Shaking that dreaded New Year's Day hangover is tough. Even tougher: choosing which party to attend the night before.
This year Dec. 31 is so stacked that we could use an extra day just to fit it all in. Whether you want to laugh, dance, eat or wear a costume, this guide covers the NYE party scene from every perspective. However, I'm leaving Mystic Lake's Donny and Marie shows alone because 1) they're sold out, and 2) the fact that they're sold out is totally insane.
Moving on, there's good news for bargoers who want nothing more than unlimited booze. The all-you-can-drink trend is alive and well, but the price tag for these parties has gone down (yay, bad economy).
That means you can spend more money on Advil and a big greasy breakfast Jan. 1.
"Shanghaied" will transform three levels of this massive downtown building into an Asian speakeasy with casino tables, acrobats and kinky Shibari performance art (look it up). With music by Gigamesh.
Cost: $45 advance, $55 door. Add $25/$35 for premium open bar.
9 p.m. 401 1st Av. N., Mpls. 612-338-1510. NYEMinneapolis.com.
Inspired by HBO's gangster TV series, the "Boardwalk Empire Ball" asks bargoers to dress for a Prohibition-era soiree.
Cost: $75 for open bar.
9 p.m. 400 1st Av. N., Mpls. 612-338-2222. EnvyNYE.com.
The popular "Whoomp! (There It Is)" early-'90s dance party is back at this northeast Minneapolis bar. The theme: "90210." Shannen Doherty be damned!
10 p.m. 331 13th Av. NE., Mpls. 612-331-1746. www.331club.mn.
Fridley gets naughty on NYE with Dr. Farrago's Burlesque Theater, featuring magic, comedy, belly dancers and an extreme escape artist.
Cost: $10 advance, $15 door.
7 p.m. 7178 University Av. NE., Fridley. 763-574-1399. TwoStooges.com.
It wouldn't be New Year's Eve without a masquerade ball. This one features an avant-garde fashion show, plus aerialists, fire dancers and DJs.
Cost: $30 advance, $35 door.
9 p.m. 110 N. 5th St., Mpls. 612-332-3742. NYEmpls.com.
The marathon rocker returns to the gorgeous Varsity Theater in Dinkytown, hopefully with the same crazy stage antics. (Don't forget the straitjacket!)
Cost: $14. 18 and older.
8 p.m. 1308 SE. 4th St., Mpls. 612-604-0222. Varsitytheater.org.
With his poignant lyrics and breakneck beats, the Twin Cities hip-hop titan is the perfect choice for a concert to benefit the music programs at Robbinsdale Cooper High School.
Cost: $30-$35. 18 and older.
8 p.m. Marriott City Center, 30 S. 7th St., Mpls. 612-349-4000. Vegaproductions.org.
TINA & THE B-SIDES
Catch Tina Schlieske's cocktail of rock and soul, plus an all-you-can-drink bar tab for one ticket price.
Cost: $71 advance, $76 door. 21 and older.
8 p.m. Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 1st Av. N., Mpls. 612-338-8100. FineLineMusic.com.
Crews from two of First Ave's biggest DJ nights -- Too Much Love and Get Cryphy -- join forces for the ultimate booty-shaker. The cast includes Soviet Panda, Plain Ole Bill, Jimmy 2 Times and Roy Freedom.
Cost: $5 advance, $20 door. 18 and older.
8 p.m. 701 1st Av. N., Mpls. 612-332-1775. First-avenue.com.
NICK AND EDDIE
One of the scene's hottest monthly dance nights, "Bomp," takes over this Loring Park restaurant with DJs Shannon Blowtorch, Wezz Wnshp and the Moon Goons.
Cost: $5 with RSVP, $10 without.
10 p.m. 1612 Harmon Pl., Mpls. 612-486-5800. Moongoons.com/bomp.
"Decadence" will include something the club is calling a "three-hour audio and visual mind-boggling display honoring the first decade of this new millennium."
Cost: $15. 18 and older.
10 p.m. 10 S. 5th St., Mpls. 612-333-5055. Spinmn.com.
INTERNATIONAL MARKET SQUARE
"Kaleidoscope" promises a tour of the world in one night, with fire and dance performances, multiple DJs and an international buffet.
Cost: $40 advance, $50 door. $80 for dinner.
8 p.m. 275 Market St., Mpls. 952-484-0272. KaleidoscopeNYE.com.
LORING PASTA BAR
The Salsa Police provide a night of Latin beats, including merengue and bachata, plus free hors d'oeuvres from 11 p.m. to midnight and free tequila shots (12:30-1:30 a.m.).
Cost: $15. 18 and older.
10 p.m. 327 14th Av. SE., Mpls. 612-722-2016. LoringPastaBar.com.
The downtown gay nightclub boasts a $500 money drop at midnight.
Cost: $10. 18 and older.
9 p.m. 830 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-332-0835. SaloonMN.com.
Lenny Russo breaks in his first NYE in downtown St. Paul with a five-course dinner and live jazz and gypsy swing.
289 E. 5th St., St. Paul. 651-699-3536. HeartlandRestaurant.com.
Average White Band, the seminal Scottish funk outfit, will play two shows at the classic jazz club, with the first including a four-course dinner.
6 and 10:45 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls. 612-332-1010. DakotaCooks.com.
FACES MEARS PARK
David Fhima has a three-course dinner, plus music by rocker Tim Mahoney, at his new spot in downtown St. Paul.
Cost: $60 for dinner, $25-$35 for show, $75 for both.
380 Jackson St., St. Paul. 651-209-7776. FacesMearsPark.com.
Like a cagey old family member coming home for the holidays, Anderson returns to the Twin Cities for two shows at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center.
7:30 (sold out) and 10 p.m. 12600 Nicollet Av. S., Burnsville. 952-895-4685. Burnsvillepac.com
Run for cover, politicians. Winstead is calling her year-ender "2010: The Winners and the Losers. Mostly the Losers."
7:30 & 9:30 p.m., Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Av. S., Mpls. 612-822-3030. TheParkwayTheater.com.
The comic will talk about everything that's been on his mind lately, including juggling new daddy duties.
Cost: $50 for early show, includes dinner. $20 for late show.
6:30 and 10:30 p.m., BayView Event Center, 687 Excelsior Blvd., Excelsior. 952-470-8439. BayviewEvent.com.
Here's a sampling of venues offering an open bar:
Bootleggers: $80. 323 1st Av. N., Mpls. 612-338-4555. bootleggersmpls.net.
The Lounge: $75. 9 p.m. 411 2nd Av. N., Mpls. 612-333-8800. Theloungempls.com.
Stella's: $59.95 plus tax. 10 p.m. 1400 W. Lake St., Mpls. 612-824-8862. StellasFishCafe.com.
The Loop: $75. 9 p.m. 606 Washington Av. N., Mpls. 612-340-0010. www.theloopmpls.com.
Aqua: $75. 10 p.m. 400 1st Av. N., Mpls. 612-232-3232. AquaMpls.com.
Ugly Mug: $55. 9 p.m. 106 N. 3rd St., Mpls. 612-343-5930. UglyMugMinneapolis.com.