Music-Man-imageIt’s a busy week for traveling salesman Harold Hill. He has to convince the residents of River City he’s an expert musician, convince the Mayor of River City to put him in charge of starting a children’s marching band, convince the parents to buy uniforms and musical instruments from him, then get out of town with everyone’s money before “there’s trouble…right here in River City!”

However, even Harold’s best laid plans encounter a few hurdles, including the warmth of the town librarian, the needs of a painfully shy boy and a community that desperately wants to believe in him.  Before he knows it, Harold is changing everyone’s lives and is leading the big parade, right down the aisles of the historic Paramount Theatre in suburban Chicago’s own River City, downtown Aurora, Illinois.

So pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little, then buy your cheap, cheap, cheap tickets – only $34.90 to $46.90 – to The Music Man, the next beloved American musical in the Paramount’s Broadway Series, Jan. 16-Feb. 3, 2013.  Director Rachel Rockwell (“Best Director,” Chicago Magazine) comes right off her smash hit Annie to helm her second consecutive Paramount musical, this time with music director Michael Mahler leading the Paramount Theatre Orchestra, and a stellar cast lead by A-list Chicago actors Stef Tovar as Harold Hill – the role made famous by Robert Preston – and Emily Rohm as Marian Paroo. Tovar appears directly from his New York off Broadway triumph in A Twist of Water, and Rohm is fresh off her starring role as Grace Farrell in Paramount’s recent blockbuster Annie.

Performances begin Jan. 16, 2013 at the Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora, Illinois. Press opening is Friday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m.  Performances run through Feb. 3: Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Go to for tickets and information, call (630) 896-6666, or visit the Paramount box office Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 2 hours prior to evening performances.  Note:  The Music Man is rated G.

The Music Man – book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, and story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey – was nominated for 17 Tony Awards, took home six including Best Musical. One of the most iconic shows in American theater history, The Music Man boasts a song list peppered with some of the most popular titles in musical theater including (Ya Got) Trouble; Gary, Indiana; Seventy Six Trombones; Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little and Till There Was You.

In addition to Stef Tovar as huckster Harold Hill and Emily Rohm as Marian, Paramount has assembled yet another top-flight cast for The Music Man including Mary Ernster as Mrs. Paroo, Michael Aaron Lindner as Marcellus Washburn, and Don Forston as Mayor Shinn, with Mike Accardo (Charlie Cowell), Roger Anderson (Olin Brit) Kelsey Andres (ensemble), Larry Baldacci (Constable Locke), Britt Banaszynski  (ensemble), Caron Buinis (Alma Hix), Jaclyn Burch (ensemble), Andrea Collier (ensemble), Rob Dorn (Jacey Squires), Elizabeth Dowling (Maude Dunlop), Brian Duncan (ensemble), Sean Effinger-Dean (Ewart Dunlop), Rhett Guter (Tommy Djilas), Matthew R. Jones (Oliver Hix), Anna Hammonds (Mrs. Squires), Jake Klinkhammer (ensemble), Elizabeth Lanza (ensemble), Tommy Lucas (ensemble), Liz Pazik (Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn), Olivia Renteria (Gracie Shinn), Todd Rhoades (ensemble), Laura Savage (Zaneeta Shinn), Jared Titus (ensemble) and Lauren Villegas (Ethel Toffelmeier). Five talented children round out the 34-person cast, including 12-year-old Johnny Rabe as Winthrop, 10-year-old Peyton Shaffer as Amaryllis, and Kyle Halford, Dan Keller and Emily Leahy.

As is customary at the Paramount, the scenery for The Music Man, designed by Kevin Depinet, will be spectacular; the costumes, designed by Melissa Torchia, will be colorfully lavish; and the music, under the direction of Michael Mahler, will be played live by the Paramount Orchestra. Other designers include Jesse Klug (lights), Jeff Dublinske (sound) and Sarah Ross (props). Rose Marie Packer is stage manager. Beth Ellen Spencer is assistant stage manager. With this stellar company, The Music Man at the Paramount promises to make you want to stand up and lead the big parade yourself.

Behind the Scenes of The Music Man

Rachel Rockwell (Director/Choreographer) returns to Paramount following her smash hit stagings of Annie over the holidays, and Hair last spring.  Her Chicago directing/choreography credits include Xanadu, The Sound of Music (Equity Jeff nomination – Musical and Director), Sweeney Todd (Equity Jeff nomination – Musical and Director), Ragtime (Equity Jeff Awards — Musical and Director), Miss Saigon (Equity Jeff nomination — Musical and Director) and The King and I (Equity Jeff nomination – Choreography) at Drury Lane Oakbrook; 42nd Street (Equity Jeff nomination – Director), A Chorus Line (Equity Jeff nomination – Choreography) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Equity Jeff nomination – Musical) at Marriott Theatre; Beauty and the Beast, The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Adventures of Pinocchio at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; The Taming of the Shrew for Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks; Enron at TimeLine; It’s A Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play and Leaving Iowa at Fox Valley Repertory and John and Jen at Apple Tree. No wonder Rockwell was named the Best Director of 2010 by Chicago Magazine!

Michael Mahler (Music Director, Conductor) makes his Paramount music directing debut with The Music Man, a show he memorized as a boy when his mother played Marian and his father played Jacey. Previous music directing credits include: My One and Only, White Christmas, My Fair Lady, Joseph (Jeff nomination) and Bowery Boys (Marriott); Hot Mikado (Jeff nomination – Drury Lane); and High Fidelity (Route 66). He is the Jeff award-winning composer/lyricist of Hero (book by Aaron Thielen).

Stef Tovar (Harold Hill) can be seen currently as Daniel Schwartz on the NBC television show Chicago Fire. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Route 66 Theatre Company, where he played Jack in the critically acclaimed and Jeff Award-nominated On an Average Day in both Chicago and Los Angeles. He created the role of Noah in the world premiere of A Twist of Water, Route 66’s biggest hit to date, which received two Jeff nominations, was named “Best Box Office Hit” of 2011 by Chicago Magazine, and just completed a successful remount at New York’s 59E59 Theaters Off-Broadway. Chicago credits include Jeffrey Skilling in Enron for TimeLine Theatre; David O’ Selznick in Moonlight and Magnolias for Fox Valley Rep; Beinstock in Sugar, and Houdini and other roles in the multiple Jeff Award-winning  Ragtime at Drury Lane Oakbrook; Rob in the Chicago premiere of High Fidelity for Route 66; Knute Rockne in Knute Rockne: All American (Theatre at the Center); Kenneth Tally Jr. in Fifth of July (Oak Park Festival Theatre); Peggy Sue Got Married: The Musical (Marriott Theatre); The Good War (Northlight); A Stonecarver, The Threepenny Opera, Below the Belt, Half of Plenty, I DO! I DO!, It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play and others (American Theater Company) and at Apple Tree Theatre as Valentin in Kiss of the Spiderwoman and Vinal in Blade to the Heat, for which he won a Jeff Award for Best Supporting Actor. Los Angeles credits include Jamie in the L.A. premiere of The Last Five Years, George in Sunday in the Park with George, Kip in Wonder of the World, Homer in Floyd Collins and Che in a national tour of Evita. His film credits include the movie Contagion, directed by Steven Soderberg, sharing scenes with Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow as Dr. Arrington.  Tovar will next play Luther Billis in the Marriott Theatre’s upcoming production of South Pacific.

Emily Rohm (Marian Paroo) won the hearts of Paramount audiences in Hair last spring and as Grace Farell in Annie. Her Chicago credits include Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Johanna in Sweeney Todd (Drury Lane Oakbrook), Eastland (original workshop at Lookingglass Theatre), Follies (Chicago Humanities Festival), A Christmas Carol (Marriott Theatre and Drury Lane) and Ragtime (Light Opera Works). Off-Broadway credits include Creature, the Rock Opera and Baby Blue in the world premiere and cast recording of the opera Dreaming Blue.

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 Theatre, located in the heart of downtown Aurora at 23 E. Galena Blvd., is nationally renowned for the quality and caliber of its presentations, superb acoustics and historic beauty.

In Spring 2011, Paramount turned heads by appointing Chicago stage veteran Jim Corti as the company’s first artistic director in 80 years, then self-producing its first-ever Broadway Series, presenting three-week runs of the popular musicals My Fair Lady, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat, A Chorus Line and Hair, each featuring Chicago’s top professional directors, actors and designers.  In less than a year, this new series attracted nearly 13,000 subscribers, with each production playing to rave reviews and wildly enthusiastic audiences.  This season, Paramount has grown its Broadway series subscriber base to more than 19,000, all enjoying four downtown quality musicals – the high-octane season opener Grease, the recent smash hit Annie, this production of The Music Man, and closing the series, Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Jim Corti, March 6-24, 2013.

In addition to the 2012-13 Broadway Subscription series, Paramount is presenting one of the most diverse live entertainment line-ups in Chicagoland this season including William Shatner in SHATNER’S WORLD We Just Live In It… (Jan. 4); Poi Dog Pondering (Feb. 9); Bobby Vinton (Feb. 14); Stayin’ Alive: One Night of the Bee Gees (Mar. 30); Stomp (Apr. 13 and 14); and Herman’s Hermits with Peter Noone and The Ides of March (May 18).

The Paramount Theatre opened on September 3, 1931. Designed by nationally renowned theater architects C.W. and George L. Rapp, the theater captures a unique Venetian setting portrayed in the art deco influence of the 1930s. The first air-conditioned building outside of Chicago, the Paramount offered the public a variety of entertainment, including “talking pictures”, vaudeville, concerts and circus performances for more than 40 years.

In 1976, Aurora Civic Center Authority purchased the Paramount and closed the theater for restoration. The $1.5 million project restored the Paramount to its original grandeur. On April 29, 1978, the Paramount Arts Center opened, 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, cafe and art gallery.

Today, the Paramount Theatre continues to expand its artistic and institutional boundaries under the guidance of President and CEO Tim Rater, Artistic Director Jim Corti, a dedicated Board of Trustees and a devoted staff of live theater professionals.

The 2012-13 Paramount Theatre season is sponsored by The Beacon News and Naperville Sun. The 2012-13 Paramount Broadway Season is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank. The Music Man is sponsored by the Daily Herald. This season is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. For more information, visit