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‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ sells out fast

The Smithfield Little Theatre is preparing to open its rendition of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but folks who don’t already have tickets are (mostly) out of luck — all nine shows are already sold out.

The show brings something new for the holiday season, and the actors and the staff are excited to bring Christmas classic to life.

“We have not done this before. For the last several years they have done a variety show and three years they did three different versions of ‘A Christmas Carol,’” said the show’s producer Kathy Strozak. “This year we wanted to do something different, and a friend of mine told me she would suggest ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ and she wanted to see if I would produce it.”

The theater’s board was more than happy to approve the new show.

Since this was a new show for the theater, they decided to start as early as they could to prepare. The audition process began the first week of October, and they have been practicing ever since.

“The Christmas show is compacted in between the fall show and the winter show and we had to make sure we had enough time,” Strozak said. “We’ve been working on it for a while.”

According to Strozak, this Christmas show sold out faster than any holiday show in the history of the Smithfield Little Theatre.

The show sold out a month before the first show, and even though they added a ninth show, it also sold out just as quickly.

“I think it’s something different but also something new. It’s an American classic,” Strozak said. “Our town is very small and very family-oriented. The show is all about Christmas, family and the community coming together. It fits so well.”

The preparation for the show also became a community event. They have helped put the set together and get ready for the show, and the cast has been accommodating.

“The cast has been wonderful and accepting of everything,” Strozak said. “Since we started earlier, we had to rehearse in a different location because the fall show was still going on. It’s been a great experience. It all came together nicely.”

With all the work and time constraints that have affected this show, Strozak and the cast is more than happy to see all nine shows sell out.

“I am very proud and very excited. I knew it would be popular and it would go over well, but I didn’t know it would go over that well that fast,” Strozak said. “We went back to the board and requested to add another show, and they approved it.”

Normally, Strozak stays away from the Christmas shows at the theater, because the holiday season is already busy enough for her, but with the classic show she couldn’t say no.

“We are over the moon. It’s been a whirlwind of activity the last several weeks,” Strozak said.

The show was so popular that the Christmas parade this weekend will use the show as its theme, and the cast and crew will have a float in the parade.

There is one thread of hope to which to cling for people who want to see the show and don’t already have tickets. There is a chance that people will forfeit tickets the day of the event because they cannot make the show. If tickets are forfeited, they will be sold first-come, first-served in the lobby, and the lobby opens one hour before the show begins.

“It’s a Wonderful Life,” will have shows at 8 p.m. Dec. 6-9 and Dec. 13-16. They will also have shows at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 9, Dec. 15 and Dec. 16.