Light the marquee, roll out the red carpet and open the doors to the largest subscription theater in the nation, because downtown Aurora’s Paramount Theatre announced the four blockbuster musicals on tap for its 2023-24 Broadway Series: Little Shop of Horrors (August 30-October 15, 2023), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (November 8, 2023-January 14, 2024), Billy Elliot: The Musical (February 7-March 24, 2024), and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (April 24-June 16, 2024).
But wait, there’s more! Paramount simultaneously revealed three more fresh, fervent and emotionally intoxicating plays set for its second season of the BOLD Series in 2023-2024 in Paramount’s sleek new Copley Theatre, right across the street: the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next to Normal (July 26-September 3, 2023), the recent Off-Broadway sensation What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Shreck (October 4-November 12, 2023), and Tennessee Williams’s classic drama A Streetcar Named Desire (March 13-April 21, 2024).
In sum, that’s seven fully-staged, professional productions featuring Chicago and the nation’s most talented actors, designers and directors on stage and behind-the-scenes, sure to keep downtown Aurora - and all of Chicago’s live theater community - buzzing in 2023-24.
Broadway Series renewals begin Monday, January 30, at 10 a.m. 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” offer, with Broadway packages starting as low as $56. In fact, subscribers pay no more than $39.50 per show, and that’s the most expensive ticket. Fees not included.
While you’re at it, go BOLD. BOLD Series renewals begin Monday, January 30, at 10 am. Three-show BOLD packages start at just $75.
As always, Paramount’s current subscribers, more than 35,000 of them now, are given the first chance to secure their seats for both series. During the renewal process, new subscribers are encouraged to pre-order a subscription and queue up for the best seats available before single tickets go on sale to the general public. Single tickets for the 2023-24 BOLD Series go on sale June 2. Single tickets for Paramount’s 12th Broadway Series go on sale July 24.
Paramount Theatre is located at 23 E Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora. Paramount’s new sister stage, the Copley Theatre, is right across the street at 8 E. Galena Blvd., in the North Island Center. To subscribe to either series, visit ParamountAurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or visit the Paramount box office, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and until show time on show days.
Paramount’s 12th Broadway Series: Stories of curiosity, inspiration, passion, struggle and family
Little Shop of Horrors
August 30-October 15, 2023
Opening Night: Friday, September 8, at 8 p.m.
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken
Based on the film by Roger Corman
Nominated for seven Drama Desk Awards, and Winner, Outstanding Musical
Paramount’s 12th Broadway Series launches with Little Shop of Horrors, the doo-wop R&B sensation by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, the genius duo behind Aladdin, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.
The setting is Skid Row, where meek and mild Seymour Krelborn is eeking out a living at the failing Mushnik’s Flower Shop. Until one day, Seymour discovers a strange and unusual plant – one that feeds on human blood. He names her Audrey II and becomes caught up in a wild scheme of trying to acquire fresh blood for his carnivorous plant – all while attempting to save the love of his life from her evil dentist boyfriend.
Little Shop of Horrors is a wild ride filled with some of the catchiest songs including “Suddenly Seymour” and “Suppertime.” But remember…DON’T FEED THE PLANTS!
Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
November 8, 2023-January 14, 2024
Opening Night: Friday, November 17, at 8 p.m.
Book by David Greig
Music by Marc Shaiman
Lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman
Based on the novel by Roald Dahl
Songs from the motion picture by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley
Nominated for seven Laurence Olivier Awards and winner, Best New Musical
Step behind the gates and discover the magic that awaits when Paramount presents the fantastical musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Audiences will follow young Charlie Bucket, his Grandpa Joe and four other Golden Ticket winners on a private tour of eccentric “Candy Man” Willy Wonka’s magical and mysterious chocolate factory. Who will win the lifetime supply of chocolate? Experience their life-changing journey through a world of “Pure Imagination," revealed with Wonka’s army of curious Oompa-Loompas.
Bring the family for a holiday outing at Paramount Theatre, where the Grand Gallery will be transformed into a holiday wonderland including a two-story, Wonka-themed Christmas tree.
Billy Elliot: The Musical
February 7-March 24, 2024
Opening Night: Friday, February 16, at 8 p.m.
Book and Lyrics by Lee Hall
Music by Elton John
Originally directed by Stephen Daldry
Orchestrations by Martin Koch
Nominated for 15 Tony Awards with 10 wins, including Best Musical
The music of Elton John brings to life the story of Billy Elliot, an 11-year-old English boy who stumbles upon a ballet class during his weekly boxing lesson. His surprise love for dance must be hidden at all costs, especially from his coal miner father. With help from his sharp-tongued teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson, Billy gets the chance to attend a prestigious ballet school and must decide what is most important: doing what he loves or doing what other people want. Billy Elliot is a coming-of-age story that inspires us all to do what you love no matter what other people think.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
April 24-June 16, 2024
Opening Night: Friday, May 3, at 8 p.m.
Book by Douglas McGrath
Words and Music by Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil
Orchestrations, vocal and incidental music arrangements by Steve Sidewall
Nominated for seven Tony Awards, with two wins, plus a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album
Carole King made more than beautiful music. She wrote the soundtrack to a generation with songs including “You’ve Got a Friend,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “It’s Too Late,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and “So Far Away.”
Before she was the Carole King we know today, she was a young songwriter from Brooklyn trying to make a name for herself. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical tells the inspiring true story of her remarkable rise to stardom with her husband and songwriting partner, Gerry Goffin, and how she went on to become one of the most successful singers, songwriters and musicians in contemporary music history.
Paramount’s 2023-24 Broadway Series is sponsored by Dunham Foundation, BMO Harris Bank, ComEd, Illinois Arts Council and City of Aurora.
Plan ahead with our dining guide for a night out (or matinee): Dinner and a Show in the Aurora Area of Illinois
Paramount’s 2023-24 BOLD Series: Inspiring. Provocative. Courageous. Unforgettable.
Waiting for you in Paramount’s intimate, 165-seat Copley Theatre is a series full of classic and contemporary works for those who crave stories that are honest, fervent and emotionally intoxicating.
Audiences and critics raved about Paramount’s first BOLD Series in 2022.
Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, hailed Paramount’s BOLD Series staging of Fun Home an “exquisitely crafted and deeply intimate production that achieves a level of emotional intensity I’ve never seen before.”
The Chicago Reader’s Jack Helbig wrote “all of the elements are in place for a fine evening of theater.”
Karen Topham, ChicagoOnStage.com, said “Make the trip. You’ll thank me.”
Prepare to be spellbound by thrilling and courageous storytelling in a sleek, state-of-the-art new live theater space where you’ll be practically part of the action for:
Next to Normal
July 26-September 3, 2023
Music by Tom Kitt
Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Based on the film by Roger Corman
Screenplay by Charles Griffith
Nominated for 11 Tony Awards and winner for Best Musical Score
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama
From the outside, they’re just a normal family. But inside, they’re anything but. Depression, denial, grief and love are the emotional cornerstones of this Pulitzer Prize-winning musical.
Diana Goodman is a suburban mom suffering from bipolar disorder. Her mental health struggles with depression and delusional episodes have affected everyone in her family including husband Dan and daughter Natalie. Dan longs for the wife he once knew and to get his family back to “Better than Before.” Natalie tries to cope but finds herself competing with “Superboy and the Invisible Girl.” With the help of psychiatrist Dr. Madden, Diana and her family hope there’s a “Light in the Dark.” But, the meaning of “Just Another Day” is different for everyone.
Using a powerful Tony Award-winning contemporary rock score, Next to Normal deals with how far two parents will go to keep their family’s world intact. Nothing has to be perfect, just Next to Normal.
What the Constitution Means to Me
October 4-November 12, 2023
by Heidi Schreck
Nominated for two Tony Awards, including Best Play
How do you chart freedom? How can you package liberty? Who’s included and who’s deliberately discarded? How can you create your own future when it’s never certain to begin with?
Playwright Heidi Schreck’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play dives into who the U.S. Constitution is really for, recalling her past teenage self, winning college money by debating the Constitution in American Legion halls across the country. Hilarious, heartbreaking and insightful, What the Constitution Means to Me shows the fight for freedom and equality is never done, but passed on from generation to generation. But perhaps Schreck’s most incendiary question is the most obvious: should we abolish the Constitution and start over?
A Streetcar Named Desire
March 13-April 21, 2024
By Tennessee Williams
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama
New Orleans. The heat is sweltering, the liquor flows, and the secrets are thick as humidity. Pull up a chair and join the high-stakes game of cards. To your left is Stella Kowalski, married, loves her husband and will do anything for him. On your right is Stanley Kowalski, hard drinking, hard playing and hard fists that get used a lot. Across from you is Blanche DuBois, vulnerable, alone and ready to break. Streetcar confronts us with the tenuous relationship between reality and illusion, hope and despair and the brutal battle for beauty and tenderness when the world feels like it’s conspiring against you.
Paramount’s 2023-24 BOLD Series is sponsored by Old National Bank.
Broadway? Bold? Both? Why Not! Subscribe now!
The rewards of subscribing to Paramount’s Broadway and BOLD Series are ample – amazing, Broadway-caliber, blockbuster musicals on Paramount’s glamorous Art Deco stage, plus three provocative and intimate works in Paramount’s new Copley Theatre. Best of all, a multi-play package for either series can cost less than the price and hassle of purchasing just one theater ticket in downtown Chicago.
Exclusive benefits for Paramount subscribers include first choice of the same seats for all shows, free ticket exchanges, and first notice and discounts to added shows and special events, all provided with personal service by Paramount’s dedicated subscriber staff.
Be sure to ask about Paramount’s Premium Guest Experience, including delicious hors d’oeuvres and a private bar in an exclusive area before the show and at intermission. Your personal concierge will even have your drink order ready for you at intermission, along with desserts and coffee.