OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS


THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER

Final week. Raucous kids impersonate the divine at Seattle Public Theater at the Bathhouse, 7312 W Green Lake Drive N, 524-1300. $18. Thurs-Fri at 7 pm. Through Dec 24.

BLACK NATIVITY: A GOSPEL SONG PLAY

Final week. Jacqueline Moscou directs the holiday gospel musical. Intiman Playhouse, 201 Mercer St, Seattle Center, 269-1900. $10-$42. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri at 2 pm, Sun at 2 and 7:30 pm. Through Dec 26.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Final week. R. Hamilton Wright and Terry Edward Moore take on Scrooge at ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $14-$28. Thurs at 6 and 8:30 pm, Fri at 1 and 4 pm, Sun at 1 and 4 pm. Through Dec 26.

* FELLOW PASSENGERS

Final week. "Granted, it's an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, but Strawberry Theatre Workshop's production of Fellow Passengers goes easy on the schmaltz. It's a relief to have to use your imagination to convert a creaky platform into a desolate graveyard, and to be confronted with a wooden stool in the role of Tiny Tim instead of some cherubic kid barely out of diapers." (Annie Wagner) Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 800-838-3006. $15. Thurs at 7:30 pm. Through Dec 23.

* FINER NOBLE GASES

Final week. "The play doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but this production is packed with enough smart choices that you won't really mind. The busy video projection that opens the play is shorthand for the action that filled the apartment before indolence set in. Director Marya Sea Kaminski keeps things moving at a nice clip, and the two leads do mean flying saucer impressions. To cut to the quick: When the rock is loud and the boys are sexy, how can you say no? (But bring earplugs--you'll thank me later.)" (Annie Wagner) Washington Ensemble Theatre at Little Theatre, 608 Ninth Ave E, 325-5105. $10-$15. Thurs at 8 pm. Through Dec 23.

* THE LION KING

"The show is less a musical than a sublime, mobile diorama--a parade of stunning human-puppet hybrids. From the zebras (with the massive thighs of male ballet dancers and lithe, freely jointed puppet hindquarters) to the giraffes (two sets of knobby stilts attached to the actor's arms and legs, plus a towering neck that defies gravitational intuition to swoop down and drink from a watering hole), every one of these creations is a lure for the eye. " (Annie Wagner) Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 292-2787. $22.50-$125. Thurs at 1 and 7:30 pm, Fri at 1 pm, Sun at 1 and 6:30 pm, Tues-Wed at 7:30 pm. Through Jan 16.

NOISES OFF

See review this issue. Seattle Repertory Theatre, 155 Mercer St, Seattle Center, 443-2222. $10-$46. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm, Tues-Wed at 7:30 pm. Through Jan 15.

PHANTOM OF THE STARDUST

Swing-dancing ghosts at the State Theater, 202 Fourth Ave E, Olympia, 360-786-0151. $28-$33. Thurs at 8 pm, Fri at 2 pm, Sun at 7 pm, Tues-Wed at 8 pm. Through Jan 1.

A RADIOLAND CHRISTMAS

"I would have preferred a sermon to the awful, cross-eyed compromise on display here. A couple of Christian platitudes are smuggled into the dialogue of a fourth-grader, but mostly the playwright seems to think that the holiday spirit is best communicated through slapstick, product placement, and idiotic peroxide blondes." (Annie Wagner) Taproot Theatre, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. $17-$29. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Tues-Wed at 7:30 pm. Through Dec 30.

RED RANGER CAME CALLING

Final week. Stephen Hando returns in the Berkeley Breathed musical adaptation. Book-It Repertory Theatre at Seattle Center House Theatre, Seattle Center, 216-0833. $15-$30. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Special benefit performance for Empty Space Theatre Sun Dec 26 at 6:30 pm. Through Dec 26.

THE SANTALAND DIARIES

Final week. David Sedaris' monologue, performed by Shawn Law. Seattle Public Theater at the Bathhouse, 7312 W Green Lake Drive N, 524-1300. $12-$20. Thurs at 9 pm, Fri at 7:30 pm. Through Dec 24.

THE SECRET GARDEN

"The first few scenes, pitting obstinate little Mary Lennox (a bracing Sharia Pierce) against the dank, dark, Gothic habit of shutting fears and passions up in closet and cloisters, were wonderfully sinister. But as much as you might sympathize with the conciliatory efforts of Mary's truth squad, the good cheer she unveils and the secrets she unlocks are bound to disappoint. " (Annie Wagner) Seattle Children's Theatre, 201 Thomas St, Seattle Center, 441-3322. $14-$28. Thurs at 11 am and 2:30 pm, Sun at 2 and 5:30 pm, Tues at 11 am and 2:30 pm, Wed at 2 and 7 pm. Through Jan 8.

VOICES OF CHRISTMAS

Final week. A celebratory, multicultural message of dread--er, hope. ArtsWest Theater, 4711 California Ave SW, 938-0339. $12-$30. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri at 2 and 7 pm, Sun at 3 and 7:30 pm. Through Dec 26.

DANCE


NUTCRACKER

Final week. The perennial Stowell/Sendak production. Pacific Northwest Ballet at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, Seattle Center, 441-2424. $19-$96. Thurs at 2 and 7:30 pm, Fri at noon, Sun at 1 and 5:30 pm, Mon-Tues at 2 and 7:30 pm. Through Dec 28.

NUTCRACKER

Final week. An old-school production aiming to preserve the flavor of the 1892 St. Petersburg premiere. (Mmm, nutty.) International Ballet Theatre at Meydenbauer Theater, 11100 NE Sixth St, Bellevue, 425-822-7694. $10-$24. Thurs Dec 23 at 7 pm.

IMPROV, CABARET, & COMEDY


* THE DINA MARTINA CHRISTMAS SHOW

See review this issue. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 323-0388. $18. Thurs-Fri at 8 pm, Sun-Mon at 8 pm. Through Dec 31.

SMORGASPORK: THE BEST OF HAM FOR THE HOLIDAYS

See review this issue. Final week. Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 104 17th Ave S, 325-6500. $20-$22. Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri at 8 pm, Sun at 2 and 7:30 pm. Through Dec 26.

SPECIAL EVENTS


FUNDRAISER FOR "THE EXORCIST: THE MUSICAL!"

One night only. A Craig Trolli extravaganza. Bad Actor Productions at Cuff Complex, 1533 13th Ave, 323-1525. $5. Wed Dec 29 at 8 pm.

MY MOTHER MY FATHER

Final week. A theater installation by d.K. Pan; selected performances incorporate butoh, dance, theater, and poetry. SOIL Art Gallery, 112 Third Ave S, 264-8061. Butoh and poetry, Sun Dec 26 at 8 pm.

LONG RUNS
* THE HOKUM HALL VARIETY SHOW at Hokum Hall, 937-3613.

* JET CITY IMPROV at Historic University Theater, 352-8291.

LATE NIGHT CATECHISM from Seattle Theatre Project at ACT, 292-7676.

MUSICA VITAE! CABARET at Century Ballroom, 325-6500.

TEATRO ZINZANNI at 2301 Sixth Ave, 802-0015.

THEATRESPORTS at the Market Theater, 781-9273.

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