Stu's Greatest Parties

There’s an old saying in show business . . . “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!” I wanted to share some of the events we've done that come to mind when I think of this phrase.

Queen Elizabeth 2 – Bar Mitzvah of Jason Guterman Can Can dancer by party planner Stu Feinstein

The New York Times headline read, “Coming of Age on the Ocean: A Bar Mitzvah Aboard the QE 2.” This party was one for the books. It was a first! Although the QE 2 had been chartered for cruises by corporations, never had the Cunard Line hosted a Bar Mitzvah.

Well over 700 guests, including many prominent financial and political figures, boarded at 4 p.m. as latecomers arrived via helicopters that touched down on the sports deck. At 6 p.m. we set sail to begin a voyage that will never be forgotten by anyone who attended this amazing celebration for Jason Guterman.

A full crew of 1,000 pampered the guests and all of the ships amenities were open at no charge including the Golden Door Spa, a beauty salon, massage services, movie theater and swimming pools. The choicest cabins were provided for the Guterman’s family and friends.

At 6 p.m. we set sail out into the Atlantic Ocean and a non-stop adventure began. A champagne reception was followed by the first of four meals to be served featuring a six-course black-tie dinner. As the ship sailed 46 miles out into the Atlantic and back, the guests dined, discoed, splashed in the pool, wagered at the gaming tables and had the time of their lives.

The Guterman’s had simply instructed me to create unique surprises and total fun. I armed myself with a 40+ member ensemble from Le Clique, 200 costumes and props and total artistic freedom. Our goal was to help convert this excursion into a fantasy voyage of epic proportions. We had a ball!

The party lasted all night and at 10 a.m. the following morning, everyone descended the gangway wondering if it all had been a dream!

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Roman Circus Week – Caesars, Atlantic City

Through the years my involvement with Casino related projects in Atlantic City, Vegas and Tahoe has been incredible. The majority of these events were the classic ‘Highroller’ parties that tripped the light fantastic. The legendary Winter Wonderland events at Caesars were spectacular as were many fabulous New Year’s Eve excursions beyond the realm of one’s imagination but there was one experience that was the topper.

To celebrate the grand opening of their expanded casino hotel, Caesars threw a party the only way they knew how . . . like the Romans did! We staged a true happening . . . noble centurions, favors, snake charmers, illusionists, fire eaters, jugglers, performing animals, exotic belly dancers, soothsayers and continuous dazzling entertainment. Well over 50,000 people shared this week-long breathtaking experience! What a memory!

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Trump Tower – Donald Trump, New York CityOne of party planner Stu Feinstein's parties

There is only one Donald Trump and the grand opening festivities of his favorite jewel, Trump Tower, was amazing! The who’s who of NY attended this once in a lifetime event and we helped bring this incredible movie set to life with a Le Clique cast of over 50 performers. Nearly 4,000 people attended the black-tie affair which was staged on four levels in the Trump Tower Atrium. This soiree was pure fantasy at its finest!

I have been lucky enough to work for Donald on several other projects at his casino properties in Atlantic City but for me nothing can compare to that one magical moment in time . . . The Grand Opening of Trump Tower!

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Erté Birthday Parties, New York City

There was always a magical joy in the eyes of this artistic legend who is recognized as one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century. We were blessed with the opportunity of helping to stage his 94th and 95th birthday celebrations in New York City. The parties were fabulous as the art world would come to pay tribute to this genius. He adored our theatrical approach to party-making and I can vividly remember a special moment when he smiled at me and said “Life is art and what you do makes me happy!” I shall always carry his inspiration in all that I do.

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Potamkin Christmas Parties, Victor Potamkin, NYC

The late Victor Potamkin was an extraordinary man who was my friend, my sponsor to The Friars Club and one of my most important mentors. For several years I was fortunate to stage his company holiday parties in New York. The events were always spectacular and hugely successful but for me it was about Victor . . . the man!

Our pre-event meetings were always brief as he offered trust and honor at all times. However, I knew that during the course of each event Victor would observe, analyze and evaluate every detail. His keen awareness and intuitive understanding of the party process was amazing.

He never missed a beat and I knew as an event designer that his watchful eyes challenged me to exceed his expectations. It was never about Victor. He wanted all of his employees and friends to have a fabulous party and was relentless in the pursuit of that singular goal. I treasure the memory of the man and those incredible nights of party magic!

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Grand Opening of the Iris & Gerald B. Cantor Exhibition Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

Iris Cantor wanted a special event to celebrate the opening of the Cantor Exhibition Hall at The Metropolitan Museum of Art where her multi-million dollar collection of Rodin sculpture would be permanently housed. Three consecutive nights of festivities at the museum were planned and more than 3,000 close friends and business associates were invited to attend.

Each night guests moved up the sweeping marble stairs toward the great gothic arches to the main entrance of the museum. Here they were met by escorts who guided them through a chain of the Met’s famous galleries and exhibits, the Greek and Roman wing, a 16th Century Spanish patio, Medieval art exhibits and the Egyptian gallery.

My primary responsibility was to bring each gallery to life via customized fantasy theatrics and music to match the specific period of art. We utilized over 60 actors, actresses, dancers and musicians to create a synthesis of sight and sound. This traveling show continued for more than a mile, through gallery after gallery, scenario after scenario until the guests finally arrived at the Cantor Wing where they toured the lavish Rodin collection.

Afterwards, everyone entered the adjoining Temple of Dendur exhibit which was transformed into a spacious French bistro and our guests were treated to a fabulous party. Iris wanted an event that would have both fun and cohesiveness. Six months of preparation allowed us to meet the challenge of creating a fantasy journey of living art and a series of mesmerizing party experiences. The best parties are special no-holds-barred occasions that surprise the guests and fulfill their fondest fantasies! These events achieved that goal and much more.

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Opening Day Festivities, New York Yankees, Bronx, NYone of party planner Stu Feinstein's Le Clique parties

I grew up hating the New York Yankees as I was a Brooklyn Dodger baseball nut. However, when I was called to meet with executives of the New York Yankees in reference to helping to stage elaborate opening day ceremonies, I was thrilled. This wasn’t just any phone call . . . it was The New York Yankees! The meetings we held defined certain goals. George Steinbrenner wanted a colorful happening that would be fun and interactive.

The honorees were to be the relatives of members of the 1927 New York Yankee championship team celebrating the house that Ruth built! We knew there would be many dignitaries present from the sports and political world. I knew it was a perfect setting for our Celebrity Heads. I needed to be able to signal our directors at various times to orchestrate the happening. When I told the Yankee execs that the dugout was my logical spot, they said “Go for it!”

The highlight moment was our Frank & Liza rendition of New York, New York! It brought the house down! I remember scooping some dirt from the first base area and filling a pocket of my pants. I saved that dirt for many years as a keepsake of the experience. However, the most vivid memory for me was staying in that dugout just long enough to be surrounded by the players from The New York Yankees! Hours later I sat in a field box, munched on a hot dog and stared at the dugout. All I could think was, “I was there!”

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Night of the Prom, Les Mouches, New York City

I would be remiss if I didn’t include the early “daze” of the NYC disco scene, but there is no way to capture what went on in those giant boxes of decadence during the late 70’s. It was there that I received my advanced graduate training and doctorate degree in the art of creating the great party. It was a time unto itself and the only rule was that there were no rules.

It was there that Le Clique got born and began its fairytale. Now all I have are photos and old invitations that offer only a hint as to what I experienced, but deep within me is a full-length mental movie of a sociological phenomenon known as the Disco Era.

The clubs were party palaces all devoted to over-indulgence of every kind. Events were always themed and as a nomadic party machine, we built an army of loyal partygoers who loved the journeys that were staged . . . Studio, Xenon, New York, New York, Electric Circus, Paradise Garage, Flamingo . . .

I vividly remember the record launch party for The Village People at Hurrah, Grace Jones, Sylvester and The Two Tons of Fun aka The Weather Girls at a Roseland Halloween Bash, The Disco Sally Party at Xenon, “The Wedding” and “Get Ready For Bed and Come As You Are” at Infinity but perhaps my favorite was “Night of The Prom” at Les Mouches. Gold showgirl at Le Clique party planners party

Les Mouches was a magical party space and my favorite den of desire. What made Les Mouches so special was that it consisted of a great dance club, 2 separate and large barrooms and a full cabaret nightclub. When we would stage an event at Les Mouches, guests did not know where to go first as separate and distinct moods were stimulated in each area. They were always afraid they would miss something. They were right and that’s why they came back again and again, addicted to the frenzy we would create.

“Night of The Prom” was absolutely the most outrageous event we staged. Thousands of guests dressed in prom attire came to party and view the crowning of their queen. Well over 100 men and women strutted their stuff that night trying to win the prize. The best female impersonators in NY lit up Le Mouches but the winner was a huge hulk of man named Jesse who wore a beautiful tutu, lumberjack boots, garters and a peek-a-boo blouse that exhibited his hairy chest. We had found our Queen and we celebrated all night. It was all about fun, energy, passion and freedom. It was another time never to be experienced again!

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Fantasy Wedding, Robert & Sion Pereira, Boca Raton, FL

The wedding celebration of Robert & Sion Pereira was truly a fantasy on a grand and majestic scale. When I first met with Robert and Sion, I could tell in a moment that they were dedicated not only to each other but to a dream. Their desire to create a one-of-a-kind wedding was a mutual wish that they committed to making come true.

It is said that each day is a precious gift but in fairytales every once in a great while, when the moon and the sun meet together in the universe of time and space, there exists a day more amazing then any other day. For Robert and Sion this would be their day.

The grounds of their mansion on the sea are already magical and served as a perfect setting for this real life movie. As you can imagine there was an incredible amount of detail planning and the collective force of several major production companies would be required before we were done . . . The only variable beyond our control would be the weather, as everything about this party was to be outside under the stars. There is always a plan B but Sion told me that, “there would be no rain on her parade.” She was right as the stars shone and a gentle breeze reminded us that all things are possible.

As the soundtrack from “The Last of the Mohicans” echoed through the trees, Sion’s incredible all white and glass carriage drawn by two magnificent horses came down a winding path bringing this royal princess to her wedding ceremony. Sion was absolutely breathtaking and as she walked down the aisle with her mother and father, costumed angels carried her 100’ wedding gown train. It was the stuff of dreams. Party planned by StuAs the sun set, Robert and Sion took their vows and pledged eternal love which triggered a release of doves, a spectacular fireworks show and a helicopter that picked up a Cirque du Soleil performer who lit up the sky with a daring acrobatic display.

The wedding party was absolutely fabulous and filled with the finest of food, wines, music and theatrical surprises that ignited the spirit of all the guests and stimulated joyful participation. This fantasy wedding was a true celebration of love where memories were created beyond your wildest imagination.

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You invite the guests, Le Clique will dazzle them!