PEMBROKE PINES — Marcia Magnus’ dreams of becoming a talk show host came true, thanks to her friends.
With a “live studio” audience, guests and an Oprah-like car giveaway for the audience, Magnus, using her stage name, “Dr. M.” celebrated her birthday last month by interviewing a couple of local women about an important Jamaican icon, and featured a local fashion designer.
The “set” came compliments of Dr. M.’s mother, Pearl “Patti” Magnus, whose Pembroke Pines house patio was transformed into a small studio capable of accommodating the host, her guests and an audience of family and friends.
Magnus belongs to a small group of women who has come up with a creative way to honor each other’s birthdays. The ladies have been celebrating for more than 20 years. How they celebrate each other is what sets them apart from other groups.
Created by Maisie “Isis” McNaught and Dale Telfer, the group grew over the years from just those two to the current eight members, including Magnus, Valerie Simpson, Claudette Steele, Bridgette Edwards, Valerie Martin and Grace Vernon.
Knowing each other’s dreams and secret fantasies is essential to an authentic party.
To honor Martin’s fascination with the Academy Awards, the ladies hosted an awards show where – surprise, surprise – Martin was not only nominated in each category, but was also a multiple winner of Romanian crystal pieces mounted specially for the occasion. The event took place in the Miramar back yard of Vernon (a Miami Gardens florist), fittingly transformed into “Village of Renaissance.”
When McNaught, the oldest member of the group, turned 60 last year, the group feted her with six separate celebrations to honor each decade of her life. The festivities began with a “twilight” tea party in May, culminating with a semi-formal dinner and dance in August, her birth month.
“Everything that was done was exactly what I wanted. It was fabulous,” said McNaught, of Miami Gardens, who presented the idea for Magnus’ talk show party to the rest of the group.
“[Magnus] has always been saying ‘I want to be a talk show host,’ so we heard her, and I pitched the idea to the birthday club so we started to plan the event,” McNaught explained.
The show’s “commercials” featured the actual businesses of McNaught (Kulture Clothes, an African clothes shop in Miami Gardens) and Steele (CNS Insurance).
And to complete the Oprah-like talk show experience, each audience member received a new car – tiny toy cars – but cars nonetheless, before a birthday cake was presented and the audience joined the guests in a spirited rendition of “Happy Birthday.”