Tourists will flock to Times Square on Dec. 31 to ring in 2015 with Ryan Seacrest and Taylor Swift, but the hottest party of the night will be just a rhinestone's throw from New Year's Rockin' Eve. Right down West 46th Street, at the legendary Diamond Horseshoe nightclub, party planners Brandon Voss and Patrick Duffy will be unfurling a multi-tiered evening of dining and decadence, all themed around the venue's new stance as the home base for the lavish revue Queen of the Night.
Guests should dress up and strap in for a full night of sinful, yet urbane, festivities, beginning at 8 p.m. with an optional four-course dinner at the Paramount Hotel, which sits atop the Diamond Horseshoe. The party will then descend to the club for a black-tie masquerade ball, where revelers can groove to a five-piece band, witness all-night performances from Queen of the Night cast members, and later, dance in a wee-hours haze to the stylings of DJ Spun, all while soaking in an atmosphere steeped in shimmering lore.
Dreamed up by Broadway lyricist and producer Billy Rose, the one-time husband of Fanny Brice who'd worked with the Ziegfeld Follies and Oscar Hammerstein II, the Diamond Horsehoe first opened its doors amid the Christmas season of 1938, designed as a Gay Nineties-themed saloon. In his approach to the entertainment, Rose mixed tame vaudevillian acts with saucy showgirl numbers, and soon enough, anyone who was anyone in the glam 1940s—from Orson Welles to Betty Grable—could be seen traipsing through the 6,000-square-foot space. Even the 1945 film Diamond Horseshoe, a star vehicle for Grable directed by George Seaton, was inspired by Rose's brainchild.
But things went south for the venue in 1951, and it laid dormant for 63 years before a team of ace creatives banded together to resurrect the club. Art patron and real estate developer Aby Rosen, who purchased the Paramount Hotel in 2011, poured $20 million into the Diamond Horseshoe's renovation, and brought in such collaborators as Douglas Little, designer for the Bergdorf Goodman windows, and Giovanna Battaglia, the project's creative director. The result, unveiled this past January, is an enveloping, bewitchingly cavernous space, where a seemingly dilapidated staircase, deliberately dressed with broken champagne flutes and a fallen chandelier, transports you into a staggeringly detailed, multi-textured nocturnal playground. The attention of most will no doubt dart toward the extravagant, sunburst-themed performance space, but every surface of the Diamond Horseshoe has been painstakingly executed, from the metamorphic wallpaper in the neon-lit men's room to the barside walls coated with individually applied beetle and butterfly wings.
Queen of the Night, meanwhile, boasts the imaginative talents of Randy Weiner, who's also served as the proprietor for another New York hot ticket, Sleep No More. A contemporary vision based on Mozart's The Magic Flute, Queen of the Night is dinner theater with all stops pulled, wherein magicians, dancers, actors, butlers, and circus artists wow guests on all sides, sometimes leading them away from their tables to be further immersed in the show's narrative. In addition to the Queen of the Night performers, the New Year's bash will feature Inyang Bassey, the lead singer of Sleep No More's the Heathens, who'll be crooning to the decked-out partiers.
As night stretches into morning, Nomi Ruiz—of Jessica 6 and Hercules and Love Affair—will also perform, before DJ Spun takes overs with his late-night dance party. Guests should hope that what Spun has in store is akin to his "All Night Rong Party," which has garnered a global cult following as one of New York's hippest must-dos. By the time the last mask and fleck of glitter hits the floor, Voss hopes the night will have channeled Billy Rose's spirit. “Rose presented a heightened world of what life could be,” Voss says. “ It was accentuated with grand style. Isn’t that how we all want to start the new year?”