We were invited to opening night of the musical Cinderella at Paramount Theatre and were excited to get back to the theater! We haven’t gone for two years and it felt so good. The performance was a little over two hours with colorful, extravagant costumes, dancing, and music.
When you think Cinderella, usually Disney comes to mind. However, this is the Rodgers + Hammerstein version and more similar to the 1997 live action Cinderella movie with Whitney Houston and Brandy. Admittedly I’ve never seen that movie, but audience members were talking about the comparison and I thought it was worth mentioning. It pokes fun at the original story, like why would anyone want to dance in glass slippers? Adults will enjoy those entertaining nuances sprinkled in and there is plenty of grandeur, lights, songs, and characters for all ages.
Cinderella is not portrayed as a helpless, lovestruck girl and deals with her situation with grace. In fact, her fairy godmother doesn’t just wave her wand to make everything better; she empowers Cinderella to take charge of find transportation and a dress for the ball. Only when Cinderella is resolved to make it happen for herself does her fairy godmother magically make the carriage appear with smoke and lights. If you haven’t seen dress changes on the fly, you’ll also be impressed with how a few spins can change Cinderella’s work attire into a beautiful ball gown!
Her step mother and step sisters provide comic relief with their over-the-top ideas, songs, and expressions. There are also cute puppet mice that appear periodically and are a fun addition. Prince Charming’s voice is wonderful and strong. I especially enjoyed the song he sang while contemplating his feelings for Cinderella with verses like, “Do I love her because she’s beautiful, or is she beautiful because I love her?” Paramount Theatre boasts a 15-piece orchestra and the live music makes it even more special.
Cinderella is suggested for ages 5 years old and up. Children 2 and under not permitted in the theater. There were a couple adorable little girls in the audience dressed like Cinderella, so if yours want to get in the spirit, go for it!
Cinderella runs now through January 9, 2022 with matinee and evening options. Click here for performance dates and times.
To enter the theater everyone (including children) needs to present either a vaccine card or proof of a negative covid test at the front door. Adults are also asked to show ID. They are strict about mask wearing and you need to wear a mask over your mouth and nose while you are in the lobby and during the performance, except for sips of your beverage. The theater offers covid test scheduling through a third party in downtown Aurora for your convenience.
About Paramount Theatre
Paramount Theatre is a beautiful space, designed with Venetian decor with a 1930’s Art Deco influence and it first opened on September 3, 1931. In 1976, the Aurora Civic Center Authority (ACCA) restored the Paramount to its original grandeur. The Paramount Arts Centre reopened in 1978, offering a variety of touring theatrical, musical, comedy, dance and family programming. In 2006, a 12,000-square-foot, two-story Grand Gallery lobby was added including a Grand Staircase, new box office, café and art gallery.
Parking for Paramount Theatre
We highly recommend that you check the Paramount Theatre website for parking suggestions. Valet parking, a municipal garage, and free street parking are available. We have gone on a Sunday when street parking is free and without a time limit, got there 30 minutes before show time, and found a spot a block away. Saturday proved a little more tough to find a space, so we recommend you allow more time to find a free spot. This year we went on a Friday night and parked in the free outdoor lot at Hollywood Casino. It’s about a 7 minute walk to the theater with a big, lit bridge that my tween and her friends thought was pretty fun.
Tip: Plan to arrive early to find free parking and enjoy the lobby. There is a two-story tree for pictures and Paramount Theatre also has a full bar with drinks for all ages to enjoy.
In and Around the Theatre
We recommend getting to Paramount early because there is a beautiful two-story Christmas tree in the lobby to take pictures in front of. They also have a step and repeat backdrop for photographs. This year there aren’t snacks, but there are plenty of beverages to choose from, including wine, beer, fountain drinks, hot chocolate, and a special themed drink for the show. Paramount Theatre is surrounded by affordable parking and a variety of restaurants for pre- or post-show dining.
Tip: If you are at or around Paramount Theatre after dusk, go to Mooseheart and enjoy the holiday lights! It’s only a 15 minute drive from the theater and worth checking out. This special neighborhood has 1.8 miles of lights to drive through and has a small admission fee per car.