Wachner and a friend watched the dancers perform one by one, but the older, African-American and Asian women who came on the stage did not in any way remotely resemble the actual Andrea Wachner, a petite olive-skinned brunette with thick, black-rimmed glasses.
Then she saw Cricket, 30, whose birth name is Amy Bernadette Russell. Cricket wasn't a stripper, but she was known for being a "little daredevil." At Jumbo's Cricket consistently wowed audiences with elaborate pole tricks and balancing acts.
Right away, Wachner knew she'd found her girl.
The camera crew that followed Cricket to the reunion also drew stares from the crowd. She told the curious alums that they were filming a documentary about artists called "Work to Live, Live to Work."
As Cricket surveyed the scene, she communicated with Wachner through an earpiece.
"She was coaching me the whole time -- and every time she said, 'That's great,' it just made me feel stronger," Cricket said. "No one could question me. What could they do, take a DNA sample?"
Cricket told the reunion attendees that she'd had reconstructive surgery and also suffered from amnesia. It wasn't completely unbelievable, because some had already heard that the real-life Wachner was in an accident after high school -- her car was totaled and she had been injured, but she had never suffered from amnesia.
Most of them had not seen or talked to Wachner since high school, but many found her new profession suspect: Cricket as Andrea said she was working as a stripper to help pay her graduate school tuition.
Daniel Wolowicz, 32, who had been an acquaintance of Wachner's in high school, said he was immediately suspicious.
"She was just so different. You have to understand the community we had come from," he said. "Everyone was questioning who this person was.
"I had asked her a very specific question about seeing her at a bat mitzvah when I was 15 years old," he said. When Cricket answered his question correctly, Wolowicz said he assumed it was Andrea or "someone else who had been given a lot of information."
It would be awhile, however, before he learned the full truth.
As the night progressed the drinks flowed, and Cricket, always outgoing, was getting ready for the climax of the evening: a striptease performed to what Cricket described as "one of the worst songs of the '90s," Lisa Loeb's "Stay."
Barry Smith, 31, a math professor from San Diego, was eating dinner at the same table with Cricket.
"She was talking to my wife for a little bit and tried to get her to go on the dance floor to try to do some sort of joint voyeuristic dance-type thing," he said. "But my wife wasn't up for it."
They had met up with Cricket in the lobby earlier that evening. Aided by her earpiece, Cricket pretended to recognize Smith.
"She said, 'Oh, I remember you, you're friends with Jennifer Taylor,'" Smith recalled.
Smith, who couldn't remember what the real-life Wachner looked like, never suspected that he was dining with an imposter, even when Cricket took a chair to the dance floor and began stripping.
As she pulled off her top, and then her skirt, revealing her underwear, several of the alums clapped, screamed and laughed. One woman ran up to Cricket and stuffed a bill in her panties. Some just gaped in amazement.
"People were like, that is not normal," Cricket said.