Friday, December 31, 1999

Celebrate for under $100




BY LARRY NAGER
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Here are plenty of mostly casual ways to usher in 2000:

        • BLUES

        Have a down-home New Year's Eve at Burbank's in Sharonville (11167 Dowlin Drive; 771-1440).

        • Homegrown blues-rock guitar hero Sonny Moorman will lead his band through its paces while revelers start the new year with good-luck, slow-cooked pig. No cover, no reservations required.

        • Blues fans who prefer pasta to pork should head for Lucille's Blues Club (3715 Winston Ave., Latonia, 431-8086). Clear Blue with special guest G. Miles provide the entertainment, and the club will serve its usual Italian buffet. The $25 admission includes dinner, midnight champagne and party favors.

        • DANCE

        • You can do the Hustle and not feel like you're getting hustled at Annie's Riverside Saloon (4343 Kellogg Ave., East End; 321-0220). The club is ending the 20th century in the '70s, with a New Year's Eve Disco Party. The good news is that admission is free for the over-21 crowd; $5 under 21.

        • There's more dancing at Electra (1133 Sycamore, downtown; 621-1100). The $30 tickets are available at the door and include a champagne toast, buffet and assorted party favors. The canned music plays from 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m.

        • Chameleon's (next to the Drawbridge Estate, Buttermilk Pike, Fort Mitchell, 341-5150) adds indoor fireworks to the dance club recipe for an incendiary Y2K blast. DJ Daddy Mac will be spinning hits from the last quarter of the 20th century. Admission is $25, with a table for four for $100; the party runs 7 p.m.-2 a.m..

        • If you can't make up your mind, Jillian's (1200 Jillian's Way, Covington 491-5388) is offering canned disco and both live blues and rock. Splender rocks, Greg Schaber & High Street pitch a Y2K boogie-woogie and there's dancing in the Tower. Heck, they've even got karaoke.

        The $75 admission also gets you steam tables all over the place offering hot food; all the usual games, including bowling; and a $10,000 door prize for one of the first 500 celebrants through the door.

        • HARD ROCK

        • It's one big, loud New Year's Eve at the Blue Note (4520 W. Eighth St., Price Hill; 921-8898).

        Local heavy metal legend Prizoner will reunite for the occasion, with Bad Habit opening the festivities. The $10 admission buys you the usual accessories — champagne toast and party favors.

        • ROCK

        • BarrelHouse Brewing Co. (22 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine; 421-2337) has a fancier — and pricier — New Year's Eve planned. The $60 admission includes an hors d'oeuvre buffet, including the club's gourmet pizzas and microbrew beers, plus the obligatory toast, hats and noisemakers. Guaranteeing a funky good time will be live music from Heavy Weather.

        • COMEDY & JAZZ/ROCK

        • Tonight, for those who can't decide, there's comedy and improvisational jazz rock at Top Cat's (2820 Vine St., Corryville; 281-2005).

        The club is cranking up its downstairs room, Fat Cat's Pub, for the Cincinnati Hysterical Society's Y-U-K celebration with comedian Dennis Piper and comic/magician Tim Adams. There are shows at 8:30 and 10:45. Admission is $12.

        Meanwhile, in the big room upstairs, Ray's Music Exchange will play out the old year with some new grooves, alternating with the turntable spinning of Mr. Dibbs. The $25 admission includes a bottle of champagne, a buffet and the usual hats and noise makers.

        • CABARET

        • Tonight, Peggy Kennedy's Cabaret (1219 Sycamore St., Over-the-Rhine; 665-9100) presents a musical look back with “Songs of the Millennium.” Not that far back, however. Instead of Gregorian chanting or Elizabethan drinking songs, the focus will be on 20th-century popular tunes by the Gershwin Brothers, Cole Porter and the Beatles. Admission is $20.

        • CLASSICAL

        • You missed the ball, but you can still see the old year out with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at Music Hall.

        Tickets are available for tonight's “Music of a Millennium” concert featuring, for the first time this millennium, the May Festival Chorus doing New Year's Eve with the CSO.

        Maestro John Morris Russell will conduct the CSO in a program of music from the Middle Ages to the '70s. It's a 7:30 p.m. concert; tickets are $15-$49. Tickets for the after-concert “Ode to Joy Ball” are sold out.

        • LOCAL FAVORITES

        • See in the new year with one of the area's favorite country bands, Stagger Lee, at Sneeky Pete's Saloon (305 Wyoming Ave., Lockland; 821-0080). The $25 a couple admission ($15 singles) covers food and the usual party stuff.

        • Kelly Richey rocks in 2000 at East End Cafe (4003 Eastern Ave., East End; 871-6118). The $35 door admission includes food, midnight champagne and lots of live music (9 p.m.-2 a.m.)

        • Mad Frog (1 E. McMillan St., Clifton Heights; 784-9119) features eclectic local pop-rock-funk band Homunculus topping a bill with the Zionites and 7 T Sly ($50).

        • And Southgate House (24 E. Third St. Newport; 421-2201), one of the best places to hear live music, features a New Year's Eve with one of the area's most rockin' bands, the Greenhornes. There'll be more entertainment on all floors, with DJs and comedians. Admission is $30.

        One of the best new year's bargains of any millennium can be found at Crazy Fox Saloon (901 Washington Ave., Newport; 261-2143). That's where Sweet Alice Hoskins & Unfinished Business will finish the century. The $5 cover includes the usual party favors and champagne toast, plus snacks.

        • As usual, there's no cover at Arnold's Bar & Grill (210 E. Eighth St., downtown; 421-6234). Order off the menu, as Fred Gary plays pop standards. Country rocking Prospect Hill, perhaps anticipating a Y2K meltdown, will leave the electric equipment at home and play unplugged.

        • OLD SCHOOL NEW YEAR

        • It's an old-school Dec. 31 at the WIZF New Year's Eve Party at the Albert B. Sabin Convention Center, downtown. Headlining the show is the legendary funk band from Dayton, the Ohio Players, along with the Chozen, Jagged Edge, the Rock 'n' Roll Regencies and Cache.

        Admission is $60. Seating is reserved, but with the Ohio Players throwing down, no one will be sitting down anyway. Ticketmaster has the tickets: 562-4949.

        • ROAD TRIP

        • Procrastinators who missed John Mellencamp's show Wednesday at Firstar Center can bring in the new year with the Hoosier rocker on his home turf. “John Mellencamp's New Year's Eve 1999” is set for 9 tonight at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Young guitar slinger Shannon Curfman opens the show. Tickets start at $25 (562-4949).

       



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