years ago, Bruce Mailman opened a 50,000 square foot entertainment complex
on the lower east side of Manhattan that effectively changed the course
of dance music and gay culture. The mainstream disco revolution may have
been coming to an end, but gay nightlife was just heating up.
Saint featured a massive 76-foot high dome surrounding a 4,800 square foot
dance floor which made it look more like a giant spaceship than a private
dance club. The innovative dome was illuminated by more than 1,500 light
fixtures and a planetarium-style star projector, all housed on a hydraulic
lift situated in the center of the dance floor. An unparalleled sound system
encompassing nearly 500 strategically placed speakers provided the cutting-edge
soundtrack for the weekly celestial escapades of the Saints members
and their privileged guests.
enduring the conservative Reagan years, the Saint eventually caved in to
the ravages of the AIDS epidemic. In true Saint fashion, the closing party
on May 2, 1988 lasted almost 48 hours and poignantly marked the end of a
truly infamous era. The club reopened the following year sans the legendary
dome, but closed permanently after a brief four-month stint. Those of us
who never had the opportunity to witness first-hand what many of its patrons
consider to be the ultimate nightclub experience, still have an opportunity
to celebrate the splendor and eternal spirit of the Saint.
its memory through roving parties, the Saint-At-Large has diligently carried
on the grand tradition of the Saint over the past 13 years. Although Halloween
and New Years Eve parties were also held in the early years, the Saint-At-Large
now focuses its efforts entirely on the renowned White and Black Parties.
The Roseland Ballroom has hosted both of these monstrous events for the
past several years, and will do so again this year despite persistent (yet
unconfirmed) rumors that the venue will soon be demolished to make way for
a high-rise development.
The White Party, held on Presidents Day Weekend
each year, will take place on Saturday, February 17, 2001.
Peter Rauhofer will spin from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. with
Susan Morabito taking the helm afterwards to play until 3:00
p.m. Sunday afternoon. Lighting wizards Guy Smith and Ross
Berger will create an exquisite array of visual stimuli to
accompany the music. Dress for the 17-hour event is (surprise,
surprise) white. The lighter and fluffier of the two, White
Party is traditionally a more localized gathering of guests
from the tri-state area. This years unique, yet powerful,
line-up, however, has piqued the interest of many out-of-towners,
and will likely draw one of the largest and most diverse crowds
the White Party has ever seen.
major gay event, though, the White Party has attracted its share of controversy
this year over its selection of musical talent. To better appreciate the
reasons behind these selections, it is important to understand the Saint-At-Large
itself. Quietly existing under a certain air of mystery and attracting little
media attention over the years, the organization is comprised of four passionate
individuals who are each dedicated to preserving the memory of the Saint.
Steve Pevner, Steve Casko, Joel Teitelbaum and Jason
McCarthy are the visionaries to thank for the outrageously
entertaining Saint-At-Large events. Although Pevner now owns
the franchise, the four work in concert to produce the White
and Black Parties. Casko, who was in charge of the original
Saints construction, now focuses his energy on the ventures
business aspects, while Teitelbaum and McCarthy, both general
managers at the Saint, concentrate on the actual production
of the events. Through their combined efforts and proficient
management, the Saint-At-Large has become a highly efficient
and lucrative business.
have to look at the mass audience and say, What is best to make this
party come across well, to keep it interesting and alive?," explains
Joel Teitelbaum in response to detractors comments about this years
White Partys DJ line-up. The idea is to present two distinct voices
that represent a wide range of musical tastes in hopes of satisfying as
many people as possible. The tradition of the Saint and its associated music
will be purposefully represented, while at the same time listeners will
be introduced to new styles of music with which they may not be familiar.
This formula has proven quite successful in the past, and theyre hoping
to repeat it again at White Party.
year at the Black Party, everyone was like, Oh God, Victor Calderone
is playing. Its going to be horrible; hes going to play like
he does at the Roxy," recalls Teitelbaum. "Well, he didnt.
He played very differently than ever before and was extremely well received.
In fact, he blew everyone away. People have to be willing to give Peter
a chance, too."
with a party that spans so many hours, guests arriving in different stages
will be able to choose a schedule that best suits their own personal musical
tastes. As the partys atmosphere changes throughout the night, morning
and day, different moods are created that should help most revelers find
familiar comfort zones for their dancing pleasure.
The leather-infused Black Party will take place on Saturday,
March 24, 2001. Now a full-fledged circuit party, it has grown
so large in recent years that tickets sell out well before
the doors even open. (So make sure you buy one when they go
on sale in early March.) As of press time, the Saint-At-Large
was still negotiating one of the coveted DJ slots, but did
confirm the return of veteran Saint DJ Warren Gluck. Dress
and attitude are heavier and more intense at this party, with
erotic stage shows and dance floor antics that keep the sexual
energy at a fever pitch. The organizers may not entirely appreciate
the partys relatively new circuit status, but they are
certainly pleased with its immense popularity.
has constantly evolved over the years by identifying, embracing and ultimately
catering to its clienteles ever-changing tastes, lifestyles and attitudes.
This commitment to modernize and invigorate its signature events will surely
help the Saint-At-Large to preserve the original spirit of the Saint for
many future generations to enjoy.
Advance tickets for White Party are $65 until February
9, $75 afterwards, and $85 at the door. Tickets for Black
Party go on sale March 2. Please visit www.saintatlarge.com
for more information.