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Glancer Magazine

HOLIDAY 2018 | There's No Place Like Paramount for the Magic of Oz


Acclaimed Chicago director Amber Mak dazzled audiences with Paramount’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. She made kids of all ages believe in Santa again with Elf The Musical. Now she’s taking audiences over the rainbow and into another fantastical world with The Wizard of Oz, November 14, 2018-January 6, 2019 at Paramount Theatre,

23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora. Press opening is Saturday, November 17, at 8 p.m.

Bring the whole family to experience a musical theater extravaganza, sure to warm hearts this holiday season. Show times are Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Thursday at

7 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 p.m. and

5:30 p.m. Exceptions: No show Thursday, November 22 (Thanksgiving Day). No show Sunday, December 23, at 5:30 p.m. There is one added Tuesday evening performance on Tuesday, November 27, at 7 p.m. Added family matinees are Friday, December 21, at 1:30 p.m.; Thursday, December 27, at 1:30 p.m.; and Thursday, January 3, at 1 p.m. Evening show times Wednesday and Thursday, January 2 and 3, are at 6 p.m., one hour early. Matinee show times Wednesday and Thursday, January 2 and 3 are at 1 p.m., 30 minutes early.

Join the thousands of families who come through Paramount’s doors each holiday season, ready to pose for photos in front of a two-story Christmas tree and fully decorated lobby.

Single tickets to The Wizard of Oz are $36 to $69. For tickets, visit, call (630) 896-6666, or stop by the Paramount box office Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Paramount Theatre is surrounded by affordable parking and a variety of restaurants for pre- or post-show dining.

Remember, my pretties, The Wizard of Oz has some scary moments and is suggested for ages 5 and older.


Stuck on a Kansas farm with her aunt, uncle and dog Toto, Dorothy Gale wishes for a better and more exciting life. When a twister hits, Dorothy is whisked away to the wonderful world of Oz, a fantastical place full of munchkins, a cowardly lion, a tin man without a heart, a living scarecrow…and (gulp) a wicked witch who will do whatever it takes to stop Dorothy.

In addition to her day job as Paramount’s New Works Development Director, Amber Mak, a Kansas native herself and veteran performer of eight stagings of The Wizard of Oz, has turned heads creating blockbuster family musicals in downtown Aurora for three consecutive holiday seasons now. For this trip down the yellow brick road, Mak is teaming up with music director Kory Danielson, co-scenic designers Kevin Depinet and Chris Rhoton, costume designer Theresa Ham and puppet designer Jesse Mooney-Bullock, whose awe-inducing oversized puppets for The Little Mermaid turned Paramount’s 30-foot stage into a veritable deep sea aquarium. From the windmills in Kansas to the technicolor land of Oz, this team of creatives plan to fuse amazing stagecraft, from dancing munchkins, flying characters, to an on-stage 20-foot cyclone, with one of the most familiar all-ages stories of all time.

Donning Dorothy’s ruby red slippers in her Paramount debut is rising Chicago theater star Elizabeth Stenholt, who won hearts as Wendy in Peter Pan at Chicago Shakespeare Theater last summer.

Joining Stenholt on her way to see the wizard are a trio of past Paramount leading men: Kyle Adams, so funny as Buddy the Elf in last season’s Elf The Musical, as Scarecrow/ Hunk; Carl Draper, lead actor in Oklahoma, Mary Poppins, A Chorus Line and My Fair Lady, as Tinman/Hickory; and Paul-Jordan Jansen, 2017 Jeff Award Winner-Best Actor in a Musical as the demon barber in Paramount’s Sweeney Todd, as Cowardly Lion/Zeke.

Paramount’s principal cast includes Caron Buinis as the Wicked Witch of the West/Almira Gulch, Harriet Nzinga Plumpp as Glinda the Good Witch/Aunt Em and Gene Weygandt as Wizard of Oz/Professor Marvel.

The ensemble features Emily Agy, Anastasia Arnold, Anna Brockman, Danielle Davila, Allyson Graves, Christopher Kelley, Maria Montero, Leah Morrow, Steve O’Connell, Nich O’Neil, Jessica Palkovic, Peter Sipla, Anthony Sullivan Jr., Aaron Umsted, Charlie Ward,

J Tyler Whitmer and Travis Austin Wright.

Young performers Audrey Edwards, Juliana Filapek and Elyssa Hall are the Lullaby League. Rodney L. Jones III, Sebastian Merlo and Trey Thompson play members of the Lollipop Guild.

And yes, Toto too. Dorothy’s adorable dog will be double cast with two wee Cairn Terriers, Nessa and Nigel, both rescue dogs professionally trained for the stage by William Berloni Theatrical Animals.

Paramount’s full production team is Amber Mak, director/choreographer; Kory Danielson, music director and conductor; Kevin Depinet, co-scenic designer; Chris Rhoton, co-scenic designer; Theresa Ham, costume designer; Greg Hofmann, lighting designer; Kevan Loney, projection designer; Adam Rosenthal, sound designer; Katie Cordts, wig, hair and makeup designer; Jesse Gaffney, properties designer; Jesse Mooney-Bullock, puppetry designer; Ethan Deppe, electronic music designer; Matt Aument, orchestrator; Susan Gosdick, dialect coach; Jinni Pike, stage manager; Kelly Montgomery, assistant stage manager; Megan E. Farley, associate director/ choreographer; and Charlotte Rivard-Hoster, assistant music director and associate conductor.



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