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What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?
The Friday Five for Dec. 28

Jim Gaffigan

#5: The Polar Bear Plunge at Bradford Beach.

Why? Because it’s getting warmer, people! With climate change, you never know how many years this annual New Year’s Day tradition will be around. Right now, sure, we can still tiptoe barefoot over the sharp shards of beach ice and plunge into near-freezing water—a great way to experience the feeling of cardiac arrest without a trip to the ER! But soon, who knows? Milwaukee becomes the new Miami Beach and the event becomes all about hopscotching your way around sun-bathing fashion models to get to the tepid water.

#4: ComedySportz New Year’s Eve Bash.

Why? Because you’re a little tired of Uncle Roy’s annual New Year’s Eve soiree and his corny end-of-year jokes. And you’re willing to put your funnybone in the hands of some professionals. The Comedy Folks at ComedySportz do this 52-weeks a year, people. So they are ready to rise to the occasion and hammer out some funny stuff from audience suggestions and various improv games. This special New Year’s Eve edition includes champagne and noisemakers and other cool stuff.

#3: Dead Man’s Carnival at the Miramar Theatre.

Why? Because your idea of a swingin’ New Year’s Eve is getting new, slightly larger, ear lobe pucks and feeling that extra bit of stretch that you’ve been missing all year. Or perhaps going out to show off your newly pierced kneecap. Well this burlesque/carnival/vaudeville show is just the place to strut your studs. Featuring the old timey band of Sir Pinkerton and the Magnificents and various performers in the circus-related arts, this is sure to be the hipster-ist hangout for those who want to usher in 2013.

#2: Jim Gaffigan at the Pabst Theatre.

Why? Because the self-proclaimed whitest guy in America (“my father was from Sweden and my mother was Elton John”) makes his annual pilgrimage to the Midwest—he’s from Indiana and has family here—for a whole weekend of shows to celebrate the New Year. His latest album, Mr. Universe, was self-released and garnered a Grammy nomination, and this edition of his act is sure to include material from his book, Dad Is Fat, which chronicles his life with his wife and five young children.

#1: Skylight Theatre’s Here’s a Howdy Do--The Mischievous World of Gilbert & Sullivan at the Broadway Theatre Center.

Why? Because you know that Gilbert & Sullivan isn’t the guy who sang “Alone Again (Naturally)”—which you played over and over while sitting alone in your room on the night of Junior Prom. Because you know that Nanki-Poo, Ko-Ko and Dick Deadeye aren’t characters from a Japanese Manga comic. And because you enjoy your patter with a strong dose of wit and wordplay. Dale Gutzman’s whirlwind tribute to the doyens of D’Oyly Carte features a stellar Skylight cast—Niffer Clarke, Paul Helm, Diane Lane and Ray Jivoff. The very model of a modern music spectacle!

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