens go from ordinary to a nightmare. Will Sally recognize her own selfishness, or will she look to the ground as the Nazis steamroll over everything she holds dear?
Cabaret is one of the most well known musicals of all time, and it's because of the extraordinary songs, universal appeal and a spellbinding story that still holds true today. Nominated for a total of 26 Tony Awards over three decades and winning 12 including Best Musical and Best Revival of a Musical, Cabaret is exactly what musical theater should be: entertaining, enlightening, provocative, edgy and a continuing reflection of our own lives. This groundbreaking show was unlike anything audiences had seen when it first premiered. You'll feel the same when Cabarethits the Paramount stage.
April 25-June 3, 2018
Press opening Saturday, April 28 at 8 p.m.
Directed by Jim Corti
With Music Director Tom Vendafreddo
Book by Enda Walsh
Music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová
Based on the motion picture written and directed by John Carney
Suggested Rating: PG
People come into our lives for a reason. Sometimes it leaves us with joy, other times with sorrow. But it's what we do with those chance encounters that truly defines who we are.
Guy and Girl, as they're known throughout the show, share a fateful meeting spurred by their mutual love for music. Guy is a singer about to give up his dream. Girl is a fan entranced by his music. Their story begins when he tells her of his day job as a vacuum cleaner repairman. Lucky for him, she's got a Hoover that "doesn't suck." When she asks him to fix it, she says she can only pay with a song. That song is all it takes for Guy and Girl to fall in love, but with that love also comes baggage. Guy has an ex he can't get out of his head, and Girl has an estranged husband and a daughter. What's holding them back couldn't be heavier, but when it comes to love, the only thing that can stop them is life.
Once, based on the Oscar-winning movie, won eight Tony Awards in 2012, including Best Musical, Best Actor and Best Book. It is both grand in its themes of love and longing, yet simple and subtle in its execution. In today's world where we're all struggling to connect, despite a million ways to do so, Oncereminds us that often the simplest way is through song.
In addition to the lowest major theater subscription prices anywhere in Illinois, exclusive benefits for Paramount Broadway subscribers are given 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 Concierge Department.
Broadway subscribers also receive first notice and exclusive pre-sale discounts of 10% off single tickets for Broadway shows and all other performances presented at the Paramount in the 2017-18 season, including concerts by internationally acclaimed music artists, comedy, dance, holiday shows, movies and family presentations.
Look for an announcement of the balance of the Paramount's 2017-18 season in June, and see more about the just-unveiled shows below!
The Paramount Theatre (ParamountAurora.com) 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, located in downtown Aurora at 23 E. Galena Blvd., is nationally recognized for the quality and caliber of its presentations, superb acoustics and historic beauty.
The Paramount opened on September 3, 1931. Designed by 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 Centre 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, café and art gallery.
Today, the Paramount self-produces its own Broadway Musical Series, presents an eclectic array of comedy, music, dance and family shows, and on most Mondays, screens a classic movie.
The Paramount Theatre is one of three live performance venues programmed and managed by the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA). ACCA also oversees the Paramount's "sister" stage, the intimate, 173-seat Copley Theatre located directly across the street from the Paramount at 8 E. Galena Blvd., as well as RiverEdge Park, downtown Aurora's summer outdoor concert venue.
The 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 tickets and information, go to ParamountAurora.com or call (630) 896-6666.