In the news:
Week Ahead: New Year’s celebrations in full bloom
A&E highlights for the week of Dec. 22: Welcome New Year’s Eve at Seattle Center, in the freezing waters of Lake Washington, at the symphony or parked in front of the television in your favorite chair.
In this romantic comedy, unlike any you’ve probably seen before, Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with software voiced by Scarlett Johansson ... and you believe it. Directed by Spike Jonze. For showtimes, see page H7. For Seattle Times movie critic Moira Macdonald’s 4-star review, go to seattletimes.com/movies.
‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
Leonardo DiCaprio re-creates the role of the unscrupulous real-life Wall Street stockbroker Jordan Belfort. And as reviewer Moira Macdonald says, “If it’s at all accurate, you wonder how anyone in that field survived the ’90s.” For showtimes, see page H7. For Macdonald’s 3 ½-star review, go to seattletimes.com/movies.
‘New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin’
The unpredictable comedian joins the stalwart anchorman for another evening in Times Square to welcome in the new year. 6 p.m. Tuesday on CNN.
The community college-set comedy is back for a fifth season. 8 p.m. Thursday on NBC.
American Brewing Co.
American Brewing Co. in Edmonds will feature some holiday beers between now and New Year’s Eve, including a few kegs from 2012 that have been aged. Find them at 180 W. Dayton St., Warehouse 102. (425 774-1717 americanbrewing.com).
Polar Bear Plunge
Brrrrr! Seattle Parks’ 12th annual plunge into Lake Washington ushers in the new year in freezing fashion. All who immerse themselves neck-deep will be awarded an Official Badge of Courage. Noon Wednesday, Matthews Beach, 9300 51st Ave. N.E., Seattle; free (facebook.com/polarbearplungeseattle).
Winterfest New Year’s Eve Celebration
Join the family fun at Seattle Center on Wednesday. The day starts with ice skating from 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Fisher Pavilion, $2-$7; then there’s an all-ages dance with music by The Nines, 8-11:45 p.m. at Seattle Center Armory; and don’t forget the Space Needle fireworks show at midnight (206-684-7200 or seattlecenter.com).
The holidays aren’t over on the Eastside just yet: Music, light show, live toy soldiers and a magical snowstorm take place 7 p.m. daily through Dec. 31, Bellevue Way and Northeast Eighth Street, Bellevue; (bellevuecollection.com/snowflake.html).
Activities, artifacts and information on how humans lived in the past around the world and in our own region, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington campus, Seattle; $7.50-$10 (206-543-5590 or burkemuseum.org).
Pearl Django with Bucky Pizzarelli
Seattle’s stellar Gypsy jazz band is joined by very special guest Bucky Pizzarelli. Less well-known now than his smart-aleck son, John, Pizza père is the real guitar master in the house, having played with everyone from Benny Goodman to Stephane Grappelli. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Jan. 5, 2014, and 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Dimitriou’s jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle; $24.50 (206-441-9729 or jazzalley.com).
Fly Moon Royalty, Fresh Espresso
When life give you lemons, make lemonade, declares swinging Seattle electro-soul duo Fly Moon Royalty (vocalist Adra Boo, producer/emcee Action Jackson), which is offering a free download of its new EP, “Unfinished Business” with advance ticket purchases for this Friday show. Hosted by Marco Collins, the album-release party also features Fresh Espresso, Future Shock and J-Justice. 8 p.m. Friday at Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., Seattle; $10-$12 (206-709-9467 or neumos.com).
‘Dick Whittington and His Cat’
Not just for expats, this British “panto” show (boisterous humor for kids and adults) retells the folk tale of a poor boy, who became Lord Mayor of London, and his superior cat. Staged by Fremont Players and the Fremont Philharmonic. Through Jan. 5, Hale's Ales Brewery and Pub, 4301 Leary Way N.W., Seattle; $7-$13 (800-838-3006 or www.fremontplayers.com).
The orchestra’s traditional program of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony will ring out at 2 p.m. today (Dec. 29), but there’s a new party in town for New Year’s Eve. The SSO, led by music director Ludovic Morlot and pops conductor Jeff Tyzik, will welcome guest pianist Jon Kimura Parker for Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”; other works on the bill are music from “Star Wars” and traditional and jazzy excerpts from “Nutcracker.” Both at Benaroya Hall, Seattle; $28-$133 (206-215-4747 or seattlesymphony.org).
‘Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon’
You have one week left to see this fascinating, millennia-spanning exhibit that traces the gradual synthesis and evolution of Peruvian identity in the arts. The show highlights how recently Peru has discovered major chapters in its past through archaeological finds. The works on display range from prehistoric to Spanish rococo to 20th-century photography, with the links between present-day Peruvians and their pre-conquest society firmly, hauntingly stated throughout. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays through Jan. 5, 2014, Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., Seattle; $12-$19.50 (206-654-3100 or www.seattleartmuseum.org). Note: Seattle Art Museum and the Seattle Asian Art Museum will be open on New Year’s Day.