Christmas Canteen


Christmas Canteen
Aurora Theatre
through December 23, 2016

For the 21st year, the Aurora Theatre has staged their canteen performance.  Directed by Anthony Rodriguez and Jen McQueen, the cast of eight singers, and dancers delight the audience with the customary holiday tunes, but also some tributes to the men and women of our military and some other numbers that don’t shout out Merry Christmas, but help to get the message across.

Brandon O’Dell, who is in the cast is also the writer, and co-director Jen McQueen is also on stage.  Ann-Carol Pence is on the keyboards and also directing the music, as well as handling a couple of numbers herself.  Lyndsay Ricketson Brown, Diany Rodriguez, Candice McLellan do some great trio numbers as well as joining the guys, Cecil Washington, Jr., Cody Russell and Christian Magby when they do their full-cast ensemble numbers as well as singing a cappella.

They run through more than 30 standards, with a smart stage setting, some great circus acts, and plenty of humor.   It is cabaret style with the band on stage, and they work the audience as if everyone were very close.

While there are many of these type of year-end shows being offered around town, and while some may feel as if they were visiting the Hallmark store; I have to say that over and above the fine quality of the performance, that what impressed what is left of my mind, is that regardless of one’s religious affiliation or lack thereof, that the message is clear.  Life for everyone on this planet could be better if we could learn to accept and protect each other without judging predicated upon flags, colors, languages, or social structures.

Especdially with what is going on in the world today, and what this country has gone through in the past few weeks and the fears of what is yet to come; we need to understand that hating another is akin to ingesting poison in the hopes it shall kill off somebody else.  So let us each find a way to be nice to somebody we may never have met before.

For more info and tickets, just visit