Fireworks Return to Downtown Aurora and Other Good News from Mayor Weisner Mar22

Fireworks Return to Downtown Aurora and Other Good News from Mayor Weisner...

Courtesy of The Beacon-News: Downtown development in Aurora Rapid infrastructure changes dominated the city’s downtown in 2012 as the city replaced both Downer Place bridges, opened up Downer Place and Benton Street to two-way traffic and began removing parking meters downtown. Critics raved about the Paramount Theatre’s Broadway series, and crowds flocked to shows. In 2011, 12,000 people subscribed to the Broadway series; in 2013, the Paramount had 23,000 series subscribers. Weisner said he will be with his wife Marilyn at the last performance of “Fiddler of the Roof” Sunday. He invited the audience at Piper’s Thursday to tag along. “I’ll buy you a drink if you show up,” Weisner cracked. “Water’s pretty cheap.” In 2012, the city helped the CultureStock used bookstore open, and it quickly has become a gathering place for residents, artists and musicians. In a TIF-backed deal, Batavia-based Aliano’s announced last month that they will open a location in Restaurant Row. Weisner said the business will follow other restaurants that opened downtown with the help of TIF funding: Ballydoyle’s and the Two Brothers Roundhouse. This year the library will break ground on a new main branch location downtown, July 4 fireworks will return to the city’s downtown, and a city-owned LaSalle Street building will become a coffee shop, headed by a non-profit that specializes in veterans outreach. Read the full story...

Broadway at the Paramount Theatre 2013-2014 Schedule...

For two consecutive seasons, the Paramount Theatre in downtown Aurora has wowed critics, audiences and skeptics alike with its bold new Broadway musical subscription series. The Paramount Theatre has four exciting shows on tap for 2013-14, the theater’s third spectacular Broadway season:  In the Heights (September 11-October 6, 2013); Miss Saigon(October 30-November 24, 2013); 42nd Street (January 15-February 9, 2014); and RENT (March 12-April 6, 2014). In year three, Paramount will extend the run of each musical production from three weeks to four to accommodate clear demand for affordable, Broadway-caliber productions conveniently located in downtown Aurora’s beautiful and historic Paramount Theater.  As before, top theater artists from Chicago and all over the country will be tapped to reward Paramount audiences with breathtaking musical theater productions.  At the directorial helm will be a rotation of two of Chicago’s most respected musical theater professionals – Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti, the only person to win a Jeff Award for directing, choreography and acting, and Rachel Rockwell, named “Best Director” by Chicago Magazine in 2010, and most recently, right on the heels of her “Better than Broadway” productionAnnie last holiday season at the Paramount, “2012 Chicagoan of the Year-Theater” by the Chicago Tribune. Rockwell will stage season opener In the Heights and 42nd Street in January. Corti will direct Miss Saigon, and the season finale, RENT.  “Audiences have come out in record-setting numbers to experience our Broadway productions. Critics are calling our shows some of the best musical theater being done in Chicago,” said Paramount President and CEO Tim Rater. “Yet our goal next season remains the same, to produce big, beautiful Broadway musicals with our own Paramount take. We’re also offering what we feel is the best priced subscription package in the state, and it’s the exact same deal as when we debuted the Broadway Series two years ago: Buy two shows, get two shows...

Paramount Theatre’s Fiddler on the Roof Scores with Top Notch Reviews Mar11

Paramount Theatre’s Fiddler on the Roof Scores with Top Notch Reviews...

DOWNTOWN AURORA – The Paramount Theatre is ending their second season of Broadway shows with a bang as they wow audiences with “Fiddler on the Roof” this March. Here are some of the amazing reviews: Splash Magazine Chicago Tribune‘s Chris Jones Downtown Auroran Magazine Sun-Times’s Hedy Weiss Daily Herald Chicago Critic    ...

Former East Drama Teacher Arlene Hawks Takes Lead Role at SciTech in Downtown Aurora Mar10

Former East Drama Teacher Arlene Hawks Takes Lead Role at SciTech in Downtown Aurora...

Courtesy of The Beacon-News: AURORA — A famous name in Aurora schools is taking the helm at SciTech. On Friday, the board of SciTech Hands On Museum in downtown Aurora announced that it has appointed long-time local educator Arlene Hawks as its new executive director. Hawks, who taught drama at East Aurora High School for 32 years and works with several organizations around the city of Aurora, said she is both “excited” and “honored” to run the science and technology museum for children. “Arlene is a lifelong educator, she’s completely interwoven into the fabric of Aurora, she has the energy, the drive, the vision and charisma to continue all our programs and take them further,” SciTech Board President John Duggan said during Friday’s announcement. At SciTech, Hawks replaces former Executive Director Carol Rehtmeyer, who took a new position at Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History in January. Duggan praised the work that Rehtmeyer did during her tenure at the museum, including the opening of Discovery Preschool, record attendance numbers and the start of a theater troupe at the museum. Hawks said she plans to grow support for the museum by leveraging her involvement in the Aurora community. “There are many organizations that I am associated with that I hope to build new relationships with,” she said. “Hopefully they will see our mission is education. My goal is to bring the money in, and then use it to make (the programs) so exciting they can’t stay away.” Though Hawks expressed her excitement for the theater stage inside the museum, she said her first priority would be ensuring that “all the children that come to SciTech have the experience they expect to have.” “We’re going to have new programs that excite young people and even...