A&E

Paramount in Aurora to stage ‘Hand to God’ at Copley Theatre

Felicia Oduh plays Jessica in Paramount Theatre’s BOLD Series production of Hand to God, the Tony-nominated, darkly humorous horror shocker, puppets included, May 25-July 10, 2022, at the new Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd., in downtown Aurora. Tickets: paramountaurora.com or (630) 896-6666. Credit: Amy Nelson

Everybody loves puppets! Even puppets that may or may not be possessed by Satan. Right?

“Avenue Q” meets “Little Shop of Horrors” in “Hand to God,” the Tony-nominated, darkly humorous horror shocker, puppets included, running May 25 to July 10, in the new Copley Theatre at 8 E. Galena Blvd., right across the street from Paramount Theatre in downtown Aurora.

The second play in Paramount’s new BOLD Series, “Hand to God” promises to deliver again on Paramount’s pledge to bring fearless, thought-provoking and unexpected new forms of live theater to downtown Aurora, a news release stated.

The Copley Theatre, a state-of-the-art, 165-seat theater with a modern new lobby bar, reopened in March as downtown Aurora’s newest live theater space following a two-year, $2 million, top-to-bottom renovation. Since then, the Copley has been welcoming new audiences with a critically acclaimed staging of Lynn Nottage’s working class drama, “Sweat,” Paramount’s inaugural BOLD Series opener.

Adam Wesley Brown plays Pastor Greg in Paramount Theatre’s BOLD Series production of Hand to God, the Tony-nominated, darkly humorous horror shocker, puppets included, May 25-July 10, 2022, at the new Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd., in downtown Aurora. Tickets: paramountaurora.com or (630) 896-6666. Credit: Amy Nelson

A small church ministry therapy group in Texas is the unlikely setting for “Hand to God.” Written by Richard Askins, it creates a funny, striking and poignant exploration of the deeply human journey of loss – and the demons (both mythical and subliminal) that accompany the voyage. If God works in mysterious ways, wait until you see what Satan has up his, or at the end of your, sleeve.

Monica West plays Margery in Paramount Theatre’s BOLD Series production of Hand to God, the Tony-nominated, darkly humorous horror shocker, puppets included, May 25-July 10, 2022, at the new Copley Theatre, 8 E. Galena Blvd., in downtown Aurora. Tickets: paramountaurora.com or (630) 896-6666. Credit: Amy Nelson

Paramount’s cast features August Forman as Jason/Tyrone, with Adam Wesley Brown as Pastor Greg, Jordan Moore as Timmy, Felicia Oduh as Jessica, and Monica West as Margery. All are making their Paramount debut except Brown, who performed a memorable turn as Carl Perkins in Paramount’s 2017 Broadway production of “Million Dollar Quartet.”

Trent Stork, associate artistic producer and casting director at Paramount, directs. Stork directed the Paramount’s 2021-22, smash hit season opener, “Kinky Boots,” and was the Chicago casting director for the new “West Side Story” adaptation, directed by Steven Spielberg.

Previews start Wednesday, May 25. “Hand to God” runs through July 10. Show times are 1:30 and 7 p.m. Wednesdays; 7 p.m. Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 1 and 5:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets cost $67 to $74.

The Copley Theatre at 8 E. Galena Blvd. is in the North Island Center. For tickets and information, visit paramountaurora.com, call 630-896-6666, or stop by the Paramount box office, 23 E. Galena Blvd., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“Hand to God” is suggested for ages 18 and older due to strong adult language, sexual harassment, simulated sex and simulated sexual violence.

Pay What You Can performances

In order to break down barriers to experiencing live theater, Copley Theatre will offer two Pay What You Can performances: 7 p.m. Thursday, May 26, and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 28.

Both days, starting at 10 a.m., visit the Paramount Theatre box office, 23 E. Galena Blvd., in-person to request tickets. Customers will be asked how much they’d like to pay and will simply pay what they can. Limit four tickets per person. Offer not valid toward previous purchases. Online or phone purchases are not permitted. The Pay What You Can initiative is part of Paramount’s new program, REACH (Resources Expanding the Arts and Connecting Humanity).

Access services

Paramount will offer an open and closed captioning performance at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 25.

If one requires wheelchair or special seating or other assistance, contact the box office at 630-896-6666 or boxoffice@paramountarts.com in advance.

Paramount offers assistive listening devices free of charge at all performances. Check in at the coat room before the show to borrow a listening device.

Health protocols

Paramount Theatre has followed, and will continue to follow, the requirements of the State of Illinois and the Kane County Health Department. Therefore, Paramount is following the guidance of the State of Illinois and recommends, but no longer requires, masks, proof of vaccination or negative COVID test for patrons. Mask wearing is strongly encouraged, but will be optional.