ALAMEDA -- Alameda businesses and organizations have put together a wide range of options for Islanders looking to go out on the town this New Year's Eve. That means that residents can find lots of fun close to home and leave their cars behind while ringing in the new year.

The Alameda Theatre & Cineplex will host a New Year's Eve celebration by showing "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" at 10:30 p.m. Monday. For $10, guests can see the movie and enjoy a New Year Eve's countdown at 11:45 p.m., during an intermission. Event organizers invite community members to come "enjoy an alcohol-free evening for all ages."

The Alameda Theatre will share the proceeds of half of all tickets sales with local charities, including the Alameda High School Music Boosters, Alameda High School DECA (a marketing and business club), Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter, Encinal High School PTSA, Alameda Civic Ballet, Greater Alameda Business Association, Park Street Business Association and West Alameda Business Association.

At Rhythmix Cultural Works on Blanding, Bay Area-based comedian Josh Kornbluth will present his "Red Diaper Baby" show at 7 and 10 p.m. Monday. The program presents "a poignant celebration of a neurotic child's awkward yet heartfelt journey into adulthood," according to Rhythmix.


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"Josh received a standing ovation for his October show at Temple Israel" on Bay Farm, said Ruth Belikove, who helped put that event together. "It will not be the same monologue, and I hope many Alamedans will come to see him again. His material is autobiographical, which makes him so amusing and very funny."

According to Kornbluth, a man with "a deep fear of transitions," the show highlights "thorny subjects as sex, politics and the possible overuse of baby powder," along with details about a young boy who believed he was destined to grow up to lead a communist revolution in America. Tickets are $30 to $40, and the 10 p.m. show includes a champagne toast. See www.rhythmix.org or call 510-865-5060.

Nearby on New Year's Eve, the Speisekammer Restaurant will host a show by the Saddle Cats, an Oakland-based American Western swing four-piece ensemble, which is set to perform from 9 a.m. to midnight. Guests also can order German food and beer usually found on the menu, as well as some New Year Eve's specialty items.

"It's a local band that plays here regularly and is really a lot of fun," said Cindy Kahl, a co-owner of the Lincoln Avenue establishment. "The Saddle Cats play vintage Western Swing, like what you hear from Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys."

The musical group features Bobby Black on steel guitar, Richard Chon on fiddle and vocals, Gordon Clegg on guitar and Bing Nathan on bass. The members also plan to perform at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, which will take place from Jan. 28 through Feb. 2 in Elko, Nev.

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