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The Reader's Guide to New Year's Eve 

The best places to be when the ball drops

Kiss Kiss Cabaret

Kiss Kiss Cabaret

Greg Inda Photography

Parties & Events

Black Ensemble Theater New Year's Eve Celebration Hors d'oeuvres, champagne, and performances by ensemble members along with the Michael Ross Trio and DJ Ervin "Magic" Gardner. 8 PM, Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark, 773-769-4451, blackensembletheater.org, $125, $200 per couple.

Bootlegger's Ball Roaring 20s-themed party includes an open bar, dinner buffet, a champagne toast, and music from DJs Ryan Ross and Greg Bauer. 8 PM, Moonshine Brewing Company, 1824 W. Division, 773-862-8686, moonshinechicago.com, $90, $75 in advance.

Chemically Imbalanced Comedy Dinner and drinks followed by an improv performance at 9 PM, a champagne toast at midnight, and music and dancing until 2 AM. Advance purchase required. 8 PM, Chemically Imbalanced Theater, 1422 W. Irving Park, 773-865-7731, cicomedy.com, $50, $95 per couple.

The Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier Open bar, party favors, hors d'oeuvres, and a countdown on the Ferris wheel, with fireworks and a champagne toast at midnight. 9 PM, Navy Pier Crystal Gardens, 700 E. Grand, 312-595-5436, $125.

First Night Evanston A day filled with workshops, food trucks, ice sculptures, and a showcase of more than 30 musical and theatrical acts, including bluegrass master James King and slam poet Marc Smith. A parade begins in Raymond Park (Chicago and Lake) at 11:45 PM to ring in the new year. 1 PM, various locations, $20, $15 in advance.

1st Ward and Chop Shop Open bar, hors d'oeuvres, and performances by DJ Saam and the Gold Coast All-Stars (8 PM and 11 PM, respectively). A VIP chef's dinner package is available for $225. 8 PM-2 AM, the Chop Shop, 2033 W. North, 773-537-4440, chopshopchi.com, $150.

Ignite the Night The Numbered Days and Cause & Affect host this bash, which features the requisite open bar and appetizer spread, in addition to a heated rooftop deck, a s'more station, and work by local artists. 9 PM, Ignite Glass Studios, 401 N. Armour, facebook.com/TheNumberedDays, $75-$85.

iO Theater's New Year's Eve Performances include the Improvised Shakespeare Company at 8 PM, with Whirled News Tonight: The Year in Review and iO's Interactive New Year's at 10:30 PM ($65 includes party favors, champagne toast, and open bar; $25 without the open bar). 8 and 10:30 PM, iO, 3541 N. Clark, 773-880-0199, chicago.ioimprov.com, $25-$65.

Kiss Kiss Cabaret New Year's Eve Hullabaloo A night of burlesque, music, comedy, and magic hosted by the Flattery Brothers and starring the Kiss Kiss Coquettes. Hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, champagne toast, and postshow dance party included. 10 PM, Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-404-7336, greenhousetheater.org, $42, $75 for two.

Mr. Olsen's New Year's Rockin' Neighborhood Screenwriter Dana Olsen presents a variety show featuring Steve Rashid and Victoria Zielinski and Paul Barrosse of The Vic and Paul Show. A performance by Riffmaster & the Rockme Foundation follows at 10 PM, and DJs spin from midnight till 2 AM. 8 PM, 27 Live, 1012 Church, Evanston, 855-927-5483, 27live.com, $25-$100.

New Year's Eve at the DANK Haus The night kicks off with a demonstration and tasting of "Feuerzangenbowle" (aka fire-tongs punch) and continues with music from the Polkaholics. Admission includes entry into a raffle to win an Epiphone guitar. 9 PM, DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western, 773-561-9181, dankhaus.com, $15, $10 in advance.

New Year's Eve: Moulin Rouge Enjoy appetizers and a cash bar before a 9:30 PM screening of the Baz Luhrmann musical. Following the film, a countdown to midnight with a champagne toast, dessert, and live music. 8 PM, Music Box, 3733 N. Southport, 773-871-6604, musicboxtheatre.com, $50-$105.

New Year's Eve Revolution Open bar, unlimited desserts, and a performance by the O'My's. Sweets and champagne served from above by suspended acrobats. 9 PM, Redmoon Theater, 2120 S. Jefferson, 312-850-8440, redmoon.org, $100.

Official Playboy New Year's Eve Soiree Celebrating Playboy's 60th anniversary. Hors d'oeuvre buffet, cocktail reception, live music, and multiple rooms of entertainment. 9 PM, Hard Rock Hotel, 230 N. Michigan, 866-966-5166, chicagonyeparty.com/hardrockhotel, $150.

Pleasure Principle Party includes an open bar with "Best of 2013" cocktails, food, midnight toast, and music from DJ Gloria Vanderbilt & Pandabrand. 9 PM, Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee, 773-227-3530, whistlerchicago.com, $99.

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