✔ Pick of the Pack
Theater: Mammoth Pajama Party
If getting dressed up to go to a crowded bar with the entire city isn’t your idea of a special evening, then Washington’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre has the answer for a unique New Year's Eve. In fact, you definitely will want to skip the finery and sequins and instead bring out the fuzzy slippers because pajamas are welcome at the theater's pajama party. Enjoy a performance by the Pajama Men, comedians Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez from Albuquerque, N.M., who have performed all over the world, most notably with recent rave reviews for a run in London’s West End. The duo’s latest show, “In the Middle of No One,” features their signature physical comedy in what’s dubbed as a “silly comedy thriller” featuring vignettes about love and aliens. After the show, count down to the new year with food by Jose Andres Catering, an open bar and a midnight champagne toast with the cast. Then, go home and get to bed — you won’t even need to change.
Monday at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D St. NW
Exhibit: Emancipation Proclamation
On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which formally freed the slaves in the Confederacy. The Emancipation Proclamation is considered critical to both the eventual outlaw of slavery via the 13th Amendment two years later and the defeat of the Confederate Army and preservation of the Union. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of this momentous executive order, the National Archives will display the original document for a limited engagement beginning Sunday. On New Year's Day, hear a dramatic reading of the proclamation by Bernice Johnson Reagon, a renowned songtalker and founder of the a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock. In the afternoon, enjoy additional programs, including storytelling with re-enactors portraying Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks, before the fragile document is packed away for safekeeping.
Through Tuesday at the National Archives, Constitution Avenue and Ninth Street NW
Concert: New Year's Eve at the Kennedy Center
New Year's Eve is meant to be glamorous — and what’s more glamorous than classic tunes followed by bubbly and dancing in the Kennedy Center’s Grand Foyer? In the Concert Hall, Cheyenne Jackson, an award-winning Broadway star who has appeared on “30 Rock” and “Glee,” will ring in the new year alongside members of the National Symphony Orchestra in “Music of the Mad Men Era.” The concert, which will feature Las Vegas-style lounge hits of the ‘50s and ‘60s, sold out Carnegie Hall last year and surely will get you in the mood for dancing. Meanwhile, in the Terrace Theater, pianist and vocalist Freddy Cole and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band will perform the bebop hits of the renowned trumpeter for which the band is named. After the concerts, close out the year with a party in the Grand Foyer, featuring Washington-based jazz band Chaise Lounge and the Kennedy Center’s annual balloon drop, complementary for all of the evening’s performance attendees and restaurant patrons.
Monday at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW
Concert: Black Cat New Year’s Eve Ball
Let’s hope your New Year's Eve will be enjoyable, no matter what you do — but it won’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. At the Black Cat’s Mainstage, Peaches O’Dell and Her Orchestra will help you have a swingin’ good time as you dance the year away to some of the classic music from the ‘20s, ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s. Wear comfortable shoes with your new dresses and zoot suits, because the band will play cha-chas and tangos, rhumbas and congas, plus Hollywood hits, and of course, swing. In between sets, Tony Anthony and His Malvivants will perform lounge acts. In the Backstage, DJ Dredd — known for Michael Jackson and Prince dance parties at various venues — and Grap Luva will spin an eclectic, modern mix.
Monday at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW
Festival: First Night Alexandria
If you want to celebrate New Year's Eve, but don’t think the little ones (or you) will stay awake until midnight, Old Town Alexandria has the answer. Historic King Street will be a hub of activity all afternoon and into the evening, as the neighborhood’s restaurants, shops and theaters celebrate the first (and, of course, the last) night of the year. In the afternoon, revelers of all ages will enjoy storytelling, arts and crafts, face painting, and magic shows, as well as the Fun Hunt, a historical scavenger hunt with prizes. After you fuel up with tastings at the Olio Tasting Room or the cookie-decorating party at the Sugar Cube, enjoy a variety of concerts at venues throughout the area, including the Not So Modern Jazz Quartet Plus One, a five-piece ensemble playing American songbook favorites. For a first glimpse of the first night, head to the Alexandria Waterfront after 10 p.m. for a countdown with Mayor Bill Euille and fireworks.
Monday around King Street in Alexandria, Va.