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Ring in holidays Rat-Pack style
Aurora Theater to open Christmas Canteen show
Aurora Theatre will entertain audiences with its annual “Christmas Canteen” show, which opens Friday and ends Dec. 22.

‘Christmas Canteen’

Times: 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 10 a.m. Wednesday matinees

Dates: Nov. 29 through Dec. 22 with Wednesday matinees on Dec. 11 and 18

Cost: $30 to $40 for most performances and $20 for Wednesday matinees

Contact: 678-226-6222 or

Gwinnett County’s longest-running original theatrical holiday tradition combines the sentimentality of a television variety special with the high energy of a USO show.

“Christmas Canteen” will begin its seasonal run Nov. 29 through Dec. 22 at Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville.

“This year, we were inspired by the Rat Pack Era in Vegas, a time where the entertainers owned a room and audiences felt special,” Aurora Theatre Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez said. “So raise a martini glass in celebration and be prepared to laugh at the Martin and Lewis-like pairing of Brandon O’Dell and Bryant Smith.”

The Christmas Canteen 2013 cast is led by performer and head writer Brandon O’Dell, who celebrates his 10th year in “Canteen.” Bryant Smith will co-host the evening. The cast is full of fresh faces as all three ladies Lyndsay Ricketson, Randi Garza, Terry Henry and Airan Chase Baker make their Aurora Theatre debuts.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Wednesday discount matinees are at 10 a.m. Dec. 11 and 18.

Tickets range between $30 and $40 for regular performances and $20 for the discount matinees.

To buy tickets, call 678-226-6222 or visit

Free parking is available on the deck attached to Aurora Theatre at 153 Crogan St.

As always, “Christmas Canteen” 2013 pays tribute to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Services both past and present, while Aurora’s Festival of Trees supports the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive and local food banks.

The Festival of Trees decks the halls of Aurora Theatre with entries by more than 25 local businesses and organizations. The trees range from the whimsically clever to the breathtakingly spectacular. Visitors is encouraged to cast a vote by placing a new unwrapped toy or a non-perishable food item under their favorite tree. The tree that collects the most donations will be named Best of the Fest.