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Oh, it’s been forever since I’ve partaken in a Friendsgiving or Orphan Christmas party. Some of my favorite memories are celebrations with friends while on tour or on contract. That’s not the case anymore since going on my hiatus, but themed parties are always something I fantasize about, even if my Pinterest dreams never come true!
Set the stage!
Every set designer knows that the magic begins with dressing the space. Create a stunning ambiance that captures the essence of Broadway with the following ideas:
- Red Carpet Entrance: Create a red carpet entrance with velvet ropes and a “paparazzi” selfie station and lightsfor a glamorous arrival experience.
- Broadway Marquee Sign: Design and set up a marquee sign featuring your party’s name and date using lighted letters for an authentic touch. I have this one, but I wish I had THIS ONE.
- Playbill Centerpieces: Craft centerpieces resembling Playbills from famous Broadway shows, which can also serve as table numbers or include the names of your guests. Add lighted stars for a more glamorous effect.
- Theater Curtains: Use rich, velvet curtains and drapery to mimic the opulent theater decor or frame doorways with red or gold curtains for added drama.
- Broadway Posters: Adorn your walls with posters from classic and contemporary Broadway shows, or print custom posters featuring the names of your guests to make them the stars of the evening.
- Stage Lighting: Incorporate stage lighting elements such as spotlights and gelled LED lights to add a theatrical ambiance.
- Broadway Show Props: Decorate with props related to famous Broadway shows, such as Phantom’s mask, Hamilton’s King George’s crown, or Wicked Witch’s broomstick.
- Gold Accents: Use gold as an accent color for tableware, napkins, and decorations to evoke the glitz and glamour of the theater. I like this for the front door, or even better, the BATHROOM lol.
- Musical Notes: Integrate music notes and sheet music into your decor, from table runners to wall decals.
- Costume Rack: Set up a costume rack with Broadway themed props, feather boas, top hats, and accessories for guests to use during the party.
- Retro Microphones: Incorporate vintage-style microphones as both decor and functional items for karaoke or speeches.
- Stage Backdrop: Consider creating a backdrop resembling a stage, complete with curtains and a “stage” for performances and photo opportunities.
- Chandelier: Add a grand chandelier to evoke an atmosphere of elegance and drama, reminiscent of theater lighting or psychopathic theater squatters who’ve developed an unhealthy obsession with the resident ingenue.
- Theater Seats: If space permits, arrange theater-style seating for some of your guests.
- Dance Floor: For dancing, ensure there’s a designated dance floor with a sparkly or checkered design.
Be sure to include foody Broadway songs in your party playlist! Here are a handful off the top of my head. Let me know if there are more I should add!
- “Food, Glorious Food” – from Oliver!
- “Be Our Guest” – from Beauty and the Beast
- “The Worst Pies in London” – from Sweeney Todd
- “Baking” – from Bake Off: The Musical
- “Supper Time” – from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
- “Turkey Lurkey Time” – from Promises, Promises
- “I Could Have Danced All Night” – from My Fair Lady (mentions a late-night snack)
- “The Candy Man” – from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
- “Ladies in Their Sensitivities” – from Sweeney Todd (mentions cannibalistic meat pies)
- “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” – from How the Grinch Stole Christmas (mentions onions, garlic, and banana peels)
- “Chop Suey” – from Flower Drum Song
For any Broadway-themed celebration, the culinary performance absolutely takes center stage. Part of the fun is combining your favorite shows with your favorite foods in a creative way! The following are just a few ideas but definitely let me know if you come up with even more fun Broadway themed dishes! For this section, I’m pulling ideas straight from the lyrics instead of doing a general theme based on a musical (for example, French food to represent Les Mis instead of something specific). Okay, let’s go!
- Rent’s famous “pasta with meatless balls” that “taste the same if you close your eyes!” is a perfect choice for those who are meat-free!
- Find inspiration from Beauty and the Beast’s famous lyric “Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious!” Maybe recipes using Grey Poupon mustard like this Bacon Deviled Egg Everybody loves deviled eggs!
- “Chocolaaaaate” inspired by Frozen. Since fictional Arendelle is based on real life places in Norway and Iceland, serve bonbons from Omnom (based in Reykjavik) or world famous Norwegian chocolate Freia hearts!
- “Warm Apple Strudel” and “Schnitzel with Noodles” from The Sound of Music! I love schnitzel, and there aren’t enough Austrian restaurants near me otherwise I’d eat it all the time.
- British Pork Pie from Sweeney Todd – and since you absolutely should not and cannot use real people for this recipe – according to cannibals, PORK tastes closest to people. I’m definitely on a list for googling that but you should be safe. Just…don’t think too hard on it, LOL.
- While we’re talking about pie, any of these pies mentioned in Waitress should do!
- “Chop Suey” inspired by the song “Chop Suey” from Flower Drum Song.
- Fricasee as mentioned in “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid. The point of the song is to convince Ariel that fish don’t get fricasee’d, but chicken do!
- Chocolate cake from Matilda except maybe with plates.
- “Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries.” I’m ending this list on this famous Mean Girls quote because I’m getting hungry!!
As if we don’t already know what happens if you put a bunch of musical theatre actors in a room with a piano and alcohol, LOL! But in case you need a refresher or some new ideas, the following are sure to be a hit at your next party!
- Broadway Karaoke: Host a Broadway-themed karaoke competition with classic showtunes and encourage guests to perform their favorite numbers.
- Broadway Trivia: Challenge your guests’ Broadway knowledge with a trivia game, complete with prizes for the winners.
- Theater Games: Organize theater-themed games like charades, where guests can act out scenes from their favorite musicals.
- Costume Contest: Encourage guests to dress up as their beloved Broadway characters and present awards for the most creative costumes.
- Photo Booth: Create a stage-inspired photo booth with props related to popular Broadway shows, providing memorable snapshots for your guests.
- Live Performances: If you have musically talented guests, include live performances of showtunes throughout the evening.
- Cards Against Humanity has a theatre expansion pack!
I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. May your Broadway themed party become a full on production! So, take your bow and prepare for a holiday celebration that will undoubtedly be a hit! Break a leg and EAT A LOT!!!