City Week: NYE

Laugh Your Year Off

Standup Comedy by Steve Hirst

7 and 10:30 p.m.

Laffs Comedy Caffe

2900 E. Broadway Blvd.


Ah, we've come to the end of a year marked by job losses, home foreclosures and other unpleasantness.

That all sucks—but the year's almost over, so you might as well laugh about it. Appropriately, the best place to do that on New Year's Eve may just be Laffs.

At dinnertime, shed the year's burdens and escape to another continent by laughing at Steve Hirst, of Manchester, England, whose set will include impressions, music and a closing bit that will, according to Hirst's Web site, have you falling out of your seat. His favorite subjects include the painful mix-ups that happen when British slang words get confused with American words; 800-pound strippers in the South; and the fallout he had with his own metabolism right before it "left him."

We also feel the need to warn you that Hirst often ends up wearing nothing onstage but Union Jack-emblazoned underwear. Whether you find that hysterical or disgusting (or a little of both) we recommend you finish the fancy dinner that will be served with the 7 p.m. show (featuring beef, chicken or swordfish) before Hirst really gets going. Otherwise, there's a chance of choking.

If you'd rather be laughing when the clock strikes 12, skip the dinner, and attend Laffs' champagne breakfast midnight celebration, starting at 10:30. Pig out on scrambled eggs, potatoes O'Brien, danishes and other breakfast food (with all-you-can-drink OJ) as a symbolic first meal of 2010. Party favors, noisemakers and champagne will be included. And you'll start off 2010 with a bang if you win one of Laffs' giveaways, like a trip to Vegas or a bunch of Laffs' "funny money."

Each show is $49.95 per couple.

Party With Your Kids

First Night at Tucson Children's Museum

4 to 8 p.m.

Tucson Children's Museum

200 S. Sixth Ave.


Got kids? Don't got a baby sitter this New Year's Eve?

Well, you can still have a great night—with your kids—at the Tucson Children's Museum. In fact, even if you did manage to secure a baby sitter for this most popular of night-out nights, we recommend taking your family there before the grown-up activities start.

The museum will be open late—for a children's museum, that is—and from 4 to 8 p.m., it will offer a great lineup of entertainment in the courtyard, including awesome Japanese ensemble drumming by Odaiko Sonora, a steel-drum performance by the Jovert Steel Drum Band, and a puppet show by Tucson Puppet Works—and if you've seen a Tucson Puppet Works show before, you know it will be entertaining for adults as well as kids.

The courtyard will also host an appearance by Mad Science, a team of wacky, lab-coated scientists who bring science to life for kids through fun demonstrations—usually including exploding stuff. Kids can also learn about astronomy at the Flandreau Science Center's "star party."

Inside the museum, kids can participate in New Year's Eve-themed arts and crafts, making party hats, painting their own fireworks and doing a noisemaker activity.

"This is going to be a really great time," says Jennifer Phillips, the museum's education and volunteer coordinator. "We have wonderful performers, all appropriate for kids and families. The music performances will be amazing; the puppet show will be something parents can appreciate as well; and Mad Science is dynamic, which adults will enjoy as much as kids."

The courtyard events and museum admission will be free on New Year's Eve. The activities are geared toward kids age 2 to 10, but people of all ages can have fun.

After the event ends, your kids will either be primed for the countdown or so exhausted that they'll be fast asleep by 8:30. You win either way.

End 2009 With a Whodunit

Murder Mystery Dinner and Show

7:30 p.m.

Sheraton Four Points

1900 E. Speedway Blvd.


On New Year's Eve, many of us tend to always do the same old thing. This year, maybe you want to do something new and different. And kind of weird.

If so, head down to Mystery Mansion's New Year's Mystery Dinner Theater Comedy Show, a whodunit dinner-theater performance that will have you laughing hard and thinking hard at the same time.

As you down a delicious meal and watch the interactive show—complete with magic tricks—it's your job to figure out which of the characters is the murderer, using subtle clues. And good luck with that—we're told it's a pretty hard case to crack.

If you do figure it out, you might win a cool prize, like a restaurant gift certificate or even a trip. And if you don't figure it out, you might still get a joke prize worth holding on to for a laugh.

Corny? Heck yeah. Extremely fun? Indeed.

No matter how new and different any New Year's Eve event is, it wouldn't be New Year's Eve without the old traditions mixed in. So after the show, there will be a balloon drop, a champagne toast at midnight, an "Auld Lang Syne" sing-along and dancing to a live band playing swing, jazz and blues.

"The prizes are fun," says the show's director and producer, Ross Horwitz. "But people come more because it's a hilarious show, and it's a really different thing to do on New Year's Eve."

The event costs $75 per person, and the Sheraton will offer a deal on rooms—$70 for accommodations for two—if you plan on getting a little liquored up (or if you just want to start the year with a nice hotel room).

The Wild Side

Party with DJ 2Phat Pat and DJ White Shadow

9 p.m.


140 S. Kolb Road


808-2875 (table reservations)

Next year, you vow, you'll be a perfect saint. No getting overly drunk, no partying 'til you collapse from exhaustion, no romancing total strangers in a shadowy bar setting.

Of course, that means this New Year's Eve will offer your last chance to do all of the above.

Of course, we won't condone illegal acts or destructive behavior. But we do condone attending "Tucson's wildest New Year's party," as Fenderskirts calls the bash it will throw this Dec. 31. It'll be chock-full of fun that may or may not conflict with your New Year's resolutions.

The event will feature two DJs—2Phat Pat and White Shadow—spinning hip-hop, rock and Top 40 mixes all night, complemented by intelligent stage lighting and smoke. At midnight, there will be a countdown (of course) with free champagne. And don't forget the balloons—not only will the bar be decorated with more than 1,000 balloons, but hundreds of them will drop from the ceiling. (And you'd better appreciate that—all those balloons take a long time to set up.)

But the party should get wild way before midnight, with cheap drinks ($3 wells, $2.50 domestics, $3 imports and $3.50 you call-its) and $100 bottle service (including Patrón, Grey Goose and Crown Royal). And there will be giveaways you won't find anywhere else—you can win gift certificates for tattoos or piercings from Divine Tattoo, a water pipe from Moon Smoke Shop and tickets to see the Supervillians and Badfish in February.

OK, so maybe if you go to this party, you won't be so good next year. Maybe your resolution should instead be to enjoy life more.

"This is going to be the biggest party on the eastside," says event promoter Tim Tompkins. "It's an actual show—not just a bar that's charging a cover. And the DJs have a combined 20 years of experience on deck, so you know they'll have the party popping."

Cover is $5, or $15 for table reservations.

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