Dear Editor,
Picture this. The lights slowly dim. Until you see nothing but black. Slowly, your eyes start to adjust and you see the soft blue exiting the doorframes seen on either side of the stage and the back center. The blue light, no doubt, coming from behind the stage, where the actors maneuver their way through the small isle that is backstage. Some in their own corners, humming a warm up, others stretching on the floor to ensure their muscles are agile and ready for the performance. A cluster just off from their entrance, ensuring they cannot see the audience (so the audience cannot see them)—whispering to as many fellow castmates as possible to “break a leg!”
Still in that dark, eyes completely adjusted so much that you start to think “oh, I guess this is enough light to see,” a strong “Omm” comes from the speakers just above the stage: booming to the audience that this show is about to begin. The circular stained glass illuminated to reveal a white dove in the center wall of the stage, raised as high as possible for audience to have full view. This, giving the stage depth and a recognition to the audience of the magnitude of what they’re about to see.
What follows is approximately 5 minutes of a powerful wall of sound. A sound that tells you that you are hearing something truly magnificent. You are here for something that maybe you weren’t expecting.
You were expecting a night out, a date night, a nice bouncy musical, a “nice try” at a Disney classic. What you’re about to get, I soon (about an hour and a half later) found out, was something that could be described in only one word: Art. Yeah, with a Capital A.
Hunchback of Notre Dame at Myers Dinner Theatre is nothing short of Art. After the end note of the Intro song that blared through the speakers, I had only one word: WOW. And the thing is, rarely am I “wow’d” by a lot of things I see in the surrounding area, if I’m being honest. It’s always “I’m here to support a friend,” or “eh, we have nothing else to do—might as well.” This, however. This was An Event. An Event that needed to be shared with a full audience. I mean, with an end to an intro song such as THAT, “everyone must be jumping to their feet and uproariously applauding right now like I am!”
As I looked around, I was shocked to realize and remember: I was in Hillsboro, Indiana (know, I’m from Darlington and even I think Hillsboro is a small town), and the audience was merely a couple of half-filled tables.
I remembered my time at Mamma Mia, just a few weeks earlier (also AMAZING show), and remember I barely had enough space to sit, the house was so full. And this, this piece of Art, right here in this tiny theatre, and even smaller town! This wonderous, once-in-a-lifetime kind of production, and I’m among only the handful of souls able to witness it!
The simple truth is this: from start to finish, The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Myers Dinner Theatre is honestly the best production I have ever seen come out of that theatre, much less from a theatre around this side of Central Indiana.
This is coming from someone who has worked at Myers as an actor before, a person who has received a BFA in Acting, a person who has played The Goodman in Chicago—I’ve made acting my life’s work. And I am here to tell you, no, IMPLORE you: please, go purchase your tickets NOW. More people MUST be made aware of how much the roof is blown off of Myers every performance of this show. This is unique. This is special. It would be quite a shame for you to miss out. This show runs until August 4th. There are ways to pay online, ways to pay over the phone. MAKE YOUR WAY THERE NOW! This isn’t a paid ad, this is just a soul who appreciates amazing stuff, and this is on that list.
Love always, a girl who would never steer you wrong,
Mary Taylor
Darlington