WRITTEN BY: MAGGIE ALEXANDER
As the Broadway musical The Lion King continues to astonish audiences at the Durham Performing Arts Center, many local businesses are feeding off of the show’s frenzy.
From restaurants to local gyms, many places are seeing a boost in sales, including one local company that’s increasing its sales by making sure the show’s characters shine.
“We never quite know what we’re going to get. It’s like a goody bag,” said Rita Foley, owner of White Star Regency Cleaners.
Each Sunday Foley picks up the costumes from the DPAC and preps for Monday’s cleaning.
“Today we probably have about 50 to 60 of them,” said Foley as she goes through laundry bags that contain hyena, lions and giraffe costumes.
It takes extra special care to clean the costumes of Simba and Rafiki, but Foley finds it fascinating, even if it takes from two to four hours to clean the costumes.
“What we have to do is individually inspect each item because there are a lot of hooks and zippers. A lot of makeup gets on them,” adds Foley. “We have to make sure everything is put back exactly as it’s brought to us.”
The extra work has helped boost sales for this business that’s been in the community for more than 20 years. Three weeks worth of cleaning brings in approximately $3,000 to the business.
Foley says the experience of being part of the production, however, is priceless.
The White Star has also handled cleaning for other major productions at the DPAC like Wicked and Phantom of the Opera.
NBC-17 Extras: Penn & Sharon Interviews “Nala”
NBC-17 Extras: Local Cleaners Make Sure “Lion King” Costumes Are Spotless