APPALACHIAN CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING
The return of the holiday deluge, in the form of forbidden hillbilly love. Yarns are spun, songs are sung, and memories are embellished upon. Taproot Theatre, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. $18-$26. Wed-Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, matinee Sat at 2 pm. Through Dec 28.
THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER
Opening. Bad kids overturn a church's Christmas pageant in another holiday cash cow. Bathhouse Theater, 7312 West Green Lake Drive N, 325-6500. $18 for adults; $10 for kids, students, and seniors. Thurs-Sat at 7:30 pm. Sun at 2 pm. Through Dec 29.
THE BIG FRIENDLY GIANT
A kind vegan suffering from a crippling speech impediment and an extraordinary case of acromegaly befriends an orphan, meets the queen of England, and saves the continent. Seattle Children's Theatre, 201 Thomas St, 443-0807. $12-$26. Fri at 7 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 pm and 5:30 pm. Through Dec 22.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Opening. Schizophrenic miser haunted by his demons seeks redemption, ACT profits. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $23-$36. Sun at 1 pm and 4 pm. Through Dec 28.
HAM FOR THE HOLIDAYS V: CINCO DE PORKO
The always-funny Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt present their fifth holiday offering, a sampling of familiar flavors and new tastes in a gluttonous spread of sketch. Northwest Asian American Theatre, 409 Seventh Ave S, 325-6500. $18-$20. Wed-Sat at 8 pm, matinees Sat-Sun at 4 pm. Through Dec 29.
THE EDUCATION OF RANDY NEWMAN
Final week. "Full disclosure: I left at intermission because I couldn't stand another moment of this affront of a show, which takes a huge body of songs from one of the rock era's most fascinating, prolific, underappreciated songwriters, strips them of all their soul, distills their lyrical complexity into a vague dramatic thread, and robs them of everything that makes them great." (Sean Nelson) ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $37.50-$50. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, matinees Sat-Sun at 2 pm. Through Dec 1.
Final week. Four former chums dye out the gray and squeeze their fat asses into their old size-31 jeans for a college reunion. Edge of the World Theatre, 9673 Firdale Ave, 542-7529. $17-$20. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, matinee Sat at 4 pm. No Thanksgiving performance. Through Nov 30.
THE FULL MONTY
The heartbreaking tale of six working-class schmucks who, down on their collective luck, are forced to barter their self-respect just to survive. Plus, whang! 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave, 625-1418. $15-$58. Tues-Wed at 7:30 pm, Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 7:30 pm, matinees Sat-Sun at 2 pm. Through Dec 8.
Light Up the Sky
Moss Hart's 1948 self-referential deconstruction of the paradoxical nature of Broadway productions. "This backstage view detailing the prologue and aftermath of an artsy play's opening in 1940s Boston felt lame all the way through its insipid first act. But in Act 2, the dexterous antics of native actor John Aylward (you'll recognize him from ER) rose so far above the spirit of the production I decided it registered an upgrade. Light Up the Sky is a silly and utterly predictable good waste of money." (Sean Reid) Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 443-2210. $15-$40. Tues-Sun at 7:30 pm, with matinees Sat-Sun at 2 pm. Through Dec 15.
* THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE
An old wardrobe becomes a portal and Christ becomes a lion in this ambitious staging of C. S. Lewis' Jesus-freak classic. "My son (who is 6) and I enjoyed this adaptation of C.S. Lewis's most famous book for two reasons. One, the big set pieces. We are suckers for large backdrops that move mysteriously on and off the stage, and the winter world (the best part of the book) was superbly realized. Two, the play sticks very close to the original text. With exception of one small disagreement--my son liked the songs and I didn't--we were equally pleased with the performance." (Charles Mudede) Seattle Children's Theatre, 201 Thomas St, 441-3322. $12-$26. Fri at 7 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 and 5:30 pm. Through Jan 11.
* THE LIZZIE BORDEN PLAY: A SPECULATION
See review this issue. Theatre Babylon at Union Garage, 1418 10th Ave, 720-1942. $12. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm. Through Dec 21.
See review this issue. Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave, 324-5801. $12-$15. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, matinee Sun at 2 pm. No Thanksgiving performance. Through Dec 21.
See review this issue. Golden Fish Theatre at Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 728-0933. $10-$15. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, matinee Sun at 2 pm. No Thanksgiving performance. Through Dec 7.
PSYCHIATRIST'S NIGHT OUT
Opening. Three shrinks meet for drinks and violate doctor-patient confidentiality in a new play by Sue Fletcher, Paul Mullan, and Robert Turner. Odd Duck Studio, 1214 10th Ave, 877-820-6312. $6-$8 general. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm. Through Dec 14.
Final week. "Dear God, thank you for Lauren Weedman. There is so much in Rash to thank you for, Lord. Thank you for the multitude and richness of the human creatures Weedman manifests in this one-woman show. But, Lord, do not forgive anyone who does not run out right now and get a ticket." (Rebecca Brown) Lauren Weedman at Empty Space Theatre, 3509 Fremont Ave N, 547-7500. $10-$35. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 7:30 pm, matinees Sat-Sun at 2 pm. Through Dec 1.
See review this issue. Steeplechase Productions at Liberty Deli, 2722 Alki Ave SW, 935-8420. $29 with dinner. Fri-Sat at 6:30 pm. Through Dec 28.
Spoof, song, and a stiff: Civic Light Opera presents a madcap murder-mystery musical. Civic Light Opera at Jane Addams/Summit School Theatre, 11051 34th NE, 363-2809. $20-$30. Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2:30 pm. Through Dec 7.
SUGAR PLUM FAIRY
The holiday deluge continues: An entire audience of theatergoers snicker at the expense of a little girl's irreparably crushed dreams. Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, 443-2222. $32-$40. Tues-Sun at 7:30 pm, matinees Sat-Sun at 2 pm. Through Jan 12.
TEATRO ZINZANNI: DINNER & DREAMS
The most expensive dinner theater of all time--three hours of gluttony, lust, and eye candy. Featuring the effervescent yet earthy Kevin Kent. "Dinner & Dreams isn't a disaster. The food is great, and a handful of the performers are dazzling. But for every bit that dazzles, a half-dozen fall flat." (David Schmader) Teatro ZinZanni, Sixth & Battery, 802-0015. $89 Wed-Fri & Sun, $99 Sat (includes dinner, but not beverages or gratuity). Wed-Sat at 6:30 pm, Sun at 5:30 pm. Open run.
Sam Shepard's paean to blustering, macho sibling rivalry. Insight America at Chamber Theater, 915 E Pine St, fourth floor, 325-6500. $14-$16. Fri-Sat at 8 pm. Through Dec 21.
WEST SIDE STORY
Opening. Who knew knife fights could be so gay? Seattle Central Community College Drama Department at Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center, 104 17th Ave S, 325-6500. $10-$15. Wed-Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, matinees Sat at 2 pm and Sun at 3 pm. Through Dec 8.
FESTIVALS, CABARET, & COMEDY
A(N IMPROVISED) CHRISTMAS CAROL
Opening. The holiday deluge: Dickens with audience suggestions. Unexpected Productions at the Market Theatre, 1428 Post Alley (below Pike Place Market), 781-9273. $10. Fri-Sat at 8 pm. Through Dec 21.
ANYTHING GOES: A NIGHT OF NOVICE (SEMI) NUDES
This week only. Burlesque beginners take the stage to entice, inspire, and repel. Gun Street Girls at Rendezvous, 2322 Second Ave, 441-5823. $6. Sun at 9 pm.
This week only. An open call to shine: the glitz and glamour of Café Venus' Broadville, a performing arts open mic. Café Venus, 609 Eastlake Ave E, 624-4516. Free. Wed at 9 pm.
See review this issue. The Habit Productions at Rendezvous, 2320 Second Ave, 696-8430. $10. Fri-Sat at 8 pm. Through Dec 21.
Opening. Wasteful, site-specific parody--eye-rolling jabs at Boeing, Starbucks, Chihuly--in this Almost Live!-fashioned cabaret skewering all things Christmas in the Puget Sound. The Cabaret at Crêpe de Paris, 1333 Fifth Ave, 623-4111. $55 with dinner, $20 for show only. Tues-Sun at 8 pm, Fri-Sat at 8:30. Through Dec 30.
PHOENICIA & VIC AT THE HOLIDAY LOUNGE
Opening. Admirable choreographer Wade Madsen unleashes his similarly regarded alter ego Phoenicia--a svelte, blonde, lounge-singing semi-sensation, as accompanied by pianist Victor Janusz. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873. $13. Sun-Mon at 8 pm.
VOICES OF CHRISTMAS
Opening. Now in its 21st year, Voices of Christmas revs up for another well-intentioned stab at multicultural togetherness. ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave SW, 938-0339. $10-$26. Tues-Sat at 7:30 pm, with Sat and Sun matinees at 3 pm. Through Dec 24.
CHOREOGRAPHER/COMPOSER COLLABORATIVE CONCERT
One week only. MFA candidates from the UW dance program and student composers present original work performed by undergraduate dance students in this showcase of young talent. Meany Hall, University of Washington, 543-4880. $7-$9. Wed Dec 4-Sat Dec 7 at 8 pm, with Sun matinee at 2 pm. Through Dec 8.
Opening. You know, the only ballet you've ever seen. Yes, the one with the giant mice. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 628-0888. $15.50-$101.50. Sat at 2 pm and 7:30 pm, Sun at 1 pm and 5:30 pm. Through Dec 30.
* CARLOTTA'S LATE NIGHT WING-DING
See review this issue. Ursa Major Theatre Company at Northwest Actors Studio, 1100 E Pike St, fourth floor, 325-6500. $8-$10. Fri-Sat at 10:30 pm. Through Jan 5.LONG RUNS
BROADVILLE CARNIVAL at Café Venus, 624-4516.
CABARET: THE ResERECTION at Coffee Messiah, 861-8233.
THE HOKUM SHOW at Hokum Hall, 937-3613.
JET CITY IMPROV at ArtsWest, 938-0339; at the Ethnic Cultural Theater, 781-3879.
LATE NIGHT CATECHISM from Seattle Theatre Project at ACT Theatre, 292-7676.
QUEER AS A THREE-DOLLAR BILL at the Comedy Underground, 800-992-8499.