Sampson Community Theatre’s production of “Hairspray” has been a huge hit, and the community and cast alike aren’t quite ready for the final curtain call. Due to the show’s success and the fun had by everyone involved — whether actor or spectator — the show will go on, theater officials said.
Three additional performances have been set for this coming weekend, Feb. 15-17. Friday and Saturday’s performances will be at 8 p.m. while Sunday’s performance can be seen at 3 p.m.
“We’ve just had tremendous turnout, and the cast was having a really good time and enjoying it, so we decided to keep it going,” says theater supporter and member Tom Wilbur about the decision to extend the run of the show.
The public has been having an equally good time too, filling the theater to the brim for every performance. “We’ve been doing five performances a weekend with two of those on Saturdays, and we’ve had mostly full houses,” notes Wilbur. “It’s been standing room only a lot of the time.”
Wilbur adds that a full house equals around 290 seats filled.
“This past Sunday they even had to put up extra chairs to accomadate everyone,” he acknowledged.
Wilbur shares that he hasn’t seen a response like this in a while. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had full houses like this. We’ve had good turnouts the last few years, 150 to 200 people you know, but nothing like this.”
Angela Martin, the director of “Hairspray,” adds that the past four performances have been completely sold out. “It’s so exciting because we’ve never had anything happen like this before, at least not since I’ve been involved in the theater. I think it’s been around 16 years since we’ve had an extension.”
For anyone wondering whether to see one of the remaining performances, Wilbur believes that the amazing attendance is sign enough that this production is one not to miss.
“It’s that good. It’s Broadway quality in my opinion. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. It’s your loss if you don’t,” stressed Wilbur.
He also uses his wife’s reaction to the show as more evidence of its greatness. “My wife isn’t really that into musical and she said that she wanted to see it again. That really told me something.”
Martin shares more proof of the show’s success — people keep coming back for more and some are coming from great distances. “I know lots of people have seen it multiple times, and we’ve had some people come from Charlotte and Raleigh too.”
“It’s just a wonderfully entertaining show,” says Martin of the show’s appeal. “It’s got comedy, music, dance, something for everyone. There’s also the great message about equality. You just feel uplifted when you leave.”
All the credit for the show’s success goes to the show’s cast and the director, according to Wilbur.
“It’s got to be the kids. They’re what have made this show. It’s thier kind of show, you know. It’s set in the sixties and is about young people,” says Wilbur. “The main characters do such a fantastic job and all the kids have just gotten into it so.Their exuberance is amazing.”
“Angela Martin is also a wonderful director,” adds Wilbur. “She did all the choreography by herself. There was nothing to follow.”
If you are interested in attending one of the remaining performances, the box office will be open two hours prior to that day’s show, and Martin warns that you might want to get your ticket sooner rather than later. “At the previous performances, we’ve had to turn away around 50 people because we were already full which was a hard thing to do. I’d say the quicker you get your ticket the better.”
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 123 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.