NOW THRU SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18: KITTEN N' LOU PRESENT: JINGLE ALL THE GAY! AT ODDFELLOWS' WEST HALL
It's the holiday season and Marie Kondo, the militant queen of joyful minimalism, is on my mind. I think it's because I'm playing a lot of Nintendo's mega-hit game Animal Crossing again, and I can hear Kondo asking, "Does it spark joy?" every time I hoard another virtual object inside my virtual mansion. (Yes, it sparks joy; yes, I want one in every color.) With the merry onslaught of events that bubbles up this time of year, I'm using that Kondo-ism to decide how to divvy up my evenings. SANTACON? Does not spark joy. Kitten N' Lou? Always the joyfullest.
The burlesque power couple's Homo for the Holidays show was a longtime December tradition in Seattle, and a few years ago the show got a rebranding called Jingle All the Gay that fucking sleighed. Featuring local performance favorites like Cherdonna Shinatra and Markeith Wiley against top-shelf national acts—all dressed in their holiday best—this cheery, tits-and-ass-filled bop at Oddfellows' West Hall continues to spark joy every season. Thank ilvs strauss' Jesus that it does, because we need some joy this year—it's been a mighty slog. Highlights from this year's cast include Red Bone, Tito Bonito, Kylie Mooncakes, and, well, all of them. CHASE BURNS
The show runs two more weekends at the Oddfellows Building's West Hall. Some of the shows are sold out, so don't wait. Proof of vaccination and masks are required for entry.
SCREENING THRU SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12: CHAMELEON STREET AT NORTHWEST FILM FORUM
Wendell B. Harris, Jr. has made only one film. It's Chameleon Street. It's mostly forgotten but it made something of a splash in Sundance 1990, where it claimed the Grand Jury Prize. That success, however, marked, much to Harris's frustration, his peak. He made an appearance in Steven Soderbergh's 1998 Out of Sight, and two years later, exited a decade in the film world by way of the very white and bad "road sex comedy" Road Trip.
It's not an accident that Harris's masterpiece Chameleon Street has been restored and is being reevaluated in the presence of 2021. This film, which is based on the life of a Detroit man, William Douglas Street, Jr., known as the "Chameleon" "The Great Impersonator" (he convincingly impersonated doctors, lawyers, reporters, and so on), is radically independent. Though the film didn't come out of a vacuum (there was before it Orson Welles's F for Fake and Woody Allen's Zelig), it certainly redirected the previous experiments of the chameleon character to a future that we only now can recognize in the experimental and super-real and culture-scrambling works of Terence Nance (An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, and HBO's Random Acts of Flyness), Donald Glover (Atlanta), and Boots Riley (Sorry to Bother You). But these new and hip black filmmakers have yet to go as far into blackness as Chameleon Street, and here is why. CHARLES MUDEDE
Wendell B. Harris Jr.'s Chameleon Street is playing in-person at Northwest Film Forum until Sunday, December 12. Tickets are $13. Masks and proof of vaccination are required for entry.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9: KICKBACK WITH ISSA MAN AND KYLIE MOONCAKES AT KREMWERK
On every second Thursday of the month, Seattle drag divas and best friends Issa Man and Kylie Mooncakes host KICKBACK, a "super chill, super lit" evening of drag, music, and dance performances with a killer rotating lineup of artists. Originally, Issa and Kylie were set to debut the monthly back in March 2020, which was—you know—the same week the very first COVID lockdown went into effect. More than a year and a half later, the queens finally got to premiere KICKBACK in October with an all-trans lineup, and they are still going strong. For their third installment, the bill looks just as sickening: Pupusa Queen, Macy Marcs, Old Witch, and reigning Ms. Gay Seattle Skarlet Dior Black are all set to turn the party this Thursday. Ms. Mooncakes will unfortunately not be in attendance (but you can catch her at Jingle All the Gay!), so Seattle cool girl Hoochie Papa will take on her co-hosting duties alongside Issa. Get your pre-weekend started on a chill and sexy foot. JAS KEIMIG
Issa Man and Kylie Mooncakes' Kickback is this Thursday, December 9 at Kremwerk. Doors are at 7 pm and pre-sale tickets will run you $12. Masks and proof of vaccination (or a recent negative COVID test) are required for entry. And tip your queens!
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9: TDBC PRESENTS: MOMMIE DEAREST AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION SCREENING WITH PEACHES CHRIST AT SIFF EGYPTIAN
“Riotous hosting buffoonery” is promised at this screening of the camp classic Mommie Dearest, a pledge I might look on with suspicion if it were being presented by anyone other than the riotous Peaches Christ. Goodie bags will be supplied, with instructions for audience participation throughout. I still carry the memories of a particularly chaotic screening of Showgirls that Peaches co-hosted many years ago that included free lap dances with every large popcorn; we all learned a lot that night. Expect nothing less for this celebration of Joan Crawford’s well-documented love of wire hangers. Proceeds will benefit Three Dollar Bill Cinema, so you can howl with delight while also supporting a good cause. Proof of vaccination is required, as are masks — feel free to decorate yours with an appropriately Crawfordeque print. MATT BAUME
Thursday’s MOMMIE DEAREST screening starts at 7 pm at the Egyptian Theater and runs until 10 pm.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 11: SEATTLE SANTACON 2021
I do not necessarily endorse this event, but I feel that you should be warned that it is happening again. “This is much more than a pub crawl,” say organizers, and to be fair it is also being organized as a fundraiser for the foster care organization Treehouse so I can’t be too critical. If an alcohol-fueled wandering flashmob is your idea of a good time, it’s your lucky day. If not, choose your venues wisely this weekend and next. The chaos begins downtown at noon, then hits Pike Place Market before heading to Occidental Square and then destinations as-yet-unannounced until 2 am. Pre-registration is required, and grants free admission to over a dozen venues with drink specials, a costume contest, and live entertainment. Proof of vaccination or a recent negative test, along with a mask, are also required. MATT BAUME
SANTACON is this Saturday (the 11th) and next (the 18th) from noon until late, late, late at night.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12: NIRVANA - LIVE AT THE PARAMOUNT 30TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING AT PARAMOUNT THEATRE
Thirty years ago, Seattle looked a whole lot different. Amazon and Big Tech had yet to take a huge cultural, economic, and geographic bite out of our fair city. The Stranger was in its first year of publication. And Nirvana had released Nevermind, an album that would rock Seattle and the world over for the decades to come. Five weeks after dropping the record on October 31, 1991, Nirvana played a 19-set show at the Paramount Theatre that became the stuff of legend. Lucky for us, it was captured on 16mm film and mixed in 5.1 surround sound. In honor of the germinal album's 30th anniversary, on Sunday STG is showing the concert film on the big screen right where Nirvana melted faces all those years ago for the very first time. DJ Marco Collins is emceeing the affair, which will also feature performances by THEM and The Black Tones, live auction items, and a "'90s Seattle' photo booth." The event will also function as a fundraiser for Seattle-based YouthCare, a non-profit that works to end youth homelessness. Hop on this nostalgia train—it's for a good cause! JAS KEIMIG
Nirvana - Live at the Paramount Theatre goes down Sunday, December 12 at...Paramount Theatre. Tickets start at $20.75 and doors are at 6 pm. Masks and proof of vaccination are required for entry.