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An L.A. cultural guide to New Year's Eve

December 30, 2009 | 10:15 am

Getting fall-down drunk not your thing on New Year's Eve? Then Culture Monster has some alternatives that might suit your more refined tastes.

Noisemaker Though many cultural venues are closed for New Year's Eve -- even artists need time off to party, apparently -- a select handful of theaters, museums and other local attractions are keeping their doors open (or are organizing events) on Thursday.

Some of the events are family friendly while many are not. Expect to pay a premium for tickets. Hey, no one ever said going out on New Year's Eve was cheap. 

As for the stay-at-home types out there, you have one less excuse for not heading out on Thursday. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is offering free bus and commuter train rides between 9 p.m. on Thursday to 2 a.m. Friday.

All of the following events are scheduled to take place on Thursday. Be sure to check ticket availability as some events may be sold out in advance.

New Year's Eve with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Walt Disney Concert Hall
7:30 and 10 p.m.

Swing music and dancing will take over the stage at Disney Hall as the group Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performs not one, but two concerts for the evening.

Ricky Jay: A Rogue's Gallery
Geffen Playhouse
8 p.m.

Hollywood's favorite sleight-of-hand expert takes to the stage in his latest one-man show directed by David Mamet. Ten performances only through Jan. 10.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
Extended Hours
Through 4:30 p.m.

What could provide better pre-festivities relaxation than a stroll through the Huntington's gardens and art galleries? The museum is offering extended hours on New Year's Eve.

Mary Poppins
Ahmanson Theatre
6:30 p.m.
$40 - $150

Disney's stage version of the classic movie is family entertainment at its biggest and most festive.

A Big, Gay, North Hollywood Wedding
Crown City Theater
8:30 p.m.

Somewhat less family friendly, at least according to some people, this stage comedy takes the hot-button gay-marriage debate for a farcical spin. The official website says that protesters are welcome but must pay full price.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Until 5 p.m.

An ideal place to take the kids, and even some of the adults in your life, the Natural History Museum can keep you occupied for an entire day with its scientific exhibitions. It's also one of the most affordable outings. Children younger than 5 get in free; children 5 to 12 pay $2.

Palestine, New Mexico
Mark Taper Forum
8 p.m.

For those in the mood for a thought provoking holiday, Culture Clash's latest stage production is a  drama that brings together the war in Afghanistan and Native American culture.

Museum of Latin American Art
Hotel Maya
Long Beach
9 p.m.
$60-$80 per person

If you must party on New Year's Eve, consider heading over to the Hotel Maya in Long Beach, where your hard-earned money will help go to benefit the Museum of Latin American Art. The hotel is offering a Cuban-themed evening with music and food.

-- David Ng

Times file photo