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posted: 12/28/2012 6:00 AM

Theater events: Laugh in the new year

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Exit laughing
Conclude 2012 on a humorous note at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, which hosts a pair of New Year's Eve standup comedy shows featuring WGN sports anchor Pat Tomasulo, reporter Ana Belaval and comedian Mike Toomey. The trio perform two shows, which include a champagne toast and party favors, with the addition of a countdown and balloon drop at the late show. 6 and 10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. $50, $60. (847) 577-2121 or metropolisarts.com.

Fortune at Zanies
"Chelsea Lately" regular and sometime guest host Fortune Feimster rings in the new year at Zanies in Rosemont. A former syndicated columnist, Feimster was a semifinalist on NBC's "Last Comic Standing" and is a member of the Groundlings. 8 and 10:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, at MB Financial Park, 5437 Park Place, Rosemont. $30 early show, $40 late show, plus a two-item food or beverage minimum. (847) 813-0484 or zanies.com.

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Oh solo mio
Lifeline Theatre marks the start of 2013 with the 16th annual Fillet of Solo Festival showcasing storytellers and solo performers over 18 days. Participating performers include members of the all-female comedy group, the kates; members of the Asian-American comedy ensemble Stir Friday Night; members of GayCo and the young writers who make up Lifeline's Storytelling Project, among others. Performances are at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday from Jan. 3-20 at 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., Chicago. $10 single tickets. $30 for a festival pass. (773) 761-4477 or lifelinetheatre.com.

What's new
• Doors open at 9:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, for the Neo-Futurists' New Year's Eve edition of "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind" including beer and wine and hors d'oeuvres before the show and a champagne or cider toast at midnight, at the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago. Advance registration required. Tickets are $50. (773) 275-5255 or neofuturists.org.

• "Million Dollar Quartet," the musical inspired by a 1956 impromptu jam session between Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley, has added an 8 p.m. performance on Monday, Dec. 31, at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. (773) 935-6100 or milliondollarquartetlive.com.

• Black Ensemble Theater rings in 2013 in a festive way with excerpts from classic productions like "The Jackie Wilson Story" and "The Marvin Gaye Story" followed by an open mic and dancing to BET's jazz trio. The party takes place at the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark St., Chicago. Tickets are $125 for singles, $200 for couples. (773) 769-4451 or blackensembletheater.org.

• The Kiss Kiss Cabaret celebrates the end of 2012 with a "New Year's Eve Hullabaloo" beginning at 10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. The adults-only event includes a burlesque show, countdown and champagne toast followed by a two-hour dance party. Tickets are $42, $75 per couple. (773) 404-7336 or kisskisscabaret.com.

• Hell in a Handbag Productions teams up with Music Box Theatre to present the combination show/party "New Year's Eve on the S.S. Poseidon," beginning at 11 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., Chicago. Partygoers may don their best 1970s cruisewear for the event which includes a film screening with running commentary along with bonus material from Hell in a Handbag. Tickets are $23 in advance, $28 at the door and include a drink ticket, champagne toast and party favors. See musicboxtheatre.com/events/poseidon-adventure-2012-12-31-1100-p.m..

• Quest Theatre Ensemble presents artistic director Andy Park's "Blue Nativity" at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1, at St. Gregory the Great Church, 5535 N. Paulina St., Chicago. The show tells of the birth of Christ using large-scale puppets and is accompanied by live music. The performance is free but donations are accepted. A free post-show reception featuring food, raffles and entertainment follows at The Blue Theater, 1609 W. Gregory St., Chicago. (312) 458-0895 or questensemble.org.

• In 1944, while most of the world is fighting Nazis and fascists, an Air Force pilot and a bartender hatch a war-profiteering scheme in a small American town in Mark Mason's "Allotment Annie." InFusion Theatre Company presents the world premiere beginning previews Thursday, Jan. 3, at Strawdog Theater, 3829 N. Broadway Ave., Chicago. The show opens Jan. 5. (773) 528-9696 or infusiontheatre.com.

• Thursday, Jan. 3, marks the start of the 12th annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival celebrating the best local, national and international sketch artists and ensembles. Performances run Thursday through Sunday through Jan. 13 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Stir Friday Night, pH Productions, The Cupid Players, Urlakis and Cusick and GayCo Productions are among the ensembles scheduled to perform. There's a $2 discount for tickets purchased before Dec. 31. (773) 327-5252 or chicagosketchfest.com or stage773.com.

• Performances continue through Jan. 23 for Trap Door Theatre's double bill of Vaclav Havel plays centered around his alter-ego Ferdinand Vanek. In "The Unveiling," a couple seeks absolution for collaborating with Communists. Havel revisits that couple in the sequel "Dozens of Cousins," seen here in its first English translation. Performances take place at 1655 W. Cortland St., Chicago. See trapdoortheatre.com for more information.

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