“A Christmas Story – The Musical” Opens at Paramount Theatre...

  A Christmas Story – The Musical, everyone’s favorite holiday comedy about little Ralphie and his quest for a Red Ryder BB gun, is now on the Paramount stage through January 3. Paramount‘s production stars 13-year-old Michael Harp as little Ralphie with his parents played by Danni Smith as his Mother, Michael Accardo as The Old Man and Philip Earl Johnson as the narrator, Jean. Of this cast of 31, 21 actors are making their Paramount debut in A Christmas Story – The Musical, directed by Nick Bowling, choreographed by Rhett Guter, and with musical director Tom Vendafreddo conducting the 17-member Paramount Orchestra playing the full, original Broadway orchestrations. Brimming with dynamite performances and overflowing with comedy and heart, A Christmas Story – The Musical is the adaptation of the 1983 indie cult film which became a Broadway musical spectacular in 2012. Who doesn’t love nine-year-old Ralphie Parker, a typical boy growing up in 1940s Indiana? With Christmas right around the corner, Ralphie has his bespectacled sights set on one thing – a Red Ryder BB Gun. But at every turn, the young daydreamer hears those five words that are the bane of his existence: “You’ll shoot your eye out.” The music is energetic, unforgettable and ranges from gentle ballads to full-on, show-stopping numbers. The imagery takes audiences back to an easier time we often long for, but the message remains the same: family, friendship, love – the holidays are nothing without them. Bring your family and celebrate the holidays with this beloved story of a department store Santa, a Leg Lamp, a snow suit and friends that will never leave your side – even if your tongue is stuck to a flag pole.   Regular performances continue through January 3. Show times are Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and...

Shop Downtown Aurora on Small Business Saturday this Nov. 28...

Shop small in downtown Aurora. We have blocks of fun and unique shops. Here are just some of the things you can fill your bags (or stockings) with at businesses located right in downtown Aurora. Did we mention the free parking? NOM NOM NOM If you have foodies on your list, then downtown Aurora — with around a dozen eateries — is a great place to fill up on gift cards, gift certificates and more. Here is a sampling of tasty items: Restaurant Row. Gift certificates to Gillerson’s Grubbery, Ballydoyle, U Samba? and Fairbanks Steakhouse (inside Hollywood Casino) are easy and perfect for anyone. River’s Edge Café. Baked goods, fresh coffee, and even t-shirts can all be found at 14 W. Downer Place. It’s a sweet spot that everyone can enjoy. Fox Valley Homebrew. Two doors down from River’s Edge Café is Fox Valley Homebrew — a beer crafters dream. The small store sells beer and winemaking kits plus a whole lot of accessories for the hobby. Visit www.foxvalleybrew.com. BEAUTIFUL THINGS Wardell Art Glass Studio. You might not need stained glass, but Wardell Art Glass Studio at 28 S. Stolp Ave. has a small gift shop in front of the large street level workshop. Ceramic art tiles, gift cards and other unique gift items are available. The DLP. The David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl., is a great place not only to soak in some art and culture, but also to shop. A gift shop to the left of the entrance is filled with handmade jewelry, gift cards, historical Aurora items and books. Pick up your 2016 calendar today! YM Boutique, 5 W. Downer Pl., and Glanze Boutique, 40 E. New York St. Shop for stylish women of all ages in downtown Aurora. THEATER Paramount Theatre. Make...

Tech Company Moves to Downtown Aurora, Brings 100 Plus Jobs to Old Library Campus...

Support Techs is downtown Aurora’s newest neighbor. The technology support company is moving into the old library at 1 E. Benton St. in downtown, the mayor and others announced today at a press conference. Support Techs brings over 100 employees to the building. Ron Janusz, president of Support Techs, said they hope to move in the middle of next year. Mayor Tom Weisner thanked the initiative of Invest Aurora (formerly Seize the Future) for enticing the company to make the move. Mayor Weisner pointed out the successful art movement in downtown, along with more residences, like the 36 apartments that will be in the old Elks Building on Benton and Stolp. Janusz said that Onlight Aurora, the city’s buried fiber optic cable system, was a big factor in the move, as well as downtown amenities for employees. He said in the computer support business, the company needs fast internet capabilities. No plans or renderings for the building were shown, but the city’s request for proposal (RFP) requested that the building be returned to the original architectural state sans the mid-century modern facade. Support Techs is in its 21st year of business. For the last six years, the company resides at 580 Exchange Ct. in Aurora. Support Companies The Support Companies, and its sister companies, are among the premiere technical and customer support enterprises in the Midwest, In business for more than 20 years, they currently comprise over 100 full-time permanent employees, more than 75% of them Aurora residents. Specializing in providing support for cutting edge technologies, clients include large counties, banking institutions, hotels, and national corporate users. All of its major clients are traded on the New York Stock Exchange and new start-up clients are being added regularly. “Our work environment is built to...

First Fridays on Dec. 4 is Festive, Holiday Party at 17 Venues...

Downtown businesses are opening their doors and celebrating the holiday season with art, music, and dancing on the first Friday in December. Decorated windows and a bright, shining star atop the Leland Tower add to the festive evening.   First Fridays, a night of art, music, and culture in downtown Aurora, on Dec. 4 features a full night of holiday cheer with a heart of gold from an auction of artwork made out of paper bags at If These Walls Could Talk to a collection of gifts for Mutual Ground at Michael Edward Smith Photography.   Blue Bird Beat Cafe joins the First Fridays lineup this month, and The ArtBar prepares for the end of the world. Grab some stocking stuffers at The Yetee and Friends Holiday Bazaar.   Pick up a free First Fridays passport at any venue for a full map of participating venues. Return the punched passport at the last venue visited for a chance to win a First Fridays goody bag.   In December, the following venues are open for First Fridays.   Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway, is all decked out for Christmas with it’s fun, hidden firemouse family. “Teamwork Brotherhood” continues on the second floor. The show highlights nearly two dozen retired Aurora firefighters. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.   Yetee Gallery, 110 Cross St., opens for The Yetee and Friends Holiday Bazaar, a show with Yetee employees and friends selling gift items for the holidays. 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.   Allen and Pepa Architects, 121 W. Benton St., features library sculpture artist Jim Jenkins and his “Graphplotfictions,” messages, meditations, and mysteries from the Deux ex Machina sculpture at Aurora’s Santori Library. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.   Paramount Theatre’s Grand Gallery, 23 E. Galena Blvd.,...

One-Way until December in Downtown Aurora...

Pavement marking and traffic signal installation have begun for the conversion of several Aurora streets from one-way to two-way operation. However, motorists should be aware that the streets are still one-way streets until next month. Galena Boulevard and New York Street On east-west thoroughfares Galena Boulevard and New York Street, the pavement has been marked for new two-way traffic.   Galena will become two-way from Broadway to Ohio St. and New York will become two-way from Broadway to Smith Blvd. However, each street is still just one way, with traffic reduced to just one lane on each street. The single lane allows crews to complete work and helps drivers become accustomed to driving in what will be the correct lane when the streets begin operating in both directions. Weather permitting, both Galena Boulevard and New York Street will open as two-way streets in December. River Street and Lake Street Both River Street and Lake Street – from Gale Street to New York Street – will also open to two-way north-south traffic. Pavement markings are nearly complete and new traffic signals will soon be installed on both thoroughfares.  Again, both are still currently one-way streets with an expected conversion to two-way in December, weather permitting. Signs along all four streets will alert drivers to the change in traffic patterns in the days prior to the start of two-way operation. During these final transitional periods, motorists are asked to drive safely and remain alert to changes in traffic patterns. Watch for signs posted through the corridors for the most up-to-date...