The cacophonous melody of the pit orchestra tuning its instruments. The smell of a fresh playbill held tightly in your hand. The luxurious gaudiness of a fine theatre with its red ascending chair rows and golden, glowing stage. These are the things that make my heart skip a beat each and every time that I go to the theatre. \nI will be the first to admit it...my name is Meredith Hahn, and I am a theatre junkie. Yes, I save each and every program, ticket stub, and flier. I denounce anyone who would dare be so bold as to put his feet upon the faux velvet seat back in front of him. I have been known to turn any statement into a song cue and burst into a Broadway-style solo the likes of which should never leave the confines of an acoustically sound bathroom. I'm looking for a twelve-step program for this seemingly incurable malady, but until the time I either rid myself of this musical obsession, or wake to find myself with enough talent to make it on old Broadway, I'll just have to do the next best thing; buy a season pass and enjoy the madness!\nNever having seen South Pacific, and knowing only that it was the source of such songs as "Some Enchanted Evening," "Bali Hai" and "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out-a My Hair," I was intrigued and intoxicated with excitement. Not only would I be seeing the first performance of a new national tour, I would be beginning my own endeavor as an IDS journalist. Yes, just as the actors who graced our hometown stage were beginning a new tour with a fresh new production, I was beginning my journey into artistic critique with energy and a hunger for drama. It was time at last to feed my addiction. \nThe critic in me had this to say: "Leading lady Erin Dilly made an energetic and loveable Nellie. But I found Michael Nouri's Emile to be stiff and callous in his rendition of what should have been touching love songs. A few plot holes aside, the show was cheerful, endearing, and almost completely redeemed of its pre-tour faults by the charming ensemble that made up the nurses and soldiers living on a war-torn Pacific island. Overall, it shows potential for success if it can just work out a few bugs." \nBut the theater-addict in me pulled me into a more reflective groove. I found myself examining the message of the piece, and holding the technical aspects back from my drama-drunken eyes. What was the play trying to tell me? "Love and equality despite obvious differences" seemed to be the answer. (That explains the warm and fuzzy feeling I had after the show.) I felt at peace with this message in light of recent tragedies, and it will always remain in my memory as an evening of firsts. My start as a writer, a troupe's first performance before an audience, and something even more important by far. As the curtain calls ended, Michael Nouri asked the audience to join him in singing "America the Beautiful" as cast members collected donations for disaster relief in New York. I knew from the tears in the eyes of my fellow audience members, that this could be a new beginning for our nation as well. \nAll that from two hours at a play may seem a little ridiculous, but all I can say is that it was "Some Enchanted Evening"
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