Encore Stage & Studio saw a record crowd, at least in terms of a post-COVID resurgence, for its recent production of “Disney’s Beauty & the Beast Jr.”
“We had about 2,600 patrons,” said spokesman Aileen Pangan, which averages out to about 325 for each of the eight performances during the two-week production in mid-January. (At least one production, a Sunday matinee, garnered more than 500 attendees.)
The Sun Gazette praised the show’s artistic merit, saying it provided “just about everything the young target audience could want.”
“There’s drama. There’s humor. There are a few spooky/scary moments. A choreographed rumble. The cast briefly comes into the audience. And maybe, just maybe, there’s a happy ending,” the paper noted.
The all-time record for Encore productions stands at about 4,400 for a 2014 production of “Little Mermaid Jr.” Another big draw was “Frozen Jr.,” which attracted 2,900 in the 2019-20 season (a season truncated by the arrival of COVID in March 2020).
Encore’s roots date back to the late 1960s, when it was known as the Children’s Theatre.
Encore’s next production is the world premiere of “What Makes a Winner,” playing March 3-12 at Thomas Jefferson Community Theatre. For information, see the Website at www.encorestage.org.