A Holiday Treasure, Aurora’s Christmas Canteen is now in its 18th year


Christmas Canteen 2013 is Aurora Theatre’s original annual holiday musical revue. Gwinnett County’s longest running theatrical holiday tradition combines the sentimentality of a television variety special with the high energy of a USO show. This feast for the eyes and ears is resplendent with nostalgic music that will evoke warm holiday memories. For thousands of North Georgians, it’s just not Christmas until they hear their Canteen favorites. Fun for the whole family, Aurora’s Christmas Canteen is the perfect way to get the spirit of the season stirring or quite simply…a Cup of Eggnog for the Holiday Soul.

As always, Christmas Canteen 2013 pays tribute to the men and women of the United States Armed Services both past and present, while Aurora’s Festival of Trees supports both the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive and local food banks. The Festival of Trees decks the halls of Aurora Theatre with entries by over 25 local businesses and organizations, the trees range from the whimsically clever to the breathtakingly spectacular. Everyone is encouraged to cast a vote by placing a new unwrapped toy or a non-perishable food item under their favorite tree. The holidays can be particularly difficult for those in need and the Festival of Trees helps ensure that everyone has a great holiday season. The tree that collects the most donations will be named Best of the Fest. Generous thanks to the Holtkamp Heating & Air Gwinnett Can Challenge who ensures the much needed food is delivered to local food banks.

The Christmas Canteen 2013 cast is led by performer and head writer of the show Brandon O’Dell, who celebrates his tenth year in Canteen. Audiences will be thrilled to see Bryant Smith as co-host of the evening. Although it is his first Canteen, Aurora audiences will remember his breathtaking performance as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables. The cast is full of fresh faces as all three ladies Lyndsay Ricketson (Next to Normal, Alliance Theatre), Randi Garza (Urinetown, Fabrefaction Theatre Company), Terry Henry (Beehive: The 60’s Musical at The John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.) and the handsome Airan Chase Baker (Hair, Serenbe Playhouse) are making their Aurora Theatre debuts.

Producer Quote

Aurora Theatre Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez, “We have had an amazing year, and Christmas is our time to show our love and appreciation for the people we care about and a community that always supports us. Christmas Canteen is Ann-Carol and my personal way that we show our sponsors and patrons how much they mean to us.” He goes on to talk about this year’s show, “This year, we were inspired by the Rat Pack Era in Vegas, a time where the entertainers owned a room and audiences felt special. So raise a martini glass in celebration and be prepared to laugh at the Martin & Lewis-like pairing of Brandon O’Dell & Bryant Smith.”

Programming in Aurora Theatre’s 18th Season Brand Signature Series is possible through generous support from BrandBank, BrandMortgage and the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund. Christmas Canteen is sponsored by Gwinnett Medical Center with additional support from Reed Financial Group.

Cast & Crew

Brandon O’Dell                                  Ensemble & Writer

Airan Chase Baker                           Ensemble

Bryant Smith                                      Ensemble

Lyndsay Ricketson                           Ensemble

Randi Garza                                        Ensemble

Terry Henry                                        Ensemble


Anthony Rodriguez                         Producer/Director

Ann-Carol Pence                              Associate Producer/Music Director

Ricardo Aponte                                 Choreographer

Dillon Nelson                                     Stage Manager

Britt Hultgren Ramroop                 Set Designer

Thom Beaulieu                                  Lighting Design

Daniel Terry                                        Sound & Projection Design/Assistant Technical Director

Alan Yeong                                         Costume Design

Katie Pelkey                                       Company Manager

James M. Helms                               Technical Director

Sarah Thomson                                 Scenic Artist

Christmas Canteen 2013

November 29 – December 22, 2013
Performances are Wednesday – Saturday at 8:00PM and Saturday & Sunday at 2:30PM
Tickets $30 – $40

Wednesday Discount Matinee
December 11 & 18 at 10:00am
Tickets $20