ACT Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol is a dependable, simple pleasure, with just enough variation to warrant returning year after year. Chris Bennion

The holidays are quickly approaching, and there are more than 200 events on our holidays calendar, including ugly sweater parties, festive light displays, and pop-up markets where you can buy handmade gifts. But Seattle also has an abundance of seasonal performances, ranging from George Balanchine's The Nutcracker to Homo for the Holidays 2016. See them all below.

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DEC 7-28

1. A Christmas Carol
ACT Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol is a dependable, simple pleasure, with just enough variation to warrant returning year after year.

DEC 7-30

2. The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge
What would happen if Scrooge, after being shown the error of his ways, charged Jacob Marley and the Christmas Spirits with trespassing, kidnapping, assault, and battery? Find out in this new adaptation by Mark Brown.


3. Krampus Christmas
Enjoy a cheery interactive Christmas horror show with bad Santa, creepy elves, and everybody's favorite Yuletide child-torturer, the Krampus. Explore a snowy wonderland populated with unexpected denizens.

DEC 7-JAN 29

4. Can Can Cabaret Presents Wonderland
Can Can will transform its venue into a snowy chalet and populate it with teasing beauties. VIP tickets get you champagne and a meal as well.

DEC 8-14

5. The Snow Queen
Dacha will present an original translation of Evgeny Schwartz's adaptation of The Snow Queen (a classic story by Hans Christian Andersen). This production will offer dark Russian humor, interactive elements, and wintry themes. See it first on Bainbridge Island (Dec 8-11) and then on Capitol Hill at the Russian Community Center (Dec 12-14).

DEC 8-18

6. Buttcracker II...more crack!
This festive and raunchy holiday show promises professional dance and holiday satire set to a hair-metal soundtrack.

DEC 8-24

7. Christmastown: A Holiday Noir
If your holiday season lacks slinky dames, growling gumshoes, and hard-boiled bosses, try Seattle playwright Wayne Rawley's Christmas noir.

8. Ham for the Holidays: Jurassic Pork
Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt present this campy, satirical holiday show that's described as a "wonky, gender-bending holiday sketch hoo-hah."

9. A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol
You may think you know the story of A Christmas Carol, but you have no idea. Watch a team of improvisers recreate Dickens' tale based on audience suggestions.

DEC 8-26

10. Homo for the Holidays 2016
This drag and burlesque gigglefest features a bunch of wacky little holiday-themed skits that our own Dan Savage once called "FUCKING GREAT....FUCKING HILARIOUS!" Now in its ninth year, Homo For The Holidays is joined by Waxie Moon, with the likes and liknessess of the great BenDeLaCreme and Cherdonna. You should get plastered before you go, if only to help make your yuletide gayer. RICH SMITH

DEC 8-28

11. George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
Last year Pacific Northwest Ballet replaced Maurice Sendak's beloved pastel set with a brighter one by Ian Falconer, author of the Olivia the Pig children's book series and longtime set designer. The symmetry of Falconer's Nutcracker set would be obscene if it weren't for thick cartoonish lines and Dr. Seuss–like stage elements. It's hard not to see Wes Anderson's influence, but Falconer leaves his own distinctive marks all over the place. If you haven't seen this Christmas classic since you were a kid, you might give it a go this year. It is a deeply weird thing to see. I mean, the ballet goes into this little girl's dream, wherein there's a war with a many-headed rat king who ends up dying dramatically after the girl throws her handkerchief at him. But what's fucked up is that a nutcracker steals one of the rat king's crowns and then places it on the girl's head, which transforms her into a bunch of adult snowflake ballerinas with crowns on! And THEN it turns out that the nutcracker transforms into her childhood crush! The two walk hand-in-hand toward a giant exploding star, which ends up being a portal into a 45-minute Katy Perry video filled with dancing desserts and a glittery peacock that moves like a sexy broken river. Maybe bring a pot lozenge? RICH SMITH

DEC 8-30

12. Christmas is Burning
This sci-fi comedy/Christmas special will feature Sgt. Rigsby and his team of puppets—and for dinner, possibly some shepherd's pie with reindeer.

DEC 8-31

13. Dina Martina Christmas Show
You'd think the chubby-older-woman-with-a-hairy-back-and-no-talent-but-thinks-she's-God's-gift-to-singing shtick would get old, but it doesn't, because Grady West, who inhabits her horrible fashion choices, is a world-class artist, a first-rate writer, and a comedy genius. (He has a Stranger Genius Award.) There's something so enduringly brilliant about Dina's incurably bonkers self-empowerment, but also something grim and beastly about who she would be without it. I saw the Dina Martina Christmas Show with someone who hadn't seen a Dina show in a decade, and she couldn't believe how much funnier it was than she remembered. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE


14. Classic Radio: Christmas Carol
This live radio drama offers a chance to hear and experience Charles Dickens' lesson-filled holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. Starring KIRO radio's Dave Ross as Ebenezer Scrooge, and produced and directed by Feliks Banel.

15. A Very Villains Holiday Jubilee
Seattle sketch group Villains pokes fun at holiday staples like visiting relatives and too much mulled wine.

DEC 9-10

16. The Best Burlesque Pageant Ever
Kutie LaBootie and other members of Stripped Screw crash an innocent Christmas pageant and cause much shock, horror, and arousal.

17. Christmas Cookies with Happy Pink Girl
Christmas Cookies promises an hour of festive comedic variety, including Christmas songs, improvised holiday stories, sing-alongs, original songs, and puppets—and of course, free cookies after the show, made by Happy Pink Girl.

18. Constellation
Cyrus Khambatta's company performs wintry dances inspired by global ideas: "Korean folktales, the earth’s rotation amongst celestial bodies, and the impact humans have on one another." For $30 total, dance enthusiasts can see a double bill: the troupe is also collaborating with Sergei Burlak Modern Line Dance Theater Company from Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

DEC 9-11

19. A Christmas Carol, The Musical
This musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' beloved holiday classic A Christmas Carol is presented by STG and Bishop Blanchet Drama.

20. Nutcracker Sweets
The Nutcracker is gorgeous, fantastical, romantic, unmissable—but let's face it, it's a little long for hyperactive tykes (and those rats are a little scary). ARC Dance has the solution: an hour-long, child-friendly performance of the classic ballet.

DEC 9-17

21. Bacon Strip: Sylvia's Special Christmas Gifts
Sylvia O'Stayformore's holiday variety drag show will feature a different cast each night, comprised of both newcomers and regulars, including Abbey Roads, Mona Real, and Betty Wetter.

DEC 9-18

22. Elf
An oversized elf navigates human life in the USA in this musical show for kids based on the 2003 film.

23. The Nutcracker & The Tale of The Hard Nut
Here's another chance to break out of the standard Nutcracker routine. This ballet by Mark Morris is set to Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, but explores the reason they need a nutcracker in the first place: a very hard nut.

DEC 9-23

24. Uncle Mike Ruins Christmas
Mike Murphy (Uncle Mike) will re-enact and trample over your fond Christmas memories.

DEC 9-24

25. Sugar Plum Gary
This snarky Christmas performance is devised and performed by beloved local comic and "mustache wizard" Emmett Montgomery. His character, Sugar Plum Gary, had a formative experience on "one magical Christmas Eve when Santa came to visit and [Gary] was the only survivor."

DEC 9-29

26. Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker
Celebrate the 11th anniversary of The Burlesque Nutcracker with Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann. If you're looking for a sexy holiday show experience, this promises both familiar stories and exciting, clothes-dropping times.

DEC 10

27. The Snow Queen
Spectrum Dance presents this dramatic dance interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen's tale The Snow Queen, dramatized and directed by Bob Gribas, choreographed by Spectrum Faculty, and featuring students from the Spectrum Dance Theater.

28. Theater Anonymous Presents It's a Wonderful Life
A one-night-only performance of "It's a Wonderful Life," with a real twist: nobody knows the cast, not even the cast. The cast members have never met each other, and have taken oaths of secrecy. They will literally pop up out of the audience and start participating. (In other words, if your spouse invites you to a show, don't let your guard down. They might be playing George Bailey.)

DEC 10-11

29. The Steadfast Tin Soldier: A Story Ballet
If you've already got your fill of The Nutcracker, try out The Steadfast Tin Soldier for another plot-driven holiday ballet. This production, presented by Dance Fremont, will feature live music and a cast of 50 dancers.

DEC 10-18

30. Mimosas Cabaret: A Boob Job for Christmas
This boozy brunch theater experience, hosted by Isabella Extynn and local drag legend Mama Tits, promises an "over-the-top raucous" holiday spectacular with a breakfast buffet, brunch menu, a full bar, Jell-O shots, and of course, plenty of drag queens. The show will star Tipsy Rose Lee, Ruby Bouche, Sparkle Leigh/Dan Davidson, and Abbey Roads, performing choreography created by Tipsy Rose Lee.

DEC 10-22

31. The Nutcracker
This Nutcracker by the International Ballet Theatre is choreographed by Vera Altunina. Let the Sugar Plum Fairy and the other beloved characters cast a holiday spell through dance at Meydenbauer.

DEC 10-24

32. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
The Herdmans in Barbara Robinson's 1971 novel are very, very badly behaved—can you imagine children smoking and shoplifting in a lighthearted kids' book today? But when the children usurp a Christmas pageant and depict the nativity in their own way, the book becomes a tribute to childish sincerity, even from the worst little hellions. Emily Purington directs this classic.

DEC 11

33. The Naughty List/Santa Baby
Dapper Down Productions presents two naughty, femme-centric holiday shows on one night, starring Miss Petite Coquette, Spikey Van Dikey, and a roster of drag kings.

34. Short Stories Live Christmas Show: A Rogue's Christmas
This is the holiday edition of "Short Stories Live," a performance featuring short stories, poems, and music, curated by Jean Sherrard.

35. Sketchy Santa
Each comic anonymously writes a scene for a fellow actor: "Like Secret Santa, with comedians." Expect a lot of tomfoolery as they try to throw each other off.

36. Winter Wonderprov
This one-night-only holiday special promises two hours of improv comedy from Secret Bagel (a three-person team that will tell a "mini-epic" story), Seattle Experimental Theater’s Wedding Horror Stories, Plush Squad (involving a team of stuffed animals solving celebrity murders), Price/Nixon, and Phill and Ian’s 20-minute Radio Hour, presented by Professor Angstrom’s Laundry Powder. All proceeds will benefit community charities helping local children, families, and seniors.

DEC 12

37. Frank Lawler and Daniel Flint
Frank Lawler and Daniel Flint, creators of the humorous holiday show Holiday of Errors, present this (excerpted) staged reading and discussion.

DEC 13

38. Annual Holiday Reading with Brad Craft: A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
Join the Book Store's beloved used books buyer, Brad, to revel in Capote's tale of making Christmas traditions with his older cousin "from buying illegally made whiskey for their fruitcakes to cutting down their own tree and decorating it with homemade ornaments." Have some cookies and cider while you listen to this uncharacteristically sweet Capote story.

DEC 15-24

39. The Santaland Diaries
This production is based on David Sedaris' autobiographical essays about working as an elf at Macy's during the holiday season, and is described as a "combination of retail hell and theatrical spectacle." Performed by Patrick Lennon and directed by Kelly Kitchens.

DEC 16

40. A Christmas Story: Live Reading
Celebrate the holidays at West of Lenin with this live reading/performance of A Christmas Story, the beloved holiday movie about a kid dreaming of a B.B. gun. All proceeds will go toward the Red Badge Project.

DEC 16-17

41. A Cabaret Story
The oh-so-naughty "Dolls of After Midnight Cabaret" will spend the evening trying their best to show Santa just how good they can be.

DEC 16-18

42. Nutcracker
This collaborative production of the Nutcracker—featuring choreography and staging by Vanesa Wylie, Heidi Gans, Christine Juarez, Leigh-Ann Cohen-Hafford, and Steve Casteel—will feature Cornish Preparatory Dance Company members (and wee students ages 6-8) performing the holiday classic.

DEC 17

43. Ian & Bhama's Black Christmas
Bhama Roget and Ian Schuelke present this Christmas special featuring sketches and songs about "the occult, porn stars, black metal, and presents."

44. Nutcracker Sweets
The Nutcracker is gorgeous, fantastical, romantic, unmissable—but let's face it, it's a little long for hyperactive tykes (and those rats are a little scary). ARC Dance has the solution: an hour-long, child-friendly performance of the classic ballet.

DEC 18

45. A Christmas Memory
This is Betty Campbell and Patrick Lennon's fourth annual holiday reading of Truman Capote's sad and sweet short story A Christmas Memory, directed by Julie Beckman.

46. Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular
In what is basically a holiday circus bonanza, Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular combines the cast of traveling troupe Cirque Musica with a live orchestra playing seasonal classics, clowns, acrobats, aerialists, and dancers for an exclamation of family fun.

DEC 18-20

47. Christmas S***show
Baby Jesus & co. ring in the holiday season with a "peyote-fueled" romp, and you're invited to participate in the festivities with a drinking game.

DEC 23

48. Brutalesque: Holiday Onslaught
Brutalesque presents Holiday Onslaught, also known as A Seasonal Travesty of Epic Proportions. "Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Venom—they all have at least one or two holiday songs under their bullet belts. Some of it is funny, some of it is savage, and some of it is powerfully sincere," says producer and emcee Lilith Van Dyke. See it brought to life at this irreverent holiday show featuring burlesque and tons of heavy metal.

DEC 29-30

49. Twisted Flicks: Rudolph's Shiny New Year
Improvisers re-dub cheesy "B" movies (in this case, the 1976 animated stop-motion special, Rudolph's Shiny New Year), according to audience suggestions.

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