Award-Winning Broadway in Aurora, Illinois
Aurora's Paramount Theatre is home to Chicago's Best Broadway Series
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
Press and media highlights for The Secret of My Success, a world premiere musical at Paramount Theatre:
'The Secret of Aurora's Success': What the Paramount Theatre got right and how it changed a city - Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
"Here are the facts. In less than 10 years, following its decision to produce its own musicals using the talent found in northern Illinois, the Paramount has acquired a subscription base of 41,000 patrons, one of the largest in the nation. This success, combined with its ongoing comedy and concert series, has allowed the theater to expand its base into a performing arts school for area residents and, beginning next season, a second subscription season of shows in a smaller theater across the street, this one devoted to plays. Other businesses have seen all the people now walking around downtown and decided to go west and join the party: recent arrivals include the restaurateur Amy Morton, who has opened Stolp Island Social, the kind of buzzy establishment more usually associated with Midtown Manhattan."
'The Secret of My Success' musical breathes new life into movie plot with smart, much-needed updating - Catey Sullivan, Chicago Sun-Times
Dynamic and entertaining, it could be the lightning-strike new musical that actually has the potential for Broadway.
How world premiere of 'The Secret of My Success' came to Paramount Theatre - Marni Pyke, Daily Herald
"A few days later, less than 24 hours before previews began, the new lyrics have been memorized, the emoji costumes are complete and the white space on top of the skyline has been muted.
Aurora's Paramount Theatre, second largest subscription house in the U.S., to celebrate its 10th anniversary season with four blockbuster musicals: Rock of Ages, Cinderella, Groundhog Day, and Ragtime.
"Season 10 mirrors a kaleidoscopic panorama of 20th century musical genres blasting off with the ‘80s rocker flashback of heart and soul and head-bashing fervor, Rock of Ages," said Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti. "Our family-friendly tradition presenting holiday spectacle ensues with the timeless riches of Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. Time literally and hysterically repeats itself in the 2017 Broadway musical adaptation of the ‘90s Bill Murray comedy film classic Groundhog Day. In 1902, new music called Ragtime sent the century spinning accompanying industrialization, immigration, class and racial conflict. In this historical fiction exquisitely scored by 1998 Tony Award winning Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, injustice and hope two-handedly play America like an old piano tune at once devastatingly poignant and refulgent, resonant and relevant.”
“We have an incredible season in store with stories that rock, enchant, charm and inspire,” added Tim Rater, President and CEO, Paramount Theatre.
Rock of Ages, Paramount’s 10th season opener, will take audiences back into the iconic music era of the ‘80s, where rock-n-roll dreamers turn their fantasies into reality. Nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Rock of Ages is a Hollywood love story told through the mind blowing hits of top 80s rock bands like Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Poison and more. Paramount Theatre New Work Development Director Amber Mak directs. Are you ready to rock? Performances are September 2-October 18, 2020.
Cinderella, the classic musical from the genius minds of Rodgers and Hammerstein, is an enchanting story that will make entire families wish fairy godmothers and glass slippers weren’t just for fairy tales. Paramount is planning a mesmerizing new production that gives parents and children a familiar yet reimagined take on the story families have returned to over and over across generations. Performances are November 11, 2020-January 17, 2021.
Groundhog Day, based on the classic Bill Murray film comedy, will be a Midwest regional premiere, produced by Paramount Theatre. Imagine being stuck in a time loop, waking up and realizing you’re living the same day over and over and over and over again. Set your alarm to make sure you see this uproariously funny, surprisingly touching and simply inspirational musical comedy, nominated for seven Tony Awards. Paramount Theatre Artistic Director Jim Corti will direct. Performances are February 10-March 28, 2021.
Ragtime, the turn-of-the-century American musical set in the age of “ragtime,” a new form of music that electrified the country. But beneath the pounding of piano keys are three different families trying make their way through tumultuous times in a country still experiencing growing pains, class struggle and racial prejudice. Appropriately, Paramount Theatre Artistic Director Jim Corti, who famously played Harry Houdini in the original Broadway production, will direct. Performances are April 28-June 13, 2021.
Just as it has since it launched its first Broadway Series in 2011, Paramount will offer the same “Buy Two Shows, Get Two Shows Free” subscription offer. Broadway Series packages start as low as $72. In fact, Paramount subscribers pay no more than $37 per show, and that’s the most expensive ticket. Fees not included.
EXTRA EXTRA! Here's what the Chicago papers said about Disney's Newsies at Paramount Theatre:
"...Dedication to high production values along with accessible pricing is why the Paramount Theatre in Aurora has amassed more than 40,000 subscribers." - Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
"Plenty of good old-fashioned fun, exciting song & dance" - Catey Sullivan, Chicago Sun-Times
"A splendidly gritty revival...3.5 out of 4 stars" - Barbara Vitello, Daily Herald
"This is definitely a production worth shouting about" - Noel Schecter, New City Stage
Acclaim for Paramount's 2018-2019 Broadway Series:
"[The Producers] is fearless, often doubling down where others would demur. And it is brimming with original ideas." - Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
"As is always the case at the Paramount, the production is on a grand scale. And along with [Artistic Director Jim] Corti’s brainy and fearless direction there is sparkling choreography by Brenda Didier (everything from tap dance, to a lovely Astaire-Rogers duet, to a German clog and an elaborate Follies parody), an impeccable orchestra led by music director Tom Vendafreddo, and a spot-on, easily morphable ensemble." - Hedy Weiss, WTTW
"If you love musicals as much as we do, then take a drive out to Aurora for the latest Broadway-infused sensation at Paramount Theatre." - Katina Beniaris, Chicago Parent
"LEGALLY BLONDE...a fun, girl-power story that makes the transition from screen to stage—and from 2001 to 2018—remarkably well." - Broadway World Chicago
"Once again, the Paramount Theatre in Aurora has found a way to turn an often told story into a fresh, eye-popping production." - Eric Schelkopf, Kane County Chronicle
"Paramount's production dazzles." - Barbara Vitello, Daily Herald
Paramount's 2020/2021 season announced:
Rock of Ages
September 2 through October 18, 2020
November 11, 2020 through January 17, 2021
Groundhog Day: The Musical
February 10 through March 28, 2021
April 28 through June 13, 2021
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.