Christmas cheer is in abundance with holiday programming at Aurora Theatre as “A Christmas Carol,” “This Wonderful Life” and “Christmas Canteen” return for the holidays.
Gwinnett’s longest-running theatrical holiday tradition, Christmas Canteen Holiday Cabaret, will take place outdoors on Dec. 4 through 6 at The Bowl at Sugar Hill amphitheater with reduced capacity seating. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a solo performance starring Anthony Rodriguez, returns this year to the Aurora Theatre mainstage December 16 – 23 with limited seating and additional safety measures. And streaming December 17 through January 1 is This Wonderful Life, a one-man version of It’s a Wonderful Life captured from the stage for broadcast with the award-winning performance of Jeremy Aggers.
Christmas Canteen Holiday Cabaret
Aurora Theatre has teamed up with the City of Sugar Hill to turn Gwinnett’s longest-running theatrical holiday tradition into an outdoor, socially-distant affair! For one weekend only, performances will take place in the open air at The Bowl at Sugar Hill. This stunning cabaret will be an explosion of holiday spirit featuring songs, comic sketches and trips down memory lane that makes the most wonderful time of the year even more wonderful! Broadway veteran David Rossetti returns to direct and choreograph Christmas Canteen Holiday Cabaret. The stellar cast of Atlanta’s top musical theatre talent includes Haden Rider, India Tyree, Juan Carlos Unzueta, Maya Quiñones, Michael Crute and Lauren Hill. It would not be Christmas Canteen Holiday Cabaret without music director Ann-Carol Pence, the Aurora Theatre Co-Founder and Associate Producer that has been part of the show since its conception. Reduced seating to 500 from 2,000.
Dec. 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m.Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m.
The Bowl at Sugar Hill, 5039 West Broad St. Sugar Hill, GA 30518
Tickets start at $50
A Christmas CarolAurora Theatre Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriquez announced 2019 would be his final year of performing his one-man version of A Christmas Carol. Not only will he return for this limited-run holiday tradition, but it’s also the first live performance since the temporary closure in March 2020 as a result of the pandemic. Performances will take place in the large Mainstage theatre featuring a drastically reduced audience capacity to 75 seats. The entire family can delight in his one-man rendition of a story of recognition, realization and remission while journeying through the past, present and future of Christmas. Watching Rodriguez embody the classic characters of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Jacob Marley and the remarkable ghosts, audiences will revel in the spirited truth that unfolds within this timeless tale, commonly recognized as the greatest Christmas story to date! At its heart, this rendition captures the true spirit of Christmas–the joy of giving. Adapted for the stage by Tony Brown and directed by Justin Anderson, this one-man version of the traditional tale is sure to uplift audiences this holiday season.Reduced seating to 75 from 250.
Dec. 16, 17, 18, 19, 22 and 23 at 8 p.m.Dec. 19, 20 and 23 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $60
This Wonderful Life
Steve Murray’s stage adaptation of one of the most popular and heartwarming films ever made follows the story of the iconic George Bailey as he reflects on his life journey with the help of his guardian angel, Clarence. The lessons he learns along the way are both hilarious and heartfelt, revealing that it takes much more than money to be the richest man in town. Atlanta’s own Jeremy Aggers will return to the role that won him the 2019 Suzi Bass Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play and inhabit all of the well-loved characters, including George Bailey, Clarence, Mr. Potter, Uncle Billy, Mary, Mr. Gower and even Zuzu. Justin Anderson will direct this production that won the 2019 Suzi Bass Award for Outstanding Projection Design in a Play. Aurora Theatre Associate Artistic Director Justin Anderson helms this streaming production.
Dec. 17 – Jan. 1
Tickets start at $25
The Festival of Trees
From the whimsically clever to the breathtakingly spectacular, local businesses and organizations deck the halls of Aurora Theatre with Festival of Trees to support local food banks and families in need this winter! The 2020 Festival of Trees is presented in partnership with B.L.A.C.T. (Black Leaders Advocating Cultural Theatre) to expand the scope of the donations collected. The number of trees has been reduced to 10 to allow for social distancing. Aurora Theatre will have designated drop off hours; donations will be accepted at all performances of Christmas Canteen Holiday Cabaret and A Christmas Carol. Starting Dec. 16, Aurora Theatre requests non-perishable items only as the toys will have already been delivered. Guests are encouraged to cast a vote for the most decorative tree by placing a new, unwrapped toy and/or non-perishable food item under their favorite tree.
Festival of Trees drop off hours: Dec. 2 and 8 at 4-7 p.m.Dec. 5 at 10 a.m.-1 p.m.Dec. 11 at 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
*Advance purchase only for touchless transaction. Staff will be masked. Audience members will have their temperature checked upon entry and will be required to wear a mask as part of the overall safety protocol. To purchase tickets for events or review extra safety precautions and procedures, please call the Box Office at 678.226.6222 or visit auroratheatre.com.
Photos by Casey Gardner