A musical theater student put together a benefit cabaret for the sole purpose of proposing to his girlfriend, which he did in front of at least 60 people.
Jason Leupold became engaged to Sarah Coon, a theater studies major, at the “All You Need Is Love” event last night as performers, students in the theater department, sang about love for a good cause.
“My overall idea was to put it together for the proposal, but I wanted it to be more than just that,” Leupold said. “I didn’t want to bring a bunch of people in to make a glorified proposal, and I wanted to actually do something good with it, so that is why I got the idea to hook it up with a charity.”
Coon said that when Leupold told her about the cabaret, she thought it would be a great time for him to propose, but she disregarded it because it seemed far-fetched. But after Leupold announced to the audience that Coon’s parents were there, she knew he was going to propose.
Coon said she reacted in a way that she never thought she would.
“I was excited and happy,” she said. “I always pictured that I would be calm, cool and collected — it was not like that at all. I was a weepy mess, and it was perfect. Part of me was like, ‘Good job.’”
Leupold collected donations instead of charging a fee, with the money going toward Broadway Cares, which is teamed with Equity Fights AIDS, which aims to fight HIV and AIDS through the help of the entertainment industry.
The benefit raised $184.24.
The nine performers opened with a group number and followed with solos, duets and other group numbers. Leupold proposed after they sang “You Are My Home” from the musical “Scarlet Pimpernel.”
“We had been talking in the past couple months about … getting married eventually,” Coon said. “I knew this was somewhere on the horizon, but I thought it would be when he graduated.”
Leupold said he was getting everything together for the cabaret when he realized he should tell Coon’s parents about his proposal. He took them out to lunch to tell them what he was planning, and they gave him their blessing.
“It was just so exciting,” said Janet Coon, Sarah’s mother. “We knew back in August. He talked to Sarah’s dad and I. So we have known for a while and just tried not to think about it too much and not to tell anybody. He is just a really great guy and we think they are great together.”
Leupold told his parents separately.
“I was very proud of him because he told me that he had already talked to Sarah’s parents and had planned everything out,” said Dean Leupold, Jason’s father. “When he told me, I was surprised but very happy because Sarah is a wonderful girl.”
Leupold and Coon have been together a year and a half, and they said the engagement won’t add any pressure.
“As much as there is a big commitment on the table, I don’t think our relationship will change much at all,” Coon said. “I think we have known that we were going to be together.
“This doesn’t really change much, it just adds a stamp on it — it makes it official.”
Contact Shauna Carter at [email protected]