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Classical

Maxing out the old year

Ring in aught-four at the Max in Detroit.
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Published 12/31/2003

The year “The Great Blackout” left millions of couch potatoes in the lurch is over. The year Bostonians wept at the unkept promise of a World Series upset is over. The year the knavishly cheesy American media system seared Ben and J. Lo — aka “Bennifer” — into our lexicon is over. That these days are gone is alone cause to celebrate. But how

For many, New Year’s Eve is sacred. Since the invention of the calendar, it has been ingrained into our collective consciousness that we must celebrate at the end of one year and the beginning of another. It is the “GO” sign for atonement, partying and romance. It is also the one time of the year when we are obliged to do something new with ourselves. And whether we’re talking about life altering decisions or less important realms, this is the one day of the year when any workaday bloke can throw on a tie and feel like a champ. It is a night when even an oaf like myself can put on a pretty vintage dress and heels and feel like Audrey Hepburn (OK, maybe Katherine Hepburn. … Fine. ... Spencer Tracy in drag.) And to others, the more adventurous lot, it is the one night of the year when absolutely no holds are barred.

But some of you are still undecided on what exactly to do for this auspicious occasion.

Well … there is always that highbrow holiday party that sets you back a hundred bucks and leaves you with a Brut Champagne hangover. And then there’s your creepy brother-in-law’s annual New Year’s house party. (You know, the one where the beer-fueled college buddy hits on your old lady and pukes in the ficus plant?) Maybe you’d prefer to spend your New Year’s Eve with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve?”

Still not sure? Then let me suggest a place that you may not have thought of, but just might dig: the Detroit Symphony Orchestra-sponsored New Year’s Eve party. The new Max M. Fisher Music Center has become a treasured addition to the city. The newly renovated Orchestra Hall has become a sprawling $74 million complex, replete with classrooms, performance spaces and a cavernous atrium. It truly is a sight to behold: Everyone should check it out at least once.

And the 2003 New Year’s Eve party is an ideal opportunity. (Also, since the DSO has had its share of bad news recently — the resignation of President and Executive Director Emil Kang, that pesky $2 million-plus deficit — you know lovers of the classics have reason to let their hair down and party some blues away.)

But no worries … this is not an affair for the muckety-mucks. From black tie to black leather, New Year’s Eve at the Max will offer a little something for everyone, including a triptych of musical offerings and some grub:

• For a taste of nostalgia, check out the Keith Saxton Big Band. Swing devotees and jump-jivers can boogie-woogie the night away. Don’t forget the comfy shoes!

• Like it loud, lively and caliente? Then enjoy the international sounds of Saoco, a 10-piece Latin band that specializes in rumba and merengue music.

• Looking for more electronic beats-per-minute? Then you’ll dig DJ Driver’s offering of house, techno and dance music.

At midnight, there will be a complimentary champagne toast. Afterward, all will be treated to a yummy breakfast spread. (Revelers can forgo the 3 a.m. stop at the local greasy spoon after this meal.) Breakfast will include eggs, hash browns, bacon, sausage and other goodies.

“It is just a beautiful way to close out the year,” promises event coordinator Kendra Whitlock.

After a year such as 2003 — you deserve as much.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the Max M. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward Ave, Detroit). Call 313-576-5111 for ticket information. Admission is $48 per person and festivities begin at 9:30 p.m.

Eve Doster is Metro Times' listings editor. E-mail edoster@metrotimes.com.

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