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Three New Year’s Eve party options

Portrait of Cheyenne Jackson. (Courtesy of the Kennedy Center)

As Ella Fitzgerald sings in what I’m just going to go ahead and declare the best cover of a holiday standard: “What are you doing New Year’s Eve?” Unlike the song asks, however, it is not too early in the game. It is really late in the game. Fourth-quarter late. Ninth-inning late. Match-point late. Have I covered all necessary lateness-in-game descriptions here? If you haven’t made plans already, to quote another great songstress of our time: Tik Tok, kids.

Perhaps the wisest among you have decided to stay home, avoiding all expense and hoopla, sipping champagne you picked up at Trader Joe’s, sitting on your couch while watching Robo-Ryan Seacrest ringlead the countdown to midnight. If only we could all be so wise.

But there are those among us — I include myself here, gang — who want to be a part of the NYE festivities. Sparkly dresses! Bubbly beverages! Sanctioned shouting!

Those who wish to brave the elements, be they freezing wind and snow or just rowdy, obnoxious drunk people, need to pick their party. Here, three types of celebrations for three types of theatergoers.

Woolly Mammoth

Basics: Buy a ticket to “The Pajama Men: In the Middle of No One” for Dec. 31. Join the titular Pajama Men and the rest of the Woolly crew for food and drink at the theater.

“In the Middle of No One” The sleepwear-sporting funny Pajama Men give Washington audiences a dose of their silly, rollicking sketch comedy. Dec. 11-Jan. 6. (Courtesy of Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company)

Can I come hungry? Grab dinner beforehand, then enjoy dessert at Woolly from José Andrés Catering.

Can I also come thirsty? Two words: open bar. More words: The cast will lead a midnight champagne toast.

Dress code: Pajamas.

Perfect for: People who ate too much over the holidays and don’t want to squeeze into formal wear, people who like open bars.

Logistics: Tickets are $120-$140. Buy them
online through

Signature Theatre

Basics: Catch a Monday night performance of “Dreamgirls” and stick around for a DJ’d party with — who else? — the Dreamgirls.

Can I come hungry? Signature promises “heavy hors d’oeuvres.” If you’re really going to be throwing back the drinks, you should probably pregame with some pasta.

Deena Jones (Shayla Simmons) leads the new incarnation of The Dreams, with Michelle Morris (Kara-Tameika Watkins, back left) and Lorrell Robinson (Crystal Joy, back right). The musical “Dreamgirls” plays at Virginia’s Signature Theatre through January 13, 2013. (Christopher Mueller)

Can I also come thirsty? There’s a champagne toast at midnight.

Dress code: Have you heard about these Dreamgirls costumes? They are shining, shimmering, splendid. Guests should dress to impress.

Perfect for: People who live in Virginia or people who are up for a slumber party in Arlington: The Hilton nearby is offering a 15 percent discount for Signature partiers.

Logistics: Tickets start at $40 for the show (subscribers can exchange for free). Tickets to the party (but not the show) are $75 for subscribers, $100 for non-subscribers. Call the box office at 703-820-9771.

Kennedy Center

Basics: Buy a ticket to any of the Dec. 31 evening performances and get into the Kennedy Center NYE bash free: D.C. jazz band Chaise Lounge will play in the Grand Foyer until 1 a.m. Your entertainment options: “Shear Madness,” “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas,” “ Cheyenne Jackson: Music of the Mad Men Era” and “Million Dollar Quartet.”

Can I come hungry? Sorry, no food at this one.

Can I also come thirsty? Champagne will be served.

Dress code: None is specified. Prepare to see and be seen.

Perfect for: Anyone who wants to ring in the New Year with a little more live jazz and a little less remixed Rihanna.

Logistics: Ticket prices for each show can be found at the Kennedy Center Web site,



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