Monday, May 20, 2013

Chasing the Years of a Life

Show tunes met birthday party tonight.

The monthly Ghost Light Afterparty was also a celebration of pianist Sandy's 50th birthday.

You might not know if you've never been, but Sandy is the heart of the GLAP, playing any music that's put in front of her and doing it with aplomb and a grin.

Appropriately things were gussied up withe the tables covered in tablecloths and lamps set on them as part of the set decoration for "La Cage aux Folles," which is playing at Richmond Triangle Players.

All I know is that to get to my usual seat, I had to walk down a runway, something I hadn't done since I was in my 10th grade fashion show.

In a pale green polyester jumpsuit, I might add.

The festivities started with "what did you do this weekend?" a party game.

Hostess Maggie got the party rolling by telling us that she'd gone to Nationals Stadium to hear the National Opera perform "Showboat" on a giant screen.

It had clearly been a seminal evening in her life.

Co-host Matt had attended a family wedding where he saw all kinds of his past, including, "My ex-stepdad who's 41 and had a blond-tipped crew cut. It was the most tragic thing I ever saw."

Come to think of it, in addition to the usual show tunes, there was a lot of comedy throughout the evening.

Maggie slow-motion danced for effect through the birthday balloons strewn on the floor, saying, "Now that I know how that feels, there's going to be a lot more of that."

Birthday girl Sandy was hysterical doing high kicks, lunges and eventually pulling up her dress to show us her leggings underneath.

It's okay; there are no rules for birthday girls.

After the dress raising, Matt took one look at her and announced, "I'm buying Sandy another glass of wine now!"

Kent did a dramatic reading of the University of Maryland sorority president's e-mail to her sorority sisters.

Although I'd read the e-mail, it was even funnier with Kent's pithy inflections, valley girl-style.

Josh did a birthday lap dance with Sandy perched on a stool and cracking up.

Music ran the gamut, maybe even a little more far-flung than usual.

A remix of the Temptations' "My Girl" by Chris, Evan and Nick.

"Welcome to the '60s" from "Hairspray," with singer Sara lamenting mid-song, "Oh, god, another key change!"

A guy named Eduardo (who'd been innocently driving by Richmond Triangle Players last month, come in and caught the end of GLAP) had a chance to sing twice tonight.

People, people who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world

Even the honoree Sandy had a song for us and she never sings, only plays piano.

She did a Five for Fighting song called "100 Years," about the passing of the years.

There was pizza to soak up the alcohol, albeit late pie because someone forgot to order it on time.

You, with the yellow shorts and black fingernails, I'm talking to you.

Because of the celebration, there were also mini-cupcakes, described by color as, "the pink ones are Cosmos and the chocolate ones have something alcoholic in them."

I absconded with two while Josh laughed at my audacity.

In "Little Mermaid"-style, there was a group singalong to "Kiss the Girl" that resulted in Evan kissing Sandy on the lips.

It was truly a GLAP gone mad.

Before we knew it, it was last call and we knew the songs from "Follies," "Funny Girl" and "A New Brain" would soon be silenced.

Luckily, Sarah got up and saved the day.

"I don't want anyone to be sad because the GLAP is over," she said and dramatically sang Melissa Manchester's "Don't Cry Out Loud," a true time warp.

The only way to top that was with a killer closer like "Rock Me, Mama, Like a Wagon Wheel," with harmonica, which is exactly what happened when Chris, Evan and Nick took charge, manly men that they are.

And sitting in the front row, grinning ear to ear, was Sandy.

Every woman should have such a great birthday.

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