aurora theatre

Deen Van Meer

Georgia has had its own share of musical superstars like Ray Charles, Ludacris and Childish Gambino. The Peach State is also a hot-bed for actors — aided and abetted by a booming TV and film industry. 

Those two artforms come toghether in musical theater. Georgia isn't traditionally known for seeding musicals, but fall is a fresh season for theatrical productions. Theatre critic and writer Kelundra Smith says we can expect some musical numbers this fall.


Courtesy Daniel Parvis

Most Americans say they know at least some of their neighbors, but admit they tend to interact less with neighbors who don't belong to the same class, race or political party, according to the Pew Research Center. So, when Tania del Valle and her husband Pablo move into the fixer-upper next door to Frank and Virginia Butley's historic home, a saga of microaggressions ensues.

Those racial, generational and economic tensions play out in Native Gardens, on stage this month at Lawrenceville's Aurora Theatre. Costars Fedra Ramirez-Olivares and Carolyn Cook, who portray Tania del Valle and Virginia Butley, respectively, joined On Second Thought in studio to share more about their production and the play's real-life parallels in Gwinnett County. 


For more than three decades, Erma Bombeck drew laughs from her life as a suburban mom. Bombeck's syndicated newspaper column reached some 30 million readers. She was also a best-selling author and regular on Good Morning America.

Although it was less well known, Bombeck also campaigned across the country for the Equal Rights Amendment — just one of the things uncovered in a play about the famous columnist, called Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End.