Theme Idea 2: Hello Dolly! Welcoming the Newest Star
Say “Hello, Dolly!” with a party styled in the tradition of grand entrances much like the new baby girl will make. This theme celebrates the theatrical with feather boa’d décor and ostrich plumes straight out of Dolly Levi’s costume closet. Enormous Victorian hats, bouquets of red and pink roses, and yards of pearls will help to carry out the essence of this theme. An essential part of the party fun will be the creation of a costume trunk befitting the modern-day theater diva.
Color Palette and Decor
Since this version of the Broadway Baby Shower is more appropriate for a group of women who are marking the arrival of a new baby girl, the mix of leopard-print and red to hot-pink roses (oranges or paler pinks will also work) is girlie and theatrical — the perfect backdrop for fun.
Display the dress-up trunk in a prominent place so guests can drop their dress-up items in as they arrive. Use your sterling silver or buy coordinated paperware in a wild leopard print.
If you have silver metal candlesticks or candelabras, drape them in strands of dime-store pearls. Bouquets of ostrich feathers can alternate with clusters of colorful roses. Take out your teddy bear collection and dress up several to join the festivities as centerpieces or on the serving table. Use expandable dime-store rings as napkin holders.
The Perfect Game and Activity
You can incorporate this easy game, Who Has the Heaviest Purse?, into the party schedule. A gag gift — candy lipstick or necklace, a coin purse, or certificate of the winner’s status as “Heaviest-Purse Holder” — is all that is needed as a prize.
This game is simple and takes absolutely no skill. It does require a kitchen or bathroom scale. Simply weigh each woman’s purse. It’s unbelievable how much women carry around. The guest with the heaviest purse wins.
Or you could try Broadway Baby Charades, a game that involves acting out words or phrases in pantomime to members of an audience who are divided into teams. The team who guesses correctly first gets a point, and the team with the most points wins.
To play you will need: a stopwatch or watch, a paper and pen to keep score, blank paper strips with words or phrases, and two baskets for the slips. Play time should be 45 minutes to one hour.
Prepare a charade slip for each guest with a phrase, production title (e.g., Man of La Mancha), song title, character, or theater phrase that they could act out.
Form two teams of equal size and give each team member the charade slips.
Teach standard charade gestures and hand signals.
Toss a coin to determine which team goes first. Allow a few moments for the teams to retreat to strategize and create their phrases.
Set the timer for three minutes and let the first person act out her phrase in gestures without speaking. Any talking by the actor means disqualification, and play reverts to the other team.
The opposite team has to shout out their guesses, and the actor and his team have to acknowledge any correct guess.
If the team does not guess the phrase in the allotted time, they lose the round.
Play until everyone on both teams has had a chance to be an actor. The team with the most points wins.
When selecting your charades play list remember the following: Phrases should not have more than seven words, foreign phrases are not allowed, and team members can vote to throw out a phrase that is too unfamiliar.
Gifts That Work with This Theme
The hostess(es) may want to provide a trunk as the container for the contents to come. The trunk can be as elaborate as an antique steamer trunk or as simple as a cardboard storage box. Many container stores carry printed boxes with lids or closet organizers that could also be used to store precious dress-up items.
The best part about this gift is that there is no limit to how silly or outlandish the items are, or how many there are. More is better! Here are some ideas and suggestions:
Feather boas. They come in every color.
Gloves. Whether white, sequined, long, fingerless, wooly, colorful, lacey—anything goes.
Hats. Everything from simple berets to elaborate bonnets will work.
Scarves. Perfect in all sizes, shapes, and fabrics.
Jewelry. Long strands of beads, rings, clip earrings, and bracelets, especially jingly ones. For safety’s sake, avoid anything with jagged edges; sharp, pointy pins; or parts or loose stones.
Dresses. Old prom dresses are a little girl’s dream. Anything sparkly, bright, and out-of-fashion is perfect for the trunk.
Shoes. High heels, sling-backs, sandals, dance shoes—all are perfect for the trunk. Most toy stores now carry “high heels” in children’s sizes.
Costumes. Halloween costumes of every kind will find a good home in the dress-up box.
Wigs. New or well-cleaned (and disinfected) wigs are always a hit, especially as children get older.
Be sure to have large two-gallon zip-top storage bags and tissue available to wrap and store each item.
What lady doesn’t covet a new purse? These “flower-power” felt purses give Victorian style to today’s haute mammas. Fill these lovely bags with a few chocolates, rose-petal tea, or candied violets. The bags, which come in an assortment of styles and colors, will add a humorous and decorative touch wherever you display them.