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IN THE HEIGHTS to Kick Off Paramount's 2013-14 Broadway Series in Aurora, 9/11-10/6


Nominated in 2008 for 13 Tony Awards, taking home four including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestration, In the Heights is an exuberant contemporary musical that follows three days in the lives of residents living in New York's largely Hispanic Washington Heights neighborhood.

Aurora's Paramount Theatre will launch its third Broadway subscription series this September with the first local professional staging of In the Heights, one of Broadway's most acclaimed contemporary musicals, a potent reminder of the importance of chasing one's dreams, and the show all of Chicago will be talking about this fall. Performances are September 11 through October 6, 2013. Press opening is Saturday, September 14 at 8 p.m.

For as little as $73.80, subscribers can purchase In the Heights and see three more Tony Award-winning best musicals at the Paramount in 2013-14 - Miss Saigon (directed by Jim Corti, October 30-November 24, 2013), 42nd Street (directed by Rachel Rockwell, January 15-February 9, 2014) and Rent (directed by Jim Corti, March 12-April 6, 2014). Join the nearly 20,000 Broadway series subscribers who have already taken advantage of Paramount's Buy Two Shows, Get Two ShowsFree offer. To meet growing demand for its "better than Broadway" productions at such affordable prices, Paramount has already extended the run of each show from three weeks to four in 2013-14.

Single tickets to In the Heights are also on sale for $36.90 to $49.90. For renewals, new subscriptions, single tickets and information, go to, call (630) 896-6666, or visit the Paramount box office Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 2 hours prior to evening performances.

Conceived and featuring music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, with a book by Pulitzer Prize- winner Quiara Alegría Hudes, In the Heights transports audiences to a Latino enclave on 183rdStreet in New York City where family bonds are strong and neighborhood ties are equally as binding. But change is in the air that will impact everyone. In the Heights is a story of dreams and sacrifices, loyalties and love, all taking place in one city block surrounded by millions. The pure energy of the barrio 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. Rated PG.

As always, top theater artists from Chicago and all over the country have been tapped to reward Paramount audiences with a breathtaking production of In the Heights. Rachel Rockwell, named "2012 Chicagoan of the Year in Theatre" by the Chicago Tribune, and director of Paramount's wildly acclaimed productions of Hair, Annie and The Music Man, will direct. The cast features Nick Demeris (Usnavi), Paula Scrofano (Abuela Claudia), Lillian Castillo (Carla), Keely Vasquez(Daniela), Ricardo Gutierrez (Kevin), Lucinda Johnston (Camila), Luis Herrera (Sonny), Jonathan Butler-Duplessis (Benny), Caitlainne Rose Gurreri (Vanessa), Christina Nieves (Nina) and David Baida (Piragua Guy). Ensemble members are Kasey Alfonso, William Carlos Angulo, Mary Joe Duggan, Courtney Landwerlen, Rachel Marie LaPorte, Eric Lewis, Terrance Martin, Tommy Rivera-Vega, Daniel Spagnuolo and Lauren Villegas.

The set is a beauty, a replica of the original Broadway design by Tony nominee Anna Louizos. Tom Vendafreddo (music director/conductor) will lead the Paramount Theatre Orchestra with live, lush renditions of the play's rich musical score. Paramount's In the Heights production team also includes Katie Spelman (choreographer), Elizabeth Flauto (costumes), Jesse Klug (lights), Jeff Dublinske (sound), Sarah Ross (props), DiAnne Morrisette (wigs), Rose Marie Packer (stage manager) and Beth Ellen Spencer (assistant stage manager).

Rachel Rockwell (director) returns to Paramount following her smash hit stagings of The Music Man, Annie and Hair. Her Chicago directing/choreography credits include Xanadu, The Sound of Music (Equity Jeff nomination - Musical and Director), Sweeney Todd (Equity Jeff nomination - Musical and Director), Ragtime (Equity Jeff Awards - Musical and Director), Miss Saigon(EquityJeff nomination - Musical and Director) and The King and I(Equity Jeff nomination - Choreography) at Drury Lane Oakbrook; 42nd Street (Equity Jeff nomination - Director), A Chorus Line (Equity Jeff nomination - Choreography) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee(Equity Jeff nomination - Musical) at Marriott Theatre; Shrek The Musical, Beauty and the Beast, The Emperor's New Clothes and The Adventures of Pinocchioat Chicago Shakespeare Theater; The Taming of the Shrew for Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks; Enron at TimeLine; It's A Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Playand Leaving Iowaat Fox Valley Repertory and John and Jen at Apple Tree. In summer 2014, Rockwell will make her Goodman Theatre directing debut withBrigadoon. No wonder she was named 2012 Chicagoan of the Year in Theatre by the Chicago Tribune and Best Director of 2010 by Chicago Magazine!

Tom Vendafreddo (music director/conductor) makes his Paramount debut with In the Heights. Recent credits include Shrek the Musical(Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Sweet Charity(Writers' Theatre), The Wedding Singer(Red Mountain Theatre Company), Gifts of the Magi (Porchlight Music Theatre), The Spitfire Grill (Jeff Nomination: Musical and Music Direction - Bohemian Theatre Ensemble), Pump Boys and Dinettes (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre), Into the Woods (Stage 48 Productions) and Urinetown: The Musical (Harper Theatre Ensemble). Other regional credits include Odyssey (Old Globe Theatre), RENT (San Diego Musical Theatre), It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play (Cygnet Theatre) and Zanna, Don't! (San Diego State University).

Cast highlights include actor Nick Demeris (Usnavi), originally from Champaign but now based in New York, and a Hip Hop Shakespeare expert. Multi-Jeff Award winner Paula Scrofano (Abuela Claudia) performed in Paramount's My Fair Lady and is one of the great stars of Chicago's musical theater scene. Keely Vasquez (Daniela) sang with Barry Manilow in Las Vegas and on tour for many years. Ricardo Gutierrez (Kevin) is artistic director and Christina Nieves (Nina) is an ensemble member with Teatro Vista, Chicago's most acclaimed professional Latino theater company. Caitlainne Rose Gurreri (Vanessa) is a New York musical theater veteran, recently cast in The Online Network's All My Children. Lillian Castillo (Carla) was Jeff Nominated for Best Actress as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray at Drury Lane Oakbrook. David Baida (Piragua Guy) played the same role on the national tour of In the Heights. Lucinda Johnston (Camila) has performed for Chicago theaters including Stage Left, A Red Orchid, Northlight and American Theatre Company.Luis Herrera (Sonny) has performed at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Stage 773. Jonathan Butler-Duplessis (Benny) was featured in Paramount's Hair.

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.

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, café 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 2013-14 Paramount Broadway Series is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank. Paramount's 2013-14 General Season is sponsored by the Daily Herald. The 2013-14 season is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. For more, visit

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