Aurora Theatre to spread holiday cheer with 21st annual Christmas Canteen
Variety show to celebrate the season with merry melodies and laughter aplenty
By Staff Reports
Make spirits bright this winter by joining Aurora Theatre for its annual holly jolly tradition Christmas Canteen 2016! Striking up festive tunes November 17 –December 23, Gwinnett’s longest running theatrical extravaganza will usher in the sounds of the season with Canteen veterans Brandon O’Dell, Jen MacQueen, Diany Rodriguez and Lyndsay Ricketson Brown, alongside powerhouse newcomers Christian Magby and Cecil Washington Jr. Complete with laugh-out-loud comedy and sparkling musical numbers, this winter wonderland revue promises a delightful experience for all!
Left: (Left to Right): Skyler Brown, Travis Smith & Benjamin Sims
“For the past 21 years, we have produced Christmas Canteen with the intention of giving the community an unmatched tradition that encompasses something for every generation. This variety show has great moments of physical comedy, breathtaking costumes and most of all, spectacular musical numbers ranging from sentimental holiday favorites, fun pop songs, high energy dance numbers and patriotic salutes, just to name a few,” said Anthony Rodriguez, Aurora Theatre Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director. “One of my favorite parts of the show is seeing the audience’s reaction. Each year, the content is unique with new material, so we can’t wait to see what our patrons think of the surprises we have in store for 2016!”
Right: (Front): Travis Smith (Rear L-R) Brandon O’Dell, Brian Walker & Benjamin Sims
Co-directed by Anthony Rodriguez and Jen MacQueen, Christmas Canteen will come to life via the talented design team of Julie Allardice Ray (Set), Daniel Pope (Sound), Ryan Bradburn (Props), Mary Parker (Lights), Alan Yeong and Suzanne Holtkamp (Costumes), and Jen MacQueen (Choreography). With Musical Direction by Aurora Co-Founder Ann-Carol Pence (Keyboard), she will lead Canteen band members Mark Biering (Percussion), Greg Armijo (Bass) and Jim Stallings (Guitar) in bringing audiences the sounds of the season through live music.
Adding to the yuletide joy is Aurora’s annual Festival of Trees, supporting the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive and Gwinnett’s local food banks. More than 25 trees decorated by local businesses will illuminate the theater lobby for visitors to enjoy. All guests are encouraged to cast a vote for their favorite tree by placing a new, unwrapped toy and a non-perishable food item underneath it. All of the gifts will be donated to the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots and the food items will be delivered to area food banks.
Left: (Front, Left to Right): Diany Rodriguez & Brian Walker (Rear) Lyndsay Ricketson Brown
Recommended for all ages, Christmas Canteen 2016 will be presented November 17 –December 23. Tickets range from $30-$65 with discount matinees on Wednesday, December 7, 14, and 21 at 10 a.m. and Friday, December 23 at 10 a.m., starting at $20. Tickets can be purchased online at tickets.auroratheatre.com or by calling the box office at 678-226-6222.
Regular show times are as follows:
Tuesday –Saturday: 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 2:30 p.m.
*There will be no performances on Wednesday, November 23 or Thursday, November 24 in honor of Thanksgiving.
About Aurora Theatre
Under the artistic leadership of Co-Founders and Artistic Directors Anthony Rodriguez and Ann-Carol Pence, now in its 21st Season, Aurora Theatre produces professional live entertainment to suit everyone’s taste. Aurora Theatre is home to over 650 events each year. Two series of theatrical productions, the Peach State Federal Credit Union Signature Series and the GGC Harvel Lab Series, are comprised of the biggest Broadway plays and musicals alongside exciting contemporary theatre. Additionally, Aurora produces concerts, stand-up comedy, children’s programs, metro Atlanta’s top haunted attraction Lawrenceville Ghost Tours, as well as Atlanta’s only professional Spanish language theatre, Teatro Aurora. Aurora Theatre is a world class theatrical facility with two performance venues. Nestled on the square in historic downtown Lawrenceville, Aurora has FREE attached covered parking and is surrounded by restaurants and shops. Aurora Theatre has garnered numerous accolades highlighted by recent achievements that include a 2016 Governor’s Award for the Arts & Humanities, winner of five 2015 Suzi Bass Awards, Creative Loafing’s “2010 Best Theatre Company,” Georgia Trend Magazine’s “2011 Best Places to Work in Georgia,” Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “2012 Best Places to Work”, Atlanta Magazine’s “Best of Atlanta 2013”, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 President and CEO Award for Excellence in Arts, and Gwinnett Chamber’s 2015 IMPACT Regional Business Award for Hospitality.
Below: (Left to Right): Lyndsay Ricketson Brown, Jen MacQueen, Brandon O’Dell, Travis Smith, Diany Rodriguez & Brian Walker