Larger Theaters


• 1308 Fifth Ave, 625-1900,

Elf: The Musical: (Through Dec 31): Based on the very funny hit holiday film starring Will Ferrell.

The Music Man (Feb 7–March 10): "You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays."


• 700 Union St, 292-7676,

A Christmas Carol (Through Dec 30): ACT Theater's annual performance of the Dickens holiday story as adapted by early Seattle theater pioneer Greg Falls. Starring R. Hamilton Wright and Jeff Steitzer as Scrooge (on alternating nights), directed by John Langs.

Oedipus El Rey (Dec 6–16): The story of the world's most famous motherfucker, set against the backdrop of a prison in Southern California. This adaptation, performed by eSe Teatro, was written by Luis Alfaro, who has won a MacArthur Genius Award for his Chicano versions of Greek classics, including Electricidad, his take on Electra.

Wisemen (Dec 13–22): ACT's holiday musical comedy about three Jewish attorneys—Goldberg, Frankenstein, and Murray—who set out to help Joseph of Nazareth figure out who pregnacized Mary.

14/48: The World's Quickest Theater Festival (Jan 4–12): The return of Seattle's fast-and-loose performance festival, in which a small army of local theater-makers write, rehearse, design, and perform seven new plays in 24 hours, catch a few moments of sleep, and then do it all over again.

The Seagull (Jan 23–Feb 10): "Man, you know what's great about socialism?" some actors will tell you. "State-sponsored theater. Those guys would rehearse a single Chekhov play for like three years." This ensemble, led by director John Langs, has been scratching that itch for the past nine months, studying and rehearsing their version of The Seagull. Starring Alexandra Tavares, Brandon J. Simmons, Julie Briskman, and others.

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Jan 31–Feb 17): A 1967 play by Peter Nichols about a couple whose daughter has cerebral palsy and how they use humor to cope. This is the first production by new company Thalia's Umbrella, and it involves Leslie Law, Brandon Whitehead, Susan Corzatte, and others.

These Streets (Feb 22–March 10): A world-premiere rock 'n' roll play with a live band about women in the Seattle music scene in the 1990s. Creators Sarah Rudinoff, Gretta Harley, and Elizabeth Kenny based the show on dozens of interviews with real live rock 'n' rollers and included music by the Gits, 7 Year Bitch, Hammberbox, and more.


• University of Washington Campus, 543-4880,

Compagnie Marie Chouinard (Jan 24–26): Montreal-based choreographer Marie Chouinard makes work that is strange without being esoteric—it's bold and sometimes controversial, no subtle parsing necessary. The most iconic Chouinard image may be dancers with crutches and other mobility aids strapped to their bodies, bristling with new aluminum limbs and new possibilities for movement, balance, and extension. In honor of the centennial of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, her company will perform Chouinard's Le sacre du printemps—another bold gesture, to choreograph that—as well as 24 Preludes, set to Chopin.

Black Grace (Feb 21–23): New Zealand's leading contemporary dance company, led by choreographer Neil Ieremia, presents a fusion of Pacific Islander and contemporary dance. The Toronto Globe and Mail calls it "an explosive combination of Samoan ritual, martial arts, and daredevil risk-taking."


• 1932 Second Ave, 682-1414,

Black Nativity (Dec 6–23): A longtime Seattle holiday tradition, Black Nativity uses the Langston Hughes poem as a springboard for dance, song, and a gospel service.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Jan 15–27): See the listing under Balagan Theater.

SPANK! The Fifty Shades of Grey Parody (Feb 13–17): Written and directed by Jim Millan of The Kids in the Hall, Marijuanalogues with Tommy Chong, and more.

Bill Frisell, The Great Flood (March 2): Film and staging by Bill Morrison, music composed and performed by music-theater-performance genius Bill Frisell, based on the Mississippi River flood of 1927.


• 1303 NE 45th St, 682-1414,

Nick Kroll (Dec 14): Comedy.


• 100 W Roy St, 217-9888,

Kyle Loven (Dec 5–10): The local experimental puppeteer—whose work has been described in The Stranger as "a little bit Edward Gorey, a little bit Samuel Beckett, and a little bit Czech surrealism"—performs another one of his expressionistic shows with an intricately rigged set, titled Loss Machine.

Catherine Cabeen and Company (Jan 17–20): Local choreographer and OtB favorite (Into the Void, The A.W.A.R.D. Show!, the NW New Works Festival) returns with Fire!, an "immersive stage environment" with six dancers exploring the legacy of artist Niki de Saint Phalle, who worked with paint, sculpture, collage, naiveté, femininity, and guns and knives.

She She Pop and Their Fathers (Jan 31–Feb 3): The Berlin-based group integrates big band covers and father/daughter dances (with the performers' actual septuagenarian fathers) in Testament, a vision of paternal relationships from King Lear to Dolly Parton.

12 Minutes Max (Feb 10–11): This round of new 12-minute shorts is curated by Gabrielle Schutz (director/choreographer), Daveda Russell (interim executive director, CD Forum), and Rahwa Habte (cofounder, Hidmo). Performed at Washington Hall (153 14th Ave).

Annie Dorsen (Feb 21–24): The cocreator and director of the 2008 Tony Award–winning musical Passing Strange brings an "algorithmic parsing of Hamlet," digitalized and reprogrammed in this part-live performance, part-AI-computerized show titled The False Peach. Cocollaborators include Scott Shepherd (Gatz), Mark Hansen (Listening Post), and Jim Findlay (Ralph Lemon, Cynthia Hopkins).


• McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, 441-2424,

Nutcracker (Dec 7–29): The Stowell/Sendak one that premiered on Dec 13, 1983, and was intended, in Sendak's words, to reach beyond "humongous Christmas tree and fatuous Candyland."

Roméo et Juliette (Feb 1–10): The Jean-Christophe Maillot version, with Prokofiev's score. In 2009, Jen Graves described it in The Stranger as: "hot... It seduces the audience with everything the dancers have, not just some of it—their command and their release; their Olympian ability not just to spin bolt upright but also to ache... Feels are copped. Making out is not symbolized: It occurs."


• 911 Pine St, 682-1414,

Louis CK (Dec 20–21): One of the grand masters of 21st-century, disgruntled-but-lovable schlub comedy.

The Book of Mormon (Jan 8–20): "I believe that God has a plan for all of us. I believe that plan involves me getting my own planet. And I believe that in 1978, God changed his mind about black people! I am a Mormon, and a Mormon just believes."

Lewis Black (Feb 1): Performs The Rant Is Due, his standup show about the presidential election.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Feb 9): Performs Three to Max by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin.

War Horse (Feb 13–24): Seattle Theater Group and Seattle Repertory Theater copresent the WWI story of a boy and his trusty steed Joey, made spectacular with puppetry by the renowned Handspring Puppet Company.


• McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, 389-7676,, for more, see page 33.

Cinderella (Jan 12–26): Rossini's spritely opera.

La Bohème (Feb 23–March 10): Puccini's ever-popular opera about young love, young artists, and tuberculosis.


• 155 Mercer St, 443-2222,

Inspecting Carol (Through Dec 23): In this ensemble-developed play originally spearheaded by Daniel Sullivan in 1991—now revived by current artistic director Jerry Manning—the curtain rises backstage on a theater's rattletrap production of A Christmas Carol that is falling apart.

New Play Festival (Jan 5–Feb 3): Workshops of four new plays, including the second part of All the Way by Robert Schenkkan (the first premiered at Oregon Shakespeare Festival this past season), a commissioned piece about the evangelical "ex-gay" phenomenon by Samuel Hunter, a docu-drama about Vietnam antiwar groups by Elizabeth Heffron and Kit Bakke, and a play by Justin Huertas about a concert cellist with superpowers.

American Buffalo (Jan 11–Feb 3): Mamet's searing comedy about greed and revenge in a junk shop, starring Charles Leggett, Hans Altwies, and Zachary Simonson. Directed by Wilson Milam (Glengarry Glen Ross, The Seafarer).

Photograph 51 (Feb 1–March 3): Another woman screwed over by history—the race to discover DNA's double-helix structure leaves overlooked scientist Rosalind Franklin out of the books. Starring Kirsten Potter, Bradford Farwell, Darragh Kennan, and others. Directed by Braden Abraham.


• 216 Union St, 838-4333,

Land of The Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker (Dec 11–27): The seventh annual installment of this bawdy-ized ballet with Jasper McCann and Lily Verlaine, Waxie Moon, Kitten La Rue, and new cast members from Ballet Bellevue and Spectrum Dance Theater.

The Big Gig (Jan 26): A cabaret/variety show.

The Atomic Bombshells (Feb 14–16): The popular Seattle burlesque group.


• 303 Front St N, Issaquah, 425-392-2202,

Fiddler on the Roof (Nov 7–Dec 30): The famous musical inspired by Marc Chagall's paintings of Eastern European Jewish life, which often featured a fiddler. Starring Eric Polani Jensen, directed by David Ira Goldstein.

The Mousetrap (Jan 16–Feb 24): Agatha Christie's mystery story, and the longest-running play in modern history.

Smaller Theaters


• 1100 E Pike St, 728-0933,

The Woman in the Wall (Through Dec 15): Pacific Play Company presents a world premiere by Daniel Tarker about a woman and an infant found buried in the wall of an old Seattle high-rise, and a journalist who tries to sort out the mystery.

Spin the Bottle (Dec 7, Jan 4, Feb 1, March 1): Annex Theater's long-running, late-night buffet of monthly entertainment. You never know what's gonna turn up.

Weird and Awesome with Emmett Montgomery (Jan 6, Feb 3, March 3): A monthly event, curated by comedian Emmett Montgomery, with jokes, songs, storytelling, and other stuff. Performers are often encouraged to do something they don't normally do.

Undo (Jan 18–Feb 16): Rachel and Joe are getting divorced, and everyone they know is invited. This world premiere by Holly Arsenault takes place in a world "where the worst moment of your life is something that people dress up for."

Second Date (Jan 29–Feb 13): Three playwrights and three directors have "their first collaborative kiss."


• 4711 California Ave SW, 938-0963,

The Winter Wonderettes (Through Dec 30): A holiday show with four-part harmony and late-'60s nostalgia.

Shirley Valentine (Jan 23–Feb 18): A middle-aged Liverpool housewife gets a dream vacation and a new sense of purpose.


• Erickson Theater Off Broadway, 1524 Harvard Ave, 329-1050,

Avenue Q (Through Dec 16): A recommended rendition of the puppet musical loosely based on Sesame Street, but all grown up (which isn't always a happy thing).

Three Men and a Baby Jesus (Dec 7–15): Three guys, one god—what could go wrong?

A Very Blood Squad Christmas (Dec 22): Improv on a horror-movie theme.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Jan 17–27): "How did some slip of a girly boy from communist East Berlin become the internationally ignored song stylist barely standing before you?" Directed by the talented Ian Bell (Seattle Confidential, the Brown Derby series), starring the talented Jerick Hoffer (aka Jinkx Monsoon), performed at the Moore Theater.

Next to Normal (Feb 8–March 2): Coproduction with Contemporary Classics and directed by Brandon Ivie. Starring Marya Sea Kaminski.


• Center House Theater, Seattle Center, 216-0833,

Owen Meany's Christmas Pageant (Through Dec 23): "Another Book-It adaptation of a John Irving novel."

Geek Out (Dec 28–29): The latest in Book-It's new site-specifc experiment called Circumbendibus. This one, directed by Andy Jensen, will be "a celebration of sci-fi, new media, and the graphic novel" at Erickson Theater Off Broadway (1524 Harvard Ave).

Anna Karenina (Feb 5–March 3): Another dose of Russian angst from Seattle theaters this winter. Adapted by Kevin McKeon, directed by Mary Machala.


• 429 Fairview Ave N, boomtheater

Give a Dog a Bone (Through Dec 8): A new one-act about two lovers and their turbulent history in a strip club. Following the play will be dance by new company A Little Burlesque.

End of the World Party (Dec 21): Another seizing of the supposed Mayan-end-of-the-world thing (which real-life Mayans have rejected as sensationalist hogwash, but whatever) as an excuse to have a party.

New World (Feb 1–23): A new comedy written and directed by Daniel Theyer about explorer-Vikings.


• 94 Pike St, 652-0832 ext. 2,

Tune in Tokyo (Through March 30): The Can Can Castaways' sexy, neato Japan-pop dance show.


• 109 S Washington St, 628-0303,

Hari Kondabolu (Dec 5–8): The Comedy Underground has been the primary incubation tank for many local comedians who have gone on to great things—see their website for full listings in the near future. This December, Hari Kondabolu (who has won awards at national comedy festivals, been on international tours, and is working as a writer for Chris Rock's awesome Totally Biased on FX) tries out some new material on us.


• Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave,

Salon de DASSdance (Dec 5, Jan 7, Feb 4, March 4): DASS's monthly collection of hors d'oeuvres and dance, photography, live music, etc.

Mini-Nutcracker and Santa Breakfast (Dec 15–16): A miniature performance of the Nutcracker for miniature humans, with a continental breakfast.


• 127 Boylston Ave E, 588-6959,

Physical Graffiti (Jan 4–Feb 23): A "collaborative art installation" by digital and street artists, dancers, choreographers, musicians, and fashionistas.


• Ballard Underground, 2220 NW Market St, 395-5458,

Hamlet (Jan 18–Feb 3): A gender-swapped production (the ladies philosophize and plot, the men watch helplessly) directed by Beth Raas-Berquist.

Battle of the Bards (Feb 15–16): Ghost Light's annual fundraiser in which three ensembles compete, in 20-minute productions, for a slot in the next season. This round: a rock-opera adaptation of Othello, a steampunk adaptation of Sleeping Beauty, and a modern-warfare take on Trojan Women by Euripides.


• 104 17th Ave S, 684-4758,

Langston Birthday Bash (Feb 1): Motown music and dance to celebrate the 111th birthday of Langston Hughes. The invitation says: "Dress up or down, just come."

Call Mr. Robeson (Feb 8–9): A solo show about Paul Robeson—with some of his most famous songs and speeches—by Nigerian performer Tayo Aluko.

From Black Africa to the White House: A Journey of Resistance, Triumph, and Spirituals (Feb 10): A talk about domination and resistance, from preslavery Africa to the inauguration of Barack Obama, punctuated with music. Performed by Tayo Aluko.

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble (Feb 16): A world premiere of FUSION, choreographed by Haitian choreographer Jeanguy Saintus.

Harriet's Return (March 1–2): A solo show by Karen Meadows about the life of Harriet Tubman.


• Solo Bar, 200 Roy St,

The Pipeline (Dec 17, Jan 21, Feb 18): A monthly play-reading series at Solo Bar.


• 1404 18th Ave, 271-4430,

How They Attack Us (Through Dec 15): A world premiere by Kevin McKeon about the media, politics, and paranoia.


• 915 Pine St,

Homo for the Holidays (Dec 14–24): A queer burlesque holiday show with the Cherdonna and Lou Show, Jinkx Monsoon, Kitten LaRue, Ben Delacreme, and others.


• 1114 Howell St, 233-9873,

Dina Martina Christmas Show (Through Jan 6): An all-new holiday train wreck—in a good way—from the psycho-drag superstar who won the most recent Stranger Genius Award for performance. Dina's pianist, Chris Jeffries, won the first-ever Stranger Genius Award for performance. Behold, the bookended geniuses!


• 1634 11th Ave, 322-7030,

Jalopies (Jan 4–20): A solo show in which Mark Cherniack plays nine people living in a Seattle-area retirement home.


• Inscape Arts, 815 Seattle Blvd S,

New Year's Moving-In Party (Dec 31): Celebrate Satori's move into the company's new home after its old building (the artists' warren known as the "516 building") was shut down by the city.

Hotel Party (Jan 12): A "recurring rager" with rough cuts of new work by writers and performers.

reWilding (March 1–17): A world-premiere collaboration with Martyna Majok (Yale School for Drama) that, as of this writing, is still nascent but has something to do with swamps and a new society.


• 201 Thomas St, 441-3322,

The Wizard of Oz (Through Jan 6): Starring well-loved local actors such as including Kasey Nusbickel, Peter Crook, and Todd Jefferson Moore. Directed by Linda Hartzell.

Dot and Ziggy (Jan 15–Feb 17): Created by Linda Hartzell, Mark Perry, and SCT, this play-with-music explores what a skunk and a ladybug have in common.

The Edge of Peace (Feb 28–March 17): Set at the end of World War II in a small Illinois town, the story centers around Buddy, the younger brother of a soldier at war.


• Magnuson Park Community Center Building, 7120 62nd Ave NE, 363-2809,

Scrooge: The Musical (Through Dec 9): A musical comedy about A Christmas Carol.

Altar Boyz (Feb 15–March 10): Satirical musical comedy about a Christian boy band.


• Bathhouse Theater, 7312 W Green Lake Dr N, 524-1300,

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Dec 7–24): The annual performance about a holiday pageant gone haywire and a pack of chaotic kids from "the infamous Herdman clan." Directed by Shana Bestock.

The Santaland Diaries (Dec 7–24): David Sedaris's memories of working as an elf in a Macy's Santaland is for "mature elves only." Starring Patrick Lennon, directed by Kelly Kitchens.

The Understudy (Jan 25–Feb 17): A slick Hollywood comedy featuring Mike Dooly, Brenda Joyner, and John Ulman. Directed by Kelly Kitchens.


• Center House Theater, Seattle Center, 733-8222,

A Doll's House (Jan 2–27): Some describe this Ibsen play as feminist, but he declared—in an 1898 speech to a Norwegian women's rights organization—that he "must declaim the honor of having consciously worked for the women's rights movement" as he didn't write with "any conscious thought of making propaganda" but only "the description of humanity." Either way, it ends with a wife leaving the house, slamming the door behind her. Starring Jenny Sue Johnson as Nora and Michael Patten as Torvald.


• 800 Lake Washington Blvd, 325-4161,

Fall Studio Series (Through Dec 9): World-premiere works by Olivier Wevers, Donald Byrd, and Crispin Spaeth. This is the 10th anniversary of Byrd's role as artistic director at Spectrum.


• DownStage Theater, 4029 Stone Way N, 633-1883,

A Child's Christmas in Wales (Dec 7–24): The sweet performance of Dylan Thomas's poem—with adult and child actors—returns for the holidays.

5X Tenn (or so) (Feb 15–March 9): Five seldom-produced one-act plays by Tennessee Williams including The Chalky White Substance and Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen.


• 204 N 85th St, 781-9707,

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol (Through Dec 29): A newish play by John Longenbaugh, directed by Scott Nolte.

Jeeves in Bloom (Jan 30–March 2): Bucolic mayhem based on the Wodehouse stories.


• 222 Mercer St, 802-0015,

Return to Paradise (Through Jan 27): A dinner-variety show set during the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle with visitations by Elvis, Bruce Lee, and Jimi Hendrix.


• Trinity Parish Church, 609 Eighth Ave,

Blithe Spirit (Jan 26–Feb 16): Noël Coward's comedy about a writer with two wives—one living, one ghostly.


• 1500 Summit Ave, 324-5801,

Fallen Angels (Through Dec 15): An amusing production of an early play by Noël Coward about wives who drink cocktails—while their husbands are away for a weekend of golf—and are waiting for "an assignation" with a French dude.

A Behanding in Spokane (Jan 25–Feb 3): Martin McDonagh set most of his violent, gallows-humor comedies among drunks, paramilitaries, and fools in rural Ireland. This one takes place in Eastern Washington. Directed by Peggy Gannon.


• 409 Seventh Ave S, 340-1049,

Ham for the Holidays (Through Dec 30): The long-running holiday tradition of sketch comedy and music with Dos Fallopia (Peggy Platt and Lisa Koch) and friends.


• 1428 Post Alley, 587-2414,

Improv Happy Hour (Through Dec 29): Improv comedy every Wednesday at 7 pm, with "an edgier story based on long-form comedy" instead of their Theatersports™ specialty.

Womb Escape (Through Dec 22): A competition between four teams of improvisers for an audience's hearts and minds.

A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol (Through Dec 29): This Scrooge-plus-audience-suggestions show was first performed in 1985.


• 1621 12th Ave, 325-8773,

Velocity Open Forum: Real/Time (Through Dec 10): A series of open houses, panels, book clubs, and other social events centered around the Next NW and Next Dance Cinema festivals. Included: a travelogue about American and Cambodian dancers working together in Cambodia; a panel with Wayne Horvitz, Adam Sekuler, and Mark Haim; happy hours at Boom Noodle; and more. See Velocity's website for details.

Velocity Is Burning (Dec 6): A "kooky-queer cabaret" with performances by Alice Gosti, Team Diva Real Estate, and others.

Next NW (Dec 7–9): Featuring new works by Shannon Stewart, thefeath3rtheory (Raja Kelly), Babette McGeady, Erica Badgeley, Molly Sides, Markeith Wiley's The New Animals, Sarah Butler, and Paris Hurley.

Next Dance Cinema (Dec 10): Dance films by Adam Sekuler, Joan Laage and Karolina Bieszczad Stie, Rodrigo Valenzuela and Molly Sides, and many others.

The Bridge Project 2013 (Feb 1–3): New choreography by Amy Johnson, Britt Karhoff, Chris McCallister, and Elia Mrak created in a three-week "pressure cooker."


• 1508 11th Ave, boylan

The Conversation with John Boylan (Dec 18): Another installment of John Boylan's round-table discussions in the Vermillion art gallery and bar. This iteration is about "the art of intoxication" and may feature a perfumer, a distiller, and a chocolatier.


• 608 19th Ave E, washington

Ballard House Duet (Dec 7–17): Estranged sisters wade through accumulated possessions (and grudges) to save their aunt from an avalanche of hoarding. Debut production of the Custom Made Play Project, which matches local writers to actors to develop a new play with "regional significance." Written by Stranger Genius Paul Mullin, starring Hana Lass and Rebecca Olson, and directed by Erin Kraft.

To the Nines (Feb 16): The annual WET benefit gala.


• 203 N 36th St, 352-1777,

Rosebud: The Lives of Orson Welles (Through Dec 15): A solo show about Welles, written by Mark Jenkins, which has been performed in theaters from Manhattan to Port Townsend. Starring Erik Van Beuzekom.

Christmas: B-Sides and Rarities (Dec 17): Theater shorts, poetry, and bluesy music with Jim Jewell, Jennifer Jasper, Scot Augustson, Paul Mullin, and a bunch of other folks.

Sandbox Radio Live! (Jan 21): Another installment of the raucous live-recorded theater-music-radio show.

Beating Up Bachman (Jan 25–Feb 16): A new play by Wayne Rawley (Live! From the Last Night of My Life), directed by David Gassner.


• 5510 University Way NE,

Jet City Improv (Ongoing): Improv performed in this here city.

It's Your Wonderful Life (Through Dec 23): An improv show that lets an audience member take the place of George Bailey each night to go over his/her "wonderful life."

Twisted Flicks (Dec 27–29, Jan 24–26, Feb 21–23): Old movies with new live commentary and scoring. December's is Rudolph's Shiny New Year.

Austen Translation (Jan 3–18, Jan 31–Feb 8): Jane Austen–themed improv, in a coproduction with Book-It Repertory Theater.

The Seattle Festival of Improv Theater (Feb 13–17): An annual international improv festival.