After earning Joseph Jefferson Awards three years running for best large musical, Paramount Theatre is flexing its muscles with an eye toward expanding, maybe as far as Broadway.
The Aurora theater announced its 2018-2019 season Monday and added that it will conclude with the world premiere musical "August Rush," adapted from the 2007 film about a musical prodigy.
"One of our biggest dreams is finally becoming a reality," said artistic director Jim Corti in a prepared statement.
Directed by John Doyle ("Sweeney Todd," "The Color Purple" 2015 revival), the show "represents the next step in Paramount's evolution into one of the nation's pre-eminent regional theaters," Corti said.
A coproduction with the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia, "August Rush" marks the first major work developed through Paramount's new works initiative headed by Amber Mak. The production begins previews at Paramount on April 24, following a monthlong run at the Signature.
The production will feature actors playing live on stage in place of a pit orchestra.
"I'm excited about the development of this new and unique musical," Doyle said in a prepared statement. "'August Rush' centers on the emotional and musical journey of a young boy -- a lost boy ... The 'hope' that the story highlights is powerful. That, more than anything, is what attracted me to the material."
Film soundtrack composer Mark Mancina composed the score and co-wrote the lyrics with lyricist/book writer Glen Berger ("Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark").
Paramount's Broadway series begins Sept. 5 with a revival of "Legally Blonde," the story of a California coed, dumped by her boyfriend, who follows him to Harvard Law School in an attempt to win him back.
Next up is "The Wizard of Oz" (Nov. 14-Jan. 6, 2019), adapted from L. Frank Baum's novel (and the 1939 film) about a Kansas farm girl transported to a fantastical land, where she befriends a scarecrow, tin man and lion. Amber Mak ("The Little Mermaid") directs.
Corti helms a revival of the Broadway favorite "The Producers" (Feb. 6 -- March 17, 2019), based on the Mel Brooks' comedy about a Broadway has-been and his accountant who discover they can make more money on a flop than a hit.
Four-show subscriptions start at $72 and include the theater's buy-two-shows, get-two-shows-free offer. Current season subscribers can renew their four-show subscriptions beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 5.
During the renewal process, new subscribers can pre-order before the general public. Pre-order reservations can be made online at paramountaurora.com during the first week.
New subscribers can pre-order subscriptions over the phone or in person at 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, beginning at 10 a.m. Feb. 12. Single tickets go on sale in June. (630) 896-6666 or paramountaurora.com.