Opening and Current Runs

365 DAYS/365 PLAYS
A short play a day, written by Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog, the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for drama), performed throughout the city by companies from the Seattle Rep to WET. See www.365seattle.com for schedule and details. Various Locations, Across Seattle. Daily. Through Nov 13, 2007.

BYE BYE BIRDIE
A 1960 musical about a 1950s Elvis-ish rocker and teens furiously trying to pick the locks on their chastity belts. 303 Front St N, Issaquah, 425-392-2202. $25-$49. Thurs-Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Sun at 2 and 7 pm, Wed at 8 pm. Through Dec 31.

recommended THE DINA MARTINA CHRISTMAS SHOW
"Making a mockery of everything that's good and true while simultaneously infusing its audience with something close to 'the holiday spirit,' the Dina Martina Christmas Show is a Christmas miracle. Spawned from the cracked skull of Grady West, Dina is a singing, dancing, storytelling, and completely talent-free tornado—a comic creation as sturdy and seamless as Pee Wee Herman infused with the trashy blood of John Waters, and more reliably hilarious than those two sickos ever were." (David Schmader) Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 325-6500. $20. Thurs-Sun at 8 pm. Through Dec 30.

DINNER & DREAMS
Ongoing. The European-style dinner theater with cirque performers as garnish. Teatro ZinZanni, 2301 Sixth Ave, 802-0015. $99-$125. Thurs-Sat at 6:30 pm, Sun at 5:30 pm, Wed at 6:30 pm.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY
"The conceit (a reading of a radio play of the film script, set in 1947) is corny but cute, the cast is game (Andrew Litzky is particularly resplendent in the multicharacter vocal antics, but everyone is excellent), and all the angel stuff gives Taproot a good excuse to drop a little Christian science, as they invariably must. Still, one closes one's eyes during the show and can only see the film's glory burned in the retinas—only Jimmy Stewart sounds like Grant Goodeve. I still cried, though. At the memory of the movie. That's how good it still is." (Sean Nelson) Taproot Theatre, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. $15-$30. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri at 8 pm, Sat at 2 and 8 pm, Wed at 7:30 pm. Through Dec 30.

LATE NITE CATECHISM
Ongoing. "The real point is not the adult-catechism monologue, but the script's gaps, in which Sister Aubrey Manning dispenses tissues to cover salacious displays of flesh and kitschy prizes to reward the dumbstruck targets of her improvisations." (Annie Wagner) ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $24.50-$29.50. Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm.

MENOPAUSE: THE MUSICAL
Ongoing. "What makes this toweringly formulaic and very demographic-specific crap about dusty uteruses even moderately bearable? The consummate cast was ferocious and fast—they rush in, slap you around with jokes about memory lapses and no sex and saggy boobs that you can't help giggling at, and then they rush out. Ninety tight minutes of an insane, colorful, and sometimes actually laugh-worthy little train wreck that stops just before it starts to hurt." (Adrian Ryan) ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $45. Thurs-Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 and 5:30 pm, Wed at 7:30 pm.

recommended THE SHOW
"Leroy wants Juliana to love him, but he also has to appease Vinnie, a butterfly-knife-wielding gangster with an expensive-shoe fetish. Frank, a hobo, wants to go fishing with Leroy. Chip Challenger, "The Face of America," needs someone to take over his late-night talk show by midnight. Izzy wants to write a hit song, and he also wants to perform daredevil stunts with a Coupe de Ville. The car belongs to Bruno, who wants a mosaic of Philip Seymour Hoffman on the floor of his beauty salon. All of this is being told to us by Nature Man, an ecoterrorist—"Dirt, mud, and earth are my three favorite things"—trying to black out New York City in his battle against technology and, specifically, wires. I can't say if these motivations would be convincing if the seven characters were played by seven different actors, but that's irrelevant: The Show is a one-man performance, and holy shit is it ever compelling. I went into the theater full of trepidation; The Show is, after all, billed as 'a one-man musical comedy' that's 'appropriate for all ages,' but what I could not even begin to be prepared for was a one-man show that could've been produced—and I mean this in only the very best, the RAWK-inest, sense—by Jerry frickin' Bruckheimer." (Paul Bobby Constant) Washington Ensemble Theatre, 608 19th Ave E, 800-838-3006. $10-$15. Wed-Sat, 8 pm and Sat, Sun, 2:30 pm. Through Jan 7.

THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE
"The story of the play is about a kid named Charles who runs away from his evil neighbors and comes to a magical forest where the trees, plants, and animals start talking to him. He is freaked out by the talking plants, animals, and trees. He finds a garden and takes some vegetables, but doesn't know that they belong to a sorcerer. He hides when the sorcerer comes to get the weeds out of her garden. He sees her use magic. She notices that some of her vegetables are missing. Then she asks the plants who took her vegetables. The plants tell her about Charles and where he is hiding. When Charles and the sorcerer meet, he asks to become her apprentice. She says 'no' but later she says 'yes,' but gives him only three chances to do a good job. If he messes up, he can't be her apprentice. I won't tell the rest of the story because it might ruin it for you, but in the end the lessons Charles learns are that you have to follow directions and 'listen and learn.' He also learns that you can't believe just anything that just anybody tells you." (Ebenezer Drake-Mudede, age 10) Seattle Children's Theatre, 201 Thomas St, 441-3322. $16-$32. Fri at 7 pm, Sat at 2 pm, Sun at 2 and 5:30 pm, Tues-Wed at 11 am. Through Jan 27.

Dance

recommended THE NUTCRACKER
"Any one of the buff, ambitious, mind-bogglingly flexible 8-year-olds in the Pacific Northwest Ballet could kick the pansy ass of any other performer, and in The Nutcracker, they also have strength in numbers. There are dozens of them, not to mention a 20-foot rat king, four cannons, a dancing monkey monster, a whip-wielding sultan, and a veritable army of toy soldiers with tight muscles and even tighter velvet pants. The pure brute force and distractingly well-defined bodies of The Nutcracker cast will dominate any other Christmas pageantry that stands in its way." (Brendan Kiley) McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, 684-7200. $18-$108. Thurs-Sat at 2 and 7:30 pm, Sun at noon, Tues-Wed at 2 and 7:30 pm. Through Dec 28.

Cabaret

THE BEDROOM CLUB
Burning Hearts Burlesque at Last Supper Club, 124 S Washington St, 748-9975. $10. Wed at 9 pm.

BURLESQUE BEHIND THE PINK DOOR
Novelty acts, puppets, crooners, and old-fashioned burlesque. With Paula the Swedish Housewife. Pink Door, 1919 Post Alley, 443-3241. $10. Sat at 10:30 pm.

COLUMBIA CITY CABARET
Columbia City Theatre, 4916 Rainier Ave S, 723-0088. $20. Fri at 8 pm.

LIVE BURLESQUE
Hosted by Miss Shanghai Pearl. With a live dirty-blues band. SeaMonster Lounge, 2202 N 45th St, 633-1824. Free. Tues at 11 pm.

Improv & Comedy

THE COMEDY SHOP
Columbia City Theatre, 4916 Rainier Ave S, 723-0088. $12 adv/$15 DOS. Sat at 8:30 and 10:30 pm.

COMEDY UNDERGROUND
222 S Main St, 800-325-7328. $6-$15. Fri-Sat at 8:30 and 10:30.

GIGGLES COMEDY CLUB
5220 Roosevelt Way NE, 526-5653. $12. Fri-Sat at 8:30 and 10:30 pm.

JET CITY IMPROV
Historic University Theater, 5510 University Way NE, 352-8291. $8-$10. Fri at 10:30 pm, Sat at 8 and 10:30 pm.

recommended LAFF-STRAVAGANZA
"Every week, in CHAC's dim, mazy lower level, local boozers and laff enthusiasts gather for Laff Hole—the showcase produced by the People's Republic of Komedy. The Republicans—Dan Carroll, Scott Moran, Kevin Hyder, and Emmett Montgomery—all estimable comedians, are emerging, more importantly, as comedy promoters: as the visible anchor for a nascent Seattle scene. A year or so ago, when I first stumbled down the ramp into the Hole, the crowd was sparse and suspicious, the show innovative but clumsy. A few weeks ago, I saw people turned away at the door for headliner Hari Kondabolu. The momentum is palpable—it's exciting—and the comics are keeping up: getting tighter, funnier, more polished all the time." (Lindy West) People's Republic of Komedy at Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave, 388-0569. $5. Wed at 7:30 and 9:30 pm. Late show 21+.

MONKEY PUB COMEDY SHOW
See preview this issue. Monkey Pub, 5305 Roosevelt Way NE, 523-6457. $5. Sat Dec 30 at 10 pm.

Support The Stranger

THEATRESPORTS
Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 587-2414. $8-$12. Fri at 10:30 pm, Sat at 8 and 10:30 pm.

Late Night

WINTER WEEKEND SLUMBER SLAUGHTER
An improvised show in the style of a slasher movie, where the house is snowed in, the phones are dead and teens get killed—and gratuitously naked. Odd Duck Studio, 1214 10th Ave, 800-838-3006. $10. Fri-Sat at 11pm. Through Jan 13.