Thanksgiving Memory: Carol Channing & Company “Before The Parade Passes By”

Carol Channing – “Before the Parade Passes By” on the 1995 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

I originally posted this in 2015, but it came up today while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with holiday guests who didn’t know I once experienced the parade first-hand, so I thought it was worth a repost 🙂


Wow, talk about #ThrowBackThursday!

I can’t believe how time goes by. Twenty years ago today, I made my Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade debut with the 1995 Broadway revival cast of Hello, Dolly! (including the incomparable Tony Award-winner herself, Carol Channing)!

I remember this like it was yesterday. We all had to get up waaaaaaaay early, get down to the Lunt-Fontanne Theater where our show was playing (by 5 am!) to get into costume, and get on a bus to ride about 10 blocks down Broadway to sit in a trailer before we headed out to do “Before The Parade Passes By.”

And it was so cold! You’d never know to look at Carol, though. And what a thrill to be on the most famous and watched parade with the world.

I then headed home for a most fab dinner with (then-boyfriend, now hot hubby) Michael and my bff, Carlye.

During dinner the phone rang, and it was Vanessa Williams calling from the West Coast to say “Happy Thanksgiving!” – and, since she was watching the parade in California – “you look like you’re freezing!” LOL

I still love my Broadway Dolly! family all these years later. What a great memory to find this video today.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

 

 

 

Celebrating The First Same-Sex Kiss On The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The cast of Broadway’s ‘The Prom’ on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

While cooking our Thanksgiving Day celebration meal this morning, I had the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the big TV, pausing each time a current Broadway show offered a performance for the folks at 34th Street and across the nation.

This year, television viewers were treated to numbers from My Fair Lady, Mean Girls and the most recent addition to the Great White Way, The Prom.

And so it was that I put the stove on simmer and poured a mimosa to watch “Build A Prom” from The Prom.

The show is about a group of Broadway actors who swoop into an Indiana town to save a young teen lesbian whose high school won’t let her bring a girl to her prom.

The show recently opened at the Longacre Theater on Broadway to rave reviews.

Upbeat, lively and full of energy, the musical number closes with two female leading characters, played by Caitlin Kinnunen and Isabelle McCalla, kissing.

We’re pretty sure this is the first same-sex kiss in the parade’s history.

Whoo-hoo!

“Broadway’s The Prom is grateful to Macy’s and NBC for their acceptance and inclusivity of a community and a story that is about acceptance, tolerance and love,” the show’s producers shared with EW. “These are some of the themes reflected in our musical comedy and we are very proud to be the very first LGBTQ kiss on the Thanksgiving Day Parade.”

Here’s the number:

Of course, the Twitterverse went insane (in good and bad ways) over the historic lip-lock.

Celebrated out director and playwright Tina Landau tweeted:

And there’s more…

And then, of course, we have the haters – but who cares? 🙂

Here’s wishing you all a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Memory: My Debut On The Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade

Wow, talk about #ThrowBackThursday!

I can’t believe how time goes by. Twenty-three years ago today, I made my Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade debut with the 1995 Broadway revival cast of Hello, Dolly! (including the incomparable Tony Award-winner herself, Carol Channing)!

I remember this like it was yesterday. We all had to get up waaaaaaaay early, get down to the Lunt-Fontanne Theater where we were playing to get into costume, then get on a bus to ride about 10 blocks down Broadway to sit in a trailer before we headed out to do “Before The Parade Passes By.”

And it was so cold! You’d never know to look at Carol, though. And what a thrill to be on the most famous and watched parade with the world.

I then headed to home on the Upper West Side for a most fab dinner with (then boyfriend, now husband) Michael and my bestie, Carlye.

During dinner the phone rang, and it was Vanessa Williams calling from the West Coast to say “Happy Thanksgiving!” – and since she was watching the parade in California – “you look like you’re freezing!” LOL

I still love my Broadway Dolly! family all these years later. What a great memory to find this video today.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

One Million Moms vs KINKY BOOTS and Macys

Billy Porter (left) and Stark Sands (right) of the hit Broadway musical KINKY BOOTS celebrate their performance on the Macys Thanksgiving Parade by shopping at Macys

American Family Association media watch-dog One Million Moms (which actually only numbers about 60K) issued an e-blast today, voicing their utter disapproval that the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots was included and PERFORMED in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Right Wing Watch reports.

Via email:

As a parent and a member of OneMillionMoms.com, I am greatly disappointed in your company’s choice to include the “Raise You Up” drag performance during your Thanksgiving Day Parade with millions of children present and watching from home. It is inappropriate to highlight cross-dressing in a sexually charged performance during a traditional family activity. Your blatant agenda and in-your-face message was quite offensive, and Macy’s cannot be trusted. Shame on Macy’s for promoting this behavior.

It is clear that Macy’s does not have my children’s best interest in mind. I can no longer trust Macy’s Dept. Store. Your company needs to know that trust must be earned and once trust is lost it is difficult to get back.

Your decision was irresponsible, especially at an event when families are watching together. Nothing about this particular performance was family-friendly. The ENTIRE parade should be kid-friendly; not 95% of it! Your company can do better than this.

Here are just some of the “sexually charged” lyrics that One Million Moms took offense to:

Celebrate you to elevate you!

Instill the truth… learn something new.

Accept yourself and you’ll accept others too.

Let love shine… let pride be your guide.

Change the world when you change your mind.

Just be who you wanna be.

You’re beautiful; it’s beautiful!

I should note that in his introduction of the performance on air, host Matt Lauer pointed out the theme of the show is celebrating the differences in each other. This clearly went over the heads of those folks over at One Million Moms.

Check out the performance below.  Then go support Macys Department store.  Go Macys!

(via Right Wing Watch)