Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year's Events

Scratching your head about what to do for New Year's Eve? We line up the best options, for singles, couples, families with kids, and those who just want to nest at home


Carnival Masquerade: Sometimes we end up regretting our New Year’s Eve shenanigans. One way to remedy that is by wearing a disguise. Blend into the crowd at this Brazilian Carnival style masquerade party. Complimentary masks, a live Latin band, Brazilian appetizers and costumes bring a little bit of Rio heat to freezing Boston. 9 p.m. $50. Felt, 533 Washington St., Boston. 617-350-5555. www.feltclubboston.com

Thunderdome MMX: Boston’s underground dance scene goes big tonight with a fancy take on its normally hedonistic dance party. Formal dress is encouraged, but it won’t get too classy - there’s a PBR toast at midnight. Resident DJs Mistaker, Redfoxx, and David Day throw down with Chicago’s Gatekeeper performing. 10 p.m. $20-$25. Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, 85 West Newton St., Boston. 617-412-8594. www.brownpapertickets.com

Great Gatsby New Year: Gatsby - now there’s a guy who knew how to throw a party! Put on your best 1920s suit (you can make an exception and wear white), get your fortune read, and drink like your name was Fitzgerald. Just try to ignore that whole cynicism about American materialism thing and you should have a blast. 8 p.m. $75. Alibi at the Liberty Hotel, 215 Charles St., Boston. 857-241-1144. www.alibiboston.com

Game On!: Balloons and confetti can be tedious on New Year’s, but not when they’re filled with prizes. Dance to top 40, eat from the complimentary buffet, and at midnight grab one of the 200 balloons released from the ceiling. They’ve got tickets to sporting games, gift certificates, and other prizes inside. Can’t see how that could go wrong. 8 p.m. $35. Game On!, 82 Lansdowne St., Boston. 617-351-7001. www.gameonboston.com

Joshua Tree: The list of New Year’s songs is admittedly pretty short, but there’s no doubt about the best one ever. Pretty likely you’re gonna hear U2’s “New Year’s Day’’ when Joshua Tree takes the stage tonight. Otherwise you should totally demand your money back. 9 p.m. $25. Hard Rock Cafe, 22-24 Clinton St., Boston. 866-777-8932, www.ticketweb.com

* Kristin Hersh: Most musical performances on New Year’s are dance-driven, party atmospheres. The quintessentially peculiar Hersh, founder of seminal New England rockers Throwing Muses in the ’80s and now a riveting solo performer, is the antithesis of that. She’ll perform two sets of her haunted, hallucinatory indie folk tonight. 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., Boston. www.emmanuelboston.org

* ICA: It’s a time for reflecting on the year and making plans for the one to come. Where better for a few moments of contemplation than a museum? First Night button holders can avail themselves of free admission to the Institute of Contemporary Art today. Need a resolution? Damian Ortega’s series of installation deconstructions, “Do It Yourself,’’ might help you learn to appreciate the small stuff. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ICA, 100 Northern Ave., Boston. 617-478-3100. www.icaboston.org

* Bombay Cinema: Think you’ll see some interesting costumes and dance movies around the city tonight? Just an average day for Bollywood. Boston’s Bombay Cinema presents a film festival featuring some of the best in recent Bollywood hits free for First Night button holders. 12:30 to 11 p.m. Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston. www.firstnight.org

The Honey Brothers: There are probably a lot of people out there who’d love to spend New Year’s partying with Vinnie Chase from “Entourage.’’ That’s not gonna happen. You can, however, see the actor who plays him, Adrien Grenier, and his band the Honey Brothers (below) perform a set of countrified indie and ukulele rock at this KISS 108 New Year’s bash. Close enough. 9 p.m. $65. The Roxy, 279 Tremont St., Boston. 617-931-2000. www.ticketmaster.com

* Best of Both Worlds: Having trouble deciding how to spend the evening with two friends, one that likes gospel and R&B, and another who reads Shakespeare? This musical adaptation of “The Winter’s Tale’’ splits the difference. 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Free for first 100 button holders, $25-$69. ART Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Cambridge. 617-547-8300. www.americanrepertorytheater.org



Red Bull Sled Style: Can’t make it to the slopes this week? They’ll come to you instead. Freestyle snowmobiling stars like X Games bro Heath Frisby bring their sleds downtown for an afternoon of aerial awesomeness. 2 p.m. Free. Boston City Hall Plaza. www.heathfrisby.com

* Grand Procession: The centerpiece of the First Night celebration rolls its way through the streets. The Back Alley Puppet Theatre and Puppeteers Cooperative will display their wildly imaginative creature creations while jazz and marching bands, cyclists, circus performers and everything in between wow the crowds. 5:30 p.m. Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston. www.firstnight.org

* New England Anime Society: If there’s one thing on which kids and parents usually agree these days, it’s a love of animation. The New England Anime Society brings together a program of popular Japanese anime including two of our favorites, “Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still’’ and the amazingly titled “Science Ninja Team Gatchaman.’’ 1 to 10:30 p.m. Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston. www.firstnight.org

* Kaiju Big Battel: The only thing better than watching giant anime monsters fighting on film is seeing it in person. Kaiju Big Battel brings fantasy to life with its often-hilarious, always-weird pro-wrestling-meets-disaster-movie spectacle. 9:30 p.m. Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston. www.firstnight.org

* Ellis Paul: He may have just won the Boston Music Award for folk artist of the year, but the veteran troubadour has a few tricks ups his sleeve for the kids as well. His album for children, “Dragonfly Races,’’ won him a Parents Choice Award last year. Music that the whole family can appreciate. 3:30 and 4:45 p.m. Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston. www.firstnight.org

* Guthrie Family Show: Speaking of music that crosses generations, this show from Sarah Lee Guthrie and family has a little something for both grandparents and the kids. Alongside her husband, Johnny Irion, she’ll perform playful children’s songs, traditional favorites, and incorporate some of granddad Woody Guthrie’s old lyrics into new songs. 1 and 2:15 p.m. Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston. www.firstnight.org

Odyssey Cruises: Staying up for the toast at midnight isn’t always feasible when you’ve got the kids in tow. Doing it at noon sounds a little more feasible. Toast in the new year a little early with this lunch cruise while coasting around the harbor and taking in the view of the city. Kids with a sitter? Later that night the real party starts with a dinner and dancing cruise with great views of the fireworks display. 10:30 a.m., $38.90, $19.45; 8 p.m., $152.90. 866-307-2469. www.odyssey.com/boston

* Maximum Velocity: It’s a good thing the ceilings inside the convention center are pretty high, because the dudes from Maximum Velocity are going to grab some serious air. This high-energy skateboarding and biking stunt team brings its act to Boston today for a family-friendly exhibition. Your New Year’s resolution? Convince the kids not to try this stuff at home. 1:15, 2:15, and 3:15 p.m. Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston. www.firstnight.org

* Yorick’s Marionette Theater: Death-defying stunts a little much for you? Perhaps the relative calm of marionette theater will agree more with your constitution. Wooden puppets bring the timeless story of “Sleeping Beauty’’ to life. After all the excitement today, we’ll probably all need a nap. 1:30, 2:45, and 4 p.m. Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston St., Boston. www.firstnight.org



Maybe you don’t want to head out into the crowds tonight. Who can blame you? There’s enough on the tube.

Countdown to Midnight: Anchors Lisa Hughes and Jack Williams give you the play by play live from the steps of the Boston Public Library, in Copley Square, the center of much of the First Night festivities. The swaggering noir-rock band Black Taxi rock us through the countdown with cinematic excursions. 10 p.m. Channel 4

Live From Lincoln Center: Classical music aficionados will find much to revel in when the New York Philharmonic and baritone Thomas Hampson celebrate with a program of Gershwin, Copland, and old Broadway hits. We’ll be checking in to watch host Alec Baldwin crack wise. 8 p.m. Channel 2

New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly: Say what you will about Daly - at least he’s not Ryan Seacrest. He also knows how to put together a pretty good bill. Daly and company broadcast live from Times Square with a slate of performers that includes Green Day and Rihanna. 10 p.m. Channel 7

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest: Speaking of Seacrest, he continues his gradual takeover of the universe hosting the latest edition of this long-running New Year’s staple. He’ll tag team with Fergie checking in from Las Vegas. The slate of heavy hitters set to perform includes the Black Eyed Peas and Jennifer Lopez. 10 p.m. Channel 5

Billboard’s New Year’s Eve Live: It’s a very “American Idol’’ New Year’s with performers Kris Allen and Allison Iraheta. Take a look back at some of the best moments in entertainment in 2009 and ring in the year with host Carmen Electra in Vegas. 11 p.m. Channel 25

Boston Globe

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