Aurora Theatre to launch 20th season with help from intown friends

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Tess Malis Kincaid (from left), William S. Murphey and LaLa Cochran co-star in “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” Currently on the boards at Horizon Theatre, the co-production was recently announced as part of Aurora Theatre’s 2015-16 season. It opens at the Lawrenceville theater Oct. 1. CONTRIBUTED BY GREG MOONEY
Tess Malis Kincaid (from left), William S. Murphey  and LaLa Cochran co-star in “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” Currently on the boards at Horizon Theatre, the co-production was recently announced as part of Aurora Theatre’s 2015-16 season. It opens at the Lawrenceville theater Oct. 1. CONTRIBUTED BY GREG MOONEY

Tess Malis Kincaid (from left), William S. Murphey and LaLa Cochran co-star in “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” Currently on the boards at Horizon Theatre, the co-production was announced this week as part of Aurora Theatre’s 2015-16 season. It opens at the Lawrenceville theater Oct. 1. CONTRIBUTED BY GREG MOONEY

The 2014-15 season was a strong one at the box office for Aurora Theatre, Gwinnett County’s only professional troupe. First “Mary Poppins” broke a record for the Lawrenceville theater’s most successful show in its 19-year history late last year. Then that record that was eclipsed by its encore staging of “Les Misérables” at the beginning of this year.

How to top that for its 20th anniversary season?

In part, Aurora is getting a little help from two colleague theaters inside the Perimeter. It will open its just-announced 2015-16 Peach State Federal Credit Union Signature Series in July with a co-production with Theatrical Outfit of “Memphis” and follow that in October with a co-production with Horizon Theatre of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.”

The season also includes “Wit,” “Into the Woods,” “I’m Not Rappaport” and a holiday show.

“There’s something for everyone to enjoy – comedies, dramas, musicals – and our hope is that regional audiences identify the caliber of our productions with that of other popular theater companies,” Aurora Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez said in the announcement.

The lineup:

July 23-Aug. 30: “Memphis.” The Tony Award-winning, 1950s-set musical from Joe DiPietro and David Bryan follows a white DJ who falls for R&B music and a magnetic black singer who’s chasing stardom. Using the same cast as Aurora, Theatrical Outfit will stage the show Sept. 10-20 next door to its downtown home at the larger Rialto Center for the Arts.

Oct. 1-25: “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” Christopher Durang’s madcap comedy is about a trio of middle-aged siblings who still butt heads in a rather childlike fashion. Aurora will have the same cast as Horizon’s hit production, which continues through June 28.

Nov. 19-Dec. 20: “Christmas Canteen 2015,” the 20th holiday production for this nostalgic musical revue laced with comedy.

Jan. 14-Feb. 7, 2016: “Wit,” Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize winner about a brilliant and exacting poetry professor as she undergoes an experimental cancer treatment.

March 10-April 17, 2016: “Into the Woods,” Stephen Sondheim’s (music and lyrics) and James Lapine’s (book) musical twist on Brothers Grimm fairy tales.

May 5-29, 2016: “I’m Not Rappaport”: Outrageous yarns shared between two octogenarians on a Central Park bench lead to profound truths in Herb Gardner’s enduring script that opened on Broadway in 1985.

Single-show tickets go on sale starting July 1. Subscriptions, more information: 678-226-6222, www.auroratheatre.com.


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