Karen and Chris McCabe
March 8, 1997
The “show-mance” has long been a term recognized by thespians of the stage and screen. You know the age old story: Leading man meets leading lady. Sparks fly. By the time the show closes they are an item photographed for every tabloid from New York to L.A. Sometimes it crashes and burns quickly when the lovebirds have to face the real world together, but other s have found the formula to making a lasting and supportive art-inspired life together. Warren Beatty and Annette Benning. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
Allegany County has its own “show-mance couple”…that is, if you consider meeting each other in a local production, seeing a play for their first date (that “really wasn’t a date”) and getting married at the Cumberland Theatre on the stage with set, costumes and lighting to meet the qualifications needed.
“We basically planned the entire event like a show,” says Karen.
“We built a staircase in the middle of the stage,” Chris recalls. “At the top were two bridges from the upper backstage level. The minister, my brother and I came in over one, Karen and her Matron of Honor came across the other. The program was based on a Playbill (a Weddingbill) with cast listings, bios of people involved and production credits. We had a marquee out front announcing the performance.”
Karen and Chris met during a production of Fiddler on the Roof at the Cumberland Theatre in 1991. Karen was looking to get back into theatre after a ten year hiatus and Chris was serving as musical director. But it wouldn’t be until after a few years of working on shows together and hanging out with mutual friends that they would actually go on a date. Or was it a date?
“Although we didn’t call it a ‘date.’ We went to Mountain Playhouse in Jennerstown to see Neil Simon's Prisoner of Second Avenue,” says Chris.
“We kept ‘not dating’ for several months,” Karen laughs. “By the time we were working on Into the Woods in the winter of 1996, even we had to admit we were dating!”
They tied the knot on stage in front of family, friends and co-stars in 1997. Since then, their duo has become a quintet with the addition of their three sons – who not surprisingly have inherited an affectation for the performing arts. And the theatre still plays an encompassing role in the couple’s life. The McCabes are still going strong and supporting each other’s dreams and endeavors.
“Marriage is one long production,” says Karen. “Sometimes everything aligns and the performances are fabulous, and sometimes there are some glitches. Sometimes you receive rave reviews, but at other times, your performance is just not good. That's okay as long as you are trying to be the best partner you can be.”
Don't miss the Allegany Magazine/Cumberland Times News Fifth Annual Bridal Showcase. Sunday. March 22, 2020 at Rocky Gap Casino and Resort.
See all 44 weddings and more than 190 beautiful wedding photos submitted by the readers of Allegany Magazine in the February 2020 edition, available everywhere now.