NEW YEAR'S EVE: Blues* Coco Montoya headlines...


* Coco Montoya headlines at B. B. King's on New Year's Eve. Former lead guitarist for John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Montoya has successfully flown solo for the last couple of years. He won the 1995 W.C. Handy Award for best new blues artist. Dinner packages are all sold out; $30 cover for standing in the bar.

B.B. King's Blues Club, 1000 Universal Center Drive; (818) 622-5464.

* Preston Smith and the Crocodiles will entertain Tuesday night at Jax. Although primarily a jazz joint, Jax is going with blues man Smith and his band on the big night. Dinner will be served until 1 a.m. Reservations for dinner are recommended, but none are needed for bar seating. No cover charge.

Jax, 339 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; (818) 500-1604.

Swing and Sway

The Moonlight Tango Cafe offers the Palm Beach Trio and the Moonlight Serenaders with singer Lenetta Kidd. They perform music of the swing era plus Latin and classic rock 'n' roll. The New Year's Eve menu features dishes such as grilled rack of lamb, veal chop, New Orleans filet mignon and other entrees. The cafe will have two seatings: The 6 p.m. seating is $39, and the 9:15 p.m. seating is $89. Prices don't include tax, tip and beverages. Reservations required.

The Moonlight Tango Cafe, 13730 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; (818) 788-2000.


* Chad Watson will entertain at the Cowboy Palace Saloon on New Year's Eve. Over the years, the affable singer and bass player has performed with a varied lot of performers including Janis Ian, Charlie Rich, Ronnie Milsap and the Flying Burrito Brothers. A buffet dinner, champagne toast, party favors and prizes are included with the $14.50 cover charge.

Cowboy Palace Saloon, 21635 Devonshire St., Chatsworth; (818) 341-0166.

* Spyder Blue, a country swing- and R & B-flavored duo, will be featured at Common Grounds along with rock band Rolling Thunder. David Fortin and Bruce Gaims, performing as Spyder Blue, maintain a loyal following on the local coffeehouse scene. No cover charge.

Common Grounds, 9250 Reseda Blvd., Northridge; (818) 882-3666.


Dance guru Sonny Watson offers a West Coast Swing New Year's Eve Party at Crest Country in Reseda. Dancing, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight are included for $10 per person. Also, the Crest will have a second party--with party favors and horns--on New Year's Day featuring Larry Dean and the Shooters. Dean and his band are one of the top acts on the local country music scene, but what sets them apart is that 90% of their repertoire is original material. No cover on New Year's Day.

Crest Country, 6101 Reseda Blvd., Reseda; (818) 342-1563.


* The L.A. Cabaret Comedy Club offers its usual stand-up comedy plus music, dancing and dinner Tuesday. Doors open at 6 p.m. for dinner; comedy runs from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m., followed by dance music from the rock band Gash until 1 a.m. Dinner entree choices will include baby lobster tails, steak, chicken and a vegetarian option. With dinner, the package is $85; without dinner, $65. Both packages include party favors, a midnight champagne toast and hors d'oeuvres.

L.A. Cabaret Comedy Club, 17271 Ventura Blvd., Encino; (818) 501-3737.

Critic's Choice: The L.A. Connection Comedy Theatre will offer two shows at 8 and 10 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Each show is different but both will feature movie clips with members dubbing new lines, plus improv and audience participation. The early show is $12, the late show is $15. A limited number of $22 tickets for both shows will be available prior to the early show.

L. A. Connection Comedy Theatre, 13442 Ventura Blvd., (818) 784-1868.

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