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October 6, 2010

Iraq veteran will propose to girlfriend during Cirque Dreams performance at Hippodrome

UPDATE 10/7: The surprise worked like a charm (but thanks to all you snarky people who offered comments, thinking this blog was so darn powerful it would derail everything). You'll find video of the event elsewhere on the blog.  

Audience participation is a regular part of the Cirque Dreams Illumination show that opened at the Hippodrome Theatre on Tuesday. But Wednesday night's performance will add a twist.

Two of the people picked from the house to go up onstage this time will know each other -- a U.S. solider stationed at Ft. Meade, just back from his third tour of duty in Iraq, and his girlfriend.

The skit they will be involved in concerns the making of a silent film (assuming it's the same as Tuesday's performance, the 'plot' will be about illicit lovers being surprised by the woman's husband).

When the skit ends, the solider will assume the bended-knee position and propose to his girlfriend in front of the entire company and audience.

The idea of the very public proposal came about after Cirque Dreams creator and founder Neil Goldberg learned that a solider wanted to buy VIP seats to the show and was planning to pop the question while at the Hippodrome.

No point wasting such a momentous event out in the house, when everybody could get in on it. Goldberg invited the couple to Wednesday's performance as his guests (names are being withheld until showtime) and organized the onstage surprise.



Posted by Tim Smith at 10:09 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Drama Queens, Hippodrome


I really hope that this girl does not read this blog (which she might if she is looking for information on the show she is going to tonight), otherwise you have just ruined his whole surprise.

The theater gave me the go-ahead. TS

Wouldn't this blog post potentially blow the cover even with the names withheld?

If she reads this post and knows they were invited as guests of Goldberg and all the other details given above match, then the surprise is ruined.

Seems like this was a swell way to ruin the surprise... even without names, there are enough details here that she could easily figure it out if she stumbled upon this.

anything for a story these days huh? wouldnt this make sense to do AFTER it happened?

this seems like literally the dumbest thing I have ever read. if i was that dude and she found out because of this i would be MIGHTY p---- off.

What a shame. Hope she doesn't see this before he pops the question. :(

The theater giving you permission doesn't absolve you of any potential surprise-ruining.

The only salvation may be how little readership a classical music blog actually gets (not a slam on you personally or your blog.)

I was at the show last night and the girl did seem surprised. More importantly, she said yes. I agree that they probably should have waited to post this until after the fact, luckily it all worked out.

You didn't ruin it, and I was def. surprised :)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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