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Photo Flash: HAIR Opens at the Paramount Theatre!

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Everything about them was a statement. Their clothes, a rejection of materialism. Their drugs, a quest to get closer to God. Their long hair, a flag of freedom. They were hippies, the social watch dogs of the 1960s, and they played a pivotal role in American pop culture. 

Experience the musical that captures the intensity, the celebration and the angst of that time - Hair, playing through Apr. 1, 2012 at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena in downtown Aurora. You won't be an audience member at the Paramount's final production in its inaugural Broadway series. Rather, you'll be part of the tribe in this  sensory overload production directed by Rachel Rockwell, named "Chicago's Best Director" of 2010 by Chicago Magazine, with acclaimed Chicago musical director Doug Peck leading the Paramount Theatre Orchestra. Hair opened yesterday, check out the production photos below!

From "Aquarius" and "Let the Sun Shine In" to the '60s anthem "Hair," this is a musical quest for peace, love and change. Performance times are Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. 

Tickets are $34.90-$46.90. For tickets and information, go to ParamountAurora.com, call the Paramount box office, (630) 896-6666, or visit the box office Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 2 hours prior to evening performances.

Note: Hair is rated R for adult language and content. Parental discretion is advised. There is a dimly lit 20-second scene with nudity that is non-sexual in nature.

Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, music by Galt MacDermot, is a product of the hippie counter-culture and sexual revolution of the 1960s.The show used a racially integrated cast and broke new ground by defining the genre of "rock musical."

Hair tells the story of the "tribe", a group of politically active, long-haired hippies of the "Age of Aquarius" living the bohemian life in New York City and fighting against the draft. Claude, his good friend Berger, their roommate Sheila and their friends struggle to balance their young lives, loves and the sexual revolution with their rebellion against the war and their conservative parents and society.

After debuting Off-Broadway in Oct. 1967 at Joseph Papp's Public Theater and a subsequent run in a midtown discothèque, Hair opened on Broadway in April 1968 and ran for 1,750 performances. Simultaneous productions in cities across the U.S. and Europe followed shortly thereafter, including a successful London production that ran for 1,997 performances. Since then, numerous productions have been staged around the world, spawning dozens of recordings of the musical, including the million-selling original Broadway cast recording. Some of the songs from its score became Top 10 hits, and a feature film adaptation starring Treat Williams, Diane Keaton and Beverly D 'Angelo was released in 1979. A Broadway revival opened on March 31, 2009, earning strong reviews and winning the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for best revival of a musical.

The cast for company's final outing in its 2011-12 Broadway Subscription Series, includes Skyler Adams (Claude), Adrian Aguilar (Berger), Jonathan Butler-Duplessis (Tribe), Molly Callinan (Marjorie/Tribe), Josh Dawson (Hud), Sean Effinger-Dean (Tribe), John Finley (Steve/Tribe), Emjoy Gavino (Tribe), Immanuel Guest (Tribe), Monique Haley (Tribe), Jake Klinkhammer (Hiram/Hubert/Tribe), Donica Lynn (Dionne), Emilie Lynn (Sheila), Adam Michaels (Woof), Brandon Moorhead (Walter), Maggie Portman (Crissy), Alexis J. Rogers (Leata/Abe Lincoln), Emily Rohm (Mary/Tribe), Jaquez Sims (Tribe), Katie Spelman (Suzannah/Tribe), Bethany Thomas (Ronny), Brett Travis (Tribe), Dana Tretta (Jeanie) and Adrienne Walker (Tribe).

Rachel Rockwell (director and choreographer) was named "Best Director of 2010" by Chicago Magazine. Her Chicago directing/choreography credits include The Sound of Music, Sweeney Todd, Ragtime (Equity Jeff Awards - Musical and Director, Musical), Miss Saigon (Jeff nomination - Musical and Director, Musical) and The King and I(Equity Jeff Award nomination - Choreography) at Drury Lane Oakbrook; 42nd Street (Equity Jeff Award nomination - Director, Musical), A Chorus Line (Equity Jeff Award nomination - Choreography) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Equity Jeff Award nomination - Musical) at the Marriott Theatre; The Emperor's New Clothes and The Adventures of Pinocchio at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; It's A Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play and Leaving Iowa at Fox Valley Repertory and John and Jen at Apple Tree Theatre. Most recently she staged TimeLine Theatre's Chicago debut of Enron. Regionally, her work has been seen at the Maryland Shakespeare Festival, the New Harmony Theatre, The Little Theatre On The Square, McLeod Summer Playhouse and ISU Summer Stage.

Also making his Paramount debut is musical director Doug Peck, recipient of four Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best Musical Direction. Peck's credits include, most recently, A Catered Affair at Porchlight Music Theatre, and such major hits as Porgy and Bess and Caroline, or Change (Court), Candide (Huntington Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre), Carousel, Man of La Mancha (Long Wharf Theatre, Court Theatre), Animal Crackers (Goodman), Fiorello! (Timeline Theatre), and Oh, Coward! (Writers' Theatre), as well as work at Asolo Rep, Marriott Lincolnshire, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Apple Tree, Chicago Shakespeare, Porchlight Music Theatre, Northlight, Peninsula Players, and the Ravinia Festival.

Behind the scenes, Paramount's production team for Hair also boasts Chicago design talent as Kevin Depinet, scenic designer; Melissa Torchia, costume designer; Jesse Klug, lighting designer; Adam Rosenthal, sound designer; Mike Tutaj, video projections; and MerEdith Miller, properties designer. Sara Gammage is stage manager.

Last spring, the Paramount Theatre turned heads by appointing Chicago stage veteran Jim Corti as the company's first artistic director in 80 years, then announcing it would self-produce its first-ever Broadway at the Paramount series in 2011-12, 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 has attracted nearly 13,000 subscribers, with each production playing to rave reviews and wildly enthusiastic audiences.

In addition, the Paramount has packed entertainment into the theater's 80th anniversary schedule. Still on tap are the ballroom dance extravaganza Burn the Floor, rock and roll legends Los Lobos, Willie Nelson and The Oak Ridge Boys, family-friendly shows like Frank Ferante in An Evening with Groucho, rock tribute concerts The Pink Floyd Experience and Almost Elton John and The Rocket Band, the side-splitting comedy Southern Fried Chicks, the nostalgic musical Route 66, and an all-new Classic Movie Mondays series.

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 Boulevard, is nationally renowned for the quality and caliber of its presentations, superb acoustics and historic, Art Deco beauty.

The Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Executive Director Tim Rater, Artistic Director Jim Corti, a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theater professionals.

The 2011-12 Paramount Theatre season is sponsored by the Paramount Arts Centre Endowment, American Airlines and The Beacon News/Sun Publications. This season is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

For more information, visit the Paramount Theatre online at ParamountAurora.com.

Photo Flash: HAIR Opens at the Paramount Theatre!

Photo Flash: HAIR Opens at the Paramount Theatre!
The Tribe

Photo Flash: HAIR Opens at the Paramount Theatre!
The Tribe

Photo Flash: HAIR Opens at the Paramount Theatre!
Skyler Adams and Adrian Aguilar With The Tribe

Photo Flash: HAIR Opens at the Paramount Theatre!
Emjoy Gavino, Brett Travis, Emily Rohm, Jake Klinkhammer, Emilie Lynn, Jaquez Andre Sims and Jonathan Butler-Duplessis

Photo Flash: HAIR Opens at the Paramount Theatre!
The Tribe

Photo Flash: HAIR Opens at the Paramount Theatre!
Monique Haley and The Tribe

Photo Flash: HAIR Opens at the Paramount Theatre!
Adam Michaels, John Finley and Adrian Aguilar

Photo Flash: HAIR Opens at the Paramount Theatre!
Skyler Adams With Josh A. Dawson, Emjoy Gavino, Donica Lynn, Bethany Thomas, Maggie Portman and Emily Rohm

Photo Flash: HAIR Opens at the Paramount Theatre!

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