Hosting standing ovations is just one of the many things the Aurora does well. Now that it anchors the new multi-million dollar Lawrenceville Arts Center, the award-winning local theatre has multiple productions in the works and an exciting line-up of shows ready to entertain audiences of all ages.
The number one James Taylor tribute artist in the nation will be on stage at the Aurora March 31. James Taylor Tribute: Sweet Baby James will be on the Metro Waterproofing Mainstage at 7:30 p.m. Dance Canvas Performance will entertain Aurora audiences April 2 and 3, featuring a range of dance styles from ballet, contemporary, hip hop and The Tap Rebels, one of the only professional tap companies in the world. This will be The Tap Rebels’ first performance on home soil after representing the U.S. at the World Expo 2022 in Dubai.
Aurora Comedy Nights are set for April 23, May 27 and 28, with all performances at 8 p.m. The Aurora Theatre Gala will be April 29. Tentative upcoming events with details still to be ironed out include spring break camp; the musical group Hemanos Calero’s 50th Anniversary Concert Celebration; Romeo & Juliet; SpongeBob Square Pants: The Broadway Musical; May the 4th Be With You Jedi Acting Workshop; City of Lawrenceville’s Free Comic Book Day; Mother’s Day Weekend Cabaret Performance and several Aurora Children’s Playhouse performances to be announced.
The Aurora will present Swindlers May 19-June 5, a “hilarious new farce that centers around bungling burglars who are set to make easy pickings of a millionaire Miami mansion.” The Aurora has already had a busy 2022, with the Broadway spectacular Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella its most recent production. Through its Children’s Playhouse series, the Aurora presented Freeze Frame, The Brementown Musicians, Pinocchio! and Funny Folklore and Silly Stories. In addition to its many performances, camps, classes and programming, the Aurora and the rest of the Lawrenceville Arts Center is already becoming known as a premier site for community and business meetings, events and other activities.
“We’ve had a lot of interest in companies that are renting the facility,” Aurora director of sales and marketing Al Stilo said. “We’re doing some partnerships and it is exciting because it’s really going to diversify the offerings we have and then there’s a big opportunity for personal celebrations. So, if you want to have your wedding here, you can. I think that is kind of a cool thing. It’s a brand new venue.”
The Chamber of Commerce recently held its Chairman’s Club at the center and Stilo said the business group made the most of having an event at an arts center. They had their networking session in the lobby and worked with the center’s official catering partner, Proof of the Pudding. “They had food and beverages and the people had a lot of fun,” Stilo said.
He added that it was great because the facility not only provided areas for the group to have its networking and business activities, but was a place that could accommodate entertainment for the event. Atlantabased Dad’s Garage Theatre Company, one of the top comedy improv troupes in the U.S. performed on stage.
“People really loved it,” Stilo said. “They took advantage of the surroundings they were in. They were able to do what they do, network and have business to business opportunities and added an entertainment component. What that entertainment component can do is allow them to have a more memorable experience and draw a larger audience instead of just being in a space.” He said the arts center now has five performance areas and several other public areas.
The new Lawrenceville Arts Center features The Clyde and Sandra Strickland Grand Stage, Mary Kistner Gallery, Bartow and Leslie Morgan Cabaret, Marion A. Webb Lobby, Metro Waterproofing Mainstage, and the PSFCU Studio and PSFCU Grand Lobby, both sponsored by Peach State Federal Credit Union.
“The whole campus is the Lawrenceville Arts Center, not just the new renovation,” Stilo said. “We haven’t stopped using the original space. We’ve been here 15 years in downtown Lawrenceville...The fact is the City of Lawrenceville sees the value of the arts and sees it as an engine for economic development. I think the success of Lawrenceville side-by-side with the growth of the Aurora is not a coincidence...That a lot of communities have tried to replicate what Lawrenceville has done is an homage to what they’ve done with the arts. It’s more than a building. It’s a partnership.”
For more information, visit the theatre’s website at www.auroratheatre.com