I'm a twenty-something who has lived in Spokane all my life (except for those few years at Washington State University - Go Cougs!) and I've never really experienced a Broadway show. Sure, my dad took me to a few when I was in my early teens when the only thing I cared about was passing notes in class and who would ask me to the next high school dance. I enjoyed the time with my dad, but I never really appreciated the shows. That is, until Wednesday night.

My sweetie and I were given tickets to see South Pacific on opening night and I gladly took the opportunity for a mid-week date night. We got all dressed up (even though it was like pulling teeth to get him to tuck in his shirt!) and headed downtown for a nice dinner and a show. I work downtown every day, but seeing the city vibrant and alive with people that evening sure was exciting! After we ate, we walked to the INB Performing Arts Center, where South Pacific was playing. When we got there, I looked back at the city and thought to myself, "Wow, it's pretty cool that we can just park and walk everywhere we need to go."

Inside, the INB was packed! It was nearing show time so we made our way to our seats. The lights dimmed and we could feel the excitement in the air! As South Pacific's captivating plot began, I found myself feeling like I was somehow involved in what was going on. Silly, I know! But the actors and actresses had such powerful singing voices with believable accents and costumes that it was almost like I was on the island with them!

During intermission, we got a glass of wine and before getting back to our seats, found ourselves chatting with our usher. He told us how much he loved being at work because he got to see Broadway performances all the time. And with shows like Capitol Steps, Celtic Thunder, Stomp, Spring Awakening and Wicked coming up in the season's lineup, I felt a little jealous that I didn't work there myself!

After it was over and during our walk back to the car, my boyfriend told me how fascinated he was with how quickly the stage props were changed. Following a scene, stage lights would dim and shadows of people would move all kinds of props around. People would enter the stage to bring in something new for the next scene, and then they would be gone in just a few seconds. When the lights were turned back on, a whole new set was right in front of us! He thought it was very impressive, and so did I.

So, on the way home I got to thinking. Sometimes I get so busy promoting Spokane as a destination and talking about how great a place it is that I forget to enjoy it myself. Seeing South Pacific made me feel a little like a tourist and it reminded me how lucky I am to live somewhere that offers Broadway shows and five-star dining within walking distance of each other. The INB Performing Arts Center was a perfect place for me to enjoy my first real show and it was a helpful reminder for me to stop and smell the roses (or lilacs!)