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Photo by Jesus Reyna

Show Stopping Moment

By John M. Hayden

Diego and Drew may say “I do,” but Eric Hibbard is saying, “Yes” after Jesus Reyna asked, “Will you?” A night of interactive theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts recently took a turn into relationship reality.

At opening night at Diego & Drew Say I Do, the audience was filled with local luminaries including the Gay Men’s Chorus. But they weren’t the ones Eric noticed as he looked for his seat. “That night I became suspicious when I saw two of my best friends come in and they hadn’t mentioned to me that they were coming to the show,” Eric told me.

Keeping up the element of surprise is tough when you’re planning a surprise like this. And Eric soon saw more unexpected guests kept popping up in the audience. “Also I saw just about all of Jesus’ family there when I arrived and that doesn’t happen only for the holidays. One of his nephews was there who never usually goes out to any social events! So I was wow, this is unusual. That started to make me think, okay something is going on.”

Photo by Jesus Reyna

Jesus and Eric met two and a half years ago on Tinder, so lucky for them they both swiped right for Mr. Right. Eric says they’ve talked about getting married several times, but it was more of a theoretical discussion, something for the future.

So even with his antennae raised, he tried to put proposal possibilities aside and enjoy the show. That didn’t last long. “When (a cast member) was on stage and said he had an announcement that it was Jesus’ birthday.” One problem with that theory: it was not Jesus’ birthday. “So I started to realize okay, this is it. Then, of course, when he called me to the stage, I knew. I started tearing on my way up.”

The crowd went wild! While the actual play went off flawlessly with great performances, it was Eric and Jesus that stole the spotlight.

Photo by Harrison Hinman

After a proposal like that, it’s gonna be hard to top it with the actual wedding. But, there’s time for that. “We haven’t started the wedding plans yet. We are thinking about a June wedding. No venue yet, but it will be in the Fort Lauderdale area.”

The video is posted on OutClique’s Facebook® page. You should have a look! Warning: Have a box of tissues handy.