A New Year’s Eve to Really Rave About : Ring In ’93 at a Theme Park, Hangar or Anywhere in Between
With New Year’s Eve just a few days away, live entertainment choices range from Kenny G to Gershwin, but possibly the biggest crowd is expected for what is also the night’s most intriguing offering.
Who would have thought that Knott’s Berry Farm, one of Southern California’s most venerable family institutions, would open its doors to a rave party--at least its version of the controversial underground rock phenomenon?
But Knott’s is expecting up to 17,000 teen-agers and young adults to descend on the park Thursday for “K-Rave ‘93,” billed as a “surrealistic/psychedelic” world of nonstop dancing, performance art and novelty entertainment, to run from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
All-night rave parties, initially held in empty warehouses and often associated with the hallucinogenic drug Ecstasy and others, have become increasingly mainstream as the craze spread from England to the United States in recent years.
Still, raves have often been viewed with alarm by parents and police. After an underground rave in Chatsworth last March, three young men died after locking themselves in a car with a canister of nitrous oxide, commonly called laughing gas.
Promoters of “K-Rave ‘93,” advertised as a drug- and alcohol-free event, hope that the event at Knott’s will help legitimize the rave concept.
“Our goal is to eliminate all the negatives” of raves “while maintaining the purity and energy,” said Paul Sansone, marketing director at KPWR-FM, which is co-sponsoring the event.
Nonetheless, it took Sansone almost eight months to persuade Knott’s officials that a properly managed rave wouldn’t tarnish the park’s wholesome image.
Knott’s is viewing Thursday’s event as experimental, hoping that if all goes well, raves there could become something to attract young visitors in the future.
“If we don’t find a way to rejuvenate the park for kids, it will be an old-fogy place,” said Jeff Langley, director of entertainment for the park. “We are redefining what a theme park is. We are leapfrogging into the ‘90s.”
What do longtime observers of the rave scene think about the mainstream thrust of the New Year’s Eve affair?
“The whole concept has been exploited, commercialized and mainstreamed,” said Lou Gaez, creator of a 21-and-over New Year’s rave that will be held at the Variety Arts Center in Los Angeles. “But a rave is just like any other life form--there is going to be evolution.” He said that the movement has to move into the mainstream if it is to survive.
Following are some of the New Year’s Eve happenings in the Southland. Prices are per person; most of the events require reservations or advance ticket purchases.
K-Rave ’93 (Knott’s Berry Farm, 8039 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, (714) 220-5200). There’ll be room for some 17,000 techno-loving ravers at this year-end bash, which will feature dozens of deejays and live performances by N2Deep, Black Sheep and the Movement, in a setting featuring lasers, psychedelic projections and specially constructed sets. All rides will be open, and a midnight fireworks display is planned. 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tickets: $27.50 in advance through Ticketmaster or Knott’s Berry Farm, $30 day of event.
Club With No Name’s New Year’s Extravaganza (Park Plaza Hotel, 607 S. Park View St., (213) 656-3226). This third annual bash for ages 18 and over will feature 20 of Los Angeles’ hottest alternative bands, including Green Jello and Greta. And at a buck a band it’s easy on the wallet. Noise makers--besides the groups--are provided. 9 p.m. Tickets: $20.
The Muffs (Bogart’s, 6288 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, (310) 594-8975). A good dose of melodic punk can be expected from this group, which shares the bill with Spoon and Permanent Green Light. 9:30 p.m. Tickets: $12.
Kenny G (Universal Amphitheatre, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, (818) 980-9421). Last of a four-night stand for this pop piper. 10 p.m. Tickets: $35 through Ticketmaster and Universal Amphitheatre box office.
Social Distortion (Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, (714) 496-8930). Looking to mosh your way into the New Year? You might want to check out the 8 or 10:30 p.m. set by these elder statesmen of punk. Tickets: $18.50 (8 p.m.), $29.50 (10:30 p.m.), available through Ticketmaster and the Coach House box office.
Zakk Wylde, Lynyrd Skynhayd and Sylvain Sylvain (Coconut Teaszer, 8117 Sunset Blvd., (213) 654-4773). A special 18-and-over show for hard-rock fans that’s supposed to buzz till 4 a.m. For the dancing-inclined, the club also will feature a deejay. 8 p.m. Tickets: $20.
X (Rhythm Cafe, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 556-2233). A special New Year’s Eve show by the seminal Los Angeles punk band. 5:30 p.m. Tickets: $26 at Ticketmaster outlets.
Megadeth, Infectious Grooves, Stone Temple Pilots (Long Beach Arena, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach). A head-banging blowout to rock in the New Year, but probably not the best place for a romantic date. 8 p.m. Tickets: $23.50 at Ticketmaster outlets.
The Whispers (The Strand, 1700 S. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, (310) 316-1700). This group will ring in the New Year with its Motown harmonies. Shows at 8 and 11:30 p.m. Tickets: $45 (8 p.m.), $70 (11:30 p.m.), through Ticketmaster and the Strand box office.
Reggae Boat Party (Long Beach Seaport Village, 140 Marina Drive, Long Beach, (310) 498-0091). Los Angeles’ Kingred provides the grooves for this four-hour floating New Year’s Eve party. Dancing, hors d’oeuvres, party favors and a bottle of champagne per couple are included. 9 p.m. Tickets: $60 through Ticketmaster.
Billy Sheehan and Guests, Total Eclipse and Burning Hands (Whisky, 8901 Sunset Blvd., (310) 652-4202). Straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll to lead you straight into the New Year. 8 p.m. Tickets: $14.
Ballistics’ New Year’s Hip-Hop Jam (Roxy, 9009 Sunset Blvd., (310) 276-2222). Deejays will be spinning hip-hop and rap at this all-age New Year’s Eve celebration. There will be prizes including albums and clothes, and party favors will be provided. 8 p.m. Tickets: $17.50.
Orbit (Variety Arts Center, 940 N. Figueroa, (213) 871-6982). A musical odyssey for ages 21 and older that will encompass five floors. Various rooms will feature the latest in techno, disco, jazz, reggae, funk and hip-hop music. The party, produced by the artist groove network, lasts until 6 a.m. There will be free champagne at midnight and a breakfast buffet. 9 p.m. Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
KROQ’s New Year’s Eve Recession Buster (The Palace, 1735 N. Vine St., (213) 462-6031). Los Angeles alternative-music station KROQ (106.7 FM) will host this 12-hour dance party that will include psychics, party favors, free champagne at midnight and a continental breakfast in the wee hours. Deejay Jed the Fish will broadcast live to help count in the New Year. 7 p.m. Tickets: $50 (including dinner), $30 (dancing and breakfast) and $20 (for admission between 12:15 and 7 a.m.), through Ticketmaster.
A Flight of Fantasy (Aeroplex Aviation Center, 3333 Spring St., Long Beach, (310) 792-9283). A 30,000-square-foot airplane hangar will be the scene for a multiroom, multithemed party that will feature the soulful grooves spun by deejay Bobby B. and the reggae sounds of Rhythm Track. There will be a free champagne toast at midnight, four full bars, appetizers, desserts and espresso. Proceeds will benefit Free Arts for Abused Children. 8 p.m. Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 at the door.
New Year’s Eve at Indian Wells (Stouffer Esmeralda and Hyatt Grand Champions hotels, Indian Wells, (310) 799-6055). The fifth annual extravaganza opens a four-day festival of contemporary and traditional jazz. The New Year’s Eve black-tie-optional party will feature Joey Defrancesco, Jimmy and Jennie Cheatham and the Sweet Baby Blues Band, Swing Savant, Igor’s Jazz Cowboys and Janet Carroll. Special hotel packages are available. Admission includes dancing, champagne and party favors. 8 p.m. Tickets: $75, or $117 with buffet dinner.
Eartha Kitt (Atlas, 3760 Wilshire Blvd., (213) 380-8400). A performance by the well-known cabaret singer will be the main feature of Atlas’ fourth annual New Year’s Eve celebration. There will be an open bar and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets: $125 in advance, $150 at the door.
Michael Ruff (At My Place, 1026 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 451-8596). The renowned pop-jazz keyboardist and vocalist will perform at 8 and 10:30 p.m. to welcome the New Year. Price for the late show includes champagne and party favors. Tickets: $20 (8 p.m.) and $40 (10:30 p.m.).
Cecilia Noel and the Wild Clams, Featuring Tris Imboden (Baked Potato Old Town, 26 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (818) 564-1122). Add a little salsa to your New Year’s celebration with the Latin styling of this group. The price includes dinner, two drinks, dessert, party favors and midnight champagne. 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Tickets: $50.
Sue Raney (Le Cafe, The Room Upstairs, 14633 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 986-2662). Enjoy the smooth sound of this Grammy-nominated singer in the quaint Le Cafe setting. Two-drink minimum at both the 9 and 11 p.m. shows. Tickets $30 (show only) $65 (with dinner).
Tra Fiori’s New Year’s Eve Celebration (Tra Fiori, 91 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (818) 796-2233). Jazz dance band the Phil Right Quartet will provide the music for this year-end party, which will include a five-course Italian meal, champagne and dancing. 9 p.m. Tickets: $100.
Coast to Coast New Year’s Eve Gala (Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 480-3232). John Mauceri will conduct the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and guest vocalist Patti Austin through renditions of Hollywood and Broadway favorites. The song list includes music from Gershwin and Irving Berlin and tunes from such shows as “The King and I,” “Gigi” and “Carousel.” As part of the deal, there will be an after-show party with buffet dinner, dancing and champagne toast. 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $60 to $150, available through Ticketmaster and the Music Center box office.
Die Fledermaus (Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Rehearsal Room I, 135 N. Grand St., (213) 668-1419 or (818) 769-9007). Cast members of “The Phantom of the Opera” will perform excerpts from the 19th-Century comic operetta in a twilight concert. Donations of $10 will be requested at the door to benefit Equity Fights AIDS. 4:45 p.m. Call for reservations.
Djimbe West African Drummers, Dancers (Highways, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica, (213) 660-8587). Varied program with a party afterward. 8:30 p.m. $15.
L.A. Classical Ballet and Orchestra, Patrick Flynn, conductor; John Astin, Leda Grace, Chad Taylor performers (Terrace Theater, Long Beach, (310) 480-3232). The “Nutty Nutcracker,” an offbeat presentation of the popular “Nutcracker” ballet, New Year’s Eve party. 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $25, $40 and $100.
Best of the Groundlings New Year’s Eve Special (Groundling Theater, 7307 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (213) 934-9700). The Groundlings comedy troupe will present its best sketches of 1992, with champagne at 9:30, performance at 10 p.m., a champagne-and-hors d’oeuvre-intermission, a countdown at midnight with balloons and party hats, with a full buffet, music and dancing afterward. Tickets: $65.
El Grande de Coca-Cola (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, (310) 477-2055). A champagne performance of the comedy conceived by Ron House and Diz White about a troupe of untalented cabaret performers. 8 p.m. Tickets: $21.50.
Forever Plaid (Canon Theatre, 205 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 859-2830 or 480-3232). The long-running musical spoof of ‘50s male harmony singing groups will play at 7 and 10 p.m., with party favors and a champagne-and-dessert reception after each show. Tickets: $50.
Forever Plaid (Old Globe Theatre, Simon Edison Centre for the Performing Arts, Balboa Park, San Diego, (619) 239-2255). The international touring company will present a 7 p.m. show with champagne and a 10 p.m. show with champagne, a souvenir program, light hors d’oeuvres and a midnight toast with the Plaids. Tickets: $35 (7 p.m.); $55 (10 p.m.).
Mezzanine (Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica, (310) 394-9779, Ext. 1). There will be two special performances of the musical comedy by Chris DeCarlo and Evelyn Rudie that explores the powers that shape contemporary lives. Performances will be at 6:30 and 10 p.m., and both will feature dinner, champagne and noisemakers; the late performance will also include a champagne toast at midnight and a party with the cast. Tickets: $30 (6:30 p.m.) and $40 (10 p.m.).
A New Year’s Eve Celebration With Sam Harris and Rita McKenzie (La Mirada Theatre, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., (310) 944-9801, (714) 944-6310). An evening of Broadway, pop, blues and jazz performed by singers-actors Sam Harris and Rita McKenzie at 10 p.m., with a pre-show buffet dinner at 8:30 and post-show champagne and dancing. Tickets: $55; show only, $35.
New Year’s Eve Peace Party (Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill St., Santa Monica, (310) 399-1000). The Alliance for Survival will present a “year’s end peace gathering” highlighted by a performance of “Personality,” the award-winning one-woman show starring Ellen Ratner, and an appearance by comedian Lotus Weinstock. The evening will begin at 7 p.m. with an all-you-can-eat buffet dinner and champagne, and run until 2 a.m. Show time is at 8 p.m., followed by live music and dancing. Tickets are $30; proceeds go to the Los Angeles Alliance for Survival.
Tamara (Il Vittoriale, 2035 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, (213) 851-9999). The long-running show will have its traditional New Year’s Eve bash. The show, for which the audience follows Gabriele D’Annunzio and his decadent weekend guests from room to room at his Italian villa, begins at 8 p.m. Following will be a party including six psychics, a magic show, a balloon drop and dancing until 2 a.m. Tickets: $150.
Crazy Words, Crazy Tunes (Center Stage Theatre, 20929 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, (818) 904-0444). The musical romp through popular American songs, from Prohibition to World War II, by Milt Larsen and Gene Casey. New Year’s Eve special will include the show, dinner and champagne. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Tickets: $37.50.
“Orange Lange Syne” (Orange County Crazies Theatre, Pacific Symphony Center, 115 E. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 550-9900). The Orange County Crazies will present their best comedy sketches of shows past, plus new and improvisational pieces, along with refreshments and door prizes. 10 p.m. Tickets: $25.
Fox TV’s Live New Year’s Eve Countdown (Disneyland, Ball Road at Santa Ana Freeway, Anaheim, (213) 626-8605). Mickey and crew will help the Fox TV network count down the New Year during a live broadcast. The park will be open until 3 a.m. Tickets: $28.75 for adults, $23 for children.
New Year’s Eve on Pine Square (Downtown Long Beach on Pine Street between 1st and 3rd avenues, (310) 436-4259). The second annual bash, modeled after New York’s Times Square celebration. It will include music from rock to big band, two beer and wine gardens, and food galore. There will also be a laser and fireworks display. 8:30 p.m. Tickets: $5 through Ticketmaster or at the door.
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