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Shelby's Social Diary

Most amazing birthday party ever: Acrobats, balloon sushi and sexy guests make for one magical night

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256 Lucinda Loya at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
Lucinda Loya takes a crack at aerial artistry during her 50th birthday celebration. Photo by © Gary Fountain
365 The scene at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
One long dinner table was set for all 160 guests at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration. Photo by © Gary Fountain
429 Acrobat at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
An aerial acrobat performs overhead during dinner the 50th birthday bash.  Photo by © Gary Fountain
338 Tiffany and Rick Smith at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
Tiffany and Rick Smith at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration. Photo by © Gary Fountain
Acrobats at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
An aerial artist performs above the dinner table at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration. Photo by Shafik Rifaat
297 Lucinda Loya, from left, NAME, NAME and Javier Loya at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
Lucinda, from left, Elena, Ana Luca and Javier Loya pause for photos at the birthday bash. Photo by © Gary Fountain
201 Bill and Stephanie Perkins at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
Bill and Stephanie Perkins at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration. Photo by © Gary Fountain
179 Faith and Lee Majors at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
Faith and Lee Majors at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration. Photo by © Gary Fountain
162 Handle bar bar at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
The "handle bar bar" was a first at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration. Photo by © Gary Fountain
News, Shelby, Jenee Stefanakis, Anne Carl, Deborah Duncan,, Alicia Smith, Todd Ramos
Jenee Stefanakis and Anne Carl, front, with, back row from left, Deborah Duncan, Alicia Smith and Todd Ramos. Photo by Shafik Rifaat
196 Kathy McGill, from left, Lucinda Loya and Erika Bagwell at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
Kathy McGill, from left, Lucinda Loya and Erika Bagwell at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration. Photo by © Gary Fountain
220 Sean and Shelley Wright, from left, with Rick and Shamine Pleczko at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014.
Sean and Shelley Wright, from left, with Rick and Shamine Pleczko at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration. Photo by © Gary Fountain
237 Laurie Tatum and Todd Genitempo at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
Laurie Tatum and Todd Genitempo at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration. Photo by © Gary Fountain
268 Veronica Roa, from left, with Noble and Anne Carl at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
Veronica Roa, from left, with Noble and Anne Carl at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration. Photo by © Gary Fountain
326 Amy and Jim Lee at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
Amy and Jim Lee at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration. Photo by © Gary Fountain
321 Donae Chramosta, from left, Todd Ramos and Diane Caplan at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
Donae Chramosta, from left, Todd Ramos and Diane Caplan at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration. Photo by © Gary Fountain
2 The dance floor at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
The third act of the party took place in the nightclub where Ashanti performed. Photo by © Gary Fountain
256 Lucinda Loya at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
365 The scene at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
429 Acrobat at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
338 Tiffany and Rick Smith at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
Acrobats at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
297 Lucinda Loya, from left, NAME, NAME and Javier Loya at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
201 Bill and Stephanie Perkins at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
179 Faith and Lee Majors at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
162 Handle bar bar at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
News, Shelby, Jenee Stefanakis, Anne Carl, Deborah Duncan,, Alicia Smith, Todd Ramos
196 Kathy McGill, from left, Lucinda Loya and Erika Bagwell at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
220 Sean and Shelley Wright, from left, with Rick and Shamine Pleczko at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014.
237 Laurie Tatum and Todd Genitempo at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
268 Veronica Roa, from left, with Noble and Anne Carl at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
326 Amy and Jim Lee at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
321 Donae Chramosta, from left, Todd Ramos and Diane Caplan at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
2 The dance floor at Lucinda Loya's birthday celebration February 2014
Shelby Hodge, head shot, column mug, white off-shoulder blouse

Just as Lucinda Loya's youthful good looks belie her age, so her 50th birthday bash Saturday night suspended reality for 160 guests for several hours of magical celebration replete with Gatsby-esque entertainments. Friends of the contempo interior designer expected an over-the-top night, but few if any could have imagined the full-blown extravaganza — part Moulin Rouge, part Cirque du Soleil.

It was an evening in black and white, as dictated by the invitation (no color allowed), that moved through three distinct environments in the new Silver Street Studio, located in the  warehouse district off of Washington Avenue.

As guests left their cars with the valets, they were gently corralled to the outdoor step-and-repeat for photos, the backdrop, rather than commercial sponsor logos, comprised of words describing the birthday girl. The photos would be attached to goodie bags handed out as party favors at night's end.

Early arrivals Faith and Lee (Six Million Dollar Man) Majors, Sue and Lester Smith and Deborah Duncan and Neal Horner obliged the black and white dress code. In fact, no one dared knock the black and white dictate. Even the decor throughout the night was strictly black and white.

Act two took place in the center space of the warehouse where one long table — for all 160 — was dramatically dressed in black, crystal and silver. 

Act one of the three-act party began with cocktails in a space draped in floor-to-ceiling white with two paneled bars dispensing every adult libation imaginable. As guests such as Stephanie and Bill Perkins, Anne and Noble Carl and Christy Cushman were greeted by Lucinda, wait staff from Jackson and Co. circulated offering various tasty morsels including sushi.

But this was no ordinary sushi presentation. The trays were attached to hot air balloons that drifted overhead as a waiter guided the tray toward sushi-loving guests.

The costumed gent riding the "handle bar bar" (imagine an old world bicycle with circular wine glass dispenser overhead) offered wine to the throng, so glamorous that it seemed the guest list had been screened by central casting. The lineup of glamazons and handsome gents included Amy Murchison, Jenee and Nick Stefanakis, Amy and Jim Lee, Kara and Ray Childress, Tiffany and Rick Smith and so many more.

An ice sculptor took center stage during the reception, employing a chain saw (ah, the gasoline fumes) to carve a big 5-0 with flowers, the perfect photo opp for Lucinda and husband Javier Loya, Choice Energy CEO, and their daughters, Ana Luca and Elena.

Act two took place in the center space of the warehouse where one long table — for all 160 — was dramatically dressed in black, crystal and silver accoutrements with explosions of white flowers running the full length. As the Jackson and Co. team (30 waiters in all) began serving the multi-course dinner of Lucinda favorites, a sleek aerial artist in white began working her contortions on an overhead bridge crane. But wait, the crane began to move, driven by costumed characters, the length of the dinner table and then back again.

A Magritte-esque juggler provided intermittent entertainment. Yet another female aerial artist appeared to perform her thrills and chills overhead. Before night's end a birthday cake with flaming topper traversed the air space above the dinner table. Wine, champagne and tequila shots flowed.

Applause, applause for Lucinda and Deborah Elias of Elias Events, who conceived of and orchestrated the magnificent evening. After "Happy Birthday" sung to Lucinda by Michael Bublé via video, cake was served, words of praised tossed Lucinda's way via video and a tearful thank you given by the birthday girl, who jumped up on the table with mic in hand for her heartfelt gracias. 

Next, it was on to the far end of the warehouse to the cigar lounge/night club outfitted in black and white carpets, leather sofas, winged chairs and other classy lounge furnishings. On stage was R&B singer/songwriter Ashanti, who kept the dance floor packed. Two full-service bars once again dispensed a complete range of party libations.

Among the glamorous crowd were Annie Amante, Liz and Tom Glanville, Tonya Riner, Diane and Michael Caplan, Alicia and Lance Smith, Sean and Shelley Wright, Rick and Shamine Pleczko and Todd Ramos.

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