Revelations (photo by Gert Krautbauer)” width=”720″ height=”480″ srcset=”×480.jpg 720w,×720.jpg 1080w,×240.jpg 360w, 1400w” sizes=”(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px”>

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey’s Revelations (photo by Gert Krautbauer)

The week between Christmas and the New Year is always a slow one in New York City — perfect for catching up on about-to-close museum shows — and come December 31, there’s always the same pressure to plan something special and unique. Herewith, a few ideas for New Years Eve soirées with some cultural cachet, from a Classical Hollywood romance to a night of drag performances.

Head Over Heels for Katherine Hepburn

YouTube video

The Lower East Side’s boutique cinema Metrograph is showing the classic Cary Grant-Katherine Hepburn romantic comedy Holiday (1938) on Saturday, December 30, and New Year’s Eve. In it, Grant’s character Johnny Case dreams of adventure but his fiancée hopes he’ll follow in her bank father’s footsteps. His future sister-in-law (Hepburn), however, is similarly free-spirited; you can probably imagine how all these tensions will come to a head during — appropriately — the film’s climactic New Year’s Eve bash.

When: Saturday, December 30 at 8pm and 10pm; Sunday, December 31 at 7:45pm and 9:45pm
Where: Metrograph (7 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan)

Celebrating Season’s End with Alvin Ailey

Alvin Ailey’s 2017 season culminates on the last night of the year, with a double bill featuring short pieces and excerpts from longer works performed earlier in the season and then, after the intermission, Ailey’s seminal ensemble piece Revelations — the modern-dance equivalent of the Times Square fireworks.

When: Sunday, December 31 at 7pm
Where: New York City Center (131 West 55th Street, Midtown, Manhattan)

Counting Down with Sasha Velour

YouTube video

If you watch RuPaul’s Drag Race, you’re already familiar with the host of this evening of drag performances at National Sawdust, the amazing Sasha Velour. For those who don’t, Sasha won the ninth season, and for New Year’s Eve she has invited eight drag performers to help ring in 2018 in the most glamorous way possible.

When: Sunday, December 31 at 9:30pm
Where: National Sawdust (80 North 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

In 2018, Performance Art Takes the Subway

Nate Hill performing on the subway (courtesy the artist, via

Nate Hill performing on the subway (courtesy the artist, via

While most people like to take it easy after New Year’s Eve, the intrepid artist Nate Hill is doing the opposite, spending 24 consecutive hours beginning at 11:59pm on Monday, January 1 performing a series of gestures in the subway system. The durational performance will reprise previous performances from a 12-week cycle, but here condensed to a marathon of two-hour increments. If you can track him down between 6am and 8am, you’ll find him “sitting on the L trains,” but from 6pm to 8pm he’ll be “dancing with the train.”

When: Monday, January 1, 2018 at 11:59pm–Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at 11:59pm
Where: The New York City subway system (text Nate Hill at 347-742-2293 for his location)

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...