Aurora’s Paramount Theatre enters its second decade with today’s announcement of the four blockbuster musicals on tap for its 2022-23 Broadway Series.
Meet the Dreamgirls—Effie, Lorrell and Deena—three talented young Black singers in the turbulent 1960s whose rise to the top will test their friendships to the very limit. This Tony-winning musical spawned an Oscar-winning movie for a reason: Henry Krieger’s music and Tom Eyen’s lyrics and book are unstoppably excellent. Christopher Betts makes his Chicago directing debut with Dreamgirls. Performances are August 31-October 16, 2022. Opening Night is Friday, September 9, at 8 p.m.
Set in Austria 1938 on the brink of World War II, The Sound of Music is the unforgettable Rodgers and Hammerstein classic musical about Maria, a young woman who takes a job as governess of the von Trapp Family while deciding whether to become a nun. After falling in love with the children, and eventually, Captain von Trapp, a clever ruse leads to the family’s daring escape from the Nazis through the Austrian Alps. Paramount’s Amber Mak directs. Performances are November 9, 2022-January 8, 2023. Opening Night is Friday, November 18, at 8 p.m.
Into the Woods, a seminal work by the late Stephen Sondheim, reimagines Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel, Cinderella and other Brothers Grimm characters in one of the most astounding and original fairytale retellings the stage has ever seen. Artistic Director Jim Corti directs Paramount’s journey Into the Woods. Performances are February 1-March 19, 2023. Opening Night is Friday, February 10, at 8 p.m.
Now we’re rocking, because Paramount Theatre’s 11th season finale is School of Rock, the fun-loving musical based on the popular Jack Black movie, from the genius mind of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Trent Stork directs. Performances are April 12- May 28, 2023. Opening Night is Friday, April 21, at 8 p.m.
“The promise of Season Eleven is a theatrical panorama of magnificent orchestras and a rock ‘n’ roll romp telling tales of making music and family on the merits of some of the most popular Broadway shows ever written for the stage,” said Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti. “At once classical and contemporary, there is something for everyone here gathering us together, laughing and loving in sync, discovering loss and joy and what perhaps we have most in common: ‘No one is alone.’"
Just as it has since it launched its first Broadway Series in 2011, Paramount still offers the same “Buy Two Shows, Get Two Shows Free” subscription offer. Broadway Series packages start as low as $56. In fact, Paramount subscribers pay no more than $39.50 per show, and that’s the most expensive ticket. Fees not included.
Renewals begin today, Tuesday, March 8, at 10 a.m. As always, current subscribers are given the first chance to secure their seats for all four shows. During this renewal process, new subscribers can also pre-order a subscription to queue up for the best seats available before subscriptions and single tickets go on sale to the general public in July.
Paramount Theatre is located at 23 E Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora. For information, visit ParamountAurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or visit the Paramount Theatre box office, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora, Wednesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m; or, Sunday, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Paramount’s 2022-23 Broadway Series: Behind the Scenes of Season Eleven
August 31 – October 16, 2022
Opening Night: Friday, September 9, 8 p.m.
Book and lyrics by Tom Eyen
Music by Henry Krieger
Original Broadway production directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett
Orchestrations by Harold Wheeler
Produced on Broadway by Michael Bennett, Robert Avian, Geffen Records and The Shubert Organization
Directed by Christopher Betts
It’s the 1960s where the sound of Motown is on the rise. Meet the Dreamettes, Effie, Deena and Lorrell, three women trying to break their way onto the music scene. When car salesman Curtis Taylor Jr. signs the trio to a record label, he sets in motion a series of events that will forever change their lives, for better and for worse. Join the Dreamgirls as they navigate the highs and lows of life, love and fame. And remember, all you gotta do is dream.
Dreamgirls was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Originally from Chicago, director Christopher Betts makes his hometown debut with Dreamgirls. Betts is a New York-based writer, director and professor, currently earning his MFA at Yale School of Drama. He was the 2017-18 Julie Taymor World Theater Fellow, and received his BFA in drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
The Sound of Music
November 9, 2022–January 8, 2023
Opening Night: Friday, November 18, 8 p.m.
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
Directed by Amber Mak
When Maria, a prospective nun is sent to be the governess of seven children for a captain of the Navy, she finds herself unexpectedly questioning her life path as she falls in love with the entire family. Music is at the heart of what unites them as they face tough decisions as Austria, their homeland, is on the brink of World War II. Do they stay or do they leave?
Director Amber Mak has staged so many unforgettable Paramount blockbusters, including Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, nominated for six Jeff Awards including Best Musical, The Wizard of Oz, which earned seven Jeff nominations including Best Musical and Best Director. Just wait until you experience Mak’s staging of The Sound of Music, a nine-time Tony Award nominee and winner of Best Musical. Bring the family for a holiday outing at Paramount Theatre, where the lobby will be decked out in Christmas decorations and a two-story Christmas tree.
Into The Woods
February 1–March 19, 2023
Opening Night: Friday, February 10, 8 p.m.
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Originally directed on Broadway by James Lapine
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Original Broadway production by Heidi Landesman, Rocco Landesman, Rick Steiner, M. Anthony Fisher, Frederic H. Mayerson and Jujamcyn Theaters
Originally produced by The Globe Theater, San Diego, CA
Directed by Jim Corti
A red cape, a strand of yellow hair, a golden shoe and a white cow. It’s these four items that send a baker and his barren wife through the woods on a magical journey to reverse a spell cast by an evil witch. Throw in Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and Cinderella and you have one of the most astounding and original fairytale retellings the stage has ever seen. If you’ve seen The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella on Paramount’s stage, then you know the spectacle and extravagance that awaits you in Stephen Sondheim’s brilliant reimagining, nominated for ten Tony Awards, and winner, Best Score.
Paramount’s trip Into the Woods will be staged by Artistic Director JIm Corti, Chicago’s only theater artist to have won Jeff Awards as an actor, choreographer and director, responsible for such Paramount past hits as Newsies, The Producers, Sweeney Todd and Les Misérables.
School of Rock
April 12–May 28, 2023
Opening Night: Friday, April 21, 8 p.m.
Based on the Paramount movie by Mike White
Book by Julian Fellowes
Lyrics by Glenn Slater
New Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Directed by Trent Stork
From the genius mind of Andrew Lloyd Webber comes a rousing, feel good and inspirational story of kids at a prestigious prep school. Wannabe rocker, Dewey Finn, has just been kicked out of his band, he can’t pay rent and his life is falling apart. When he scams his way into a teaching job meant for his roommate, Dewey turns a class of straight-A pupils into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. Dewey’s love of music and rock soon inspires the kids to pursue what they love.
Based on the hit movie starring Jack Black, School of Rock was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The director of School of Rock is Trent Stork, who staged Paramount’s hit productions of Kinky Boots and Legally Blonde.
Subscribe now to Paramount’s 2022-23 Broadway Series
The rewards of subscribing to Paramount’s 2022-23 Broadway Series 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.
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. Broadway subscribers also receive first notice and exclusive pre-sale discounts of 10% 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.
Paramount’s 2022-23 Broadway Series is sponsored by Dunham Foundation, BMO Harris Bank, ComEd, Illinois Arts Council and City of Aurora.
About Paramount Theatre
Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., is the center for performing arts in Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois. The beautiful, 1,843-seat theater, graced with a strong 1930s Art Deco influence and original Venetian décor, nationally known for its high-quality productions, superb acoustics and historic grandeur, has been the anchor of downtown Aurora since 1931.
After launching its own Broadway Series in 2011, Paramount Theatre grew to be the second largest subscription house in the U.S. Before Covid, more than 41,000 subscribers from all over Chicagoland and the Midwest were enjoying Paramount’s critically acclaimed, 2019-20 Broadway-caliber productions. In addition, Paramount also presents an array of internationally known comedians, musicians, dance troupes and family shows annually.
Paramount Theatre is one of four live performance venues programmed and managed by the Aurora Civic Center Authority. ACCA also oversees downtown Aurora’s newly renovated 165-seat Copley Theatre, home to Paramount’s new BOLD Series, along with the Paramount School of the Arts, RiverEdge Park, the city’s 6,000-seat outdoor summer concert venue, and Stolp Island Theatre, an immersive space opening in summer 2023.
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.