Aurora’s Paramount Theatre Wins Best Musical For ‘Sweeney Todd’
Aurora’s Paramount Theatre has won eight Jeff Awards — more than any other Chicago theater — at last night’s (Monday, Nov. 6, 2017) Joseph Jefferson Equity Awards for its 2016-17 productions of Sweeney Todd-The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
Best Production-Musical-Large, arguably the night’s biggest honor, went to Paramount’s Sweeney Todd at Monday night’s annual derby of Chicago’s best professional plays and musicals. This marks the third consecutive year Paramount has won Best Large Musical. Paramount’s Les Misérables and West Side Story took top honors in 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively.
In sum, Paramount shaved off five 2016-17 Jeff Awards for Sweeney Todd, including Director for Artistic Director Jim Corti, Music Direction for Tom Vendafreddo (his first), Principal Actor, Musical for Paul Jordan-Jansen, and Lighting Design, Large for Nick Belley and Jesse Klug.
Paramount’s Disney’s The Little Mermaid was another big winner, swimming away with three awards including Scenic Design-Large for Jeffrey D. Kmiec, Costume Design-Large for Theresa Ham, and Puppet Design for Jesse Mooney-Bullock.
“Thank you Chicago theater, where we get our actors, designers and our technicians,” Corti said while accepting his directing award for Sweeney Todd. “Also, I have to tell you, half of Aurora is here tonight. The mayor of Aurora, Richard C. Irvin, is here. Hercle the crossing guard is here. They’re all here! This is a great night, ladies and gentleman. Thank you so much!”
“We were honored to have so many of our Paramount family of artists nominated this year in so many categories. It’s a testament to the talent, dedication and creativity of these wonderful people,” said Paramount Theatre President and CEO Tim Rater. “Taking home the Jeff for the Best Large Musical for the third-year in a row is beyond words. I’m proud of every person that worked on Sweeney Todd and I’m thankful to have such an amazing group of people who poured their hearts and souls into this show.”
Just three seasons ago, the Jeff Committee recognized that if its mission was to judge the best professional theater in all of Chicagoland, then it needed to expand its boundaries to include the Paramount. In its first year of eligibility, Paramount was honored with an unprecedented 16 nominations, winning five for Les Misérables, including Production-Musical-Large and Director for Corti. Last season, Paramount earned 14 Jeff nominations and won three, including Musical-Large for West Side Story, marking Paramount’s second consecutive Jeff Award for Best Large Musical.
More about Paramount’s 2017-18 Broadway Series
Paramount’s 2017-18 Broadway Musical Series launched in September with a box office smash, Million Dollar Quartet. Still to come are Elf The Musical (Nov. 22, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018), Cabaret (Feb. 7–March 18, 2018) and Once (April 25-June 3, 2018). The Paramount Theatre is located at 23 E. Galena Boulevard in the heart of downtown Aurora. For subscriptions and single tickets, visit ParamountAurora.com, call 630-896-6666, or stop by the Paramount box office from 10 a.. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 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 the second largest city in Illinois. The 1,888-seat Paramount Theatre is nationally renowned for the quality and caliber of its presentations, historic beauty and superb acoustics.
In 2010, the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA) hired Tim Rater as President and CEO of the Paramount Theatre. Rater’s mission was to radically boost the theater’s programming and audience base by transforming the Paramount into one of Chicago’s top self-producing, professional Equity musical theaters. Rater hired award-winning Chicago director Jim Corti as the Paramount’s first-ever artistic director. In 2011, the Paramount introduced its inaugural four-play Broadway Musical Series with Corti’s critically acclaimed production of My Fair Lady.
In just six blockbuster seasons, Paramount has leaped to the top of Chicago’s musical theater scene, winning unanimous audience and critical acclaim, and an unprecedented number of Joseph Jefferson nominations and awards. Today, more than 34,000 subscribers from throughout the city and suburbs enjoy Paramount’s Broadway-quality productions at highly affordable prices, making the Paramount the third largest subscription house in the nation.
The Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Tim Rater, President and CEO, Aurora Civic Center Authority; Jim Corti, Artistic Director, Paramount Theatre; a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theater and music professionals.