Matt Freeman & Adam Rosen
Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Waterford | September 3, 2017
William Thomas Photography
You could say that Matt Freeman and Adam Rosen’s wedding daywas quite the production. Actually, it was a production.
Matt, who is the education director for the nonprofit Wingspan Arts, and Adam, an entertainment attorney, met on OkCupid in June 2012 and quickly discovered a “shared passion” for theater. “Our idea of a good day is one that involves eating, theater and enjoying ourselves with friends,” Matt explains. When it came time to say, “I do,” it was only fitting that their day involve all three, and thus Call Us Matdam starring Matt Freeman and Adam Rosen in a rollicking musical celebration of matrimonial bliss, made its debut at the legendary Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford on Sept. 3, 2017.
Scene one: the ceremony in the Rose Barn Theater, in which “we tried to infuse elements of both musical theater and Jewish traditions,” Matt says. The processional, sung by three of the couple’s talented theater BFFs, was a combination of three Andrew Lloyd Webber classics. Matt’s sister Emily sang “When Did I Fall in Love” from Fiorello! and playwright/friend Justin Sayre shared a reading from his play Love’s Refrain. The grooms stood beneath a chuppah, a time-honored symbol of the home they will create together, to hear their grandmothers recite Hebrew blessings, friends and family share contemporary blessings on the themes of love, home, humor, wisdom, health, art and community, and exchange vows in front of mentors/officiants Bill Hibsher and Richard Orient. Program notes in their Playbill (printed by the same company that does all the Broadway shows) explains the significance behind details of the day (Adam’s lapel pin that belonged to his great-grandmother Fannie Kornfeld; Matt’s tailored blazer that his great-grandmother had once worn to his brother Zach’s bar mitzvah; the glass, a symbol of love’s fragility, provided by long-time family friends the Husserls).
Following cocktails, it was time for Call Us Matdam: A Love Cabaret, which the guys sum up as “our love story told in show tunes.” After a brief costume change to add some razzle-dazzle, the new misters, along with friend and cabaret star Molly Pope, opened with “You’re Just In Love” (from Call Me Madam, the ’50s musical starring Ethel Merman — are you getting the connection here?) Other talented friends carried on with “Broadway Baby” (from Follies), “A Wonderful Guy” (from South Pacific) and “It Takes Two” (from Into the Woods), among others. The sentimental stage curtains hung behind the performers were quilted by friend Sharon Shebar using T-shirts from Matt and Adam’s youth.
Wedding planner aka director/stage manager Lisa Antonecchia dressed tables for the reception in the Dina Merrill Theater with everything from scripts developed at The O’Neill and funky props you might find backstage to sheet music and cards detailing the history of the theater itself. Additional cards explained the tablecloths belonging to family and friends that were used at each table. “The idea behind this, Matt explains, “was to both honor the people we love and evoke memories of special celebrations we’d had around their tables.” Oh, the feels! After hostess/diva Cacophany Daniels helped lead a sing-along at dinner, it was back to the Rose Barn for more dancing, followed by a rockin’ after-party complete with an open-mic piano bar — whew!
So, was it everything the producers/star performers hoped for? Absolutely. “It was amazing, across-the-board brilliant and incredibly special to share everything we hoped and planned for with everyone we love,” Matt sums up.
Bravo, Matdam, bravo!
Wedding Planning and Design Lisa Antonecchia/Creative Concepts by Lisa, Hamden
Officiants Bill Hibsher and Richard Orient, New York
Videography William Thomas Photography, New York
Catering David Alan Hospitality Group, Berlin
Florist Forget Me Not Flower Shop, North Haven
Sound and Lighting Matt Glasser/MJG Audio, Manchester
Event Rentals Chase Canopy Company, Massachusetts
Photo Booth Afterhours Photo Booth, East Windsor
Transportation First Student Transportation
Music Direction/Piano Mark Hartman, New York
DJ Robert Maril, New York
Hostess/entertainment Cacophony Daniels, New York