Shelby's Social Diary
Most amazing birthday party ever: Acrobats, balloon sushi and sexy guests make for one magical night
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.