It was right after a run-through of "Daddy Long Legs" on the stage of Broadway Rose Theatre Co. on Oct. 2 that Dan Murphy, the theater's managing director, told everyone to hang on for a minute because one cast member had someone to ask another cast member.
While still in period costume from the musical that featured Fred Astaire in the 1955 movie, actress Malia Tippets got down on one knee in front of her actor-partner, Joe Theissen, and said, "You're the love of my life. Would you marry me?"
Without hesitation, Theissen responded, "Yes!"
But Tippets wasn't done, holding up a finger to ask one more question (as Murphy handed Theissen a bouquet of flowers for his bride-to-be), she continued: "I have one more question. Would you do it right now?"
A little surprised, Theissen again agreed and Murphy, who also is an ordained minister, whipped out his cue cards.
"So friends of Malia and Joe, for the last five years you've been a wonderfully loving and supportive audience for them," Murphy read. "Tonight we ask that you be their audience at this very special moment in their lives. The love these two have for each other is evident in their commitment to helping each other grow."
From there, several witnesses were called to the stage — socially distancing — for the remainder of the short ceremony for the Tigard couple. When it was over, everyone celebrated with cupcakes and champagne in the lobby.
"Malia met Joe in 2015 when she auditioned for the production "Anything Goes" at Lakewood Theatre Company," said Alan Anderson, marketing director for Broadway Rose Theatre Co. "Joe was the director."
Theissen has been with Broadway Rose since 2005, having performed in 20 of the theater's productions. He also has a full-time job as the theater's development manager.
Anderson said "Daddy Long Legs" is the fifth show the couple has performed in together.
Meanwhile, Murphy said he was pleased to have been able to officiate at the ceremony.
"Since becoming an ordained minister via the internet, I have had the honor of performing four weddings, three of which were on our stage," Murphy said. "I have known Joe and Malia for many years and they are brilliant musical actors. It was a privilege to be a part of their ceremony, and it certainly is a highlight for all of us to celebrate such a happy occasion during this time of COVID."
"Daddy Long Legs" (a two-person Cinderella story featuring only Tippets and Theissen) will be the first-ever streamed-only production the theater has done. It will be available to rent through Oct. 25.
For more information, visit broadwayrose.org.
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