New Year's Eve comes but once a ... year. Which is good, otherwise we would be clinking champagne flutes to the year 20,005. The celebratory night is just about nigh, and many are stuck without a party plan. Here are some possibilities for every age group.
Those who would like to start off their Eve with nice, low-key music (or those with an early bedtime) can head down to the La Baron Hotel to watch Charlie Handy's musical meanderings, as he tackles folk, rock and country originals and covers.
Those who could not possibly start the new year without witnessing wild antics involving fruitcake, giant soap bubbles and squirrels (but hopefully not all at once) can fill that need by joining Mr. And Mrs. Guffaw, two of our fine city's resident clowns, for the new holiday edition of Tres Cirkoo at the Manitou Art Theater. Frankly, the colorful costumes and zany chaos might be a good way to acclimate yourself to the rest of the night's activities.
The historic City Auditorium is having a big ol' music festival, featuring eight bands including Dub Project, Failsafe Avow, Of Winds and Faint Echoes, and Colorado's own metal fiends, Try Redemption. The event will be hosted by Maris the Great, who undoubtedly is just that.
If hard rock isn't your cup of tea, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic hosts its own affair, A Century of Celebration: The Great American Musical Tradition. Thomas Wilson will conduct Lawrence Leighton Smith on piano, and Amy Sue Hardy will provide vocals on selections from Richard Rogers, Stephen Sondheim, George Gershwin and others. Continue to forget what you thought you knew about the Philharmonic, as they delve into contemporary and big-band-era tunes.
If an evening of dancing, champagne and getting dressed to the nines is your idea of a kicky time, then attend one of the galas in town. A Black and Gold Ball is being held at the Doubletree Hotel, featuring Phat Daddy and the Phat Horn Doctors and Inthamixx. Phat Daddy specializes in making the masses groove with covers by Stevie Wonder, Kool & the Gang, and The Temptations. Along the same line, Inthamixx is a quartet playing the best in Motown, funk and smooth jazz. The Sheraton Colorado Springs Hotel will also host a ball with nonstop dance music from The New Century Big Band and The Nostalgics, who'll doo-wop all night.
Downtown's 32 Bleu hosts rappers The Pharcyde; for more on that show, see page 46. And for specifics on bands playing in bars and clubs around town, see next week's Playing Around.
-- Kara Luger
capsule New Year's Eve With the Philharmonic
Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade
Friday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m.
$12 to $50
New Year's Eve Ball
Sheraton Hotel, Grand Ballroom, 2886 S. Circle Drive
Friday, Dec. 31, 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
$60 (includes buffet, party favors, champagne and balloon drop)
Black and Gold Ball
Doubletree Hotel World Arena, 1775 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.
Friday, Dec. 31, 8 p.m.
$65 (includes champagne, midnight buffet and party favors)
Independent Records outlets or call 598-2585.
capsule Charlie Handy
La Baron Hotel, 314 W. Bijou St.
Friday, Dec. 31, 6-9 p.m.
Manitou Art Theater, 515 Manitou Ave. in the Business of Art Center
Friday, Dec. 31, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
$8, tickets available by reservation or at the door 30 minutes before the show
New Year's Eve Music Festival
City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa St.
Friday, Dec. 31, 6 p.m.
$15, all ages