Monthly Archives: September 2013

Be Our Guest Video from Beauty & The Beast & What it Means to Me

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This is a guest post from ALK. He’s a local in DC that loves sing-a-long piano nights and karaoke with his friends. Here is one of his favorite movie showtunes and what it means to him.

Be our Guest, from the musical Beauty and the Beast, has special meaning for a recent college graduate searching for a rewarding career.

Be our Guest, from the musical Beauty and the Beast, has special meaning for a recent college graduate searching for a rewarding career.
I graduated last December from an undergraduate program, and finding an interesting job has been a struggle. Don’t get me wrong, I have a job in retail, but it isn’t exactly what I’ve hoped for after earning my college degree. Often the work day can be drag- but what helps to recharge me is playing in a local kickball league every Thursday night, and truly “Being a Guest” to this amazing community.

Last night, my kickball team had a team dinner together. I’ve had a frustrating week at work… but like the servers request in the Be Our Guest Video from Beauty and the Beast, I felt “invited to relax” as I sat in the dining room with the friends on my kickball team I consider my family.

“Be our guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test.” These words from the Be Our Guest Video from Beauty and the Beast always ring true during my Thursday night kickball get-togethers. Whether on the kickball field or out to dinner with my team, I always know my friends are there to listen to my venting about the frustrations of being a recent college grad, and to support me the whole way through. And while I’m not making as much money as some of the members of my kickball family, my team still encouraged me to order what I wanted without worrying about the cost. Just as the servers say in the Be Our Guest Video from Beauty and the Beast, my friends encouraged me to “Tie your napkin ’round your neck, Cherie” and promised to “provide for the rest” of whatever portion of my bill I couldn’t pay for.

With my kickball friends, “a dinner here is never second best.” No matter where we decide to go after our Thursday evening kickball games, there is sure to be singing, dancing, and an all-around sense of community that helps me to recharge after the frustrations of applying to jobs, being rejected, and working a job that doesn’t require the degree I worked hard to obtain. As servers from the Be Our Guest video from Beauty and the Beast bequest on their guests, my kickball team is always encourages me to “Be our guest!, helping me to “Get [my] worries off [my] chest.”

The 1968 African American Cast of Hello Dolly and Pearl Bailey

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In 1968, the Tony Awards had an amazing performance.  Carol Channing took the stage to announce a show that she made famous as well as one of the first and most talented African American stars of the great white way, Pearl Bailey.  If you think about it, an African American revival of Hello Dolly with a black Dolly Levi wouldn’t be shocking now.  In 1968 it was a huge surprise and something people were shocked to see.  When you think of Hello Dolly, you think of Carol Channing or Barbra Streisand, not a black woman.  That is one of the reasons this performance is one of the most Epic Tony Awards performances ever.

Pearl Bailey didn’t miss a moment.  To have someone that originated the role, especially someone like Carol Channing announce and pass the torch is amazing.  Getting the go ahead and sign off from a legend not only shows how talented and amazing Pearl Bailey is, but this cast tore up the stage beyond belief.  The voices, the choreography and the acting was right on par and easily able to be argued better than many of the white casts that had been there before.

1968 was a time of war and protest, racism and hate.  To take a white show and add an all black cast was unheard of, unless it was broadway.  To gain the support of the theatre community, celebrities like Carol Channing and having an insanely talented person like Pearl Bailey as the lead, they were able to pull it off and make it an epic performance that will be hard to beat.  The reason I am posting this is that we had our first Non black or white Miss America crowned recently.  Instead of embracing her as an Indian-American and understanding that Americans come in many shades and colors, racists threw out comments, called her a terrorist and absolutely went out of their way to denounce her as a representative of our country.

This cast probably went through a lot of the same things.  Luckily the broadway community has always welcomed, loved and supported differences, cultures and embraced everyone from gays to blacks and Jews to Christians.  They may make fun of every race and background, but they love them, welcome them and not only put them on stage, but cheer them on, support them and give them awards based on talent, not color.  I wish the new Miss America a great start to her title and hope that everyone who reads this post does too.

All I Ask Of You from Phantom – Showtunes to get Engaged To

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I was originally thinking of the song Think of Me from Phantom of the Opera when I was going to write this post because the guy I started dating was on a cruise.  Think of me would have been perfect for an broadway engagement song because it not only talks about thinking of the person and not being able to get them out of your head, but it is also a gorgeous love song.  The problem is that it is more about meeting someone new and not getting engaged, that’s why All I Ask of You from Phantom of the Opera is a better showtune about getting or being engaged.

All I Ask of You from The Phantom of the Opera is a classic showtune about being proposed to, getting engaged or asking someone to marry you.  When you’re proposing to someone, you’re declaring your love for them.  You’re telling them you’ll be with them forever and that you’d do anything for them.  You’re letting them know you want to be with them for the rest of your life and in return, you just ask for them to love you, be with you and return the same feelings.  That’s why All I Ask of You from The Phantom of the Opera is the perfect broadway song about getting engaged.

Christine meets the man she loves.  They are singing to each other about being in love and the song is basically their engagement.  They are declaring their love for each other and even though it will lead to an issue with the Phantom, they won’t let his anger or threats stop them.  The entire song is about getting engaged which is why it made it onto our theme this week for broadway showtunes about getting engaged or getting proposed to.  This song is one of my favorite to listen to when I’m cleaning, working or even just driving.  It is one of the more classic songs from Phantom and one of the ones people love most when they are watching the show.  Even though you don’t instantly think of it when you think of the show, All I Ask of You from The Phantom of the Opera is one that you will fall in love with when watching the show and is one that is perfect for this week’s theme of showtunes about getting engaged.

Ten Minutes Ago from Cinderella – Broadway Proposal Songs

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To stay with the Cinderella mini theme with this week about engagements and showtunes to get engaged to, I figure the first song should be from Cinderella on Broadway.  Cinderella is all about getting married and a happy ending.  The song Ten Minutes Ago is all about falling in love and knowing that is the person you want to marry.  I’ve met a ton of couples that knew the minute they saw the person they fell in love and knew that was the person for them.  That is what this song is about.  Whether you are looking for a showtune for your first dance or you want showtunes that are perfect for getting engaged, Ten Minutes Ago is the perfect song for both.

Because the song is literally the prince singing to Cinderella about falling in love instantly, and because it can easily be a waltz which is an amazing dance, you can easily make it your first dance as a married couple and steal the dance floor.  Ten Minutes Ago from Cinderella is a gorgeous and romantic song that will make the people at your wedding tear as well as the broadway fans want to sing a long.  The words and the music make it the perfect broadway song for a first dance and one of the best showtunes to get engaged to.

If you play ten minutes ago from Cinderella to the person you are about to get married to, it’ll make the person cry.  You’ll be singing or playing a song that lets them know you instantly fell in love and have always wanted to marry them.  You’ll be there with them forever and you’ll never want to leave their side.  When you finally fall in love and know that it is the right person, this showtune is the perfect one for you to have playing in your head or to play to that person.  It won’t be your song as a couple, but it is definitely a great showtune to get engaged to.  It’s romantic, it is about instantly falling in love and about wanting to marry the person you love.


Broadway Proposals – You have to watch these!

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Before anyone thinks I’m getting married, unfortunately nope, not yet, but I did meet someone…who will hopefully do something like this for me one day.  I always thought I knew how I’d want someone to propose to me.  We’d be dancing or at a show or even showtunes night and one of my favorite showtunes would play (I’m not saying which one), right after he would get on his knee and ask me to marry him.  The song, the food and the showtunes would be the perfect engagement.  If the guy knows me well enough he knows that is the perfect way to do it.  I always thought that having one of my favorite showtunes playing when I got engaged would be perfect, until I saw this.  The only thing I hope that would happen when I get engaged is that the orchestra would play one of my favorite showtunes about love, getting engaged or falling in love right after I say yes.

Apparently there are more people out there than me who love broadway and think that it is the perfect way to get engaged.  Broadway is filled with probably the most creative people in the world.  The musicians, costume designers, actors and everyone from the choreographers to the writers and even the producers.  When you combine all of it together, along with the love of 4D theatre and getting an audience involved you get some amazing proposals.  Here are 5 of the best proposals that people used a broadway show as a ploy to get their partner to say yes.  I actually cried while watching each.  Before you watch them, both gay and straight, try and guess how many said yes or no and then also guess how many are cast members with a partner and how many will be audience members getting engaged.

(BTW, this week is all about falling in love and engagement songs).

Cinderella – A Gay Marriage Proposal…Impossible?

This is the first one that I saw which inspired this post.  What do you think, will he say yes or no?  As your fairy godmother might say…”Impossible things are happening every day“.  Could you imagine someone asking you to marry them while standing in between Cinderella and the Prince and the entire cast dressed for a ball?

Godspell wedding proposal

Godspell is a 4D styled show that gets the audience involved at any chance possible.  Check out this couple which finds themselves getting engaged during a game of charades.  I won’t how nervous the groom was when waiting for the right page to turn.

The Lion King – Because sometimes you have a baby first

They already had a baby born on stage, let’s hope the couple doesn’t hold their first kid over the edge of a cliff with wild animals everywhere.  How cool would it be to get engaged in front of a giant cast of animals and then plan a honeymoon in Africa to celebrate.  That would be completely amazing!

Wonderland wedding proposal – Because you don’t know how far down the rabbit hole you’ll go.

Just like Alice, this lady didn’t know what she was getting into when she went to the theatre that night.

A Priscilla Wedding Proposal – Because it doesn’t get gayer or more fabulous than this.

Enough said, if you’re going to have a gay engagement, have it during a show that Better Midler produced, that is full of drag queens and tons of glitter, sequins and dance music.