Don't miss Lin-Manuel Miranda's pre-Hamilton hit musical In the Heights, coming to the Seattle Rep in November. John Daughtry, 2011

You may not be jet-setting this fall, but settle into a theater seat and you'll be transported to Lin-Manuel Miranda's New York City, Shakespearean England, and everywhere in between. Plus, laugh along with comedians like Phoebe Robinson to cure the onset of SAD. Below, we've rounded up all of our critics' performance picks for the season. Plus, find a complete list of theater, dance, and comedy events in Seattle this fall on our Things To Do calendar, or check out the rest of our critics' picks from Seattle Art and Performance.

Stay in the know! Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app (available for iOS and Android), or delivered to your inbox.


Jump to: Theater | Musical Theater | Children's Theater | Dance | Drag | Cabaret & Burlesque | Circus & Acrobatics | Variety | Performance Art | Live Podcasts | Comedy | Stand-up | Improv

Theater



Sept 12–Oct 7

Richard III Last year, the all-women crew of upstart crow collective produced an all-female adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry the VI that was so good it actually made people want to see a production of Henry the VI. I reckon they'll have the same luck with this classic tale of throne-hungry villainy. Top-notch veteran actor Sarah Hartlett will take on the title role. RICH SMITH (Seattle Repertory Theatre, $29—$55)


Sept 19–Oct 6

A Small History of Amal, Age 7 In A Small History of Amal, Age 7, a little Indian boy fights the god of death shortly after the Mumbai train bombings in 2006. Nabilah S. Ahmed plays the title role in this one, and she's delivered standout performances in everything I've ever seen her in. Co-produced by Pratidhwani. RS (West of Lenin, $10—$80)


Sept 21–Oct 8

Everything You Touch The New York Times calls Sheila Callaghan's play "volatile," "histrionic," "florid and highly flammable." In other words: it's perfect theatrical fodder for WET. The story, to the extent that there is a story, involves a depressed young woman named Jess and her possibly imaginary friend/lover/father/fashion-designer, Victor. Themes of body image issues and alienation bind the whole thing together. You're going because Kiki Abba is one of the best comedic actresses in town, and she's playing the lead role. Maggie Rogers directs. RS (12th Avenue Arts, $25)


Through Sun Sept 30

Native Gardens Though Latina playwright Karen Zacarías hails from Washington, DC, her well-received comedy Native Gardens sounds like the most Seattle shit ever. An impending barbecue party ignites a property-line dispute between two neighbors. One couple—a Chilean lawyer named Pablo and his Ph.D.-candidate wife Tania—likes their garden overgrown with native plants. The other couple—Republicans Frank and Virginia Butley—keeps a prim English garden. As the two couples battle over how their gardens grow, a bunch of economic and racial tensions rise to the surface and boil over. Arlene Martínez-Vázquez directs. RS (Jones Playhouse, $28/$38)

Skylight A young woman flees a long-term affair with a rich married restaurateur when his ailing wife finds them out. Having previously lived in splendid comfort virtually as a member of their happy extended family, she now lives in self-imposed exile, working with poor, violent kids who have even fewer resources than she does. Then late one night, her former lover's son shows up to ask why she abandoned him. Shortly after he leaves, his father's limo rolls up. David Hare's drama, originally produced in 1995 and later revived in 2015 (with Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan, just to give you a sense of the age disparity), is a strange combination of trenchant and way out of step with the psycho-social and psycho-sexual temperature of 2018. But, like most of his major works, it's funny and involving, and it serves as a cracking showcase for two actors who know what they're doing. SEAN NELSON (ACT Theatre, $27—$82)


Through Thurs Oct 4

Prelude to a Kiss Strawberry Theatre Workshop presents this play by Craig Lucas about a woman who may or may not have switched bodies with a sick octogenarian during her honeymoon, and her husband who gradually comes to realize that his beautiful young wife is harboring the soul of an old man. Lucas's work has been seen as an allegory for AIDS; it was nominated for the 1990 Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. (12th Avenue Arts, $24/$36)


Oct 10–31

Beware the Terror of Gaylord Manor Last year, someone got wise and gave BenDeLaCreme a Halloween show. The horrific tale begins—where else—at Gaylord Manor, where a team of "paranormal researchers" have found themselves on this fateful night. Soon they're beset by "vampire vixens, well-built werewolves, mischievous mummies and witches that WERK," and it only gets more fabulously frightening from there. RS (ACT Theatre, $40—$69)


Oct 12–Nov 11

Oslo Oslo won a Tony for its dramatization of the top-secret peace negotiations between Rabin and Arafat in the 1990s. The diplomatic talks were, weirdly, orchestrated by young Norwegian power-couple Mona Juul and Terje Rød-Larsen. Expect lots of long gray coats, wary handshakes, dark humor, and fine acting from Christine Marie Brown and Avery Clark. RS (ACT Theatre, $27—$67)


Oct 17–Nov 25

A People's History Mike Daisey's back in town, as he often is, with a pretty simple but brilliant bit. He's going to read you some pages from Good Will Hunting's favorite history book. Then he's going to read you some pages from his high school history book. Then we're all going to sit there and have a little reflection session on the difference between history as told by the conquerors and history as told from the perspective of the dispossessed. RS (Seattle Repertory Theatre)


Oct 18–Nov 3

I and You Two teenagers—a boy and a deathly ill girl—argue and bond in Laura Gunderson's "ode to youth, life, love, and the strange beauty of human connectedness." Co-produced by Pratidhwani. (Theater Schmeater, $30)


Oct 18–20

Ian Bell's Brown Derby Series presents: Halloween Seattle has a venerable and undignified tradition of marvelously ramshackle bar theater. If Dina Martina is its queen, Ian Bell's Brown Derby Series—which adapts major motion pictures for raucous, boozy audiences—is the crown prince. This edition will butcher Halloween for maximum comedy. (Re-bar, 8 pm, $22)


Fri Oct 19

"Second Act" with Christine Deavel & J.W. (John) Marshall The two former owners of this poetry bookstore, Christine Deavel and J.W. (John) Marshall, will read from their new play Vicinity/Memoryall, about two people searching for a memorial to the victims of an act of violence in their city. There will also be a screening of Sarah Linkatoon's short film Olive, which won the 2018 Emerging Visions Filmmaker Award. (Open Books, 7 pm, free)


Oct 24–Nov 4

Incident at Vichy Arthur Miller's play depicts the plight of a group of men plucked off the street and waiting their unknown fate in a police station in German-occupied France. Kelly Kitchens from Seattle Shakespeare and Seattle Public Theater will helm a cast from UW School of Drama, bringing this disturbingly relevant piece about widespread evil and the individual's response. (Jones Playhouse, $20)


Oct 25–27

Andrew Schneider: AFTER Andrew Schneider and his frequent sound designer, Bobby McElver, created this compelling piece of avant-garde theater with one question in mind: "How can we induce a collective hallucination?" The show, which premiered at EMPAC, asks some pretty fundamental questions. Who are you? How did you get here? And where will you go AFTER? (Get it?) Enjoy state-of-the-art light and sound effects as the cast tackles that series of linear questions in the least linear way you could possibly imagine. RS (On the Boards)


Oct 25–Nov 18

A Bright Room Called Day The Williams Project describes the setup of Tony Kushner's A Bright Room Called Day: "A new president has just come to power by the slimmest of margins. Though his rhetoric is alarming, democratic institutions are strong and the opposition is looking good heading into the next election. This is Berlin, in 1932." Kushner (Angels in America) portrays activists and creative types trying to come to terms with their country's turn towards authoritarianism, weighing the ethical and material costs of cooperation versus rebellion. (The Hillman City Collaboratory)


Oct 26–Nov 17

Parliament Square James Fritz's play, critically admired in the UK, follows an unstable young mother who commits an extreme act of protest that, instead of igniting revolutionary fervor, is largely ignored and leaves her life ruined. Will she stick to her (unspecified) political principles? Pony World Theatre will stage the drama's US debut. (12th Avenue Arts, $20)


Nov 1–3

Barber Shop Chronicles Black men around the world gather in barber shops for politics, chat, preaching, and sports talk in this Fuel, National Theatre, and West Yorkshire Playhouse co-production that takes place in Harare, Accra, London, Johannesburg, Kampala, and Lagos. (Moore Theatre, $22—$72)


Nov 1–18

Juan Palmieri In the 1960s, Uruguay's economy was in crisis. A group of activists called the Tupamaros rose up and began redistributing the wealth by robbing banks, and giving food and money to the poor. A repressive regime then rose to power and started putting the kibosh on all that. Shortly thereafter, the US swooped in and trained local police to interrogate and torture dissidents, which led to over "200 disappearances and 15,000 incarcerations." Uruguayan playwright Antonio Larreta dramatizes this story of political upheaval and US intervention in Juan Palmieri, which ACT will present for the first time in English. Arlene Martínez-Vázquez translates and directs. RS (ACT Theatre, 7:30 pm, $25)


Nov 23–Dec 28

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. For the 43rd (!) edition, Kurt Beattie will direct and Ian Bell and David Pichette will alternate as Scrooge. (ACT Theatre, $37—$87)


Nov 28–Dec 9

Fefu and Her Friends One of the finest directors in town, Stranger Genius Award winner Valerie Curtis Newton, will direct a play by one of the best American playwrights, María Irene Fornés. Fefu and Her Friends is about a group of ladies preparing for a charitable event in Fefu's country house. The women reveal bold characters constrained by antiquated characterizations of feminine nature, and we catch glimpses of their love, loneliness, and internalized oppression. (UW Meany Studio Theater, $20)


Nov 28–Dec 16

Veils A black American Muslim befriends a non-veiled Egyptian during study-abroad in Cairo. At first, the two young women collaborate on a blog about the practice of veiling, but as unrest stirs around them, they begin to clash. (West of Lenin)


Nov 29–Dec 16

Our Great Tchaikovsky Hershey Felder embodied Irving Berlin last year to the measured praise of Sean Nelson, who lightly criticized the added schmaltz while calling Felder "an astonishingly gifted vocalist and pianist." Felder's past performances have brought other geniuses to life, including George Gershwin, Beethoven, and Leonard Bernstein. This fall, Felder will return as the tragic Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, composer of Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, in another exploration of the musically creative mind. (Seattle Repertory Theatre, $72—$82)


Sat Dec 8

Theater Anonymous Thirty actors take an oath of secrecy as to their role in this surprise-filled theater production of It's a Wonderful Life by 14/48. On the day of the show, they sit in the audience until it's time to deliver their first line. They're all seeing one another onstage for the first time—they'll be just as amazed as you! (Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center)

See all theater shows happening in Seattle this fall here.


Children's Theater

Return to top


Nov 1–5 & Nov 8–11

Disney On Ice: Dare to Dream Okay, this is a bullshit ice show for kids, but the world is—as this past August in Seattle showed us—literally on fire. You deserve to drop out and gawk over some glittery dresses floating around an ice rink for an afternoon. Eat some edibles beforehand and pretend you're watching Fantasia IRL. CHASE BURNS (ShoWare Center, $25+ [Nov 1—5] & Angel of the Winds Arena, $25+ [Nov 8—11])

See all children’s theater shows happening in Seattle this fall here.


Musical Theater

Return to top


Oct 9–Nov 4

Come From Away What happens when kind island people who live in the poorest province in Canada realize that they have to play host to a bunch of irritated, scared, and stranded "plane people" who nearly outnumber them? They help. An indicative line, given by an actor playing a clerk: "Thank you for shopping at Walmart. Would you like to come back to my house for a shower?" This is the strong, uplifting premise of Come From Away. Normally, I'm a stone when it comes to musicals. But by minute six or seven, I was smiling at all the small town charm and rooting for the spirit these people projected. RS (The 5th Avenue Theatre, $30—$160)


Nov 23–Dec 30

Annie It is a hard knock life. But the sun will come out tomorrow. You don't need me to explain what's great about Annie. 5th Avenue performer Billie Wildrick directs. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE (The 5th Avenue Theatre, $29—$120)

In the Heights Every decade, a musical comes around that reminds the general public that musicals can be popular, cool, and mainstream. The '80s had A Chorus Line, the '90s had Rent, the early '00s had Wicked, and the teens had Hamilton. But before Lin-Manuel Miranda became a household name after creating Hamilton, he was snatching up trophies and accolades for his other hugely popular musical, In the Heights. Broadway fans will go and fall in love again, and newbies will get a chance to see Miranda's earlier work for the first time. CB (Seattle Repertory Theatre, $17+)


Nov 29–Dec 9

Cabaret Christopher Frizzelle once wrote: "Cabaret is the best musical of all time, because Kander and Ebb were geniuses and because it neatly solves the problem inherent in musicals (why are these people breaking into song?). Its bawdy, funny, hedonistic songs aren't indulgent for indulgence's sake. What goes on inside the Kit Kat Klub, in Berlin in 1931, is ignorant bliss on amphetamines, a carnival of humanity not aware what's coming their way." This production by Pullman.vs.Paxton will benefit the Lavender Rights Project. (Yaw Theater, $30—$50)


Nov 29–Dec 23

A Very Die Hard Christmas Marxiano Productions, who most recently created the hit show Bohemia, will stage a merry holiday musical starring top-notch sketch comedy outfit the Habit, which promises to pepper the rip-roaring action with songs, jokes, and more. (Seattle Public Theater, $15—$35)

See all musical theater shows happening in Seattle this fall here.


Dance

Return to top


Sept 21–29

Jerome Robbins Festival If you've ever lunged around your living room snapping your fingers like a Shark or a Jet, or if you've ever shimmied around like a rich man (ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum), then you've danced Jerome Robbins's choreography. This extra special festival celebrates his cinematic work as well as his lesser known stuff, including Circus Polka, with music by Igor Stravinsky; In the Night, with a Chopin score; Afternoon of a Faun, to Debussy's classic; and three other dances. Robbins coached PNB artistic director Peter Boal for years. It'll be exciting to see how the student interprets the work of the master. RS (McCaw Hall, $30—$189)


Oct 4–6

Nrityagram Dance Ensemble This all-female classical Indian dance company, joined by members of the Chitrasena Dance Company of Sri Lanka, will be something to see: The New York Times has all but said that the dancers are literally divine. (Meany Center for the Performing Arts, 8 pm, $44/$52)


Oct 4–7

Solo: A Festival of Dance Solo dancers selected for clarity of ideas, use of space, and innovative composition will take over the stage during this festival of 20-minute performances. (On the Boards, $25—$70)


Nov 8–10

Compagnie Käfig: Pixel Watch a fine-art, experimental blend of hiphop, circus acrobatics, and video art with this renowned dance company from Lyon, France, headed by Mourad Merzouki. See dancers move through a pulsing field of dots and matrices that appears to ripple in response to their bodies. (Meany Center for the Performing Arts, 8 pm, $52/$60)


Fri Nov 9

Global Party A performance celebrating the diversity of the Seattle community with music and dancing from various cultures. (Moore Theatre, 7:30 pm, $10)


Tues Nov 13

Kate Wallich + The YC: Industrial Ballet Seattle based choreographer Kate Wallich and her dance company draw inspiration from the industrial-sounding music of the '80s and '90s in this production. (Moore Theatre, 8 pm, $31—$53)


Nov 23–Dec 28

George Balanchine's The Nutcracker If you haven't seen this Christmas classic since you were a kid, give it a go this year. In 2014, PNB replaced its beloved Maurice Sendak set with one by Ian Falconer, who did the Olivia the Pig books, and I'm glad that they did. The new set is gorgeous in a Wes Anderson-y way, and it reflects the genuine weirdness and beauty in the story. I mean, the last 45 minutes of this thing is like a Katy Perry video starring dancing desserts and a glittery peacock that moves like a sexy broken river. Bring a pot lozenge. RS (McCaw Hall, $33—$219)


Fri Dec 7

So You Think You Can Dance Live! Watch So You Think You Can Dance's Top 10 finalists when they swing through Seattle on their national tour. (Paramount Theatre, 8 pm, $36—$86+)

See all dance shows happening in Seattle this fall here.


Cabaret & Burlesque

Return to top


Thurs Sept 20

MarchFourth The vivacious, extravagantly bizarre MarchFourth is a performance troupe that hails from Portland and features 15 or so members that encompass a full band (bassist, guitarist, percussion corps, brass section) along with fire-eaters, stilt walkers, burlesque dancers, and acrobats. Clad in bedazzled, repurposed marching-band-themed costumes given a burlesque-meets-vaudeville-meets-circus-tent twist, MarchFourth delivers a high-spirited, intoxicating mix of indulgent theatrics and musical mastery, their sound dousing New Orleans—style marching band brass with elements of hard rock, funk, gypsy jazz, Afrobeat, and even some Latin music. All together, it makes for one wildly eclectic stage show that is far from novelty and definitely worth checking out. LEILANI POLK (Nectar, 8 pm, $20)


Sept 21–22

SexualiTease: A Planned Parenthood Burlesque Help these sexy folks, including the Luminous Pariah, the Shanghai Pearl, and host Sailor St. Claire, raise money for the sexual health organization with slinky burlesque acts. (Re-bar, $10—$50)


Through Sun Sept 30

Femme Fatale Can Can is partnering with rising music star Prom Queen for a story about the "mother of modern feminism and original Femme Fatale," Mata Hari. (Can Can, 7 pm, 9:30 pm, $35—$65)

See all cabaret & burlesque shows happening in Seattle this fall here.


Drag

Return to top


Thurs Sept 20

Miss Coco Peru in The Taming of the Tension There's a lot of drag to see this fall, but you'd be remiss if you missed Miss Coco Peru's visit to Seattle. Peru, the drag persona of Clinton Leupp, is an icon of contemporary American drag—up there with RuPaul and Lady Bunny and Magnolia Crawford. Go, giggle, and gag. CB (Triple Door, 7 pm, $35/$75)


Sun Sept 23

RuPaul's Drag Race: Werq The World Did someone say Shangela is coming to town? Shangela is coming to town!! The queen who was robbed—robbed!—on season three of All Stars brings her amazing talent to Seattle, along with some other hags named Violet Chachki, Valentina, and Kim Chi. CF (Paramount Theatre, 8 pm, $49—$150)


Thurs Sept 27

MUGZ: A Drag Show Americano will host this new themeless drag night where styles can be diverse and out-there. For the first iteration, expect jaw-dropping insanity from rapper Michete, The Stranger's own Uh Oh, Christian Brown, Britt Brutality, and Voodoo Nightshade. (Timbre Room, 8 pm, $8)

Fri Sept 28

Fish in the Percolator: The Return of the Twin Peaks Drag Show Fish in the Percolator will play on Twin Peaks themes, characters, and novelties for a night of North Bendian drag. The Lynch-loving queens and kings of the evening will include Miss Texas 1988 as Nadine Hurley & Mr. Dr. Professor MD as Dr. Jacoby, plus RainbowGore Cake as Laura Palmer. (Rendezvous, 10 pm, $20/$30)


Nov 16–21

Kitten N' Lou Present: Cream A confession: I've watched Kitten N' Lou's wedding video at least 20 times. They're just so gosh darn intoxicating and lovely. (It's on their website. I didn't, like, steal it or anything.) The burlesque duo exudes a chemistry unrivaled by any other stage pair I've seen, and, luckily for Seattle, this "world's showbusiest couple" are mainstays of the Emerald City. Their new show, Cream, brings guests along for a Spanksgiving feast of drag and burlesque. Go and prepare to fall in love. CB (Triple Door, $30—$45)


Dec 7–23

Homo for the Holidays: Jingle All the Gay! At this point, we can call Kitten N' Lou's Homo for the Holidays a Seattle institution. After a decade of successful shows and a dramatic changeover in the cast this spring, Kitten N' Lou are back and bringing the children a revamped gay holiday burlesque wet fever dream. Performers include Cherdonna Shinatra, Mr. Gorgeous, Markeith Wiley, Randy Ford, Abbey Roads, and lots of other talented queerdos. CB (West Hall, $35/$40)


First Saturday

ArtHaus The weirdo drag battles at Art Haus produce the kind of shockingly brilliant, deeply strange, and delightfully incomprehensible performances that I imagine when old timers talk about the off-the-wall art people used to make before the first wave of tech money started "ruining" everything. RS (Kremwerk, 7 pm, $7/$10)


Sunday

Mimosas Cabaret The drag diva titaness Mama Tits presides over another iteration of Mimosas Cabaret, featuring a short musical, plus songs, comedy, dance, and brunch. (Unicorn, 1 pm, $25)

See all drag shows happening in Seattle this fall here.


Circus & Acrobatics

Return to top


Through Sun Nov 4

Cirque du Soleil VOLTA Every Cirque show I've experienced has abounded with breathtaking, eye-popping visuals as well as awe-inspiring feats of movement by Cirque's cast of dancers, physical actors, athletes, acrobats, contortionists, aerialists, and other circus performers. The subject matter of Volta, Cirque's 41st production, involves extreme sports, touching on (but not limited to) shape diving, BMX, and rope skipping. LP (Marymoor Park, $39+)


Nov 30–Dec 22

Acrobatic Conundrum Acrobatic Conundrum trades the cheeseball spectacle of circus arts for the more expressive vocabulary of modern dance without sacrificing the athletic rigor associated with the form. RS (12th Avenue Arts)

See all circus & acrobatics shows happening in Seattle this fall here.


Variety

Return to top


Thurs Sept 20

Performance Lab: In the Round The theater will perpetuate its long tradition of gathering emerging and seasoned artists for an evening R&D cabaret of dance, theater, and music, and other experimentation and audience feedback. (On the Boards, 7 pm)


Sat Oct 20

Mixed Bag: A Comedy and Music Show The variety show Mixed Bag is back to celebrate the opening of the new, improved Hugo House. Washington's Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna will headline as the special guest, and poet Jeanine Walker and musician Steve Mauer will host. (Hugo House, 8 pm, $8—$12)


Oct 25–Nov 17

Anansi and the Halfling A black millennial navigates the classroom and the realm of the gods in this song-, puppetry-, and dance-filled take on African storytelling and the discovery of one's people's history, written by Madison Jade Jones. (Annex Theatre, 7:30 pm, $20—$40)


Fri Oct 26

The Seattle Process with Brett Hamil Described as "Seattle's only intentionally funny talk show" and "a mudpie lobbed into the halls of power," The Seattle Process with Brett Hamil offers politics, exasperation, information, and comedy. Past esteemed guests have included Stranger Genius Lindy West, Kshama Sawant, former Stranger associate editor David Schmader, and Pramila Jayapal. (Northwest Film Forum, 8 pm, $16)


Dec 7–23

Scott Shoemaker's War on Christmas Scott Shoemaker (Ms. Pak-Man) and illustrious friends like Mandy Price, Waxie Moon, Adé Conneré, and Faggedy Randy will lead a fearless investigation into the War on Christmas. Their weapons: "comedy, songs, dance numbers, amazing videos and partial nudity!" (Re-bar, $25—$85)


First Friday

Spin the Bottle This is Seattle's longest-running cabaret and has seen just about everything from just about everyone. (Annex Theatre, 11 pm, $10/$15)


First Sunday

Weird and Awesome with Emmett Montgomery On the first Sunday of each month, comedy, variety, and "a parade of wonder and awkward sharing" are hosted by the self-proclaimed "mustache wizard" Emmett Montgomery. (Annex Theatre, 7 pm, $5—$10 sliding scale)


Monday

The Magic Hat Presented by Emmett Montgomery and Friends Five "brilliant humans(?)," ranging from seasoned stand-up comics to sketch performers to audience members, are selected (presumably out of the Magic Hat) throughout the show to perform weekly at this comedy variety show. (Rendezvous, 7 pm, $5)


Last Friday

La Petite Mort's Anthology of Erotic Esoterica See "the darker side of performance art" at this eerie, secretive variety show with circus arts, burlesque, music, and more. Feel free to wear a mask if you'd rather not be seen. (The Conservatory, 8 pm, $23)

See all variety shows happening in Seattle this fall here.


Live Podcasts

Return to top

Thurs Sept 27

Throwing Shade Live 2018: There's No Place Like Condo Tour Bryan Safi, Erin Gibson, and their guests invite you to a rollicking political and pop culture podcast, complete with "Singing! Dancing! Guests! Games! Clowns!" (The Showbox, 8 pm, $25/$30)


Sat Oct 13

Snap Judgment Live! Snap Judgment is not your great aunt Susan's public radio show. Hosted by master storyteller Glenn Washington, Snap Judgment is This American Life with a bit more grit and a lot more music. Backed by a live band and featuring some of the finest storytellers haunting stages today, Snap live shows have all the intimacy of the radio show, but brought to life and onstage. KATIE HERZOG (Moore Theatre, 8 pm, $25—$83)


Fri Nov 16

Cote Smith, Zack Akers, and Skip Bronkie: Limetown—The Prequel to the #1 Podcast Of all the supernatural and suspense podcasts out there, Limetown may be the tautest and most elegantly executed. Nowhere to be found is the cheesiness of, say, NoSleep or the wide-ranging whimsy of Welcome to Night Vale. This live event will be a prequel to the story about the vanishing of 300 people at a top-secret research facility. (The Collective, 7:30 pm, $5)

See all podcast tapings happening in Seattle this fall here.


Performance Art

Return to top


Oct 18–20

Andrew Schneider: YOUARENOWHERE OBIE award-winning performer and "interactive-electronics artist" Andrew Schneider uses the idea of space-time collapse to shape this show. In addition to some extremely impressive FX, he employs a "lecture-style format, pop culture, and personal revelation to dissect subjects ranging from quantum mechanics and parallel universes to missed connections and AA recovery steps." If you like YOUARENOWHERE, which doesn't not look like a man having an existential crisis in the middle of an empty discothèque, be sure to check out AFTER at OtB on Oct 25—27, which is Part II of this avant-garde trilogy. RS (On the Boards)


Nov 1–3

A Savage Journey, Part 3: Something Savage This Way Comes Amy J Lambert and Markeith Wiley (Rich Smith: "Wiley is funny, light on his feet, and not afraid to bring it down for a moment or to go there or to say that") have a new show about the perversion of the American Dream, inspired by Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It's part of their "Savage Journey" dance/theater triptych, which began with Strange Medicine in the Deserts and continued with Savage Summer. (Northwest Film Forum)


First And Third Monday

SH*T GOLD Velocity invites artists from all media and genres to contribute up to five minutes of risky material to this very supportive open mic night. (Velocity Dance Center, 10 pm, free)

See all performance art shows happening in Seattle this fall here.


Comedy

Return to top


Fri Sept 21 & Fri Sept 28

The Nasty Body Comic hottie Claire Webber has not yet provided much detail on this event other than that it's "comedy and burlesque about life after eliminating your large intestine." But that already sounds good, and Claire Webber is gold. (The Pocket Theater, 10 pm, $10/$14)


Sun Nov 11

MST3K Live 30th Anniversary Tour Take a nice Midwestern guy, two snarky robots, and some evil scientists on the jankiest spaceship in the galaxy and add a dreadful B-movie, and you've got Mystery Science Theater 3000, which has been providing schlocky amusement for an amazing 30 years. Each show is different, but both will feature Joel Hodgson and reboot star Jonah Ray. Show #1 will be the Canadian sci-fi horror The Brain, and Show #2 will be the dreadful Deathstalker II. (Moore Theatre, 3 pm, 7 pm, $37—$50)


Sun Dec 2

A John Waters Christmas John Waters comes every Christmas, doesn't he? It feels like it. The potty-mouthed, anarchist-fetishizing, original daddy of filth is putting in his time yet again this year, and we're lucky to have him. If you ever wanted your face or butt or bloody tampon to be signed by the troubled mind behind Hairspray, Pink Flamingos, and Female Trouble, he'll do it here—as long as you buy some merch. It's worth it. CB (Neptune Theatre, 8 pm, $38—$115)


Tuesday

Comedy Nest Open Mic Every Tuesday night, fans pack the Rendezvous Grotto to watch two and a half hours of comedy, about half of which is delivered by women. Having so many women onstage and in the crowd makes male comics more mindful of their sets and their audience, while reinforcing what should be obvious: Women can be just as funny (or unfunny) as men. Equality, hurrah! (Rendezvous, 8 pm, $5)

See all comedy shows happening in Seattle this fall here.


Stand-up

Return to top


Sept 20–22

Damon Wayans Jr. Live Being the son of Damon Wayans and nephew to three uncles and an aunt who entertain folks for a living, Damon Wayans Jr. really can't betray his DNA and familial pressure—or there would be merciless, hilarious ribbing to endure. Thankfully, the 35-year-old Wayans has succeeded as a TV and film actor, writer, and stand-up comedian. He admits that his humor is more obscure than his father's and less enamored of discussing current events. Those into raunchy routines, though, will eat up Junior's act. DAVE SEGAL (Parlor Live Comedy Club, $25/$35)


Sat Sept 22

Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias Mega-successful stand-up comedian, actor, and Volkswagen minibus collector Iglesias will deliver some family-friendly laughs. (Washington State Fair Events Center, 7:30 pm, $45—$65)


Sun Sept 23

Minority Retort with Neel Nanda In an interview I conducted with Central Comedy Show co-host Isaac Novak, he observed that most comedy bills in Seattle still consist of about 80-percent white males. One imagines that is also the case in Portland—or perhaps it's even greater, seeing as the Rose City's population has a higher Caucasian percentage than the Emerald City's. With this statistic in mind, Portland-based stand-up comedy event Minority Retort offers a platform to redress this imbalance by championing comics of color. DS (Parlor Live Comedy Club, 7:30 pm, $10/$15)


Sat Oct 6

Kathleen Madigan: Boxed Wine and Bigfoot Midwest comic Kathleen Madigan—whose special Bothering Jesus skewers the Southern school system, retirement villages, the news, and her parents—will bring her wonderfully deep, sardonic voice to the Seattle stage. (Moore Theatre, 8 pm, $28)

LOL! for SCLC: A Comedy Event for Economic Justice The local grumpy wit El Sanchez will headline this big bash for legal aid for people with disabilities. (Renaissance Seattle Hotel, 5—9 pm, $100—$125)

Sun Oct 14

Cameron Esposito: Person of Consequence Tour Fans of queer comedy must get out to see Cameron Esposito, named Comic to Watch by the New York Times, Variety, The Guardian, LA Weekly, Time Out Los Angeles, and many other publications. Host of the podcast Queery and of the comedy night Put Your Hands Together at the Upright Citizens Brigade, she'll be swinging by Seattle for some of her risky and courageous comedy. (Neptune Theatre, 8 pm, $28)


Oct 18–20

Ron Funches Watch any Ron Funches clip on YouTube, or go to one of his live sets, and if you're not in love with his gentle, quirky observations and off-kilter, ganja-logic transitions, you need to reassess your worldview. Dude is one of the funniest humans on Earth now. Funches may have lost a lot of weight recently, but rest assured: He's still punching well above it with his endlessly unpredictable thoughts about whatever absurdities pop into his pot-enhanced mind. DS (Parlor Live Comedy Club, $30—$35)


Fri Oct 19

SAL Presents: Phoebe Robinson During this podcast comedian and writer's "Yaaas Queen Yaaas" tour with Ilana Glazer, Stranger contributor Jenni Moore wrote, "I enjoy that Robinson has mastered the art of dismantling the patriarchy and embracing diversity through her work, while also unabashedly celebrating all the white culture she loves." Phoebe Robinson of WNYC Studios podcast/HBO special 2 Dope Queens will appear alone to share funny observations of her second book, Everything is Trash, But It's Okay. (Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $60—$105)


Sun Oct 21

Carol Burnett: An Evening of Laughter and Reflection In a 90-minute stage show, the living legend shows clips and takes questions from the audience. In Chicago, someone asked her about her relationship with Julie Andrews, and she told a story about trying to prank Andrews's husband—the two women started kissing outside an elevator right as he was expected to walk out. Instead, the person who came out of the elevator was Lady Bird Johnson. "Aren't you Carol Burnett?" the First Lady asked. And Burnett answered: "Yes, and this is Mary Poppins." CF (Benaroya Hall, 7 pm, $68—$179)


Fri Oct 26

Andy Kindler Bitter, acerbic comedian Andy Kindler (Everybody Loves Raymond, The Daily Show) is also a funny and frequent tweeter: "When you hear phone recordings of Trump and Cohen it's scary to realize that Cohen was the brains of the operation." But of course, he'll be way more fun live. (Laughs Comedy Club, 8 pm, 10 pm, $20/$25)


Nov 1–3

Piff the Magic Dragon Piff the Magic Dragon is (1) British, and (2) a performer of very impressive and hilarious magic, while (3) dressed as a dragon. In a way, it's like: What more do you want, jam on it? But in another way, his performance elevates what might and should have been pure gimmickry into something approaching the exalted state of high lowbrow, something that transcends this unbearable world by being utterly of it. Or maybe it is just pure gimmickry, but if so, the emphasis is on "pure," which makes him a must-see. SN (Parlor Live Comedy Club, $25—$50)


Nov 30–Dec 1

Jake Johannsen With deceptive awkwardness and breathlessness, Johannsen deftly handles every subject from the mundane to the political to the extraterrestrial. (Laughs Comedy Club, 8 pm, 10 pm, $20/$25)


Dec 6–8

Bill Bellamy Bill Bellamy (The Bounce Back, Def Comedy Jam), supposedly the coiner of the term "booty call," will swing round to Seattle with some delicious new collocations. See the man about whom Charles Mudede once wrote: "Just look at the fine brother. That skin, those eyes, those lips—to use the words of Dr. Dre: 'Make a ho's panty wet.'" (Parlor Live Comedy Club, $25/$30)


Wednesday

Joketellers Union Joketellers Union is a weekly event run by Brett Hamil and Emmett Montgomery, whose keen observational and absurdist humor, political satire, and improv skits have been cracking up crowds in this city and elsewhere for over a decade. The night showcases local and touring comics—both established and on the rise. DS (Clock-Out Lounge, 8:30 pm, $7)

See all stand-up shows happening in Seattle this fall here.


Improv

Return to top


Sept 21, Oct 27, Nov 17

Book Club: The Holiday Party This improv performance centers on the story of "a group of well-off mid-thirties adults" who have gathered for monthly book club meeting "in the Nice part of town on a regular night, after their Barre classes and upscale juice crawls." Audience members are asked to bring a book to the performance, which the improvisers will then discuss, with "no self-awareness, an entire bottle of wine, and an absolute lack of critical skills." (The Pocket Theater, $10/$14)


Sept 22–Nov 10

The Nightmare Society The Nightmare Society tells the story of a commune of artists who act out your nightmares at the sound of a grandfather clock. Explore your deepest fears while intermittently giggling at the revival of this hit improvised horror show, which always comes up with bizarre and compelling imagery. (Jet City Improv, $17/$18)


Oct 4–5

Indie Month I started taking improv classes at Jet City in January and in that time I've learned two things: 1) How to "Yes, And" and 2) Nobody has a neutral opinion about improv. So! This month is either absolutely for you or absolutely not. Either way, studies prove laughing with a bunch of other people IRL is good for you and this could be one remedy for when the SAD sets in. Featuring over 35 groups and 100 performers with four teams performing a night, the festival includes everything from Yeah Okay (an amazingly quick-witted ensemble) to Thunder Gap (a six-member team of experienced and multi-talented improvisers tackling long-form improv with grit, goofiness, and groundedness). KK (Jet City Improv, $12)


Oct 7–Nov 18

Improvised Chekhov Once again evincing impressive ambition, this improv company will act out scenes based on your suggestions and the classic Russian plays Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard or The Three Sisters. (Unexpected Productions' Market Theater, 8:30 pm, $10)


Nov 23–Dec 22

Uncle Mike Ruins Christmas Mike Murphy (Uncle Mike) and Jet City cast members re-enact and trample over your fond Christmas memories in a happily vulgar performance. Not necessarily for squeamish types. (Jet City Improv, $17/$18)


Saturday

Naked Brunch Every week, get spontaneous at this free, all-improvised comedy open mic. (Rendezvous, 4 pm, free)


First Thursday

Keefee's House of Cards Keefee plays blackjack improv theater at this interactive show—play with him onstage, or just watch the wacky dealings. (Rendezvous, 8 pm, $10/$15)

See all improv shows happening in Seattle this fall here.