Aurora Theatre set to host rootin,' tootin' show

No matter where your political beliefs fall on firearm control, you're sure to enjoy "Annie Get Your Gun." The much-celebrated Western musical will open the Aurora Theatre's 12th season at the company's new home in downtown Lawrenceville.

A rootin', tootin' love story, the play follows sharp-shooter Annie Oakley and the larger-than-life characters of Buffalo Bill's Wild West. Originally made famous by Ethel Merman, the role of Oakley was later reprised by Bernadette Peters. Locally, it will be played by Natasha Drena. Riding alongside Drena will be Rob Lawhon as Frank Butler, the star of the Wild West Show until the fiery cowgirl comes along.

A preview show for "Annie Get Your Gun" will be held at 8 p.m. Aug. 7. Tickets are $10 with a Gwinnett Public Library Card and $5 with a Gwinnett County School ID. The show will be performed Aug. 9 through Sept. 9. Shows will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets range in price from $18 to $25. Wednesday matinees will be held at 10 a.m. Aug. 15 and 22. Tickets for matinee shows are $14. The Aurora Theatre is located at 128 Pike St., Lawrenceville. For more information, call 678-226-6222 or visit www.auroratheatre.com.

Off to the Army

Mark your calendars for next weekend's performances of the Lawrenceville Community Theatre's new show, "Bye Bye Birdie."

The musical, set in 1958, revolves around pop sensation Conrad Birdie, who's just been drafted into the Army. Conrad's entourage of handlers come up with one last publicity stunt - they plan to have Conrad give a lucky girl from his fan club one last kiss on "The Ed Sullivan Show" before heading off to basic training.

"Bye Bye Birdie" stars local stage actor Steve Miller as Conrad's agent Albert, and is directed by Grayson High School drama teacher Emily McClain.

The show runs Aug. 3-5 at the Lawrenceville Church of God Student Center, 329 Grayson Highway, building G, Lawrenceville.

Ticket prices are $12 for students and seniors, and $15 for adults. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Aug. 3, 2 p.m. Aug. 4 and 7 p.m. Aug. 5. A dinner theater show will be offered at 7 p.m. Aug. 4 for $30 a plate.

For more information, visit www.lawrencevilleonstage.com or call 770-855-7005.

Ditch your office duties

Finally, downtown Atlanta traffic will dissipate - at least for a few hours. During the Friday lunch hour, Broad Street will close its asphalt to cars and welcome music fans for the weekly SunTrust Lunch on Broad concert series.

Come Friday afternoons, metro area employees are encouraged to ditch their corner office and take a break. Throughout the summer, patrons can peruse the shops and diners of Broad Street, grab a lunch to go and listen to local artists perform a range of tunes, from reggae to the blues.

The weekly lunchtime series will be held in downtown's historic Fairlie Poplar District to provide a casual outdoor cafe ambience. Restaurants participating in the series include Alibaba's Mediterranean, Auntie Pastos, Dania's Gourmet and Hunky Dory.

The series will run every Friday, weather permitting, through Sept. 28. Broad Street is located between Luckie and Walton streets. For information and performance schedules, visit www.centralatlantaprogress.org or www.downtownatl.com.

- Staff writer Lauren

Morgan contributed to

this report.