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Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2003 02:20 pm

First night

New performers, new venues, and a New Year

art704
First Night will end with a fireworks display — just like last year

More than 50 performances are planned for this year's "First Night Springfield" celebration.

Among new acts appearing on New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, are:

• Reggio "The Hoofer," who will showcase authentic and traditional tap dancing, incorporating African foot stomping and Irish step dancing. Reggio performs twice at the Center for the Arts.

• Comic Craig Sjogerman, whose "Dr. Geshundheit Clown Therapy Show" mixes physical comedy, eccentric dance, juggling, wisecracks, and acrobatics. Sjogerman performs at the Center for the Arts.

• Warren Brown, who portrays Mark Twain in a Chautauqua-style audience question-and-answer session. Brown performs at the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, a new venue this year for First Night.

Special features this year include Art Golf, an interactive visual art project, and "Manifest Destiny," a group of performance artists at First United Methodist Church.

In the third-floor boardroom of the new Center for the Arts, composer, artist and teacher David Cain presents "Unbroken Media and Art" from 9 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.

First Night again will feature free horse-drawn trolley rides. And Darren Best returns to sculpt ice from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The original First Night was launched in Boston in 1976 as part of the bicentennial celebration. Today, more than 175 cities plan similar family-oriented, alcohol-free New Year's Eve celebrations. Our First Night is presented by the Springfield Area Arts Council with support from the City of Springfield, the Illinois Arts Council, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and dozens of area corporate sponsors.

Admission to First Night events after 7 p.m. is $12 for adults, $5 for youth. Admission buttons may be purchased in advance -- $9 for adults, $5 for youth, or $25 for a family (two adults and two youths; additional children are $3 each with family purchase). Area grocers, the Renaissance and Hilton hotels and other locations are selling the buttons. They can also be purchased online at www.springfieldartsco.org , the Web site of the Springfield Area Arts Council.

Here's the schedule of First Night 2004 events and performers on Wed., Dec. 31:

2:15 p.m.-2:45 p.m.
Magician Richard Landry and Ansar Shrine Clowns (Springfield High School commons). DePriest Puppets (Springfield High School auditorium).

3:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Cowboy Randy Erwin and Ansar Shrine Clowns (Springfield High School commons). Dance of India (Springfield High School auditorium).

3:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Magician Richard Landry and Ansar Shrine Clowns (Springfield High School commons). Organist Mark Gifford (Springfield High School auditorium).

5:00 p.m.-6:45 p.m.
Barton Pipe Organ Concert with Mark Gifford (tickets $5 at the door or included with First Night button purchase).

7:00 p.m.-7:45 p.m.
Springfield Children's Choir (First United Methodist Church). Art Golf and performance artists Manifest Destiny (First United Methodist Church, lower level). Bells in Motion (First Presbyterian Church). Storyteller Mama Katambwa and Ba Ba Ray Herod (Lincoln Public Library). Sangamon Valley Dulcimer Players (Illinois Historic Preservation Agency). Salsa music and dancing with Image DJ Jose Adan (Center for the Arts, lower level). Chahrm the Band with Ada Lou (Center for the Arts, first floor gallery). Craig Sjogerman a.k.a. "Dr. Gesundheit" (Center for the Arts, first floor theater 1), Springfield Ballet Company performs excerpts from Rockballet and The Nutcracker (Center for the Arts, second floor dance studio). Springfield Theatre Centre (Center for the Arts, third floor theater 3). Jack Flash, a Rolling Stones tribute band (Center for the Arts, third floor club room). Darren Best, ice sculptor (526 E. Capitol Ave.).

8:00 p.m.-8:45 p.m.
Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony (First United Methodist Church). Art Golf and Performance artists Manifest Destiny (First United Methodist Church, lower level). Four Sopranos (First Presbyterian Church). Second Harvest performs acoustic folk and rock (Lincoln Public Library). St. Andrew's Pipes & Drums (Illinois Historical Preservation Agency). Salsa Music & Dancing with Image DJ Jose Adan (Center for the Arts, lower level). Russel Brazzel plays classical guitar (Center for the Arts, first floor gallery). Springfield Muni Opera (Center for the Arts, first floor theater 1). St. Andrew's Dancers perform Scottish and Irish dance (Center for the Arts, second floor dance studio). Active & Creative Teen Theatre (Center for the Arts, third floor theater 3). Comedian Abdul-Hakim Shabazz (starts at 8:15 p.m., Center for the Arts, third floor club room). Darren Best, ice sculptor (526 E. Capitol Ave.)

9:00 p.m.-9:45 p.m.
Rochester Junior High Literary Group performs speech and drama skits (First United Methodist Church). Art Golf and performance artists Manifest Destiny (First United Methodist Church, lower level). The Fantastic Jones Family (First Presbyterian Church). Storyteller Mama Katambwa & Ba Ba Ray Herod (Lincoln Public Library). Warren Brown portrays Mark Twain (Illinois Historic Preservation Agency). The Threshers perform bluegrass, reels, hoedowns, waltzes, ballads (Center for the Arts, lower level). Bill Furry performs original and traditional guitar music (Center for the Arts, first floor gallery). Reggio "The Hoofer" performs tap and hoofing (Center for the Arts, first floor theater 1). Troupe Zehava performs Arabic and Egyptian dance (Center for the Arts, second floor dance studio). Adams & Hoffman perform jazz, folks and world music (Center for the Arts, third floor club room).

10:00 p.m.-10:45 p.m.
The Good Brothers perform improvisational jazz (First United Methodist Church). Art Golf and performance artists Manifest Destiny (First United Methodist Church, lower level). Mighty Sons of Zion (First Presbyterian Church). Folksinger Chris Vallillo (Lincoln Public Library). Warren Brown portrays Mark Twain (Illinois Historic Preservation Agency). The Threshers perform bluegrass, reels, hoedowns, waltzes, ballads (Center for the Arts, lower level). Eric Noden performs American roots music (Center for the Arts, first floor gallery). Craig Sjogerman a.k.a. "Dr. Gesundheit" (Center for the Arts, first floor theater). Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project (Center for the Arts, third floor theater 3). Adams & Hoffman perform jazz, folk, and world music (Center for the Arts, third floor club room).

11:00 p.m.-11:30 p.m.
New Hope Baptist Youth Choir (First United Methodist Church). Art Golf (First United Methodist Church, lower level). "Toccatas & Sonatas" performed by organist Rudolf Zuiderveld (First Presbyterian Church). Folksinger Chris Vallillo (Lincoln Public Library). Eric Noden performs American roots music (Center for the Arts, first floor gallery). Reggio "The Hoofer" performs tap and hoofing (Center for the Arts, first floor theater 1). Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project (Center for the Arts, third floor theater 3). Abdul-Hakim Shabazz comedy (Center for the Arts, third floor club room).

11:45 p.m.
Musician Eric Noden leads a parade from Lincoln Public Library west on Capitol Avenue.

12 a.m.
Fireworks finale.

Evening events listed by venues

First United Methodist Church, 501 E. Capitol Ave.
7-7:45 p.m. Springfield Children's Choir
8-8:45 p.m. Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony
9-9:45 p.m. Rochester Jr. High Literary Group
10-10:45 p.m. The Good Brothers
11-11:30 p.m. New Hope Baptist Youth Choir

First United Methodist Church (lower level)
7-11 p.m. Performance Art "Manifest Destiny"
7-11:30 p.m. Art Golf

First Presbyterian Church, 321 S. Seventh St.
7-7:45 p.m. Bells in Motion
8-8:45 p.m. Four Sopranos
9-9:45 p.m. The Fantastic Jones Family
10-10:45 p.m. Mighty Sons of Zion
11-11:30 p.m. "Toccatas & Sonatas" by Rudolf Zuiderveld

Lincoln Public Library, 326 S. Seventh St.
7-7:45 p.m. Mama Katambwa & Ba Ba Ray Herod
8-8:45 p.m. Second Harvest
9-9:45 p.m. Mama Katambwa & Ba Ba Ray Herod
10-11:30 p.m. Chris Vallillo

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 313 S. Sixth St.
7-7:45 p.m. Sangamon Valley Dulcimer Players
8-8:45 p.m. St. Andrew's Pipes & Drums
9-10:45 p.m. Warren Brown performs as Mark Twain

Center for the Arts, 429 S. Sixth St., lower level
7-8:45 p.m. Salsa Music & Dancing
9-10:45 p.m. The Threshers

Center for the Arts, first-floor gallery
7-7:45 p.m. Chahrm the Band
8-8:45 p.m. Russel Brazzel
9-9:45 p.m. Bill Furry
10-11:30 p.m. Eric Noden

Center for the Arts, Theater 1
7-7:45 p.m. Craig Sjogerman
8-8:45 p.m. Springfield Muni Opera
9-9:45 p.m. Reggio "The Hoofer"
10-10:45 p.m. Craig Sjogerman
11-11:30 p.m. Reggio "The Hoofer"

Center for the Arts, dance studio
7-7:45 p.m. Springfield Ballet Company
8-8:45 p.m. St. Andrew's Dancers
9-9:45 p.m. Troupe Zehava

Center for the Arts, Theater 3
7-7:45 p.m. Springfield Theatre Center
8-8:45 p.m. Active & Creative Teen Theatre
10-11:30 p.m. Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project

Center for the Arts, club room
7-7:45 p.m. Jack Flash
8-8:45 p.m. Abdul-Hakim Shabazz
9-10:45 p.m. Adams & Hoffman
11-11:30 p.m. Abdul-Hakim Shabazz

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