Area entertainment plentiful on New Year’s Eve
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> New Year’s Eve, in terms of entertainment, is arguably, the most stressful day of the year. There is something about mandatory celebrations that seems pressure-packed.
Aware that people prefer simple, cheap and friendly, the entertainment industry and local communities have found ways to make the evening more informal, enjoyable and affordable.
One major concept is First Night, which is taking place in Saratoga Springs from 6p.m. to midnight. This the 24th year in Saratoga for the event which features music, dance, comedy, magicians and anything else you can think of – all offered in 30 different venues throughout the downtown. For the price of a $20 dollar button you have access to more entertainment than you could possibly attend in one evening. Making it even better is that it is family friendly.
For complete schedule and button information go to saratoga-arts.org
Another idea that has caught on is laughing at New Year’s Eve. Or, perhaps more accurately, laughing on New Year’s Eve. “First Night of Funny” has been around for about a decade. It’s produced by StandUp Global, which runs the Comedy Works in Saratoga Springs.
On New Year’s Eve they expand and produce comedy shows in the area’s bigger venues.
This year they have shows at Proctors in Schenectady, Cohoes Music Hall in Cohoes and The Charles Wood Theatre in Glens Falls. The format uses three nationally known comics each of whom perform a set lasting about 30 minutes. A local comic acts as the emcee and performs a short introductory set. Shows start at 8 p.m. and promise to get you out in time to welcome in the New Year at a place of your choosing.
This year there is unique comedy show at the Egg in Albany on New Year’s Eve. New Years achiEVE features Artie Lang, a comic best known for his work with Howard Stern on his national radio show. He is also notorious for his very public 30-year history of drug addiction.
Lang, who has been clean for the past year, is teaming with comic Craig Glass, another former addict who has been in recovery for the past 15 years. A portion of the receipts will be donated to The Capital District Recovery Center. The Egg will not be selling alcohol the night of the performance.
New Years achiEVE is at 8 p.m. It is also being produced by Stand-Up Global. For tickets call (518) 4731845 or go to the egg.org
If you like music with your comedy, the duo of Byron Nilsson and Malcom
Kogut are offering a night of what they call “musical mirth” at Steamer No. 10 Theater in Albany. “Songs to Amuse: A Perfect Call” is a night devoted to ditties and patter. If you are familiar with the witty and naughty lyrics of songwriters like Noel Coward, Randy Newman, Cole Porter and Flanders & Swann you are the target audience of what promises to be a charming and garrulous evening.
It’s the kind of thing Groucho Marx would have loved.
“Songs to Amuse: A Perfect Call” starts at 7 p.m. in the intimate Steamer No. 10 at 500 Western Ave., Albany. For more information go to steamer10theatre.org
If you prefer a quiet celebration on the day of the first day of the New Year, a great option is to spend it with Johann Sebastian Bach. The Berkshire Bach Society is performing at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall at 3 p.m. New Year’s Day. “Bach at New Year’s” will perform all six of the Brandenburg Concerti.
It is 2 ½ hours of classic beauty. For tickets and information call (518) 2730038 or go to ticket-troymusichall.org
And if you want a guarantee of a stimulating start to the new year, there is always the New Year’s Polar Plunge at Lake George.
Meaghan Golden, the creative director for First Night Saratoga 2020’s poster, talks about its design during a press conference on Tuesday at Saratoga Arts in Saratoga Springs.
Local band The North & South Dakotas will perform at First Night Saratoga 2020.