Some celebrate their birthday with friends and family by their side. Some go on vacation. Some get cards in the mail like clockwork every year from relatives they haven’t seen in forever. Not every birthday will end up being one to remember, so I’ve learned to be thankful for the ones that are worth remembering.
I can recall on exactly one hand how many birthdays I’ve had since I’ve gotten older that I actually did something worth remembering. In today’s article, I will talk about the birthdays of mine that meant something to me.
In 2004, I went to dinner with my family at the Olive Garden. Sure, the Olive Garden isn’t the most luxurious place ever, but I really like the Olive Garden. It’s been years since I’ve last been, but I totally love that place. Sure, I know, this doesn’t seem like a very extravagant birthday, but in 2004 LOST was on TV and I missed watching it live. So, going out to dinner at this time was a very big deal for this TV Nerd.
In 2007, I saw one of my favorite Broadway shows of all time, Xanadu, on my birthday. Not once but twice! Yes, I was and still am a complete Fanadu! In case you’re like, what the heck is a Fanadu? A Fanadu is a fan of Xanadu! You’re probably thinking, the same show two times in one day? To be fair, the show was only 90 minutes long, and also, Xanadu is one of the best shows of all time!!!!!!!!! If you have no idea about this musical, just check out YouTube and you’ll see what I mean.
Every Fall and Spring Broadway does a big fundraiser for Broadway Cares. When I saw Xanadu on my birthday in 2007, the show was doing a thing where if you paid $20 (I think) you could get a picture with Kerry Butler and Cheyenne Jackson (in costume!!!!!!) after the show. Kerry Butler took pictures after the matinee and Cheyenne Jackson took pictures after the night show. Best $40 dollars I’ve ever spent!
This birthday in 2007 will forever be a day I will always remember! In total, I ended up seeing Xanadu on Broadway 10 times! Like I said, I’m a complete Fanadu! Miss you Xanadu!
In 2012, I was supposed to see a Broadway show on my birthday called Scandalous, but Hurricane Sandy ended up changing those plans. Thanks again Sandy 🙄 Instead, I ate pizza with my family with no power on in the house. Fun times, I say sarcastically!
I ended up getting to see the show a month later, though. Even though the show didn’t end up being a favorite of mine, the creator of the show, Kathy Lee Gifford was actually in the audience at my performance. So, that was pretty cool!
*Here’s where it seems as though my birthday took a hiatus, as I don’t remember doing anything worth remembering until the year 2018*
In 2018, I went to see The Prom on Broadway. I had known about the show forever and I knew I wanted to see this show on my birthday. The show was fantastic!
Anyways, as a Theater Geek, I am aware of how during previews (which is when I saw the show) that the creative team of the show is usually at most performances, as the show is still being worked on daily to see what works and what doesn’t.
The songwriting team for The Prom also happened to be the songwriting team for my absolute favorite show of all time, The Wedding Singer. A perfect show adapted from the movie of the same name. The score for this show, let me tell you, is absolute perfection! Every single song! Anyways, after the show, I noticed Chad Beguelin, the lyricist and co – book writer of both The Prom and The Wedding Singer.
I was nervous to go up to him because one gets nervous when they see an idol of theirs. My Mom was like “GO!”, and so I went up to him and said how much I loved The Prom and how The Wedding Singer is one of my favorite shows ever. He was so incredibly nice and kind. My Mom said to him how seeing The Prom was the only thing I wanted to do for my birthday. He said happy birthday and then invited me and my Mom to go backstage! I was in shock! Things like this just don’t happen, but here we were!
I got to see all the costumes in the show, where the sets for each act are when they aren’t on stage, and also go on stage with my Mom and take a picture! Technically, in 2018, you could say I made my Broadway debut!
This is a memory that, I’m pretty sure, nothing else will ever top! I do have one regret from this day though. I forgot to bring a pen or marker for signatures at the stage door, and would you believe I forgot to ask for an autograph from Chad Beguelin. Most of the time the actors usually have something to sign with, and I forgot that day. Besides being super forgetful to ask for an autograph from one of my idols, best birthday ever!
In 2019, I didn’t see a show on my birthday, but the day before my birthday. That show was Hadestown, and I loved it! The day started off a bit rocky, as my stomach was like, out of nowhere, yeah time to get sick. To say I’m grateful I made it to see Hadestown, is an understatement.
Since I got sick that morning I was too nervous to eat anything when I got to the city, so I opted to just get some fries to eat after the show instead. Because of this, I decided to skip doing the stage door. I enjoy doing the stage door, but sometimes I feel a bit awkward, so I just decided to not do it this time. Although, this was the last show I saw before the world went upside down, so to say I regret not doing the stage door after this show is yet another understatement as I haven’t seen a show since this day because of life and how the world still feels very much upside down.
That’s it. Those are the birthdays I enjoyed (for the most part, because, like I said, stomach issues the morning of seeing Hadestown and all). I wish I had more birthdays that I remembered because of how I did something totally awesome, but sometimes the best you can hope for is that someone, besides your immediate family, wishes you a happy birthday. Even if all that is is getting a card in the mail from your dentist.
What’s a memory that you’ve had on your birthday that was worth remembering?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
If you love reading about the arts, be sure to check out my other blog “Pause From Reality” here.
That’s it for today! Thanks for reading! Until next time!