New Year’s Eve events and how to start 2023

I hope the holiday season is going well for all of you. My weekend was filled with nonstop cooking, but I still made time to see American Contemporary Ballet’s “The Nutcracker Suite” before it closed. I highly recommend it for next year because I was in awe of the performances. As I make my way through leftover sweet potato casserole, I’m coming to you with the next edition of L.A. Goes Out. I’m Steven Vargas, your host, and this week is a special new year newsletter. Here are the 23 events to say goodbye to 2022 and hello (it’s me) to 2023.

23 events to start 2023

Two bearded men wearing glasses.

The Roots ring in 2023 with a pair of shows at Walt Disney Concert Hall, bringing their much-heralded, much-loved live show to downtown Los Angeles.

(Los Angeles Philharmonic)

1. New Year’s Eve With the Roots: Ring in the new year with the house band for “The Tonight Show” at Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning hip-hop group the Roots will be performing twice on Saturday, first at 7 p.m. and again at 10:30. Remaining tickets for the performances range from $119 to $294 and can be found on the L.A. Philharmonic website.

2. Giant Dinosaurs in the Valley: As we embark on a new year, go a few (or a few hundred million) years back with Giant Dinosaurs in the Valley. This event is perfect for the kids, offering activities like a dinosaur dig, a dinosaur dance party and a meet and greet with baby dinos. The immersive walkthrough experience at Pierce College in Woodland Hills runs until Jan. 8 and costs up to $24.99. Details can be found on the event website.

Three women sit at a table as another stands in "Mean Girls" at the Pantages Theatre.

Jasmine Rogers (Gretchen Wieners, left), Nadina Hassan (Regina George), Morgan Ashley Bryant (Karen Smith) and English Bernhardt (Cady Heron) in “Mean Girls” at the Pantages Theatre.

(Broadway in Hollywood)

3. “Mean Girls” at the Pantages Theatre: So fetch. Pull out your pink wardrobe and make your way to the Pantages in Hollywood for the musical. This touring show comes directly from Broadway and is created by a dream team — book by Tina Fey, music by Jeff Richmond, lyrics by Nell Benjamin and direction by Casey Nicholaw. Shows begin Jan. 4, and tickets range from $39 to $194. More details and ticket information can be found on Ticketmaster.

4. Grand Park’s NYELA: Grand Park brings a lineup of musical acts, including Grammy-nominated Afro-Cuban funk artist Cimafunk and DJ Marques Wyatt, to downtown L.A. The event begins 8 p.m. Saturday and ends at 12:30 a.m. with a City Hall 3-D light show. The food- and music-filled event is free, and details can be found on Grand Park L.A.’s website.

A man holds a woman in the air as musicians play behind them.

A glorious re-creation of the beloved Neujahrskonzert, the concert that has welcomed the New Year for more than 80 years in Vienna and all over the world.

(Segerstrom Center for the Arts)

5. Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert: Dancing, music and celebration. What more could you ask for? The Segerstrom Center for the Arts is bringing back its Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday with music from Vienna’s golden age. The performance in Costa Mesa is conducted by Nir Kabaretti and features dance performances from the San Diego Ballet. Tickets range from $49 to $129, and can be found on the center’s website.

6. Debussy and Messiaen With MTT: “You have so much music,” Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) says to Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) in “Twilight” as she inspects his room for the first time. “What are you listening to?” “It’s Debussy,” he replies. Cullen would be thrilled to know that the L.A. Phil has a tremendous lineup of music from French composers Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen and Heitor Villa-Lobos, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. Tickets range from $40 to $216, and performances run Jan. 6-8 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Details can be found on the L.A. Phil’s website.

7. Boone Children’s Gallery: If you’re looking for more activities with the kids or to keep them busy while you plan New Year’s festivities, look no further than the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for a free painting class. Staff will help introduce painting techniques and tips to young artists. The drop-in workshop will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the Boone Children’s Gallery, part of LACMA. Details on the event and how to RSVP can be found on the museum’s website.

A man sits at a desk in "Mindplay"  at Geffen Playhouse.

Vinny DePonto in “Mindplay,” directed by Andrew Neisler, at Geffen Playhouse.

(Jeff Lorch)

8. “Mindplay”: Join mentalist Vinny DePonto at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood for an unexpected journey through the mind. This interactive show tests our memory and innermost thoughts with an intimate production inside the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater. The world-premiere show by the Drama Desk Award-nominated theatermaker has been extended to Jan. 22. Tickets range from $39 to $129 and can be found on Geffen’s website.

9. The Rose Parade: It’s that time of year again. Head over to Pasadena to marvel at the floral floats making their way through the city. Marching bands, equestrian units and more will make the 5.5-mile trek down Colorado Boulevard starting at 8 a.m. Monday. The 134th event is free and details can be found on the Pasadena Tournament of Roses website.

10. “Malcolm X” in 70mm: Calling all cinephiles, Spike Lee’s 1992 film is showing at Aero Theatre in Santa Monica at 7:30 p.m. Monday. The screening is part of the theater’s 70mm New Year’s Weekend and Angela Bassett: An American Cinematheque Retrospective. Tickets are $10 for American Cinematheque members and $15 for the general public. Details on the screening can be found on the American Cinematheque’s website.

A woman in a pink top stands in front of a blue wall in the movie "Decision to Leave."

Tang Wei in the movie “Decision to Leave.”


11. “Decision to Leave” at the Beverly Cinema: If you’re like me and are still catching up on the top movies of 2022, pay a visit to the Beverly. The theater in the Fairfax district is showing South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook’s “Decision to Leave” from Monday to Thursday. Tickets are $15 and details can be found on the theater’s website.

12. Margaret Cho and Friends: Go out and laugh with Cho at a comedy show at Largo at the Coronet in Beverly Grove. The Emmy-nominated comedian will be joined by Atsuko and Daniel Webb at the nightclub show at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $35 and can be found on Largo at the Coronet’s website.

13. “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”: Sing along and jam with the music of Aretha Franklin with this touring tribute concert presented by the American Theatre Guild. Next stop: Fred Kavli Theatre in Thousand Oaks. The concert follows the journey of the iconic singer and celebrates some of her hits like “Natural Woman,” “Think” and “Respect.” Tickets to the Jan. 9 show at 7:30 p.m. range from $50 to $100 and can be found on Ticketmaster.

14. New Year’s Eve Comedy Show at the Crow: If you’re looking to start 2023 with more laughs, check out the show at the Crow in Santa Monica. While it ends at 10 p.m., it’ll get the night started with a smile on your face. Stand-up acts include Nicole Blaine, Short Jake, Asia Chardonay and more. The event starts at 8 p.m. Saturday and tickets are $35. Details can be found on the Crow’s website.

15. “Will You Go to Prom With Me?”: Get New Year’s Eve started at Regent Theater in DTLA. The R&B party features live musical artists Bella Fiasco, J Espinosa, Blesst and Jaymeebaaby. Cuffing Season and 444 present this late-night event that starts at 10 p.m. and will have you dancing into 2023. Tickets range from $5 to $20 and can be found on Ticketmaster.

16. La Bouquet’s Finale “Wilted & Withered”: Say adieu to 2022 with a farewell concert by La Bouquet. The indie band is having its final show at the Moroccan Lounge in Little Tokyo alongside acts Magic Whatever, Stretched and MNYS. This is once-in-a-lifetime experience. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and tickets cost $15 in advance or $20 the day of the show. Details can be found on the Moroccan Lounge’s website.

17. Live Nation Presents: Breaking Sound at the Peppermint Club: If you’re looking to start the new year with a new artist to obsess over, check out Live Nation presents Breaking Sound at the Peppermint Club in West Hollywood, a night full of music from up-and-coming artists. The lineup for the event next Saturday includes John Givez, Troi Blank, Princess Liv and Ronnie Quest. The performances start at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20. Details can be found on the Peppermint Club’s website.

18. Greyson Chance at the Troubadour: Plan in advance for Chance’s performance at the Troubadour in West Hollywood on Jan. 11. It’s part of his tour for his latest album, “Palladium.” The show is at 7 p.m., and tickets cost $25 for the general public and $75 for VIP. Details and tickets can be found on Troubadour’s website.

19. Jason Derulo celebrates the release of “UZO”: Make your way to Barnes & Noble at the Grove on Jan. 9 to dig into Derulo’s new graphic novel, with the musician himself. The sci-fi adventure is co-written by Derulo and Anthony Piper, illustrated by Eric Koda and edited by Chris Robinson. The event starts at 7 p.m. and details can be found on Barnes & Noble’s website.

20. Allie Michelle performs poetry from “The Words Left Unspoken”: And for poetry lovers, Barnes & Noble at the Grove is also hosting a reading by Michelle, author of “Explorations of a Cosmic Soul,” to celebrate her new poetry book, “The Words Left Unspoken.” The book releases Jan. 10 and chronicles love, loss and self-discovery. You can get an advance copy at the event Jan. 8. The reading starts at 2 p.m. and tickets are $16.41. Details can be found on Barnes & Noble’s website.

21. New Year’s Eve Fireworks & Glow Party at Marina Del Rey: Head to the beach to celebrate the new year with fireworks over the ocean. The annual event takes place at Fisherman’s Village near the South Jetty on Saturday. The fireworks show starts at 8:59 p.m. for those with an earlier bedtime and again at 11:59 p.m. for the turn of the year. There will also be a family-friendly Glow Party at Burton Chace Park from 7 p.m. to midnight. Admission is free and details can be found on Marina del Rey’s website.

22. Santa Monica Pub Crawl New Year’s Eve Party: If you like to spend New Year’s Eve with a late night out with friends, try Santa Monica’s pub crawl. The experience begins at 6 p.m. Saturday and runs until 2 a.m. The crawl registration begins at Barney’s Beanery or Circle Bar. Tickets range from $13 to $45, and details can be found on VIP Nightlife’s website.

23. Seong-Jin Cho: Start the year off with music from new talent. Young pianist Seong-Jin Cho will be having a recital at Walt Disney Concert Hall, performing piano pieces by George Frideric Handel, Sofia Gubaidulina, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Remaining tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show Jan. 8 are $79 to $180, and details can be found on the L.A. Phil’s website.

Your L.A. weekend, all mapped out

For a more comprehensive roundup of exhibitions, concerts, screenings, festivals and other events, check out Matt Cooper’s “Culture Guide.” The mapped list is a go-to for those of you who make plans based on the commute, and it also can be filtered by type of event and by price.

I’m all ears!

That’s all I’ve got for this week. Follow our feed of recommendations and itineraries on Instagram and Twitter. The next newsletter won’t come until Jan. 11, so start keeping an eye out for more events and send your recs at

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