A place where nobody dared to go
'Cause everything is rent
Would you light my candle?
With Broadway show place cards and table cards (I was in the "Xanadu" table of course), 2 jaw-dropping performances by the birthday celebrant (I Know where I've been from "Hairspray" and I am Changing from "Dreamgirls"), a piano Broadway medley by a 12 year old boy prodigy who can't read musical notes, and another soulful a capella song number from one of her friends, my niece's 16th birthday celebration last night started off with a bang. After dinner and some dancing, it was time for speeches. With hands shaking and voice breaking, I managed to squeak out a speech in front of 100+ people. Here's what I said (my thanks and apologies to the lyricists):
"Oh what a day! Late January back in '93. What a very special time for us. What a baby, what a day!
16 years later, on behalf of my family, it is my pleasure to welcome you to my niece K's birthday celebration. And oh what a celebration we'll have today. Let's have a celebration for K's day!
To K, here's our birthday wishes for you, and life lessons we've learned from musical theatre that we wish to impart to you. but first of all, thank you for the music, the songs you're singing. Thanks for all the joy you're bringing.
Measure your life in love, because happiness is anyone and anything that's loved by you.
So may your heart be full of love, no fear, no regret.
You will be who you want to be. You can choose whatever heaven grants.
Everyone deserves the chance to fly.
There's a life you're meant to lead. You've got to find it on your own, you'll find your way.
Fortune favors the brave.
Your great adventure has begun. Be fearless. Shout and start a riot.
Be anything but quiet. Be astonishing.
Happy Birthday and we wish you many, many, many more. We appreciate you, we celebrate all that you are and all that you do for us.
To all of you, thank you for being here. Welcome, enjoy the party and good night!"
And of course, it was a wonderful evening. Kudos to my sister and brother-in-law for pulling it all off.