Area en­ter­tain­ment plen­ti­ful on New Year’s Eve

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - By Bob Goepfert

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.

LAU­REN HAL­LI­GAN - MEDIANEWS GROUP

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.

PHOTO PRO­VIDED

Lo­cal band The North & South Dako­tas will per­form at First Night Saratoga 2020.

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