Hangin' (Tough) With Donnie Wahlberg

Let me set the scene. Hundreds of screaming females, loud music and Donnie Wahlberg on stage entertaining the swooning crowd. Think I'm describing a New Kids on the Block concert circa 1989? Try again. 

That was the scene at a birthday party celebrating Wahlberg's 40th birthday at Mohegan Sun Tuesday night. And what a night it was.

Long lines of ladies greeted me as I arrived at the Ultra 88 nightclub on the Casino Mall's upper level. Each had bought a ticket to be able to share Donnie's birthday with him. The NKOTB bad boy made good with some fans who didn't have tickets, making a stop in Lucky's Lounge next door before slipping out a back door for a little dinner before the celebration.

The doors to Ultra 88 opened a little after 9 p.m., the music pumped and the ladies danced (with the few men who were lucky enough to be a part of  the crowd). 

But it wasn't until 11 p.m. that the booming sounds being pumped out by the DJ were quickly drowned out by the screams that could only mean one thing: Donnie was "in da club."

After a Hollywood-esque red carpet walk and a brief photo-op, Donnie made his way to the dance floor, where there was a huge cake topped with a large 40 waiting for him. He cut pieces from the cake and hand-fed admirers while they serenaded him with "Happy Birthday."

From there the night really took off. Donnie took to the club's small stage and led the crowd in some club favorites (though none of his New Kids hits). The party went on until 1 a.m., but Donnie's night wasn't over. As he walked off the stage, he promised his fans he wouldn't leave until he took a picture with every single fan who wanted one. 

Now, say what you will about Donnie Wahlberg, but as I left, he was at the club's entrance with a line of at least 250 women, and he posed, one at a time, with each and every one of them.  Maybe that's why his fans have stuck around long enough to help him celebrate the big 4-0.

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