You may have been to Oz before.
But never like this.
Acclaimed Chicago director Amber Mak dazzled audiences with Paramount’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. She made kids of all ages believe in Santa again with Elf The Musical. Now she’s taking audiences over the rainbow and into another fantastical world with The Wizard of Oz, November 14, 2018-January 6, 2019 at Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora. Press opening is Saturday, November 17, at 8 p.m.
Donning Dorothy’s ruby red slippers in her Paramount debut is rising Chicago theater star Elizabeth Stenholt, who won hearts as Wendy in Peter Pan at Chicago Shakespeare Theater last summer.
Joining Stenholt on her way to see the wizard are a trio of past Paramount leading men: Kyle Adams, so funny as Buddy the Elf in last season’s Elf The Musical, as Scarecrow/ Hunk; Carl Draper, lead actor in Oklahoma, Mary Poppins, A Chorus Line and My Fair Lady, as Tinman/Hickory; and Paul-Jordan Jansen, 2017 Jeff Award Winner-Best Actor in a Musical as the demon barber in Paramount’s Sweeney Todd, as Cowardly Lion/Zeke.
Paramount’s principal cast includes Caron Buinis as the Wicked Witch of the West/Almira Gulch, Harriet Nzinga Plumpp as Glinda the Good Witch/Aunt Em and Gene Weygandt as Wizard of Oz/Professor Marvel.
The ensemble features Emily Agy, Anastasia Arnold, Anna Brockman, Danielle Davila, Allyson Graves, Christopher Kelley, Maria Montero, Leah Morrow, Steve O’Connell, Nich O’Neil, Jessica Palkovic, Peter Sipla, Anthony Sullivan Jr., Aaron Umsted, Charlie Ward,
J Tyler Whitmer and Travis Austin Wright.
Young performers Audrey Edwards, Juliana Filapek and Elyssa Hall are the Lullaby League. Rodney L. Jones III, Sebastian Merlo and Trey Thompson play members of the Lollipop Guild.
And yes, Toto too. Dorothy’s adorable dog will be double cast with two wee Cairn Terriers, Nessa and Nigel, both rescue dogs professionally trained for the stage by William Berloni Theatrical Animals.
Bring the whole family to experience a musical theater extravaganza, sure to warm hearts this holiday season. Show times are Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Thursday at 7 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Exceptions: No show Thursday, November 22 (Thanksgiving Day). No show Sunday, December 23, at 5:30 p.m. There is one added Tuesday evening performance on Tuesday, November 27, at 7 p.m. Added family matinees are Friday, December 21, at 1:30 p.m.; Thursday, December 27, at 1:30 p.m.; and Thursday, January 3, at 1 p.m. Evening show times Wednesday and Thursday, January 2 and 3, are at 6 p.m., one hour early. Matinee show times Wednesday and Thursday, January 2 and 3 are at 1 p.m., 30 minutes early.
Join the thousands of families who come through Paramount’s doors each holiday season, ready to pose for photos in front of a two-story Christmas tree and fully decorated lobby.
Single tickets to The Wizard of Oz are $36 to $69. For tickets, visit ParamountAurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount box office Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Paramount Theatre is surrounded by affordable parking and a variety of restaurants for pre- or post-show dining.
Remember, my pretties, The Wizard of Oz has some scary moments and is suggested for ages 5 and older.
Photo by Thomas J. King for Paramount Theatre.