I’ve never been the best rule-follower. If a teacher said to color the sun yellow, I would mix orange and pink and maybe even a little magenta to make my sun unique. So for this wonderful Broadway tablescape theme (suggested by Chloe from Celebrate and Decorate), I hope all my fellow bloggers will forgive me if I strayed a little from the rules. I had great fun being part of this collaboration and creating a lovely tablescape, even if my Broadway interpretation is a bit loose. But hey, some of the most beautiful suns I’ve ever seen weren’t yellow at all.
When I began researching current Broadway productions for inspiration, nothing grabbed me. Until I came across Beautiful. I’m probably dating myself here, but this is what came to mind when I learned that the life of Carole King has been made into a Broadway musical.
Carole King’s album Tapestry. Her long, curly hair. The hippie vibe. The sun warming the windowsill. And those bell-bottoms. (Okay, so they may not look like bell-bottoms to you, but I know they were. Or at least they were bell-bottom pre-cursors. This album was released in 1971. I was 11 years old. I had an older brother who narrowly missed the Vietnam draft, older sisters with Shag haircuts, and I owned a poncho. Trust me, in all my prepubescent arrogance, I knew all about bell-bottoms.)
This album cover was as much of my childhood as standardized tests and Santa Claus. I loved Carole King. But how to build a modern tablescape around the Broadway musical Beautiful? Easy. One of the most famous songs she ever wrote is Up On the Roof. If you don’t know it, I encourage you to grab your ear-phones and listen.
When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be
And there the world below can’t bother me
That’s it! A roof-top dinner! An earthy table setting with fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables to capture that organic feel of the sixties.
On my little urban balcony, high above the noise and hoopla of the city.
With the mellow songs of Carole King playing softly in the background amid the carefree conversation of good friends. What can I say? It was a lovely night. Maybe even beautiful?
Oh, and I forgot to mention that my food theme was Moroccan, as I make a killer couscous using my French mother-in-law’s family recipe.
But before dinner, we enjoyed appetizers on my east balcony.
And yes, despite the fancy silver tray, that candy keyboard arrangement you see is made from Kit Kats! (Another tribute to Carole King.)
After hummus, pita bread and champagne, we moved to the west balcony for our meal…
What are you waiting for? Come on in and take a seat…
I paired the khaki linen tablecloth with crisp white linen napkins, rolled into a rosebud. (Linens from Target.) Years ago, I bought the blue water glasses from Biot, a small village in the south of France; the glassware there is hand-blown (hence the little air bubbles.)
To pay homage to the wonderful songstress, miscellaneous lyrics from Carole King’s songs were written onto cards attached to each napkin. Throughout the evening, my friends shared how those lyrics connected to their lives. (Yes, I’m one of those people, who love sappy party games.)
I spray painted tin cans copper for a Moroccan, Bohemian touch to use as vases.
And I even used these little iron Cicada shaped tablecloth weights I bought in France.
Nothing is more beautiful than fresh flowers, so I carefully selected varieties with a free-spirited, European flavor.
For the center vase (a cement & glass vase I bought on sale at Target) I used big, bold hydrangea and peony blossoms, along with a few purple Irises, with lots of leafy fillers. I tossed in ample Italian Ruscus stems, because they remind me of olive branches.
For the smaller vases, I used orange roses and Dusty Miller.
On top of a wide strip of moss, I placed artichokes, oranges and limes.
I chilled the wine (housed in a ceramic planter) with floral ice cubes. (See my flower ice cube tutorial here.)
In anticipation of the evening lasting well after sunset, I strung vintage style lights around the balcony.
Which become magical when the sun goes down.
And in Carole King’s words…
Right smack dab in the middle of town
I’ve found a paradise that’s trouble proof (up on the roof)
Thank you Carole King for your inspiration. My Moroccan roof-top dinner was indeed beautiful, with one caveat… while cleaning up afterwards, my husband and I noticed that half an octave was eaten out of the lovely Kit Kat piano candy. We knew our guests didn’t have any nor did we. Hmm… while editing the photos for this post, I think I found the culprit.
Don’t forget to check out all the other wonderful tablescapes in this bloghop!