Paramount Theatre Racks Up 15 Jeff Award Nominations

Paramount Theatre Racks Up 15 Jeff Award Nominations

One of the gems of Kane County — the historic Paramount Theatre — has again shown itself to be a major theater leader in the Chicago area, scoring 15 nominations for outstanding performance, direction and/or design in Chicago theater’s Jeff Awards — the Chicago equivalent of the Tony Awards.

Two of Paramount’s four 2016-17 Broadway series productions – Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street received multiple nominations, including the biggest honor, Best Production-Musical-Large.

Additionally, all four of Paramount’s 2016-17 productions, including Jesus Christ Superstar and Mamma Mia!, received nominations.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid – 6 Nominations

  • Production-Musical-Large
  • Supporting Actor, Musical: Jonathan Butler-Duplessis (Sebastian)
  • Scenic Design, Large: Jeffrey D. Kmiec
  • Costume Design, Large: Theresa Ham
  • Lighting Design, Large: Jesse Klug
  • Puppet Design: Jesse Mooney-Bullock

Jesus Christ Superstar – 2 Nominations

  • Supporting Actress, Musical: Felicia Boswell (Mary Magdalene)
  • Lighting Design, Large: Greg Hofmann

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – 6 Nominations

  • Production-Musical-Large
  • Director, Musical or Revue: Jim Corti
  • Principal Actor, Musical: Paul-Jordan Jansen (Sweeney Todd)
  • Principal Actress, Musical: Bri Sudia (Mrs. Lovett)
  • Music Direction: Tom Vendafreddo
  • Lighting Design, Large: Nick Belley and Jesse Klug

Mamma Mia! – 1 nomination

  • Projection Design: Christopher Ash

Piles of Awards

“The Jeff Committee, the critics and our audiences clearly agree — Paramount is producing many of the very best musicals in the entire Chicagoland area,” said Paramount President and CEO Tim Rater. “This is our third consecutive year for multiple nominations across the board, a nod to not only the excellent work being produced on our beautiful stage, but the consistently top-notch production values that rival theaters anywhere in Chicago, on Broadway and around the nation.”

Paramount Artistic Director Jim Corti, who earned an individual Best Director nomination for his production of Sweeney Todd last season, added, “I’m grateful to the Jeff Committee, and thrilled for our creative and technical teams for this much-deserved recognition of their work on stage and behind the scenes.”

Last season, Corti’s production of West Side Story received the night’s top honor — Best Musical/Large Theater — at the 2015-16 Jeff Awards, marking Paramount’s second consecutive Jeff Award for Best Musical. Les Misérables won both Best Musical/Large and Best Director for Corti in 2014-15.

Paramount’s work has been eligible for review by the Jeff Committee for just the past three seasons. In its first year of eligibility in 2014-15, Paramount was honored with an unprecedented 16 Jeff Awards nominations, winning five. Last season, Paramount snared 14 Jeff Award nominations and won three.

The 2016-17 Jeff Award winners will be announced Nov. 6, 2017. To see the full list of nominees, visit

More about Paramount’s 2017-18 Broadway Series

Looking ahead to more award-winning, Broadway-caliber productions, Paramount’s 2017-18 season includes Million Dollar Quartet (Sep. 13-Oct. 29, 2017),

Elf: The Musical (Nov. 22, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018), Cabaret (Feb. 7–March 18, 2018) and Once (April 25-June 3, 2018).

Four-play packages start as low as $72.

The Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Boulevard in downtown Aurora, is surrounded by affordable parking and a variety of restaurants for pre- or post-show dining. For subscriptions and single tickets, visit, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount box office Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and two hours prior to evening performances.

About the Paramount Theatre

The Paramount Theatre ( is the center for performing arts, entertainment and arts education in Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois. Named “One of Chicago’s Top 10 Attended Theatres” by the League of Chicago Theatres, the 1,888-seat Paramount, located in downtown Aurora at 23 E. Galena Blvd., is nationally renowned for the quality and caliber of its presentations, superb acoustics and historic beauty.

The Paramount opened on Sept. 3, 1931. Designed by renowned theater architects C.W. and George L. Rapp, the theater captures a unique Venetian setting with a 1930s art deco influence.

The first air-conditioned building outside of Chicago, the Paramount offered a variety of entertainment, including “talking pictures,” vaudeville, concerts and circus performances for over 40 years.

In 1976, the Aurora Civic Center Authority purchased the Paramount, closed the theater for restoration and returned the Paramount to its original grandeur. The Paramount Arts Centre reopened in 1978, offering a variety of theatrical, musical, comedy, dance and family programming. In 2006, a 12,000-square-foot, two-story Grand Gallery lobby was added, with a new, state-of-the-art box office, café and art gallery.

Today, the Paramount self-produces its own Broadway Series, presents an eclectic array of comedy, music, dance and family shows, and on most Mondays, screens a classic movie.

The Paramount Theatre is one of three live performance venues programmed and managed by the ACCA, which also oversees the Paramount’s “sister” stage, the intimate, 173-seat Copley Theatre located directly across the street from the Paramount at 8 E. Galena Blvd., as well as RiverEdge Park, downtown Aurora’s summer outdoor concert venue.