With some of the Capital Region’s New Years Eve traditions hanging in the air this year, comedy is key to ringing in 2022.
Stand-Up Global, a local business, is bringing back the First Night of Funny in-person events, with three shows scheduled at three venues including the Charles R. Wood Theater in Glens Falls, Cohoes Music Hall and Proctors.
Each venue will host four comedians on New Years Eve, many of whom have been featured on Comedy Central, NBC and other national platforms.
Starting at 7 p.m., comedians Kevin Downey Jr., Jennifer McMullen, Anthony DiDomenico and Anthony Devito will perform at the Wood Theater.
At the same time, the Cohoes Music Hall will host Mike Gaffney, Brian Beaudoin, Dan Guerin and Josh Kincade.
The Proctors’ show will begin at 8 p.m. and will feature Ross Bennett, Ray Harrington, Earl David Reed and Cody Montanye.
Last year, First Night of Funny was a virtual event. This time around, each site has COVID-19 precautions in place, including mask requirements and proof of vaccination or a negative test for participants of certain ages. For more information on each site’s policies, visit their websites: proctors.org, thecohoesmusichall.org, and woodtheater.org.
Comedy is also in the spotlight at the Park Theater in Glens Falls, with a performance of “Comedy After Dark” by Sean Donnelly. The comedian has appeared on NBC’s “The Late Show with David Letterman”, “Conan” and “Last Comic Standing”. He co-hosts the “My Dumb Friends” podcast with fellow actor Dan St. Germain on the All Things Comedy network. The show will begin at 6 p.m. and will include a three-course dinner as well as a happy hour cocktail. Tickets are $ 99. For more information, visit parktheatergf.com.
The Mopco Improv Theater in Schenectady hosts two New Year’s shows. The first is a family show and ball drop, which starts at 7 pm. The show relies on audience interaction and participation to create stories, characters and songs. Tickets are $ 7 to $ 15.
A late improv show starts at 10 p.m. and ends with a champagne toast and Mopco’s take on the ball drop. Tickets are $ 15 to $ 30. For more information, visit mopco.org.
Beyond the comedy, a few concerts and evenings are also scheduled throughout the region of the capital.
At Rivers Casino & Resort, Funk Evolution will be performing in the event center as part of the Casino’s NYE Glow Party.
The local group includes members from a variety of musical backgrounds including pop, rock, funk, blues and more. They will ring the New Year with a show starting at 10 p.m.
Participants are encouraged to dress in neon colors. Admission includes gifts and a champagne toast. Tickets are $ 25 for presale and $ 30 a day. For more information, visit riverscasino.com.
Nearby, Frog Alley will be hosting a New Years Eve celebration with Skeeter Creek and guest DJ Mikey C starting at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $ 100 and include three hours of open bar, appetizers from MADE Catering, and a champagne toast. For more information, visit frogalleybrewing.com.
In Saratoga Springs, opera singer Zachary James and pianist Laurie Rogers will perform a mix of Broadway and classical songs at the Universal Preservation Hall. James is known to local audiences for his portrayal of the title role in Opera Saratoga’s “Man of La Mancha” production last summer. The bass-baritone also premiered the role of Lurch in “The Addams Family” and starred in “South Pacific” and “Coram Boy”.
Rogers recently celebrated his 10th anniversary as head of the musical staff of the Saratoga Opera House and director of the company’s Young Artist Program.
The show, presented by Opera Saratoga and UPH, is free and starts at 7 p.m. on Friday. For more information, visit universalpreservationhall.org.
At the Palace Theater, Dark Star Orchestra will perform two sets: at 9 p.m. on Friday and at 8 p.m. on Saturday. The band’s shows are built from Grateful Dead’s extensive catalog.
Tickets for the Friday show cost $ 49.50 in advance and $ 55 on the day of. Tickets for the Saturday show are $ 41.50 in advance and $ 45 on the day. For more information, visit palacealbany.org.
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