By MATT KALKHOFF
Fresh off the stellar success of his debut rooftop morning party, “Sunrise,” at Hudson Terrace in Hell’s Kitchen over Memorial Day Weekend, nightlife pioneer Ric Sena is preparing to produce his 16th consecutive Alegria Pride party later this month. Slated to take place at the historic East Village mega-club Webster Hall, Sena is re-imagining his infamous Circus theme from years ago for a party that begins on Sunday, June 28th, and will continue well through Monday morning.
Taking a page from Madonna’s Reinvention Tour, Sena is repackaging all of Alegria’s greatest hits and taking them on a yearlong tour celebrating the legendary brand’s 15th anniversary with encore events of fan-favorite themes. From the gravity-defying floating pool to lush dance floor rain forests and psychedelic underwater fantasies, expect a totally immersive and mind-bending experience. It doesn’t matter if you’re reliving your favorite past Alegria event or experiencing the magical journey for the very first time: You’re gonna have a blast!
Closing out this year’s Pride festivities in New York City will be Sao Paulo DJs-cum-Ringmasters Paulo Pacheco and Renato Cecin. Both performers are, of course, well known to Alegria veterans, and Sena can always be trusted to bring us the very best talent from his home country of Brazil.
“This will be my second Alegria Pride edition,” Cecin boasts. “I feel honored to be able to share my music with people from all over the world who come to this event. That is why Alegria is the best, and why I always give the best of me. It’s the NYC Pride spirit; it’s the spirit of Alegria.”
Pacheco shares his fellow countryman’s enthusiasm. “This will be my first time playing Alegria Pride in NYC,” he says. “I am so excited and thankful for this opportunity that it is difficult to find words to describe. I want to take everybody on a journey of great beats, strong vocals and soulful rhythms. Playing Alegria Pride means sharing my happiness and love through my music in one of my favorite cities in the world.”
Morabito will also be juggling her own parade of beats spinning in the Marlin Room while Stephen Wyker and Liz Liguori provide the spectacle of lighting on the main floor.
As per usual, expect the theme to be glammed up to the absolute max, with a touch of vintage carny elegance. Trademark elaborate décor and outrageous costume designs will be off the charts. And while dancing elephants in tutus and trained tigers jumping through flaming hoops may seem unlikely, the biggest of Big Tops (and Bottoms!) are absolutely guaranteed. The bearded men will also surely outnumber the bearded women, with plenty of twisted clowns and freak shows afoot (hopefully more Cirque du Soleil than American Horror Story).
And what would a 69-ring circus be without a menagerie of acrobats, contortionists, and super sexy strongmen? When pushed to reveal more details, Sena teasingly replied: “There are always surprises, but I never reveal anything.”
Sena’s come a long way since his first Alegria event in April 2000 during the Millennium March weekend in Washington, DC. His first NYC event, held just a few months later during Pride weekend at Sound Factory (now Pacha), sold out to thousands of revelers. This convinced Sena he had a hit on his hands, and he quickly booked the club for his next event to be held over Presidents Day weekend in 2001. The provocative party franchise has steadily grown over the years into quite the behemoth, single-handedly defining holiday weekends for the better part of this new century. The intrepid young entrepreneur also parlayed Alegria’s early success into a handful of morning parties at Sound Factory called Sunrise, thrown on the club’s 4th level, well shielded from nature’s elements.
Now, in 2015, Sena is reviving that morning tradition, sans roof, at the nearby Hudson Terrace. His first event there last month featured DJs Isaac Escalante and Eddie Elias, and was a smashing success. So much so that he now plans to throw monthly non-holiday parties at the venue that will begin around 5:30am and continue throughout the afternoon until around 6:00pm. The perfect post-Viva destination, just a few blocks over. The next party is slated for Sunday morning, July 19th, featuring DJ Nacho Chapado and returning champion Eddie Elias. Sena is also working on bringing Alegria to Chicago during Market Days in early August.
While Sena is commemorating his impressive milestone with encore events all throughout 2015, the official anniversary party is scheduled to take place over Labor Day Weekend at Webster Hall on Sunday, September 6th. On this dark summer night Sena will resurrect both the party we need and the party we deserve with the insanely popular Batman theme. Holy Alegria! Isaac Escalante will return to the decks to play Robin (or maybe Batgirl?) to Alegria’s most storied superhero, longtime resident DJ Abel. Same Bat channel. Same Bat time. Mostly different Bat beats.
Visit AlegriaEvents.com for tickets and more information. And brace yourself for the 15th Anniversary blowout later this summer!