Given that 2016 was a drag in many respects, what better way to send off the annus horribilis with a night of laughter? This year's New Year's Eve Comedy Extravaganza at Massey Hall is hosted by Caroline Rhea, a riotous Montreal-born stand-up specialist who, among other things, hipped us to a Broadway musical that is not called Hamilton.
What she's listening to: "I saw the Broadway show Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 and my obsession over how magnificent Josh Groban's voice and acting are has me distracted. Dust and Ashes from the soundtrack is hauntingly sad. I have listened to it so many times that the couple living below me has broken up. Come to New York and see it – it's worth the 3,000-per-cent exchange rate."
What she's reading: "I like to read three books at a time. I always have a self-help going just to keep me on a spiritual track, and, these days, Byron Katie's Loving What Is is helping me from succumbing to the gloom of the New York winter and the reality of the recent election. I am always reading something with my daughter Ava. We have started The Chronicles of Narnia series. Very interesting to read it again as an adult and understand all of the Biblical references and symbolism. I also have an advance copy of A.J. Mendez Brooks's Crazy is My Super Power, which comes out in April. It is a fantastic, heartbreakingly funny memoir of a woman who endures tremendous hardship to realize her dream of becoming a professional wrestler."
What she's watching: "I love Grace and Frankie on Netflix. I could watch Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda read the phone book. I love the show's writing and I think that actress June Diane Raphael is a comedic genius. A joy to watch."
New Year's Eve Comedy Extravaganza, hosted by Caroline Rhea and headlined by Mike MacDonald, happens Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. $39.50 to $69.50. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 416-872-4255 or masseyhall.com.