CITYWIDE — New Year’s Eve conjures up images of fabulous people in sparkling dresses, overflowing champagne glasses and club music so loud feet will be tapping four-on-the-floor until Valentine’s Day.

If the dance floor isn’t calling, Santa Monicans have their pick of a number of unique events to ring in 2012.

Steve Spill and his wife Bozena Wrobel will greet the new year as they have for the last 14 — with magic.

The owners of Magicopolis, located on Fourth Street between Broadway and Santa Monica Boulevard, and their team of two additional magicians hope to delight and entertain ticketholders with their long-running act “Escape Reality.”

It won’t resemble a club scene, Spill promised, although the magic does look better the more you drink.

“It has a taste of all the different types of magic, kind of a sampling,” Spill said.

Attendees can expect high-impact illusions involving a daring escape as spikes fall from the ceiling, as well as close-up slight of hand and mind-reading.

The show evolved over the last decade and a half and it’s now “the very best,” Spill said.

“It’ll definitely give you something to talk about after the event,” he said.

The magicians will also do a 30-minute workshop to teach interested children and adults some magic of their own, including a version of the “cut and restored rope” trick and a fortune telling (cellophane) fish, all of which will be included in a souvenir bag of tricks.

The assembled will celebrate with pizza, champagne and sparkling cider.

“I think what’s good about it is that it’s an all generational sort of thing,” Spill said. “It’s a date night, but a lot of families come, kids as well as adults. It’s not all drinks and dancing.”

Tickets for the performance cost $60 and are available at the shop and over the phone at (310) 451-2241.

Players at the Santa Monica Playhouse will also be putting on a show, although it’ll involve a little less Led Zeppelin and a little more Jewish patter songs.

The players spend all year taking suggestions for their “best of” end of the year revue, a run down of fan favorites from a season of performances.

The tradition began 39 years ago, said Evelyn Rudie, co-artistic director at the playhouse.

“We were going to do it just once,” she said, laughing.

Fans let the company know what they did well through the year by phone, e-mail and in conversations after the show, and the players use the month of December to spin that into a cohesive performance.

It will run twice, once at 6 p.m. and once at 9:30 p.m. Attendees will get a crack at a complimentary buffet and then celebrate with champagne and cider.

The earlier show lets young children get a chance to enjoy the festivities and still get to bed on time, while the later one feels like New Year’s. The audience can rush the stage to dance and toast with the actors.

“We adore it,” Rudie said.

Tickets are available at 1211 Fourth St. and cost $39.50 for general admission at the early show and $49.50 for the later.

If a 6 p.m. show will get the kids to bed, a 4 p.m. celebration will just get the party started.

Ye Olde King’s Head pub and a number of other British establishments in Santa Monica will host an English New Year’s at 4 p.m. complimented by a live broadcast of the celebration at Big Ben in London.

“There are a lot of ex-pats here, and they love to celebrate as all their family at home do,” said Dusty Kerr, manager of Ye Olde King’s Head.

That doesn’t mean they’ll be ignoring American traditions, however.

“At 4 p.m. we’ll put on the big screen Big Ben from London and go all the way to the American one,” Kerr said.

DJs will perform from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Jan. 1, and bag pipe players will travel from pub to pub, spreading a little more United Kingdom color.

“It’s really busy, it’s our busiest day of the year,” Kerr said. “It’s a great day, and everyone has fun.”

More traditional options abound as well.

Wokcano will host its second annual Black & White Masquerade Ball. Over 500 guests will munch on free hors d’oeuvres as they’re dazzled with a laser light show until the champagne toast at midnight.

Loews Hotel’s Ocean & Vine restaurant planned a prix-fixe menu for those looking to take it easy and celebrate with some bubbly and seasonal fresh food from chef Keith Roberts.

None of it is enough to tempt Santa Monica resident Rick Smith.

“I’ll be celebrating with friends,” Smith said, simply.

ashley@www.smdp.com

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