Thursday, December 27, 2007
It is that time of the year again when it’s the time for next year, yet again.
Not confused yet? Log onto the First Night website (firstnightmonterey.org), click on the “Event Program Guide” tab, and let an expansive spreadsheet of nearly 100 different places to be and dozens more things to do really let the head spin. Trying to navigate this successfully is to accept a scholarship to spend New Year’s Eve at your computer figuring out where to be.
But the Weekly has got you covered – from the steps of Colton Hall, draped in 16-foot vertical banners, to the red bricks of Custom House Plaza, filled with booths of great local eats and unmitigated music – proferring some of the best places to bring the kids throughout the afternoon, to see the live music and performing arts, and to find the most energized, hip-shaking dancers.
MusicChicano All-Stars | Custom House main stage, 9pm, 10pm and Grand Finale
There is a reason this group keeps returning year after year. It rhymes with “Plocal Tavorites.” The Salinas-based Latin group rocks the end of 2007 with a fusion of rock, Latin and funk. Be prepared to dance.MC Lars | Custom House Plaza main stage, 6:30pm, 7:15pm and 8pm
With influences like Macbeth and the Internet, MC Lars brings “post-punk laptop rap” into the First Night limelight for the ninth year and stars as master of ceremonies for the night’s Grand Finale.Along Came Betty | Carleton Hall, 6:30pm
This quintet plays jazz with the sound hard-bop of the ‘50s and ‘60s, fronted by a trumpet and sax and backed with piano, drums and bass. Along came Betty plays original tunes but also covers Miles Davis and John Coltrane classics.Jonah and the Whale Watchers | Golden State Theatre, 6:30pm and 7:30pm
It wouldn’t be First Night without the reggae sound that inspired Weekly readers to vote the ever-smiling ones Best Monterey County Band of 2007.Red Beans and Rice | Conference Center Serra room, 8:45pm and 9:45pm
This Monterey Bay-based blues group has played up-tempo blues since 1993. With influences that track back to Chicago blues, Texas swing and Louisiana music, this local favorite band rocks with piano chops, earthy percussion and even an accordion.
DanceSpectorDance | Conference Center Steinbeck room, 6:15pm, 7pm and 7:45pm
This Seaside group tells the tale of the Little Match Girl, a new work inspired by Hans Christen Anderson, as well as a Four Seasons, a dance piece inspired by Vivaldi’s classic music.Jazz Ballet | Conference Center Steinbeck room, 3:30pm, 4:15pm and 5:00pm
The Carmel Academy performs jazz dance competition with a variety of pieces, from new jazz to hip-hop, and ballet to musical theater.Greek Village Dancers | Alvarado Galleria, 6:45pm and 7:30pm
Complete with costumes as dazzling as they are authentic, this local group performs elaborate folk dances to match their costumes. They also teach the basic steps to anyone wanting to cut a rug.
Performing ArtsSpirit Nest | Custom House Bocci Ball courts, from 4pm on
Big Sur Spirit Garden’s Jayson Fann shares his creation, an elevated “spirit nest” built from thousands of branches. Mere civilians have a chance to explore it, then it also serves as the stage for a special performance piece.Taiko Drummers | Custom House main stage, 3:30pm, 4:15pm and 5:00pm
Starting off the beginning of the end of the year are Taiko Drummers, wielding the thunderous sound of ancient Japanese drumming like the Pacific wields its waves.Ric Masten Poetry Reading | Maritime Museum Historic Theatre, 6:15pm
Big Sur beat writer Ric Masten is known as the “stand-up poet” for his humorous quips and observations on life. He reads from his numerous books.
Kids/FamilyPuppet Project | Colton Lawn, 4:30pm
The Mi Vida~Mi Pueblo Puppet Project presents their stories of life in Salinas. The performances are in English and Spanish and combine sharp wit and a positive attitude.The Magic Man | Conference Center Serra Room, 3:30pm and 4:30pm
Richard Myer and Farrell Dillon encourage children to participate in this interactive show of illusion and comedy, making audiences laugh, gasp and applaud at zany antics and mind-blowing magic.Shriner Clowns | Pacific Street, ongoing
They parade up and down Pacific Street with big, red noses, wildly bright hair, handing out candy to children and laughs to everyone. Did somebody say balloon animals?Interactive Stations | Various locations, ongoing
Throughout the day kids can get Henna tattoos and painted faces, and work on art at creation stations around town.
For a complete schedule of events and times, visit firstnightmonterey.org and click on the tab called “Event Program Guide.”
FIRST NIGHT MONTEREY starts at 3pm and ends just after midnight. The annual parade marches off at 5:30pm. Admission buttons are $15/for 16 and up ($20/day of); $12/ages 5-15 ($15/day of); free/children under 5. 373-4778 or firstnightmonterey.org