Material Girl. Icon. Queen of Pop. Boy Toy. Controversial. Singer. Actress. Dancer. Director. Author. Queen of Reinvention. Mother. Humanitarian. Mega Star. There is only one Queen and that’s Madonna!
I will never forget that Sunday back in 1983 when I first heard Holiday. My family and I had just left church and were on our way to brunch, which was our Sunday ritual. My brother and I dreaded going to church and tried to find ways to entertain ourselves during mass. We played tic-tac-toe, we counted how many people were in each pew, we laughed and often got in trouble. Once we got “the look” from our father, we knew we had gone too far and kept quiet for the remainder of the service. As soon as communion was over we looked at each other and smiled, for we knew it was time to leave and go to Sunday brunch. As we exited the church on that brisk October day, we walked towards the car and discussed where we were going to go eat. At the time, our favorite place was The Marriott Hotel located in Santa Clara and right next to the well-known theme park, Marriott’s Great America. We LOVED the brunch buffet at The Marriott especially because they always had elaborate ice sculptures of swans throughout the dining room. Keep in mind, this was the early 80’s and to an 8-year-old and a 6-year-old, the ice sculptures were “cool.” As we headed north on Highway 101, I asked my dad to please put on 94.5 KWSS which played top 40 hits in lieu of his usual jazz station. As soon as he switched the dial, I heard a song that changed my life……it was Madonna’s Holiday. The music, the voice, the lyrics…. I was hooked. As the song finished and the DJ announced her name as Madonna, I begged my mom to take me to Tower Records so I could buy the cassette tape. Ok, now I am really dating myself but yes, back then I had a “boom box” and tons of cassette tapes. That was the day I discovered Madonna. Twenty-nine years later and I am still a fan. I have grown up with her music, seen almost all of her tours and even briefly met her in Chicago during her 2004 Reinvention Tour. To this day, seeing Madonna up-close and in person has been one of the biggest thrills of my life.
Imagine my excitement when I heard that Timpano Italian Chophouse in Hyde Park was hosting a Madonna Birthday Celebration in honor of the Queen’s 54th birthday. My eyes lit up like a disco ball and I knew I had to showcase this spectacular event, especially since they were featuring Madonna’s favorite cocktail, Lemon Drop Martinis, which also happens to be my favorite. My dear friend and fabulous photographer, Rebecca Hagen of Blink of an Eye Photographic Arts, took some amazing pictures of this magical evening. Guests were encouraged to dress like Madonna as they were hosting a contest in which the winner would win a $1,000 shopping spree to Hyde Park Village.
The event took place on Tuesday, August 14th which was ladies night and two days before the Queen’s actual birthday on August 16th. The restaurant looked fantastic with Madonna pictures adorning every nook and cranny. There was so much positive energy flowing in the room and everyone was ready to dance.
Madonna look-a-likes began to file in and Madonna’s image was everywhere. I love the purse in the picture below. (I have the same one).
Guests that arrived between 6 and 7 pm and that were dressed like Madonna received a complementary Madonna-tini, which was a Lemon Drop, Madonna’s favorite cocktail. Timpano has an amazing bar and all of their cocktails are big on flavor.
Guests were raving about the Lemon Drops and it was no surprise. I consider myself a Lemon Drop connoisseur and Timpano makes one of the best I have ever had. The first cocktail I learned how to make was a Lemon Drop, maybe that is why I like them so much. 🙂
“If I was a drink, I’d be a lemon drop.” -Madonna (Super Pop)
I was impressed by so many of the outfits that evening. It was fun to see so many ladies dressed like the Madonna that I grew up with from the early 80’s with bustiers, fish nets, lace, tons of jewelry and stilettos.
“I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art.” -Madonna
Part of the entertainment was provided by the band Phase5 with singers Samantha Leigh and Josh Walther. They are a 6 piece band specializing in pop/rock, jazz, soul, and dance music. The band features 2 vocalists, piano, guitar, bass, percussion, and a live DJ.
It is truly amazing to see that after 30 years in the music industry, Madonna is still as relevant today as she was when she first stepped into the music scene in 1982. She works harder than anyone and is truly an inspiration.
“I stand for freedom of expression, doing what you believe in, and going after your dreams.” -Madonna
Colette Meyer, who is a co-host at Good Life Tampa Bay, was on hand for the festivities. Good Life Tampa Bay is a TV show that features people, places, events and entertainment news that set the lifestyle trends in the Tampa Bay area.
Little Black Dress Vodka was one of the sponsors of the evenings. I recently discovered Little Black Dress Vodka and absolutely love it. Available in Classic, Black Cherry Vanilla, Blueberry Pomegranate, and Pineapple Honey, it is new to the market and is unique in that it is produced, packaged and marketed by women. What I like most about Little Black Dress Vodka is that there are only 100 calories per 1.5 oz serving and the flavors are so delicious that you don’t need to add sugary mixers which rack up the calories. This was the perfect vodka for this event.
DJ Papi from Wild Out Entertainment got everyone into the groove by spinning Madonna classics all night long.
“Hey Mr. DJ put a record on, I wanna dance with my baby.” -Madonna
“Music makes the people come together.” -Madonna
“Strike a pose.” -Madonna
All of the Madonna look-a likes stepped into the spotlight to show off their Madonna impersonating skills. They were all wonderful but only one would be named the Queen that night.
“Everybody wants to shine
Don’t stand in the sideline, step into the light
But it’s got to come from inside
Listen to your heart and step into the Spotlight.” -Madonna (Spotlight)
After the votes were counted, the winner of the Madonna look-a-like contest was Beth Knudsen Seletos. She looked amazing and won a $1,000 shopping spree to Hyde Park Village. Now that is a gift fit for a Material Girl!
“Reinvent yourself.” -Madonna
I would like to thank Timpano and Hyde Park Village for hosting such a great event in honor of one of music’s biggest icons. I can’t wait for next year’s event!
In closing, here is a video on Madonna’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.