OPENING THIS WEEK

Nothing is opening this week. It's Christmas. Bah humbug.


ONE WEEK ONLY

A TAP DANCE CHRISTMAS CAROL · Broadway Performance Hall

PIECE OF MEAT THEATRE'S FOURTH ANNUAL HOLIDAY CATASTROPHE · Sit & Spin


CLOSING THIS WEEK

A CHRISTMAS CAROL · A Contemporary Theatre

A VERY LESBIAN NUTCRACKER · Northwest Asian American Theatre

A VERY REGGIE X-MAS/THE TRACHTENBURG FAMILY SLIDESHOW PLAYERS... ON ICE! · On the Boards

A(N IMPROVISED) CHRISTMAS CAROL · the Market Theatre

THE BEARD OF AVON · Seattle Repertory Theatre

BLACK NATIVITY · Intiman Theatre

CROUCHING ELVES, HIDDEN PACKAGES (THE MUSICAL) · Pork Filled Players

THE GOOD DOCTOR · Stone Soup Theatre

HOLIDAY HIT PARADE · Seattle Men's Chorus

THE NUTCRACKER PUPPET BALLET · Northwest Puppet Center

OWEN MEANY'S CHRISTMAS PAGEANT · Book-It

PHOENICIA & VIC AT THE HOLIDAY LOUNGE · Thumpers

VOICES OF CHRISTMAS · ArtsWest


MINI-REVIEW

Christmas In Babylon at the Little Theatre--These guys definitely get the prize for the best concept: John Kaufmann (of linger fame), Lindsay Hunter, and their co-horts have, "through the miracle of translation software," translated well-known Christmas stories and songs into Japanese, French, Korean, etc., and then back into a completely perverse English, thereby turning traditional religious (Jesus, Mary, God) and hokey pop (Rudolph, Frosty, Grinch) characters into bizarre, hilarous beings. There's also an audience singalong (lyrics projected on an overhead projector), in which "Little Lord Jesus" becomes "small Mr. Jesus," the Three Wise Men become "three sagacious humans," and Frosty the Snowman becomes "Frosty the Yeti." Of course, a gimmick like this has its limits; the show could be shorter. But this will not keep me from hoping that next year, Santa will bring us Christmas in Babylon Part II. REBECCA BROWN

The Stranger regrets that this review was unable to run before Christmas in Babylon closed.


OPENING AND CURRENT RUNS

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

The holiday deluge: Dickens. A Contemporary Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $21-$32. Tues-Sat at 7 pm, Fri at 9:30 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 pm, Sun at 6 pm (but there are many irregularities, particularly toward the end of the run, so call ahead). Through Dec 23.


* A VERY LESBIAN NUTCRACKER

The holiday deluge: pseudo-lesbian noir Catholic schoolgirl Christmas stories. "Jesus, are these guys funny." (Rebecca Brown) Pulp Vixens at Northwest Asian American Theatre, 409 Seventh Ave S, 340-1049. $12 general, $10 students/seniors. Thurs-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 4 pm. Through Dec 24.


* A VERY REGGIE X-MAS/THE TRACHTENBURG FAMILY SLIDESHOW PLAYERS... ON ICE!

The holiday deluge: splitting the weekend, Reggie Watts & Co. (Thurs-Fri) and Jason Trachtenburg & Family (Sat-Sun). "Reggie Watts' inscrutably insane holiday sketch show is difficult to describe. But... it made me snort loudly and openly weep hot tears of mirth." (Tamara Paris) On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. $10 for each show. EXTENDED through Dec 23.


APPALACHIAN CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING

Reviewed this issue. The holiday deluge: forbidden hillbilly love. Taproot Theatre, 204 N 85th St, 781-9707. $18-$26. Wed-Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sat at 2 pm. Through Dec 29.


* THE BEARD OF AVON

A comedy about the "Was Shakespeare really Shakespeare?" controversy. "Though the whole may not fully gel, the play takes flight when [playwriting collaborators] De Vere and Shaksper go head to head, fighting with and inspiring each other in turns, acting as two voices in a single consciousness." (Bret Fetzer) Seattle Repertory Theatre, Second Ave & Mercer St, 443-2222. $15-$39. Tues-Sun at 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 pm. Through Dec 22.


THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER

The holiday deluge: cute kids goof up. Kill me now. The Bathhouse Theater, 7312 W Green Lake Dr N, 325-6500. $12 adults, $8 kids, $5 per additional kid after two kids with paying adult. Thurs-Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through Dec 30.


BLACK NATIVITY: A GOSPEL SONG PLAY

The holiday deluge: the African American version. Intiman Theatre, 201 Mercer St, 269-1900. $40 adults, $30 seniors/students/group rate, $15 "young people" (i.e., under 16). Tues-Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 pm. Through Dec 23.


THE GOOD DOCTOR

Neil Simon adapts Chekov. Which is sort of like John Hughes remaking The Battleship Potemkin. Stone Soup Theatre, 4035 Stone Way N, 633-1883. $12 (Thurs is pay-what-you-will). Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, Sat matinee at 4 pm. Through Dec 22.


THE HOBOKEN CHICKEN EMERGENCY

The conflict between small-town small-mindedness and a giant chicken. A musical. Seattle Children's Theatre, Seattle Center, 441-3322. $14.50-$22.50. Fri at 7 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 & 5:30 pm. Through Jan 5.


THE HOTHOUSE

Reviewed this issue. The holiday deluge: I didn't know there was such a thing as "Harold Pinter's zany holiday classic," but that's how the press release describes this show. Liberty Deli, 2722 Alki Ave SW, 935-8420. $29 ($15 show only, tickets limited). Fri-Sat and selected Sun; dinner at 6:30 pm, show starts at 7:30 pm. Through Dec 29.


INSPECTING CAROL

The holiday deluge: Dickens + Gogol. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Second Ave & Mercer St, 443-2222. $15-$44 ($20 for anyone under 25). Tues-Sun at 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 pm. Through Dec 30.


THE NUTCRACKER PUPPET BALLET

The holiday deluge: ballerinas on strings. The Carter Family Marionettes at Northwest Puppet Center, 9123 15th Ave NE, 523-2579. $8.50 adults, $7 seniors, $6.50 children. Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun at 1 & 3 pm. Through Dec 23.


OWEN MEANY'S CHRISTMAS PAGEANT

The holiday deluge: children can be cranky too. Book-It at North Seattle Community College's Stage One Theater, 9600 College Way N, 325-6500. $19 general, $17.50 book clubs, $17.25 students/seniors/groups (Fri-Sat), $15 students/senior (Thurs/Sun). Thurs-Sun at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm (also Sat Dec 22 at 2 pm). Through Dec 23.


VOICES OF CHRISTMAS

The holiday deluge: multicultural heartwarmingness. ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave SW, 938-0339. $10-$24. Tues-Thurs & Sun at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sat at 3 pm; Mon Dec 24 at 7:30 pm. Through Dec 24.


DANCE


NUTCRACKER

The holiday deluge: the deeply Freudian children's tale, en pointe. Pacific Northwest Ballet at Seattle Center Opera House, 301 Mercer St, 292-ARTS. $15-$84. Sat at 2 & 7:30 pm, Sun at 1 & 5:30 pm, call in advance for weekday shows. Through Dec 27.


FESTIVALS, CABARET, & COMEDY


A TAP DANCE CHRISTMAS CAROL

See Stranger Suggests. The holiday deluge: clickety-clack Dickens. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 325-6500. $16-$18 in advance, $18-$20 at the door. Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sat-Sun at 2 pm, this weekend only.


A(N IMPROVISED) CHRISTMAS CAROL

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 22.


HOLIDAY HIT PARADE

The holiday deluge: gay men singing. Seattle Men's Chorus at Benaroya Hall, Third Ave between Union and University, 323-2992. $12.50-$32. Dec 23 only, call for showtimes.


I LOVE BEING ABROAD

Julie Cascioppo sings about travel. Thumpers, 1500 E Madison, 328-3800. $10 cover. Sun at 8:30 pm. Through Dec 30.


LATE NIGHT


CARLOTTA'S LATE NIGHT HOLIDAY WING DING

See Bio Box. The delightful alter ego of Troy Mink returns with a late-night talk show, featuring a wealth of local talent. Ursa Major Theatre at Northwest Actor's Studio Cabaret Space, 1100 E Pike St, 325-6500. $8 general, $7 students/seniors. Fri-Sat at 10 pm. Through Dec 29.


CROUCHING ELVES, HIDDEN PACKAGES (THE MUSICAL)

Reviewed this issue. This is the last "Crouching X, Hidden Y" title I will allow in this theater calendar. That damn movie is over a year old. Enough already. Multicultural sketch comedy from Pork Filled Players at Theatre Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave S, 365-0282. $8 general, $6 student, $5 groups. Fri-Sat at 10:30 pm, Sun at 7 pm. Through Dec 23.


PHOENICIA & VIC AT THE HOLIDAY LOUNGE

The holiday deluge: Wade Madsen in drag, Victor Janusz in a tux. Thumpers, 1500 E Madison, 328-3800. $10 cover. Fri-Sat at 10:30 pm. Through Dec 22.


PIECE OF MEAT THEATRE'S FOURTH ANNUAL HOLIDAY CATASTROPHE

See Stranger Suggests. The prodigal provocateurs return for a night of obnoxiousness. Sit & Spin, 2219 Fourth Ave, 441-9484. $8. Thurs at 9:30 pm, this week only.


LONG RUNS

CABARET: THE RESURRECTION at Coffee Messiah, 861-8233.

JET CITY IMPROV at ArtsWest, 938-0339; at the Ethnic Cultural Theater (note new location), 781-3879.

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

MYSTERIAN at Illusionz Magical Entertainment Center, Issaquah, (425) 427-2444.

QUEER AS A THREE DOLLAR BILL at the Comedy Underground, (800) 992-8499.

THEATERSPORTS at the Market Theater, 781-9273.

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