“Meet me on the corner of Seventh Street and New York Avenue at 7:30,” Aidan O’Connor told Connie Dougherty just after Christmas last year.
That’s odd, Connie thought. She knew they were seeing a play that night, but she couldn’t think of what theater was around there.
When she arrived, Aidan led her half a block before he stopped in front of a tiny venue called the Warehouse. They walked into the near-empty lobby and waited. Where is everyone? Connie wondered.
Fifteen minutes later, a man came around the corner. “We’re ready,” he said, leading them into the theater.
When he drew back the curtain, Connie saw a stage, a sound guy, a camera guy—and two seats.
“I was so confused,” says Connie, who works as a legislative director for a congressman. “We hadn’t exchanged Christmas presents, so I thought maybe he had gotten us some private viewing of a play.”
The mystery play started with a dance performance. “I figured it out when this character named Connie comes on stage and takes a call from her friend Amy, who introduced me to Aidan in real life,” Connie says. “They’re having this conversation and she mentions her dog, Finnegan, and I was like, ‘Oh, my God—this is about us!’ ”
Aidan had posted ads on Craigslist to find a theater and a director, who then wrote and cast a show for Connie.
“Connie loves musicals,” says the Stradley Ronon lawyer. “She acted in high school and can sing all the words to Rodgers and Hammerstein.”
The 30-minute performance chronicled how the two met as law students at Georgetown and fell in love, ending with the main characters talking about being together forever. Then the director called Aidan and Connie up on stage.
“This is where it gets blurry,” Connie says. “Aidan says there was music playing, but I don’t remember. I just know we were hugging for a second and he got down on one knee and said, ‘I thought for the encore, we’d spend the rest of our lives together.’ ”
They will be getting married in September.
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