Out in the Crowd: Aurora starts holiday season off with a song

Maybe it's the overdose of tryptophan from the turkey. Or you could blame all the sugar from the pumpkin pie. But every holiday season, it seems impossible to resist the feel-good, campy fun of holiday musicals. That green Grinch, his heart grew three sizes after a rousing bout of holiday cheer.

There's no use fighting it, so you might as well give in and let the wholesome fun begin. Starting off the holiday cheer, the Aurora Theatre is bringing "Christmas Canteen 2007" to town Nov. 23.

Like a Christmas card brought to life, the musical revue is brimming with seasonal tidings. Jumping from tune to tune, the show will include crowd favorites like "Holly Jolly Christmas," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and, what we in Georgia rarely have, "White Christmas."

To reflect the show's support for the U.S. armed forces, Aurora Theatre will serve as an official toy collector for the United States Marine Corps' Toys for Tots drive. And every Wednesday during the "Canteen" run, a $5 discount will be given to patrons who bring a new, unwrapped toy to the theater.

"Canteen" will run Nov. 23 through Dec. 23 at Aurora Theatre, 128 Pike St., Lawrenceville. Tickets range in price from $18 to $25. A preview show will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday, and tickets are $10 with a Gwinnett County Public Library card or $5 with Gwinnett County student ID. Call 678-226-6222 or visit www.auroratheatre.com.

'Color Purple' turns to gold

Like everything Oprah Winfrey touches, "The Color Purple" is sheer gold. And while its summer run seems like a ways away, tickets for the famed show are so popular, they'll be going on sale Sunday. More than just a show, this is history in the making, as Atlanta plays host to the first North American touring rendition of the Broadway musical.

Based on the novel by Alice Walker and film version from Steven Spielberg, "The Color Purple" is the story of Celie, a woman who triumphs over adversity and discovers her own voice in the world.

"The Color Purple" will be performed July 15 through Aug. 3 at the Fox Theatre. Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Sunday at Ticketmaster. To order tickets, call 404-817-8700 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

Programs geared toward young actors

Broadway bound? Before leaving town, make a stop at the Atlanta Workshop Players. They've got the perfect part for you.

The Alpharetta-based group is looking for local talent to fill slots for three upcoming acting programs. Auditions for the training classes will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday at the workshop headquarters, 355 N. Peak Drive, Alpharetta. Reservations are requested for audition times.

The Atlanta Workshop Players is a nonprofit, noncompetitive professional children's theater company. Call 770-998-8111, visit www.atlantaworkshopplayers.com, or e-mail awplayers@aol.com.