Award-Winning Broadway in Aurora, Illinois
Aurora's Paramount Theatre is home to Chicago's Best Broadway Series
The Paramount Theatre, located at 23 E. Galena Boulevard in Aurora, Illinois, has anchored the city's downtown business district since it opened on September 3, 1931. The building was designed by renowned theater architects C.W. and George L. Rapp and is graced with a beautiful Venetian decor, with a strong 1930s Art Deco influence. From silent films to the first "Talkies," from Vaudeville acts to Frank Sinatra, Dionne to Donny and Marie, Aurora's historic Paramount Theatre has provided all of Chicagoland the best in entertainment for generations.
Fun fact: The Paramount Theatre was also the first air-conditioned building outside of Chicago.
Since launching its own Broadway Series in 2011, Paramount has leapt to the top of Chicago’s musical theater scene, winning unanimous critical and audience acclaim, and an unprecedented number of Joseph Jefferson nominations and awards, including Best Musical-Large for three consecutive seasons. The story of the Paramount Theatre is a case study of how a city and an arts organization successfully worked together to use the power of live performing arts to fuel an economic turnaround and radically change the reputation of Aurora, the second largest city in the state of Illinois.
“Our audiences, the critics and the Jeff Committee clearly agree – Paramount is producing many of the very best musicals in the entire Chicagoland area. We consider this important recognition for the consistently excellent work being produced on our beautiful stage, and for our top-notch production values that rival theaters anywhere in Chicago, on Broadway and around the nation.”
- President & CEO Tim Rater
In 2011, Paramount launched its inaugural four-play Broadway Series with Artistic Director Jim Corti's critically acclaimed production of My Fair Lady. In less than 10 years, Paramount has catapulted to the top of Chicago’s musical theater scene, wowing audiences and critics alike with one blockbuster musical after the other.
“Paramount has done it again!” “worth the trip,” “this show could play on Broadway” and “Miracle on Galena Boulevard” became common refrains from critics and audiences alike.
Whether it's family friendly musicals like Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, classic fare like 42nd Street and Fiddler on the Roof, musical comedies like The Producers and Hairspray, edgier shows like In the Heights and Sweeney Todd, or even all-new mega-musicals like The Secret of My Success, Paramount always delivers Broadway-caliber productions in one of Illinois’ most ornate and historic Art Deco palaces, all at half the price of seeing a show in downtown Chicago.
Paramount Theatre welcomes Broadway Series subscribers from 18 states, 438 cities, and 492 zip codes! In the last ten years Paramount has hosted live theater fans from all 50 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, and international visitors from as far as Germany, France, Ukraine and Argentina.
In reward, the Joseph Jefferson Committee, Chicago’s version of the Tony Awards, has honored Paramount with an unprecedented number of Jeff Awards (20) and nominations (71), including Best Musical three years in a row. As a result, Aurora has grown a reputation as an internationally known destination for live theater experiences of the scale you might find in downtown Chicago and even Broadway, without big city prices for tickets, parking or nearby dining.
Paramount Theatre 2022-2023 Broadway Series
Aurora's Paramount Theatre enters its second decade with four blockbuster musicals on tap for its 2022-23 Broadway Series: Dreamgirls, The Sound of Music, Into the Woods, and School of Rock.
“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.’"
It’s the 1960s where the sound of Motown is on the rise. Meet the Dreamettes, Effie, Deena and Lorrell — the Dreamgirls — three women trying to break their way onto the music scene. When car salesman Curtis Taylor Jr. signs the three singers 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.
"First seen on Broadway in 1981, the justly beloved musical “Dreamgirls,” which tells the fictionalized story of Diana Ross and the Supremes and is now in a spectacular new production at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, was the model for a subsequent tsunami of theatrical biographies of musical stars." - Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
" Under the superb direction of Christopher D. Betts (not enough words to describe his direction) this musical jumps to life immediately and the audience is engaged for the rest of the night." - Tina St. Angelo Wetzel, Broadwayworld.com
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. Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti and Associate Artistic Producer Trent Stork co-direct 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.
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.
Join the growing ranks of more than 33,000 Broadway Series subscribers at downtown Aurora’s Paramount Theatre. To subscribe, visit ParamountAurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora.
Learn more about the award winning Paramount Theatre Broadway Series paramountaurora.com/broadway.
Aurora's Paramount Theatre is also home to an exciting line-up of performances spanning comedy, dance, and music. View the full lineup of events at enjoyaurora.com/Paramount-Theatre.
Paramount’s new Bold Series will offer intimate, professional live theater experiences that are fearless, unexpected and thought provoking. In a word, BOLD.
Rock out this summer at RiverEdge Park
Paramount Theatre production photos courtesy Paramount Theatre and Liz Lauren.