Last week I attended my niece Ruth's Bat Mitzvah. Ruth's favourite DVD (at the moment) is Grease, so her Mum Lily decided to use this as the theme for the party.
The invitations Lily sent had a picture of Danny and Sandy on the cover. Inside were the party details and instructions for the kids to dress up as their favourite character from "Grease".
Forty children arrived by coach at the hotel. All of them were dressed like 1950's high school kids. The boys looked great with their hair slicked back, wearing jeans, white t-shirts and black leather jackets. Some of the adults even dressed up. The banquet hall was nearly full; there were almost one hundred adults there.
The decorations were apt and well thought out for the theme. A jukebox in the corner played fifties music and the soundtrack from "Grease". The hall had been decorated with various hired props to look like a 50's style diner. Each high round, aluminum-edged white table was surrounded by fountain chairs upholstered in hot pink vinyl. Pink and white checked curtains flanked a painted backdrop of a 1950's car hop. Pink and white balloons and streamers were hung from the walls and ceiling. Next to the stage stood two brilliant life size card stand-ups of Danny and Sandy. A 50's swing band was setting up on stage. Food and drinks were set up on a table at the back of the hall. Lily's brother Brian and his daughter were serving classic diner food like burgers, hot dogs, sodas and milk shakes. There was also a separate ice cream cart where the kids could order ice cream sundaes with a variety of toppings. There was also a popcorn machine which proved very popular. Lilly had hired a photographer to take pictures of all the fun and everyone in 1950's costumes.
Lily played a video starring Ruth and her friends. It was a remake of the song "Sandra Dee" from the movie. They had recreated the bedroom scene from Grease, including the wigs. Ruth played Rizzo and sang every word herself. It was really good.
After Ruth entered the hall, grandma performed the Hamotze. The kids played all kinds of Grease related party games. The first was "Grease Charades". The object was guessing a person, place, or thing from the movie. The girls were better at the game than the boys, but I don't think the boys minded so much. Then, with the bands help the kids played "Name That Tune" using only songs from the fifties. Some of the adults joined the game and Lily won after managing to guess "Do the Hop" in two notes. The boys enjoyed the bubble gum blowing contest more!!!
Ruth gave her thank-you speech. Her father stood and made a toast to his beautiful daughter when she was done.
Ruth selected thirteen people and gave them an oversized puzzle piece. As each person placed their piece on a large board they said something nice about Ruth. She was very touched by their kind words. The puzzle was a lovely portrait of Ruth.
After the ceremony, the band began playing again and everyone started dancing. The kids loved it, especially Ruth, who got a chance to dance with her new crush, Jason. They looked so cute together, trying out swing dance moves. I even danced with Uncle Lester--who knew he was so good at swing dancing?
The biggest surprise of the evening was that unknown to Ruth, Lily had booked a John Travolta impersonator. He took to the stage and sang his rendition of 'Sandy'. He really did look like, sound like and in fact dance like John Travolta. The band also played 'Night Fever' from Saturday Night Fever and 'John' danced with all the kids. Ruth was so shocked and happy she was almost speechless.
Lily and her husband, Jacob, thanked everyone for coming and offered chocolate cake for dessert. The cake was topped with edible figures of Danny and Sandy dancing together. Before leaving the kids were given party bags with bubble gum, sunglasses, red nail varnish (for the girls) and black combs (for the boys), as well as personalised key rings with a picture from Grease and saying on them Ruth's Birthday and the date.