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EntertainmentLong IslandTheater

How to get entertained on New Year's Eve

If you don't have a New Year's Eve party invitation -- or, in some cases, even if you do -- Long Island theater companies stand ready to entertain you. Do you need encouragement to venture out on the last night of the year? Or an excuse to dodge that party invitation you haven't had the courage to turn down?

Here are five entertaining alternatives. Last we checked, they still had room for you.

Bay Street Theater

Long Wharf, Sag Harbor

For an old-fashioned New Year's Eve of music, dancing and reminiscence, Bay Street has just the ball for you. Enjoy live music from the Who Dat Loungers and New Dawn, plus a DJ spinning oldies between sets, along with quirky film clips compiled by Sag Harbor's Joe Lauro, creator of the popular Legends Film Series. At midnight, Bay Street's big screen will tune in to Times Square while you toast 2012 to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne."

INFO 9 p.m. ($60, plus cash bar);, 631-725-9500

Gateway Playhouse

215 South Country Rd., Bellport

Speaking of legends, Gateway throws a Holiday Hop starring familiar names from the doo-wop and Motown eras. These include Cornell Gunter's Coasters, named for the late R&B singer. He was a key member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers who produced the hit "Poison Ivy." Similar groups -- much younger than their namesakes -- calling themselves the Marvelettes ("Please Mr. Postman") and The Platters ("The Great Pretender," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes") round out an evening of American oldies but goodies preceding the Beatles and British Invasion.

INFO 7 p.m. ($61), 10:30 p.m. ($86, includes open wine/beer bar, hors d'oeuvres, Champagne toast and Times Square broadcast); gateway, 631-286-1133

CM Performing Arts Center

931 Montauk Hwy., Oakdale

Come out for hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine, followed by a cabaret performance, hot buffet dinner after the show, then a satellite broadcast from Times Square -- hats, noisemakers and Champagne provided -- and more cabaret, plus dessert, for the first hours of 2012.

INFO 9 p.m. ($80);, 631-218-2810

Arena Players at the Vanderbilt Carriage House

180 Little Neck Rd., Centerport

All's fair on New Year's Eve. Love, of course, and even murder in the suspense-comedy romp "Murder at the Howard Johnson's." Wine, beer and pastries are served throughout the evening, along with a midnight Champagne toast.

INFO 9 p.m. ($60 a person, $90 for two); arenaplayers .org, 516-293-0674

Theatre Three

412 Main St., Port Jefferson

Long Island Comedy Festival spreads the laughs around early on the Eve, with two shows featuring Stevie G.B. (the accountant who does Groucho), Maria Walsh (self-proclaimed "America's naughtiest mommy") and Vegas-Atlantic City regular Rob Falcone, hosted by Paul Anthony. You'll be home to toast the new year at midnight.

INFO 6 p.m. ($25), 8 p.m. ($40);, 631-928-9100

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