At around 9 pm, they began asking everyone to sit down, and I was told to be in a specific spot. I still had no idea what was about to happen. When Gary made his speech and mentioned that I had done an impersonation of Patti Lupone in Les Miserables when we first met, I thought that maybe the surprise was that Patti was going to come out and sing. But when I heard the music to One Day More start, I had no idea what was going on…and you can see that written all over my face. When Lindsay’s father stood up and began singing the Jean Valjean role in the song, I still couldn’t quite figure out what was happening. I was in shock. Then when my friend Trish joined in playing the role of Cosette, I knew that Gary had been up to something on a very grand scale. When Megan Mullally stood up to sing the role of Eponine, I couldn’t believe it. The fact that Megan was singing one of my all time favorite parts from a musical in my backyard on my pool was way too much for me to handle. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any crazier, my mom, who was sitting beside me, jumped up on the stage to play the role of Madame Thenardier. Seeing her up there was unbelievable and she was REALLY good.
And Gary…what can I say about him? For a couple weeks before the party, he kept telling me that he had to have a lot of dental work done and would leave at 7am a couple times a week for appointments. Little did I know that he was driving to Tarzana to take voice lessons so he could play the role of Javert. This is love! The amount of work he put into this, along with Steven Petrarca, our party planner, is still amazing to me. I cannot believe that they pulled this off. You have to remember that not only were the people in the performance sworn to secrecy, but we also had a film crew of over 20 people that never let the secret out. It is a miracle. I cannot tell you how touched I still am by this out pouring of love and everyone’s dedication to putting on this performance. People were crying in the audience. I was not. Not because I wasn’t emotional, but because I was so overwhelmed with joy and excitement and shock. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed something in my life so much. In this day and age of texts, Twitter, and Facebook, we are very rarely surprised by anything anymore -- something always leaks out and gets spoiled. But this remained a surprise until the moment it was happening, and I will never forget experiencing that.
Gary is really out of control. I love him so much. More than words can express. I think over the course of filming this show and having it air, this is the thing that I am most proud of -- that my love for Gary comes through and that it is evident.