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Posted on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

UMGASS 'Pirates of Penzance' performance ends in real-life marriage proposal

By Jenn McKee


Cast members Jonathan Roselle and Ali Kahn got engaged during a curtain call for UMGASS' "Pirates of Penzance."

Photo by Dane Hillard

Audience members of UMGASS’ April 13 performance of “The Pirates of Penzance” got to experience two happy endings, thanks to a surprise proposal involving two cast members during the show’s standing ovation curtain call.

Jonathan Roselle, a pirate in the chorus, had the actor who played the Doctor of Divinity bring Alexandra Kahn, who played Mabel, to the front of the stage, and then Roselle proposed.

Here’s a video that captured the moment; Roselle stops the show at just before the two minute mark.

UMGASS veteran and videographer Karl Zinn described the moment in an email: “Just before the end of the curtain calls, Jon Roselle in pirate attire, with his father a pirate behind him on the stage and his mother in the fourth row, made a quite proper and effective proposal of marriage to Ali Kahn, with her parents and sister and grandmother in the second row.”

Roselle and Kahn met during the 2008 UMGASS production of “Yeoman of the Guard.” Roselle graduated from Pioneer High (’05) and U-M (’09) and works in Ann Arbor as a consultant. Kahn hails from Briarcliff Manor, New York and came to Ann Arbor in 2007 to attend U-M (’11). She’ll earn her masters degree in accounting from U-M this year.

Jenn McKee is an entertainment reporter for Reach her at or 734-623-2546, and follow her on Twitter @jennmckee.


David Cahill

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 2:11 p.m., this is a great romantic story! Is there any way you can get it picked up by, or a national news service? The marriage proposal during a Gilbert and Sullivan curtain call is even better than proposals by skywriting or billboards that occasionally get national coverage.


Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

Plus, better pix.

Kai Petainen

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 4:09 a.m.

This is an awesome proposal... my better half and I just watched it... *ah... she cries... romance* best wishes to the couple. we celebrate our 10th year this week, and we wish the best to you as well.

Ed Kimball

Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 3:18 a.m.

Not to be too picky, but I thought Jon said that they met during a production of The Gondoliers. Maybe my hearing's not as good as I think it is. More importantly, however, it's hard to imagine a more entertaining proposal -- nor a woman happier to accept it. Best wishes to the happy couple.


Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 5:04 a.m.

Met during Yeomen, reconnected two years later during Gondoliers.


Tue, Apr 30, 2013 : 2:38 a.m.

Very beautiful. Smiled all the way through the proposal. Made my day!!

Great Lakes Lady

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 8:47 p.m.

Still smiling!!! Heartwarming video....Congratulations to the happy couple!!!

David Cahill

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

Very adorable indeed!


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 7:52 p.m.

Outstanding. I was at a U-M Friars show about 17 years ago when one of the Friars proposed to his girlfriend at the end of the show. It was an honor to be in the audience. Well done, Jonathan. Much happiness to you both.


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 6:54 p.m.

Congratulations! I needed a pick-me-up story!

Just Be Nice

Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 7:32 p.m.

Me too!


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

This is the most adorable thing *ever*