Was 2016 the worst year ever? Cubs win notwithstanding, it was bad enough to deserve its own meme. Still, the year is not over and there are many ways to close it out, whether you plan to stage a New Year’s Eve anti-violence march, party with a former Bachelorette contestant, or join the crowd at Chi-Town Rising. Here are our top picks.
In the Heights
Catch the final performance of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights from Chicago’s Porchlight Music Theater. Stick around after the show for a New Year’s Eve celebration and champagne toast with the cast.
8 p.m., Porchlight Music Theatre, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., $75
Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind
Amidst all the drama surrounding Greg Allen’s decision to pull the Neo-Futurists’ rights to Too Much Light, you can see the long-running show’s final performance under that name at the Neo-Futurists’ New Year’s Eve party featuring Metropolitan Brewery, type-written poetry on demand, and a midnight toast.
9 p.m., Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., $50
Party Noire is taking over the Promontory in Hyde Park for its Black Metropolis celebration, inspired by Bronzeville during the 1930s (so dress accordingly). Also featured are D.J.’s Rae Chardonnay and Lisa Decibel.
8 p.m., The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave., $75 to $100
WBEZ New Year’s Eve Party
Celebrate the end of 2016 with Chicago's public radio station, featuring stories from the Moth, music by Reclaimed Soul host and Vocalo D.J. Ayana Contreras, as well as bowling and bocce.
8 p.m., Pinstripes Chicago, 435 E. Illinois St., $145
An otherworldly homage to NASA’s Voyager program, this space-themed celebration brings together a range of musicians at the recently opened Baderbräu Taproom in Bronzeville. From trap-house-jazz musician Masego to Detroit-based soul-electronic crossover JMSN, Voyager promises a future-oriented night of dance and music. The open bar should help.
8 p.m., Baderbräu Tap & Brewery, 2515 S. Wabash Ave., Tickets: $65 to $130
Other themed parties
If you’re looking to dress up (or go retro) this New Year’s Eve, you’re in luck: Beauty Bar is hosting “Another '90s New Year Party”; Little Goat Diner is having a '70s themed disco party; and Roscoe Tavern promises to “take you under the sea.”
Battle of the Saxes
Once again New Orleans-based Edward Petersen faces off against Chicago-based Eric Schneider in the battle of the saxophones at the Green Mill.
8 p.m., Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N. Broadway Ave., $30
Over the Rhine
Husband and wife duo Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler—known as Over the Rhine—play an intimate show at the Old Town School of Folk Music.
8 p.m., Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., $45
Not long after giving a moving performance at the Nobel Prize ceremony on behalf of Bob Dylan, Patti Smith makes two appearances with her band in the city where she was born—first on December 30 for a sold-out birthday show at the Riviera and then again on December 31 at Park West. Who better to usher in the New Year with than Patti?
9 p.m., Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave., $65
This two-day concert at Rosemont’s Donald E. Stephens Convention Center promises a “warehouse-style experience.” On the lineup are big-name rappers and D.J.s such as Danny Brown, Flume, Gucci Mane, and Tchami.
December 30-31, 5:30 p.m. Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL, $79 to $139