Last Chance to Be a Better Person!
FRIDAY, December 28
The So Bad It’s Good Film Fest dares you to fork over 10 bucks for Mommie Dearest. Come in costume as Joan Crawford and you may win a guest appearance on That’s So Hollywood. After nobody with a mullet showed up for last month’s screening of Roadhouse, there are plenty of extra grand prizes this time, including dinner at Saddle Ranch Chop House. Vista Theater, 4473 Sunset Dr., Los Feliz; Fri., Dec. 28, mid., $10 (cash only). www.myspace.com/sbigfilmfest.
SATURDAY, December 29
Speaking of so bad it’s good, Dancing With the Stars — you know you watch it — brings some of its top stars for Dancing With the Stars — The Tour. Hoofing it live will be Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas; Joey Lawrence with Edyta Sliwinnska and Monique Coleman; and Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., dwntwn.; Sat., Dec. 29, 7:30 p.m.; $49.50-$195. (213) 480-3232.
SUNDAY, December 30
You can’t beat Salute to Vienna: World’s Greatest New Year’s Celebration! Especially because once you’ve enjoyed this festive performance with a cast of more than 70 musicians, plus international singers and dancers in stunning traditional costumes, performing waltzes, polkas, and operetta excerpts from Die Fledermaus and The Merry Widow, you can sit out tomorrow night and let the amateurs take over New Year’s Eve all around town. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Sun., Dec. 30, 2:30 p.m.; $39-$115. (213) 480-3232.
MONDAY, December 31
When I think of New Year’s Eve, I think of the lead singer of the Go-Go’s and Paris. Lucky for me, I must not be the only one, because this year we have Paris A Go-Go: New Year’s Eve in Paris with Go-Go’s warbler Belinda Carlisle and pouty personality-free warbler Rufus Wainwright. Serge Gainsbourg is in his grave muttering French profanities as we speak. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Mon., Dec. 31, 7 & 10:30 p.m.; $53-$150. (323) 850-2000.
For that special manufactured Times Square feeling — you know, mobs of people you don’t know blowing noisemakers in your face — Universal CityWalk delivers the madness. If dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe followed by virtual NASCAR racing sounds tempting, this is your scene. For CityWalk’s New Year’s Eve Bash, there will be live music by Rocket Science, “an ingenious gathering of supercool science nerds fulfilling their life’s dream of being rock stars,” plus DJs, dancing and a broadcast of the famous Times Square ball drop on the giant AstroVision screen. Warning: Don’t drink and buy Pez dispensers. Universal CityWalk, Universal City; Sat., Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m.; free (parking $5,000). (818) 622-4455.
With eight rooms offering eight different versions of “Auld Lang Syne” — including big band, country, jazz, disco, Latin — surely you’ll find one to suit your style at the Queen Mary’s Stars & Lights. A balloon drop and fireworks ring in 2006. And with so many rooms to explore, this is another good option if you decide to lose your date! Queen Mary, 1126 Queen’s Hwy., Long Beach (south end of the 710 freeway); Sat., Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m.; $89. (562) 435-3511.
The buffet is vegetarian and the theme “More Trees, Less Bush.” Yep, it must be Alliance for Survival’s New Year’s Eve Peace and Environmental Celebration. The entertainment lineup, which hasn’t changed since the other Bush was in office, includes the “Pre-Primary Comedy Review,” with popular standup comics Rick Overton, Denise Munro Robb, David Zasloff and Larry Hankin. Party like a lefty with the all-activist band the Peace Tree with Steve Fine, Dennis Davis, and other longtime peace- and environmental-activist musicians. Other performers will include singer and KPFK-FM radio host Maria Armoudian and “singer/songfighter” Ross Altman. Your MC is Mr. Peacenik himself, Jerry Rubin. A highlighted “Save the Trees” Midnight Unity Ceremony will be held to support Treesavers, a group working to save more than 50 ficus trees in downtown Santa Monica that are being threatened by the city’s plan to destroy or relocate them. Bring a Republican and get in free (not really). The Church in Ocean Park, 235 S. Hill St., Santa Monica; Mon., Dec. 31, 7 p.m.; $30, includes buffet dinner, champagne & parking (wow!). (310) 399-1000.
We know it’s nearly the end of another year when we get our annual call from the charming and excellent annunciator Rick Recht. For 18 years, he’s been leading the Welcome in the New Year Hike & Party. No reservations or tuxedo (unless you really want) required; just show up with some food to share and maybe a musical instrument. It’s a short walk to the “celebration viewpoint.” There, you can gaze down on the twinkling city lights and decide next year you’re going to CityWalk. Meet at Chastain Parkway East & Via Las Palmas, Palisades Highlands (north of Pacific Palisades); starts at 10 p.m.; $9. (310) 479-5717.
Eat your way to the New Year at DASK Productions New Year’s Eve Ball. This Wolfgang Puck–catered affair boasts a huge array of passed hors d’oeuvres followed by four themed food stations. Your ticket also gets you casino games, burlesque shows, aerialists, fire dancers, fortunetellers, live music, DJs, dancing and tons more. Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, 6801 Hollywood Blvd.; Mon., Dec. 31, 8 p.m.-2 a.m.; $175. (310) 281-8440.
See Dance Clubs (page 120) for louder, even more crowded New Year’s Eve options.
TUESDAY, January 1
Great hangover cure: The 55th Annual First Swim of the New Year, presented by the Cabrillo Beach Polar Bears, who will crown King and Queen Polar Bear. Then it’s everybody in the water! (Attention women in your late 40s — this is for you!) The club’s been around since the early ’50s, which makes this tradition the L.A. equivalent of London’s Ceremony of the Keys on Tower Bridge! (Cabrillo Beach Boathouse, 3800 Stephen M. White Dr., San Pedro; Mon., Jan. 1, 11:30 a.m. 310-548-7554.) You also have The 9th Annual New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim (Hansen Dam Aquatic Center, 11798 Foothill Blvd., Lake View Terrace; 8 a.m. 818-899-3779.) You’re welcome. There’s a Twilight Zone marathon all day on the Sci Fi Channel, but that won’t help your head. And that Tournament of Roses Parade won’t either.
WEDNESDAY, January 2
It’s the Wednesday after New Year’s Day. There is literally nothing happening today, not even at American Cinematheque. Most of us suckers have to go back to work. Nightlife has grounded to a short-lived halt. You can dance in the middle of the Sunset Strip. Here’s the best we can do: Go see the floats from that parade that happened yesterday in Pasadena. They’re lined up and waiting to be gawked over at the Post-Parade: A Showcase of Floats. Located at the end of the route, along Sierra Madre and Washington blvds., Pasadena; Wed., Jan. 2, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; 7-9 a.m. reserved for seniors & mobility-impaired; $7. Park & Ride shuttle info at www.tournamentofroses.com.
THURSDAY, January 3
There’s a bright golden haze on the freeway. There’s a bright golden haze on the freeway. The smog is as high as a gangbanger’s eye. And it looks like it’s climbin’ clear up to the sky. Oh, what a beautiful mornin’. Oh, what a beautiful day! I got a beautiful feelin’. Everything’s goin’ my way. Oklahoma! — the musical with all those wonderful Rodgers & Hammerstein songs, including “People Will Say We’re in Love,” “I Cain’t Say No” — screens with a special appearance by “Laurey” herself, Shirley Jones. Sometimes L.A. is a good place. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs., Jan. 3, 7:30 p.m.; $10. (323) 466-FILM.
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