by Sarah Jae Leiber. @sarahjaeleiber.
ABINGTON, Penn - Local Bat Mitzvah girl Rebecca Weismer’s Broadway-themed reception was disrupted last Saturday when guests directed to The Wild Party table were told they’d have to guess if they were assigned to Andrew Lippa’s or Michael John LaChiusa’s interpretation of the seating arrangement, confused guests confirmed.
“I thought it would be obvious,” shrugged Weismer, a bonafide theatre historian and now a woman in the eyes of the Jewish faith. “The Lippa table was a much more conventional setup; the LaChiusa was more avant garde in design. I thought the guests would know themselves well enough to know where they fit.”
Eve Weismer, Rebecca’s New York-native mother who herself was seated at the Bare: A Pop Opera table across the room, defended her daughter’s controversial choice.
“If Rebecca wanted a straightforward, commercial Bat Mitzvah experience, why would I have sunk so much money into two wildly contrasting composer-slash-table designers?” questioned Weismer. “They were both given the same basic idea, and I think it’s admirable that they took that common background and came up with what they did. It’s not my fault our guests don’t have taste.”
Alyssa Friedman, Rebecca’s former best friend who was ultimately seated at the Lippa table, was one of the many who ran into problems trying to find their seat.
“This was so mean. Rebecca KNOWS I prefer the LaChiusa production, and it was SUPER embarrassing when I showed up there and found out it wasn’t where I belonged,” said Friedman, whose competing Broadway-themed Bat Mitzvah earlier this year caused the rift that ended the friendship. “I had to sit there all night pretending she didn’t absolutely do this to hurt me.”
Affected guests clarified that they were mostly upset because they’d never even heard of any iteration of The Wild Party, so a simple distinction on the place cards would have been a big help. At time of print, the Weismer family has not apologized, and has instead started planning for their son’s US presidents-themed Bar Mitzvah in the spring of 2024, which will reportedly have two tables dedicated to Grover Cleveland.