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New Year Fireworks, Doherty Gig, Travolta: London Weekend

Tamara Rojo, the newly appointed artistic director of English National Ballet, in
Tamara Rojo, the newly appointed artistic director of English National Ballet, in "Sleeping Beauty" with Vadim Muntagirov. The production returns to the London Coliseum from Jan. 9 to 19. Photographer: Patrick Baldwin/English National Ballet via Bloomberg

Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Pete Doherty is showing a newly sensitive side in acoustic songs he’s playing in Brixton.

Doherty is trying to get the headlines to focus on his music rather than his years of drug abuse and relationships with Kate Moss and Amy Winehouse. His new material is quiet, reflective and far from the punky thrash of his rock bands Libertines and Babyshambles.

Jamm, 261 Brixton Rd, London SW9 6LH. Information: or +44-20-7274-5537.


Marlene Dietrich and Carmen Miranda bring glamour to Southeast Asia.

More exactly, they serve as role models for a troupe of cross-dressing British military entertainers in “Privates on Parade,” directed and produced by Michael Grandage. The musical farce is set in 1948 and features three gay soldiers, one of them ostentatiously so.

“Privates on Parade” elicits laughter even as it tackles serious themes such as masculinity and war. Simon Russell Beale and the rest of the cast never disappoint.

“Privates on Parade” is at the Noel Coward Theatre. or +44-844-482-5140.

The Ivy is the ultimate theaterland restaurant and well worth considering when seeing “Privates on Parade.”

The Ivy has never been particularly expensive, and it’s now much easier to get a table than it was a few years ago. Information: or +44-20-7836-4751.

Saturday Night

It’s not every day you see senior management in pointes.

English National Ballet’s new artistic director Tamara Rojo -- formerly a Royal Ballet star -- is refusing to hang up her tutu, and no one’s complaining. Watch her sparkle as Clara in “The Nutcracker” at the Coliseum on Saturday evening. The production runs through Jan. 5.

From Jan. 9, you can see Rojo and other members of the company perform “Sleeping Beauty.”

Information: or +44-20-7581-1245.


The white polyester suit that brought fame to John Travolta has been borrowed from its present owner -- a Mayfair-based businessman -- and put on show.

The suit, one of three bought in Brooklyn for “Saturday Night Fever,” sits on a dancing mannequin in “Hollywood Costume” at the Victoria & Albert Museum. There’s also Bruce Willis’s blood-stained shirt from “Die Hard,” Robert De Niro’s beige army jacket from “Taxi Driver” and Meryl Streep’s frumpy blue suit from “The Iron Lady.”

“Hollywood Costume” is a popular end-of-year show -- so book ahead. Through Jan. 27 at the V&A, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL.

Information: or +44-20-7942-2000.

If you are looking for a treat while visiting the show, Daphne’s is a popular and charming restaurant whose longevity is testament to its elegance. Daphne’s is open over the holiday period (apart from Jan. 1) and there’s a set menu if you are on a budget. Information: or +44-20-7589-4257.

New Year’s Eve

London’s skies light up on New Year’s Eve, courtesy of the Mayor. Expect thousands to park along the river for a view. The party starts with a live DJ at 10 p.m. Then Big Ben’s loud bonging sets off the fireworks. Also on the menu: a collective “Auld Lang Syne” singalong:

If you’d rather skip the fireworks, put on your skates and go for a swerve right on the river, at Somerset House:

Or you can cross the Thames to the Southbank Centre for the Vintage New Year’s Eve Party. Tickets are priced from 100 pounds ($161), with options including gourmet dining. The party at the Royal Festival Hall includes DJs such as Sink the Pink, a George Formby impersonator and many live bands. Information:

Quaglino’s is hosting a New Year’s Eve Ball. Tickets cost 125 pounds for a three-course meal, a glass of Champagne and live music from a swing band and a DJ.

Mestizo is popular with Mexicans in London and this restaurant, just off the Euston Road, may be a great place to spend New Year’s Eve. There’s a taco party in the basement bar. Tickets are 10 pounds if you book ahead, or 15 pounds on the door. In the restaurant itself, Fiesta de Ano Nuevo kicks off at 8 p.m. Tickets are 55 pounds per person. Information: or +44-20-7387-4064.

New Year’s Day

London is seeing off 2012 by trotting out the Olympic volunteers who made the Games happen.

This year’s New Year’s Day Parade will feature 400 smiling and waving volunteers and performers who took part in the opening and closing ceremonies. They’ll be accompanied, as they were for the Games, by drum ensemble Pandemonium.

The parade starts at 11:45 a.m. in Piccadilly before winding its way to Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square.


(Farah Nayeri writes for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Greg Evans and Craig Seligman on film.

To contact the writer on this story: Farah Nayeri in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at

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