First Fridays features handful of concerts on March 2 in downtown Aurora...

First Fridays features a night of live music on March 2. Along with half a dozen art openings, the month’s themed “Music Hop” highlights a handful of concerts in downtown Aurora. Aurora Public Art Commission hosts The Ready Freddies, a (mostly) female Queen tribute band. They perform from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on the third floor at the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl. “Nevertheless: Women Depicting Women, an invitational show curated by new public art director Jen Evans, continues. Fox Valley Orchestra Bassist Jeremy Beyer brings his quintet, Chicago Hot Fives, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. to Gallery 1904, 1 E. Benton St., for an evening of jazz music. The gallery also opens “All About Water,” an exhibit of watercolor artists and other interpretive pieces pertaining to water. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. M.U.S.I.C. Mondays comes to First Fridays as Culture Stock, 43 E. Galena Blvd., invites popular regulars to the stage to perform favorite tunes. 6 to 9 p.m. Live music is also featured at Endiro Coffee, 29 W. New York St. from 6 to 9 p.m. A DJ visits Leland Legends starting at 8 p.m., and Gremlen Recording Studios, 130 W. Downer Pl., offers karaoke from 6 to 9 p.m. Also at First Fridays, visit pop up shops at Aurora Regional Fire Museum, Zen Loft Wellness Center and All Spoked Up, and ride the free trolley from 6 to 10 p.m. Art openings, live music, and more are featured at First Fridays on March 2 at several locations throughout downtown including: Waubonsee Community College Aurora Downtown campus library, 18 S. River St., hosts “In/Visibility: Hmong America and the Art of Storytelling.” 6 to 8:30 p.m. Aurora Historical Society, 20 E. Downer Pl., hosts Alderman Sherman Jenkins for...

Soon-to-open downtown Aurora candy shop offers online ordering in time for Valentine’s Day...

Aurora Botanicals, Gourmets and Sweets might not be open yet, but they have an online store that will make any candy fan happy. Owner Kristin Ludwig posted on the store’s Facebook page that they are now selling sugar paint cans starting at $7. The website directs customers to “Pick your favorite color, and let us mix you up a sugary can of our exquisite candies. Each can includes a decorative and delicious blend of whipped taffy, melt-in-your-mouth fruity cubes, super-shiny gum balls, and funky striped candy balls! Every size includes a daisy flower-pop, and larger sizes also include a swirled and twisted lollypop. Every paint can is topped with sugar straws and a sheer golden ribbon, and come packed in a gift box with matching tissue, making our cans a ready-to-go gift!” Ludwig said she has already had some orders come in since the post. She suggests that orders are placed soon in order to arrive in time for Valentine’s Day. If local, she added that pick up could be arranged. Order...

Paramount announces historic 2018-2019 season ending with brand new musical...

For the first time in its history, Aurora’s Paramount Theatre will present a brand new musical. August Rush, a world premiere co-production with Arlington Virginia’s Signature Theatre, was announced today as the thrilling finale of Paramount’s 2018-19 Broadway series. Internationally acclaimed director John Doyle, who earned a Tony Award for Sweeney Todd and also staged the Broadway revival of The Color Purple starring Jennifer Hudson, will direct this new live stage adaption of the Oscar-nominated Warner Brothers film about a musically gifted orphan and his search for his birth parents. The movie August Rushstarred Robin Williams, Keri Russell and Freddie Highmore and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. August Rush, debuting April 24-June 2, 2019 at the Paramount, press opening Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m., will be preceded in the theater’s 2018-19 Broadway series by three more blockbuster productions: Legally Blonde (September 5-October 21, 2018), The Wizard of Oz (November 14, 2018-January 6, 2019) and The Producers (February 6-March 17, 2019). Just as it has since it launched its first Broadway Musical Series in 2011, Paramount will offer the same “Buy Two Shows, Get Two Shows Free” subscription offer, with 2018-19 four-play packages starting as low as $72. Renewals begin today, Monday, February 5 at 10 a.m., with current subscribers given first chance to secure their seats for all four shows. During the renewal process, new subscribers can pre-order before the general public to get in line for seats. Pre-order reservations can be made online only at ParamountAurora.com for the first week. Starting Monday, February 12 at 10 a.m., new subscribers can pre-order over the phone or in person as well. Single tickets go on sale in June. For information, visit ParamountAurora.com, call (630) 896-6666, or visit theParamount Theatre box office, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown...