NYE Guide: Wild Card



Just because it’s New Year’s doesn’t mean you have to celebrate with noisemakers and shiny hats. Part noir, part tragedy, part adventure, Sleep No More is an immersive theater project that allows the audience to interact with Shakespeare’s blood-drenched Macbeth in a way that will leave you lost in its madness for weeks. The audience is given masks and allowed to wander more than 100 environments spread over six massive floors of their terrifying hotel as “ghosts.” If you take a character’s hand, you’ll see horrific and unsettling things. So far, they’re offering three performances on the night of the 31st, but tickets will go fast, so jump on it. Consider yourself warned.

530 West 27th Street, 212-352-3101,


A lot of big names have made their bones on the Comedy Cellar’s small basement stage. The late, great Patrice O’Neal was a regular back in the day. Louis C.K. opens his hit show by walking into its brightly lit exterior. Todd Barry, Aziz Ansari, Colin Quinn, and Dave Attell take the stage regularly at this storied comedy hole. Although the lineup is never set in stone, they pride themselves on being the place where big names like to drop in and work out their moves. Being nestled right in the West Village makes this a great place to have a few laughs before venturing out into the night this New Year’s Eve.

117 MacDougal Street, 212-254-3480,


When did bowling become cool again? Answer: It was always cool, but you were just too busy doing other things to notice. Anything that involves knocking shit over with a cannonball never gets old—just reinvented. The Gutter has eight lanes, cold beer, and a killer main stage that hosts some of Brooklyn’s finest (bands, not cops). No one had been booked for New Year’s Eve at press time, but their lineup throughout December is a great cross-section of all things dirty, fun, and Williamsburg. It’s a romp that promises to be a good time no matter what night it is.

200 North 14th Street, Brooklyn, 718-387-3586,


Sometimes, this town is a little too much to handle, and when New Year’s Eve comes around, everything hits critical mass. If you haven’t been taking care of yourself in little ways all year, the urge to break down in the middle of Fifth Avenue reaches its peak after Christmas. Maybe you’ve gone out too much this year. Maybe there’s trouble at home or on the job. It might be wise to escape the throngs of people getting ready to hit this town like a tsunami and take your spiritual pulse. Tibet House’s Annual Yoga and Meditation Retreat features three days of bliss, stretching, and lectures led by Robert Thurman, Carolyn Christie, and Brooke Myers set in the quiet tranquility of the Catskill Mountains. Registration for three days costs $383 per person—a pittance compared to the bar tab you’ll rack up if you stick around.

22 West 15th Street, 845-688-6897,


Lincoln Center has three separate events going on the evening of the 31st. The New York Philharmonic will be performing selections from Bernstein and Gershwin under the direction of Alan Gilbert at Avery Fisher Hall. And if you can’t get a ticket, don’t sweat it: PBS will be televising the entire thing live. If you’re out with the kids, take them to the Big Apple Circus to see the new show “Dream Big” before they pack up and hit the road in January. If clowns are not your thing, check out Blood and Gifts, a gripping new play that pits a group of spies against one another in a game of intrigue set in 1980s Afghanistan.

10 Lincoln Center Plaza, 212-875-5456,


Everyone is a master vocalist after a tall bottle of Soju. Before it takes effect, you’re nervously leaning against the wall and clutching the microphone with your sweaty hands, but as you near the end of the bottle, you’re getting the crowd involved against their will, making up new lyrics when you think of something better, and power sliding into doors. None of these behaviors is acceptable. But don’t worry, you won’t be judged at this joint. At Big Apple Karaoke, the bartenders are friendly, the private rooms are pimp, and their motto, “Singing Heals the World,” will make you want children. This New Year’s Eve, they’re offering their one-year anniversary special: One dollar per person, per hour, in one of their private rooms from opening until 8 p.m. And if you like them on Facebook, you get a drink on the house.

305 East 53rd Street, 212-486-0055,