Hot-ticket New Year's Eve parties this month include Spectra 2019: New Year’s Eve Under the Arches. COURTESY OF PACIFIC SCIENCE CENTER

It's December in Seattle, and that means not only loads upon loads of winter holiday events and New Year's Eve parties, but also tons of great arts, music, and food events to look forward to that have nothing to do with snowflakes or Santa. Below, we've rounded up the biggest events that you should know about this month, ranging from concerts like John Legend and the Deck the Hall Ball, to food events like the Winter Solsticwinter e Night Market and the 12th Annual Cookbook Social, to performances like BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon's To Jesus, Thanks For Everything! - Jinkx and DeLa and Disney's The Lion King, to comedians like Conan O’Brien and Gina Yashere, to film releases like Mary Poppins Returns and Mary, Queen of Scots, to major holiday events like Enchant Christmas and Canlis' Hawaiian-themed New Year's Eve party. See them all below, and, as always, find even more options on our complete Things To Do calendar.

Like free stuff? We're giving away prizes from local businesses every day this month through Christmas, as part of 25 Days of Giveaways!

DECEMBER 1

FOOD & DRINK

1. Winter Beer Festival
At this tasting event, you can try unique wintry sips—ranging from “dark malty stouts” to winter warmers to barrel-aged rarities and other hard-to-find seasonal wonders—from more than 50 different Washington Brewers Guild member breweries. Local favorites like Aslan, Cloudburst, Standard, Stoup, Optimism, Lucky Envelope, Georgetown, and more will all be in attendance. Proceeds will benefit the guild. JULIANNE BELL

MUSIC

2. Louis The Child, Big Wild, NoMBe, Wafia
Bombastic electronic duo Louis the Child (aka Freddy Kennett and Robby Hauldren) are big potatoes in the music industry thanks to their single collaboration with K.Flay, "It's Strange," and their ‪Icona Pop collaboration, “Weekend.”

3. Mavis Staples
You know the Staple Singers from their R&B, soul, funk, and gospel-fused hits (“Respect Yourself,” “I'll Take You There”), so you’re already familiar with the youngest sibling of the family vocal group, Mavis Staples. She’s got that warm, deep, enveloping vocal quality that feels like a hug. Her sound has gotten some modern polish and bluesy amble over the last few four albums with Jeff Tweedy at the production helm and fruitful collabs with a cast list including Neko Case, Nick Cave, Valerie June, Merrill Garbus, and others. Last year’s If All I Was Was Black was entirely written by Tweedy, who’s admitted it’s a political album. “There is something that feels complicit at this moment in time about not facing what is happening in this country head-on.” Although “We Go High” feels a bit like a grooving lecture, the album is otherwise a breeze. LEILANI POLK

4. SMooCH: Seattle Musicians for Children's Hospital
The charity circuit gets an indie-rock soundtrack as a pitch-perfect lineup including some of Sub Pop’s brightest stars gathers to help raise funds for Seattle Children’s Hospital. Attendees will get the unique treat of pairing their five-star meals with live sets by Pacific Northwest favorites the Head and the Heart, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Jenn Champion. NICK ZURKO

PERFORMANCE

5. Xmas for Krampus Holiday Cabaret Extravaganza
At this holiday cabaret, Christmas isn't sweetness and twinkly lights. It's dedicated to the sinister devil-like bringer of pain, the Krampus. Watch excerpts from REBATEnsemble's 2017-2018 season, including Richard III, Night Parade, Welcome to the Moon, and As You Like It, in honor of the creature.

SPORTS & RECREATION

6. Beat The Blerch Holiday 5k
This run is inspired by Matthew Inman, the creator of the Oatmeal comic, who wrote about his running experiences with "the blerch." In addition to the scenic, flat 5 or 10K course through the woods, there will be cake at every station, couches along the course, an appearance from Inman himself, and costumed, Sasquatch-like blerches who will chase you. Runners are encouraged to wear their most hideous sweaters to this holiday edition. Inman will also be around to sign copies of his comics.

DECEMBER 1-2

SHOPPING

7. Urban Craft Uprising 2018 Winter Show
You're bound to find something special for a loved one or for yourself at the winter edition of "Seattle’s largest indie craft show," which features over 150 artsy vendors.

DECEMBER 1-9

READINGS & TALKS

8. Holiday Book Flood/Jólabókaflóð
Thanks in part to the Seattle-Reykjavik Sister City Association, the Scandinavian-focused museum will emulate Iceland's Jólabókaflóð, the "Holiday Book Flood," during which Icelandic publishers release a veritable tide of books for the holidays. Shop at an Icelandic lit pop-up and celebrate on December 6 with a reading featuring Margaret Wilson, Sierra Nelson, and D.A. Navoti. Until December 16, you're also invited to drop off children's paperback books at their drive. 

DECEMBER 1-23

WINTER HOLIDAYS

9. Issaquah Reindeer Festival
Celebrate the holiday season's most iconic mammal, the reindeer, at Issaquah's annual family festival. Visitors can visit Santa in his house, meet his reindeer team (and his kittens), hear a story from an elf, and much more.

DECEMBER 2

COMEDY

10. 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. CHASE BURNS

MUSIC

11. Crush
Seoul-based musician Crush (aka Shin Hyo-Seob), a member of hiphop group Fanxy Child, will stop in Seattle on his first North American Tour in support of his most recent album, Wonderlost

12. Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox
In a reimagining of contemporary pop hits in the styles of jazz, ragtime, and swing classics of the '20s though the '50s, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox busts genres with a rotating collective of musicians and vocalists who attempt to cross all musical boundaries and generations.

DECEMBER 3

MUSIC

13. Elvis Costello & the Imposters
It’s been a long time since Elvis Costello had a new record worth discussing. After 2008’s raw and wiry Momofuku, Costello hung up the Jazzmaster and donned a fedora, taking up a dilettantish interest in Americana that lasted the length of two conceptually intriguing if wearisome records: 2009’s Secret, Profane & Sugarcane and 2010’s National Ransom. Even the Roots—who collaborated with Costello on 2013’s Wise Up Ghost—couldn’t properly reinvigorate the songwriter. Costello’s new record, Look Now, is a welcome return to form. In addition to featuring some of his most inspired songwriting in decades, highlights such as “Under Lime” and “Stripping Paper” recall the dense symphonic pageantry of Costello’s underrated early 1980s masterpieces, Trust and Imperial BedroomMORGAN TROPER

14. Gucci Mane, Carnage, Smokepurpp, Hoodrich Pablo Juan, Asian Doll
Since being released from a two-year prison sentence in 2016 for firearm possession, Gucci Mane has a new lease on life. The rap icon lost weight, got married, wrote a memoir, and is recording new music like he’s making up for lost time—December’s forthcoming Evil Genius will be his 11th release since getting out of jail. Little of Gucci Mane’s recent output matches the genre-defining urgency of early work like Trap House, but he’s still one of rap’s most distinctive stylists. And owing to his new, healthier lifestyle, we can expect to be hearing from Gucci for a long time. ANDREW GOSPE

DECEMBER 4

MUSIC

15. Barry Dean, Cassadee Pope, Bailey Bryan, Sam Palladio
This evening showcases a group of "the best country mega-hit songwriters," including Nashville's Barry Dean (known for his hit single "Girls Chase Boys"), Cassadee Pope (formerly of Hey Monday), singer-songwriter Bailey Bryan, and Sam Palladio (who's from England but did star in the ABC musical drama series Nashville).

DECEMBER 5

MUSIC

16. Anuhea
Join island girl Anuhea for a night of Vitamin D-infused reggae on her All Is Bright Tour of 2018.

17. Bomba Estéreo
Colombian duo Bomba Estéreo bring their bombast back to Seattle on their international Jungla Tour. Ayo, their 2017 LP, fires out tropical pop and electronic beat drops. Lead singer Li Saumet glides between blustery Spanglish rapping and breeze-soft divulgences. “Me quemo por dentro,” she confesses in “El Alma y El Cuerpo”—"I’m burning inside”—and this seems a perfect motto for the entire unabashedly bouncy project. While primarily a creative duo, Saumet and keyboardist/bassist Simón Mejía are frequently backed by esteemed cumbia musicians, building a blaze at their live shows, both from the stage and on the dance floor.AJ DENT

18. JMSN
JMSN (aka Jameson, aka Christian Berishaj) makes creamy, sexy R&B, although “Drinkin’” on recently released fourth LP Whatever Makes U Happy is a straight-up slow jam dedicated to… alcohol. Seriously, the entire song is him crooning and howling most deliciously against soulful backing woos about how he’s been drinking all the time (but he swears he’s not an alcoholic). LEILANI POLK

19. Tommy Emmanuel, Jerry Douglas
Australian songwriter Tommy Emmanuel has been dubbed a "Certified Guitar Player" by his idol, the late country-rock legend Chet Atkins, so you can rest assured knowing this show will include some impressive fingerpicking.

PERFORMANCE

20. Lady Bunny's 'Hung With Care'
The infamous Bunny, extravagantly coiffed haunter of New York nightclubs and deliverer of tawdry jokes, will make another visit to our humble Northwest.

READINGS & TALKS

21. Shout Your Abortion Book Release Bash
When Congress tried to defund Planned Parenthood in 2015, Amelia Bonow logged on to Facebook and did something radical: She talked openly and positively about her abortion. Writer Lindy West shared the post on Twitter with the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion, and their movement to destigmatize and demythologize abortion began. Now Bonow and Tacocat frontwoman Emily Nokes are publishing a new book of personal essays (and cool photos!) from Angela Garbes (Like a Mother), El Sanchez, Viva Ruiz, and other brilliant women and nonbinary artists who have expanded the movement using their own particular talents and strengths. Grab a drink, listen to some of those stories, and enjoy music from SYA's “house band.” RICH SMITH

DECEMBER 5-6

FILM

22. Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2018
"Is the mountain out today?" This stop on the world tour of the Banff Mountain Film Festival will celebrate action, environmental, and adventure films.

PERFORMANCE

23. Bon Iver & TU Dance: Come Through
This sounds like a feast for the eyes and ears. Bon Iver’s music is delicately lovely, lushly orchestrated, and classily experimental—chamber folk-pop with an electronic beating heart driven by the silky, emotive, falsetto-reaching vocals and creative musical abundance of singer-songwriter Justin Vernon. He collaborated on a project with Saint Paul’s contemporary TU Dance troupe, and the result, Come Through, marries new Bon Iver music with the choreography of Uri Sands to beautiful effect. There’s a new mini-doc about the making of the work by Twin Cities PBS that includes video of three movements from the program. It brought tears to my eyes. I imagine the full program will inspire more awe (and maybe some joyful weeping) when the two-date run lands in Seattle. LEILANI POLK

DECEMBER 6

FOOD & DRINK

24. Eggnog-Off
The Sun Liquor team will brew up a batch of their buzzy and beloved eggnog alongside Brimmer & Heeltap's own special version. Try them both by the warmth of a fire pit, and get some s'mores and hot cocoa while you're at it.

25. Ivar’s Northwest Winter Beer Tasting
Sample regional winter brews paired with onion-roasted pork poutine, waffle fries, Uli's jalapeno sausage-and-mushroom puff pastries, mini chicken pot pies, and more comfy bites from Ivar's Chef Garr. Featured breweries include Bad Jimmy’s, Diamond Knot, Georgetown, Ghostfish, Maritime, Peddler, Pike, Pyramid, Rainier, Reuben’s, Silver City, and Tieton Cider Works.

HANUKKAH

26. Light Up the Night - Burger Fest
Spend the fifth night of Hanukkah witnessing Westlake Park's giant menorah lighting, eating gourmet burgers, latkes, and doughnuts, sipping hot beverages, and learning about Judaism from a Mitzvah tank.

MUSIC

27. KEXP Yule Benefit: Moby with Members of the PNB Orchestra
In this world, Moby is a crusader of human culture with a mind that has changed the music game time and time again. In this once-in-a-lifetime event, the 53-year-old electronic emperor will put his concerto chops to the test to reinterpret a holistic host of his hits with the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra. He’s promised to bring some top-notch vocalists along to sing rhapsodies like “Natural Blues” for this evening, which will only be the second time he’s performed for an audience in this capacity. That said, this’ll be a philanthropic and philharmonic opportunity.  ZACH FRIMMEL

28. Seattle on Ice!
This annual winter show welcomes local rockers Smokey Brights (whose "crackly and warm guitar-driven rock" is lauded by Stranger contributor Kathleen Tarrant), excellent local soul group the True Loves, local power-pop group Cumulus, local hiphop group All Star Opera, and DJ Pretty Please.

29. Whitey Morgan, Alex Williams
The time has come to officially conscript the phrase “I listen to anything except country” to only Tinder pages that you should really, really be swiping left on. Sure, the bro’d-out pop-inflected variety of the genre has only become more common and more putrid, but that stuff is the Natty Light of music, and there’s quality microbrews to be found if you look. Case in point, Flint, Michigan’s Whitey Morgan, whose punk background and honky-tonk sound give his music the kick of a good IPA. Songs like “Ain’t Gonna Take It Anymore” balance humor and self-destructive pathos with aplomb—they go down smooth but bite at the end. JOSEPH SCHAFER

READINGS & TALKS

30. Poetry for the Public: Claudia Castro Luna and Kim Stafford
Portland poet Kim Stafford, son of the poet laureate William Stafford, will join State Poet Laureate Claudio Castro Luna for a night of lovely, perhaps elegiac poetry. (One of Castro Luna's books is Killing Marías, dedicated to the memories of murdered women; Stafford's 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do is an ode to his deceased brother.)

31. Randy Shaw: Generation Priced Out
The lack of affordable housing for low- and middle-income people will not stop being a hot subject while homeownership is limited by race and class lines. Randy Shaw, the director of San Francisco's Tenderloin Housing Clinic, will present his book about the housing crisis, Generation Priced Out. According to press materials, "Generation Priced Out criticizes cities for advancing policies that increase economic and racial inequality. Shaw also exposes how boomer homeowners restrict millennials' access to housing in big cities, a generational divide that increasingly dominates city politics. Defying conventional wisdom, Shaw demonstrates that neighborhood gentrification is not inevitable and presents proven measures for cities to preserve and expand their working- and middle-class populations and achieve more equitable and inclusive outcomes."

DECEMBER 6-9

GEEK

32. Weekend of Wizardry
Immerse yourself fully in the world of Harry Potter at this four-day convention for passionate fans. Witches, wizards, muggles, and mudbloods can look forward to workshops, celebrity guests (including Chris Rankin, who played Percy Weasley in the movies, James Fouhey, who played Cedric, and Hermione cosplayer Kari Lewis), a Wizard's Feast, a holiday ball, a magical tea party, a vendor's alley, and more spellbinding programming. 

PERFORMANCE

33. Okwui Okpokwasili: Poor People’s TV Room
Okwui Okpokwasili just won a MacArthur genius grant for "creating multidisciplinary performance pieces that draw viewers into the interior lives of women of color, particularly those of African and African American women, whose stories have long been overlooked and rendered invisible." The experimental Igbo American performer-artist-writer straight out of the Bronx presents more of the same in Poor People’s TV Room, which illuminates connections between the work of Nigerian women activists in the 20th and 21st centuries. Okpokwasili's dancing is mesmerizing, almost ecstatic at times, as if she's channeling movements from different people across time and space. When asked in a recent ICA Boston interview about this show, she said, "The audience should expect to see, I hope, ghosts." RICH SMITH

DECEMBER 6-24

PERFORMANCE

34. Dina Martina Christmas Show
If you think you know what drag is, if you think you know what humor is, if you think you know how the English language works, I heartily encourage you to throw your “knowledge” out the window and go see the Dina Martina Christmas Show. There is no one like Dina Martina. And there is no one like her diehard, inside-joke-obsessed, constantly laughing crowds. Her dedicated fans include Whoopi Goldberg, John Waters, and Kevin Costner. I’m not kidding. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

DECEMBER 7

MUSIC

35. The 32nd Annual Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition
Dozens of caroling teams will once again gather downtown to sing holiday ditties in support of the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank, which offers free meals, free groceries, one-on-one counseling, and other services to low-income and homeless people in Seattle. The top caroling teams will compete in a very festive "sing-off" on the Figgy Pudding main stage at the end of the night.

36. PJ Morton, Grace Weber
Singer-songwriter PJ Morton (the keyboardist for Maroon 5) has collaborated with such names as Lil Wayne, and Busta Rhymes, and he was nominated for "Best R&B Song" at the 2014 Grammys for his hit "Only One," featuring Stevie Wonder. He'll come to Seattle with support from another solo soul artist, Grace Webber.

37. Rosanne Cash
Though gifted with her family name, Rosanne Cash is known for her singular talent as a long beloved singer-songwriter. She'll spend the evening sharing some heartfelt Southern folk.

38. VNV Nation, De/Vision, Holygram, The Rain Within
For the past 23 years, VNV Nation has achieved cult-like status by offering monster-sized servings of thinking person's industrial, spicing up the harsh beats with lush orchestration and synth-pop subtleties. Fans of everything from trance to EBM and electro-pop will find something danceable throughout their release, Automatic, the group's 11th release. Unlike much of the industrial underground, VNV Nation has always provided a dose of melodic accessibility alongside the darkness. KEVIN DIERS

PERFORMANCE

39. 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.

OPENING DECEMBER 7

ART

40. Claire Partington: Taking Tea
The British ceramicist elucidates the history hidden in the Porcelain Room, a beloved permanent installation in the Seattle Art Museum. Incorporating or evoking Baroque painting, fragments from centuries-old shipwrecks, human figures, and factory production, Partington delves into the Eurasian China trade. Luxury, culture, exploitation...all lie behind the seeming anodyne dishes and vessels.

DECEMBER 7-8

SHOPPING

41. Winter Solstice Night Market
The official first day of winter is just around the corner, and it's officially freezing outside. Stay warm at this two-day indoor holiday night market, where over 100 local pop-ups will serve up their tasty food and drink offerings. While you're there, enjoy live holiday performances and shop for gifts for your loved ones. Plus, check out the market's indoor beer hall, where a separate ticket nets you 32 ounces' worth of beer from local breweries.

DECEMBER 7-9

GEEK

42. Jurassic Quest
Dino fanatics can enter a pre-historic realm filled with true-to-life dinosaur replicas, from the Tyrannosaurus Rex to the Iguanodon. Some of them even walk around and make noises.

DECEMBER 7-16

PERFORMANCE

43. Buttcracker IV... The Final Countdown!
This festive and raunchy holiday show promises glittery professional dance and holiday satire set to a hair-metal soundtrack. Wade Madsen will play God in this edition, replete with new choreography.

DECEMBER 7-23

PERFORMANCE

44. 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!"

DECEMBER 7-27

FILM

45. It's a Wonderful Life
Shortly after It's a Wonderful Life's 1946 release, James Agee, one of the few American film critics of that era still worth reading, noted the film's grueling aspect. "Often," he wrote, "in its pile-driving emotional exuberance, it outrages, insults, or at least accosts without introduction, the cooler and more responsible parts of the mind." These aesthetic cautions are followed, however, by a telling addendum: "It is nevertheless recommended," Agee allowed, "and will be reviewed at length as soon as the paralyzing joys of the season permit." Paralyzing joys are the very heart of George Bailey's dilemma; they are, to borrow words from George's father, "deep in the race." The sacrifices George makes for being "the richest man in town" resonate bitterly even as they lead to the finale's effusive payoff. Those sacrifices are what make It's a Wonderful Life, in all its "Capraesque" glory, endure. This year marks the 48th consecutive year Grand Illusion has played the film. SEAN NELSON

DECEMBER 7-29

PERFORMANCE

46. Murder on the Mistletoe Express
Cafe Nordo will return to its perennial Christmas heroine, Becky-June Beasley-Jones, whom we last saw in 2017's A View from Santa’s Lap. This time, Becky-June races home for "Grandma's last Christmas," but all sorts of sinister events disrupt the trip on the Mistletoe Express. Seattle playwrighting treasure Scot Augustson (Penguins) writes and directs, and Butch Alice stars as Becky-June. As with Nordo's other productions, the show will be accompanied by a four-course meal.

DECEMBER 7-30

PERFORMANCE

47. Homo for the Holidays: Jingle All the Gay!
At this point, we can call 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 producing a "new chapter" 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. CHASE BURNS

DECEMBER 8

ART

48. Art Under $100
Find affordable gifts from more than 70 "crackerjack artists" offering paintings, glass, fabric art, ceramics, jewelry, and more priced under one Benjamin. If you don't do crowds, you can shell out $20 to shop an hour early. It'll be kind of a party, with music by DJ Doctor David, art raffles, art projects led by the Makery, food from the trucks 314 Pie and Kiss My Grits, Resistencia coffee, Left Bank wine and Georgetown Brewery beer, and stronger elixirs from Glass Distillery and Captive Spirits Distilling.

49. Everyone's Floored
Carrying on the four-year-old tradition of exhibiting art by people of all training and ability levels, the Alice is neglecting the walls in favor of the floor this time. Here's how much they trust the local arts community to do marvelous things: They didn't even know what the pieces would look like before the creators brought them to their door! (To encourage face-to-face contact, the Alice didn't accept mailed submissions.) Turn your eyes earthward and shop carpentry, two-dimensional art, crafts, audio recordings, and whatever else the gallerists can fit in the space. Your dollars will be split 50/50 between the gallery and the creator. It's a great practice that allows you to support the local creative scene and the spread of democracy in art. JOULE ZELMAN

50. Very Open House
See the work of more than 125 artists and artisans in four buildings as mammoth Georgetown arts collective Equinox celebrates its 11th birthday. The studios also promise "guest artists, music, poetry, dance, demos, food trucks, and a whole lot more!" Stay late for a night of revelry and fire to alleviate your bored and SAD feelings.

FOOD & DRINK

51. CookieFest
This annual cookie bake sale pop-up benefiting the Seattle Milk Fund offers a smorgasbord of gooey, crispy, chewy delights from a variety of vendors, including beloved Scandinavian bakery Byen Bakeri, Capitol Hill cookie purveyor Hello Robin, the late-night cookie delivery service Midnight Cookie Co., and Greenwood plant-based dessert shop Cookie Counter. Guests are encouraged to tote along their own “cookie vessels” or grab a bakery box and load up on as many confections as they like. JULIANNE BELL

MUSIC

52. Nghtmre Before Xmas
Dance out all your holiday anxieties with a bunch of arena-style EDM from artists like Nghtmre, Bro Safari, Midnight T, Ducky, and Swage.

PERFORMANCE

53. Theater Anonymous: It's a Wonderful Life
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!

READINGS & TALKS

54. Write-O-Rama
Get the maximum amount of instruction from Hugo House's excellent prose writers and poets at this annual event featuring five hours of hourlong mini-workshops and talks.

WINTER HOLIDAYS

55. Green Lake Pathway of Lights
Every year, the Green Lake Park circuit illuminates its pathway with thousands of candles. You can walk through it, gaze up at hot air balloons, hear holiday music, and warm up with treats.

THROUGH DECEMBER 8

PERFORMANCE

56. Dragon Mama
Welcome to the second installment of Sara Porkalob’s extremely well-named trilogy of plays, The Dragon Cycle. After several iterations and permutations, the celebrated local playwright’s Dragon Lady found its fullest form as a hilarious and heartwarming musical about her own badass Filipino gangster grandma and her mother’s struggle to care for the family in hard times. Part II, Dragon Mama, follows Porkalob’s mother, Maria, through 25 years of life in Bremerton. The play promises “queer love in a barren land, a dope ’90s R&B soundtrack, Filipino gangsters, and ghosts.” If Dragon Mama ends up developing the way Dragon Lady did, you’ll want to get in early to enjoy the pleasures of watching Porkalob’s genius transform the show over time. RICH SMITH

DECEMBER 8-9

HANUKKAH

57. SeaJam Festival
Celebrate Hanukkah at the SeaJam Festival, which promises food, games, arts and crafts, food trucks, a candle lighting, and a concert full of "rocking and rolling Hanukkah songs" with indie-pop band the LeeVees. After that, there will be a multi-media dance performance by Rebecca Margolick and Maxx Berkowitz and a stand-up set with Cathy Ladman.

DECEMBER 9

MUSIC

58. A Charlie Brown Christmas
This is the seventh year that the Jose Gonzalez trio is performing the whole of jazz's greatest contribution of the Holiday Season: Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas. And we must love this work because it expresses Christmas feelings in a very urban way. It is indeed the sound of the Holiday Season in a big city and not that no-place out there in the country. In this jazz classic, the snow falls on apartment buildings and not on a forest. CHARLES MUDEDE

59. Justin Courtney Pierre, Thin Lips, Scarves
After a couple years' hiatus, Justin Courtney Pierre (of Motion City Soundtrack and video game music duo the Rapture Twins) with debut new solo stuff. He'll be joined by Philly indie rockers Thin Lips and Seattle fuzz-pop group Scarves on this Seattle tour stop. 

DECEMBER 10

FOOD & DRINK

60. 12th Annual Cookbook Social
At Tom Douglas’s annual gathering at the Palace Ballroom, you can sip wine, purchase cookbooks, sample recipes inspired by the titles on display, get autographs, and visit with the authors of some of the season’s most exciting cookbooks. This year’s roster includes Instagram star Linda Miller Nicholson, who shares how to re-create her vibrantly-hued handmade pasta in Pasta, Pretty Please; Hsiao-Ching Chou, whose Chinese Soul Food explains how to make comforting dishes like dumplings and stir-fries; Julien Perry, whose Seattle Cooks collects signature recipes from top chefs and bartenders in the Seattle food scene; and Kausar Ahmed, who includes her favorite recipes from Pakistan in The Karachi Kitchen. JULIANNE BELL

61. Delancey Feast of the Seven Fishes
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a traditional Italian American supper featuring seven kinds of fish or seafood, usually served before midnight mass on Christmas Eve. This lavish spread from Delancey promises the freshest catches that the Ballard pizzeria can procure, which may include albacore, lobster, Dungeness crab, Penn Cove mussels, anchovies, and roasted oysters snatched from Delancey’s roaring wood-fired oven, along with seasonal produce and a steady flow of beverages throughout. They’ll finish with some delightful-sounding butterscotch pots de creme for dessert. JULIANNE BELL

DECEMBER 10-12

FILM

62. Holiday Film Series
Revisit the Christmas comedies of your childhood on the giant screen: Take your pick from A Christmas Story, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Love Actually, Scrooged, Home Alone, Gremlins, Trading Places, and Elf.

DECEMBER 11

COMEDY

63. Conan & Friends: An Evening of Stand-Up and Investment Tips
Everybody loves Conan O’Brien, even if you weren’t one of the people religiously watching his (rather great) late night talk show on TBS, which aired its last episode in its hour-long format in October, and returns January revamped and a shorter 30 minutes each. Instead of cooling his heels during this three-month hiatus, Conan has embarked on an 18-date tour with a rotating group of comedians, his first time on the road since 2010 (when he was between late-night gigs). On this date, he’ll be delivering his self-deprecating humor joined by Team Coco writer Laurie Kilmartin (she also has a new book out, Dead People Suck), Ron Funches, Moses Storm, and Flula Borg. LEILANI POLK

FESTIVALS

64. Deck the Hall Ball 2018
Radio station 107.7 ("The End") presents a stacked lineup for their annual winter music spectacle with a few PNW superstars this year, including Death Cab For Cutie, Young the Giant, Bastille, Billie Eilish, and Jenn Champion.

MUSIC

65. Celtic Woman
Celtic Woman, a heavily lauded group of Emerald Isle faerie queens, will perform folksy classics and traditional Irish music on their Best of Christmas Tour.

READINGS & TALKS

66. Ashley Nellis and Steve Herbert with Katherine Beckett: The Case Against Life Sentences
Only a handful of countries on this planet regularly issue life sentences for criminal convictions, and the U.S. is one of them, with over 200,000 people currently serving out the remainder of their life in prison. But does this sentence have any effect on crime rates? Does it reform offenders or deter any criminal acts at all? Ashley Nellis of the Sentencing Project argues that any prison term over 20 years cannot be morally or pragmatically justified, and she will be discussing her new book, The Meaning of Life: The Case for Abolishing Life Sentences—as well as criminal justice in the U.S.—with UW professors Katherine Beckett and Steve Herbert at this Town Hall event. KATIE HERZOG

DECEMBER 11-12

MUSIC

67. George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
Since the ’70s, funk fanatics have gotten their ass-clapping kicks through the George Clinton-groovy incarnations Parliament, Funkadelic, and P-Funk All Stars. All of us licentious listeners have been wandering in the desert for almost 40 years waiting for the Promise Land that is Medicaid Fraud Dogg—Parliament’s first record since 1980—which showcases a millennial-savvy Clinton. With the help of a stage full of seductive dancers (previously seen doing handstand backbends on monitors) and crooners with honey-throated pipes, being in a room with the King of Funk and his glamorous entourage is a humidifying shower of sultriness. 
ZACH FRIMMEL

DECEMBER 12

FILM

68. An Evening with 'Auntie Mame'
Long before “safe space” was a commonly used/abused term, Auntie Mame’s Beekman Place apartment offered a safe space for the fabulous. The classic 1958 film about an independent socialite in the 1920s is worth recommending based on its costumes alone—get stoned and gawk at Rosalind Russell in feathers! But the real magic in Auntie Mame has always been its ability to transport audiences into a world where anything goes, a place where outcasts can don a nice frock and be praised. Celebrate its 60th-anniversary screening with this annual holiday fundraiser for Three Dollar Bill Cinema. CHASE BURNS

MUSIC

69. Dave East, D. Mikey
Repping East Harlem, rapper Dave East has shown up on XXL's 2016 Freshman Class and been signed to Def Jam Recordings in part due to his attention-getting 2014 mixtape Black Rose. He'll perform tracks from that and newer works tonight with additional guests.

70. Ice Cube
Even though he’s been on the comedy-film track for a while now, Ice Cube will always have serious street cred for his tenure in N.W.A. (he’s considered the founding father of gangsta rap), and for the fruitful solo hiphop albums that followed (AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted and Death Certificate in 1990 and 1991, respectively). His brash, pointed lyrical style is legendary, and he released his first album in eight years last week: Everythang's Corrupt. It wasn’t out by the time of this writing, but if the cover art is any indication—a bloody hand gripping a $100 bill—it’s highly likely he’ll be tearing into the current political and social climate with trademark Ice Cube force. This is why we love him. LEILANI POLK

71. SAINt JHN, Jazz Cartier
Brooklyn-based rapper SAINt JHN's distinct style comes partly from his use of soca music influences in his songs, which he picked up from his time living in Guyana. He'll be joined tonight by Toronto-based rapper Jazz Cartier.

PERFORMANCE

72. A Drag Queen Christmas: The Naughty Tour
If your holiday tastes bend toward the naughty, join bona fide queens of VH1's War on the Catwalk for fresh Christmas looks and "adult humor."

DECEMBER 12-16

MUSIC

73. Average White Band
The Average White Band are indubitably remembered as mid-1970s, AM-radio, horn-rock hit makers of the highest order of the FUNK! I’d reckon their jams are what folks would now, as they did then, consider a proper dance-party soundtrack! Well, Average White Band have a Seattle residency, and they’ve promised to be honkin' their horns as funky as they ever did. So, y’all, it’s time to dig out your patchwork denim leisure suit, press your flares, and polish up your platforms, ’cause it’s about time to get down and “Pick Up the Pieces”! MIKE NIPPER

DECEMBER 13

COMEDY

74. Gina Yashere
The Daily Show’s UK correspondent, Gina Yashere is a high-energy stand-up comedian who gets charmingly bawdy and bodily-function-obsessed amid her wry observations about race. A significant portion of her act derives from her humorous experiences traveling around the world as a black lesbian of English Nigerian descent, an identity that baffles many cultures. As an English native who’s lived in America, Yashere offers many acute, hilarious observations about the two countries, including why she prefers US racism over the more discreet British type. Then there are her dealings with obsessive-compulsive disorder and sleep apnea. She leverages some amazing lemons-into-lemonade alchemy in her sets. DAVE SEGAL

MUSIC

75. An Appalachian Christmas with Mark O'Connor & Friends
This holiday concert is led by multi-Grammy Award winner and Seattle native Mark O’Connor. This year, he'll be joined by the O'Connor Band, who will assist him in performing an evening of Christmas classics, fiddling, and bluegrass from his album An Appalachian Christmas, as well as songs from his album Coming Home.

WINTER HOLIDAYS

76. SAM Lights
Fight the gloom of night in the illuminated sculpture park, featuring luminarias, art-making activities, hot drinks and sweet treats for sale, and more.

DECEMBER 13-14

MUSIC

77. Patterson Hood, Guests
If you don't recognize the name Patterson Hood, let me toss a few more syllables out there: Drive-By Truckers. If you don't recognize Drive-By Truckers, maybe you're just not interested in balls-to-the-wall Southern rock paired with affecting and novelistic lyrics. Hood is one of the two central songwriters in the Truckers universe, alongside Mike Cooley. Admittedly, Cooley is the more melodic singer, but Hood's the more significant storyteller, often mixing great love songs with sympathetic tales about incest survivors, disgraced policemen, and friends getting hooked on crystal meth. Hood's date at the Abbey is a rare opportunity to see him as a solo artist without the Truckers backing him up. JOSEPH SCHAFER

DECEMBER 13-JANUARY 6

PERFORMANCE

78. Disney's The Lion King
Julie Taymor's jaw-dropping, puppet-filled production of The Lion King will visit Seattle in its Circle of Life. Elton John music, Tony-winning direction, treachery, youth, and revenge...the works.

DECEMBER 14

FILM

79. 'Mary, Queen of Scots' Opening
Fuck A Star Is BornMary, Queen of Scots is the diva movie of the season. I can't think of a film that's more Oscar-baity than this one, with Margot Robbie, riding high off I, Tonya, and Saoirse Ronan, who won everyone's admiration after Lady Bird, facing off in an epic battle of the queens. The period dresses and shit look so good. We're going to be talking about this film all winter, so just go and see it now. CHASE BURNS

80. Mortal Engines
Peter Jackson is the big name behind this ultra-big-budget ($100 million) postapocalyptic steampunk adventure based on the novel of the same name by Philip Reeve. This could be the kickoff of another series banking on the success of all those YA novels transformed into blockbuster film franchises (see Twilight, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, etc.), and its quality remains to be seen. Fans of Jackson’s work are likely already on board—and, at the very least, it will look really good, even if it’s overlong and tedious. LEILANI POLK

81. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
This isn’t the latest output of the exhausting Marvel franchise. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is adapted from a relatively recent story arc, based on a Spider-Man character created in 2011 by writer Brian Michael Bendis, Marvel’s then-editor-in-chief Axel Alonso, and artist Sara Pichelli. It follows the (SPOILER ALERT) death of Peter Parker, and finds the Spider-Man mantle picked up by a young Afro-Latino teen, Miles Morales. Bendis and company drew inspiration from Barack Obama and actor/rapper Donald Glover.  Also, it’s animated, separating it ever further from the regular franchise films. LEILANI POLK

MUSIC

82. Dweezil Zappa
Frank’s son is a guitarist, too. Dweezil Zappa has several albums’ worth of original material, but live, he mostly plays his dad’s music, of which there is a stupendous amount. If you are a fan of Frank, you might love him and only know a thin sliver of his 111-album catalog (49 of which came out posthumously), and maybe it’s easier that way, because it’s a lot to digest, much of it complex prog-rock that’s not accessible to the average music listener, anyway. Dweezil sticks with the stuff fans love, setlists mixing well-known fare (“Valley Girl,” “Dog Breath,” “The Torture Never Stops,” “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow,” “Keep It Greasy,” et. al) with deeper cuts (“Cocaine Decisions,” “T'Mershi Duween”).
LEILANI POLK

83. Tenacious D
Tenacious D isn't for everyone. Hell, comedy rock isn't for everyone. But, Jack Black is a silly fool of a force—obnoxiously delightful, like that friend you had in high school who’d do anything for a laugh, who you knew would do anything for a laugh, and yet, even while seemingly trying too hard, they still managed to get that goddamn laugh. Kyle Gass is funny, too, in a subtler, I’m-clearly-the-sidekick-but-I-have-a lot-to-offer kind of way. While his film career isn't as fruitful as Black’s, they’re evenly matched when it comes to music. Actually, you could give extra credit to Gass, who has a more active outside-of-the-D musical career, delivering three full-length records with his two solo projects. Also, Gass seems like he gives really good hugs, maybe because he bears a striking resemblance to a koala, and he's been rocking this white-haired beardy wise man look lately, which automatically gives him street cred over regular beardy Black. The acoustic guitar strumming and thrashing duo just dropped a new LP, Post-Apocalypto, their fourth, and arrive in town behind it. LEILANI POLK

DECEMBER 14-15

MUSIC

84. The Maldoggies Family Christmas with Widower
Northwest indie rock and folk-pop stalwarts the Maldives and the Moondoggies will join forces for a family band Christmas series for two nights and will be joined by Widower.

DECEMBER 14-16

MUSIC

85. Handel's Messiah
Fun Fact: Even though people celebrate the virgin birth of Mr. Jesus with Handel's Messiah every Christmas, librettist Charles Jennens actually conceived of the piece as an Easter opera. That's because the last two-thirds of the composition cover the life, death, and resurrection of the Nazarene prophet. But traditions are hard to kick, and that "Hallelujah!" chorus still rules, as does the Seattle Symphony Chorale, who will surely be in rare form. RICH SMITH

86. Minus the Bear, Tera Melos
It’s been 17 years since Minus the Bear debuted their unique blend of idiosyncratic guitar work, dance-floor-ready rhythms, and crooned tales of leisure. In the time since, they’ve dabbled in prog gymnastics, IDM manipulations, yacht-rock forays, and countless other stylistic twists and turns. Through it all, there’s been a constant spirit of creative adventurism tempered by a healthy appreciation for a good hook, and an ongoing aura of nostalgia offset by forward-thinking instrumentation and production choices. Unfortunately, all things must come to an end, and so this Seattle indie-rock institution bids farewell with a three-night stand at the Showbox. BRIAN COOK

PERFORMANCE

87. Merce 100: Seattle Artists Respond to Merce
Merce Cunningham grew up in Centralia, Washington, and rose to become one of the most important choreographers in American history. He fucked with everything, taking what he pleased from modern, classical, and other dance traditions to create something new and often challenging. (He even fucked with the great modernist composer John Cage, who eventually became his spouse. Read their love letters if you get the chance.) Celebrate Cunningham's considerable contribution to the genre (and his 100th birthday) with some of our local talents, including Donald Byrd, Christiana Axelsen, Kate Wallich, Thomas House, Amy J Lambert, Ella Mahler, Daniel Edward Roberts (from the Cunningham Company) with Victoria Watts, and Louis Gervais. Poet Maya Sonenberg, Thunderpussy frontwoman Molly Sides, and others will also be around to offer an artful word or two. RICH SMITH

DECEMBER 14-24

PERFORMANCE

88. Sugar Plum Gary
A misanthropic disposition combined with a strong satanist worldview distinguishes Sugar Plum Gary from other yuletide figures. Every year around this time, "somewhat beloved storyteller and comedian Emmett Montgomery" slips into a red onesie and takes the stage to give audience members completely unsolicited advice on how to best navigate the season, and it's often pretty funny if you're into dark, absurd humor. What's his favorite holiday decorating tip? In an interview with City Arts' Brett Hamil, Sugar Plum Gary gives his answer: I like to "find a dark place and put myself in a corner and wait," he says, with a creepy uncle grin. Merry Christmas. RICH SMITH

DECEMBER 14-JANUARY 20

WINTER HOLIDAYS

89. Snow Day in Denny Park Grand Opening Party
Experience the childlike reverie of a snow day without worrying about the inconveniences that come with actual snow by gazing at Denny Park's sparkly winter light display. The opening party promises holiday-themed entertainment, crafts for kids, food trucks, a holiday beer garden, a giant snow globe photo booth, a mini holiday market, and more. 

DECEMBER 15

MUSIC

90. Freddie Gibbs, G. Perico, Caleb Brown
Two living legends representing two distinct regional rap traditions come to town in the form of Gary, Indiana native Freddie Gibbs, and the LA-raised MC G Perico. Gangsta Gibbs has been in the game for 15 years, striking critical favor following his tour of duty through the major-label system with unflinching lyrics that chronicle his years as an enterprising Midwesterner. Known both for his own solo work and his inspired MadGibbs duo with famed producer Madlib, Gibbs embodies the type of long-term success that West Coast revivalist G Perico seems to be staking out as he attempts to bridge early critical success with a more mainstream audience. A must-see for any self-respecting rap fan. NICK ZURKO

91. Kurt Vile & The Violators, Jessica Pratt
Kurt Vile’s message in Bottle It In chronicles him as a songwriter’s songwriter who demonstrates that he can only unspool the most leisure-lazy, loungeable jammers. With his eighth studio album being one of his most unrestrained and weird—even for Vile—to date, the pimpin’ Philadelphian’s “Rollin with the Flow” demeanor, psychedelic wit, slow-melting vocals, and sarcastic pathos continue to be unparalleled. Collaborative credits on this record are stacked up with shamans Kim Gordon, Cass McCombs, Stella Mozgawa, and Mary Lattimore. Strap in Saturday night to also be serenaded by the dreamy lullabies of San Francisco’s Jessica Pratt.ZACH FRIMMEL

92. Malaa
Parisian producer/DJ Malaa is yet another dance-music figure who prefers to reveal little about his identity. He wears a ski mask when performing and his label reps, Fool’s Gold, don’t even know what he looks like. To cap it off, their last tour was called “Who Is Malaa?” Ooh, mysterious. The fact that Malaa’s done a remix for Major Lazer & DJ Snake’s massive hit “Lean On” indicates that he has a keen aptitude for populist grooves, but he also shows an intense focus on funky bass lines and ear-prickling textures that suggest comfort in underground-club zones. The man is highly adept at making house music that straddles the line between debauched and menacing, and that’s an impressive feat, ski mask or no. DAVE SEGAL

PERFORMANCE

93. Grand Opening: Seattle Opera's New Civic Home
Whoop it up for Seattle Opera's new home with performances by Seattle Opera's Chorus and Teen Vocal Studio and members of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Also on the agenda: a rehearsal of Il trovatore, a dramaturgy talk, a Verdi sing-along, a costume presentation, and a self-guided tour.

READINGS & TALKS

94. Maged Zaher, Jamaica Baldwin
Once upon a time, you could hear Maged Zaher and Jamaica Baldwin read in Seattle nearly every week if you wanted to—and you did want to. Zaher, who won a Stranger Genius Award in 2013, writes hilarious poems about the special loneliness of late capitalism. (His translations of contemporary Egyptian poets, collected in The Tahrir of Poems, are incredible, too.) Baldwin uses her personal experience to probe race and politics to great effect. Few employ the power of the volta better than she does. We were lucky to have them both around so often, but then they moved away. That was sad. Now, thanks to the miracle of modern transit and the routine maintenance of old friendships, they're back! Arundel is promising "free refreshments" to celebrate the occasion. RICH SMITH

WINTER HOLIDAYS

95. Seattle SantaCon
Regardless of how you feel personally about SantaCon—the annual bar crawl that encourages adults to dress as the jolly mascot of Christmas and jingle their bells to various downtown watering holes—it will likely outlive us all. If you're participating, don't forget to hydrate with plenty of water and/or milk. 

DECEMBER 15-16

SHOPPING

96. Renegade Craft Fair
Shop for crafts from new and returning makers while you enjoy live DJs, food trucks, and cocktails.

DECEMBER 16

FOOD & DRINK

97. Winter Feast | Food Truck & Holiday Gift Bonanza
Snap up some street food at this Winter Feast at the Fremont Sunday Market from the Mobile Food Rodeo with 20 food trucks, including Lumpia World, Wood Shop BBQ, NOSH, Beanfish, It's Bao Time, and more. Plus, as always, local crafters and artisans will be tabling their wares.

MUSIC

98. The English Beat
Perhaps the unofficial Hardest Working New Wave Reunion Band™, ska troubadour Dave Wakeling and his cast of horn-toting all-stars continue to tour the world as the English Beat with hits from the legends of 2 Tone ska themselves, as well as Wakeling’s other claim to ’80s fame—General Public—and songs from the Beat’s recently released record, Here We Go Love. This ’80s new-wave-obsessed writer can attest to the tears that will be superfluously streaming if either (or both? WAH) "I Confess" or "Tenderness" are played in this heart-wrenchingly gorgeous setting with life-affirming sound quality. With that said, you’ll probably be crying the tears of a clown if you miss out on this one. 
BRITTNIE FULLER

DECEMBER 16-17

MUSIC

99. Allen Stone
Deeply divisive white boy soul singer Allen Stone has graced these pages often by fans and foes alike, and will now take over the Neptune for a night of what he's known for: neo-soul classics and probably a few grandpa sweaters.

THROUGH DECEMBER 16

PERFORMANCE

100. 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.

101. Veils
Lia Sima Fakhouri directs Tom Coash's play about a black American Muslim who, during a study-abroad trip to Cairo, starts a blog about the practice of veiling with a non-veiled Egyptian woman. Protests related to the coming Arab Spring, different approaches to feminism, and pretty shocking acts of violence—one of the characters is forced to take a "virginity test"—strains the burgeoning friendship and the hopes of finding common ground between US and Egyptian Muslims. RICH SMITH

WINTER HOLIDAYS

102. Christmas Lighting Festival
The Bavarian-style village of Leavenworth transforms into the most whimsical of winter wonderlands for three weekends in December, featuring hundreds of twinkling lights, visits from St. Nickolaus and other Christmas characters, carolers, and much more

DECEMBER 17

MUSIC

103. The Music of "A Charlie Brown Christmas"
Because the Royal Room does the music of Charlie Brown every year, I every year have to write this love poem to the core tune, "Christmastime Is Here (Instrumental)," of this masterpiece of American culture. It is, I think, one of the most beautiful pieces of jazz ever composed. Listening to it is like watching falling snow through a window. The room is warm, something is roasting in the oven, and outside, the flakes are falling faintly through the universe and upon the trees, the hedges, the water gutters, the telephone poles, and the rooftops of a thousand apartment buildings. This is where you want to be forever. This is Vince Guaraldi's "Christmastime Is Here (Instrumental)." It opens with a trembling bass, like someone coming out of the cold, stamping their feet, brushing the snow off their shoulders, hanging their winter coat, rubbing and blowing on numb fingers, and entering the living room where there is a window, watching the flakes falling faintly upon all the buildings and the living. CHARLES MUDEDE

DECEMBER 18

MUSIC

104. Aminé, Buddy
Portland's favorite rapper is at last sliding through Seattle. Touring in support of ONEPOINTFIVE, his most recent EP/mixtape/album/whatever, Aminé’s concert is sure to feature flues, pretentious airs, and lines about girls being Björk cute “so she really fine/just sorta weird/and she got some cake.” This LA-dwelling rapper is proving himself to be an entertainer with that unique-and-vital combo of vulnerability and capacity to unrepentantly stunt; at once acknowledging and giving voice to his fears, but not letting them get in the way of a good time. Let’s give him a warm welcome back to the Pacific Northwest. JASMYNE KEIMIG

105. John Grant
On his studio recordings, Reykjavík-based singer-songwriter John Grant evokes Elton John-by-way-of-Jarvis Cocker with his heartfelt singing, wide-ranging keyboard sounds, and witty words about sex, addiction, and famous figures from Francis Bacon to Madeline Kahn (as if to drive the comparison home, he’s even covered John’s “Sweet Painted Lady”). On stage, he’s also a raconteur, which comes across most keenly on 2014’s Live in Concert with the BBC Philharmonic, on which the tart-tongued singer behind uninhibited tracks like “GMF” (aka Greatest Motherfucker), confesses that he starts “to break in a rash if I don’t swear every 30 minutes or so.” KATHY FENNESSY

106. John Legend
This one's for the lovers. R&B crooner John Legend eschews the production trickery found in most Top 40 slow jams these days—the Auto-Tune, the deep-sea minimalism—in favor of a more nostalgic, reverent take on soul. He's got the pipes to back up the retro fetishism and the Rolodex to remain radio-relevant, getting guest verses from the likes of Pusha T and Rick Ross. KYLE FLECK

DECEMBER 19

FILM

107. 'Mary Poppins Returns' Opening
As the name implies, it’s a sequel, not a remake—and thank goodness, because the original, despite being more than five decades old, is damn near perfect. Here, the titular role is filled by ever-charming Brit Emily Blunt, who, as Mary Poppins, returns to help her former charges, Michael and Jane Banks (played by Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer), after the former experiences a loss that he can’t seem to recover from. Notable guest spots include Meryl Streep as Topsy, Mary's eccentric cousin, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack the lamplighter, and the return of Dick Van Dyke as Mr. Dawes Jr. It’s supposed to be fun and full of optimism—both purportedly reasons that Streep signed off on it, and both things we are in dire need of these days. LEILANI POLK

DECEMBER 21

FILM

108. 'Aquaman' Opening
The son of a lighthouse keeper and a sexy sea-maiden discovers he’s heir to Atlantis. All hail Jason Momoa! Can you save us from climate change, too? James Wan directs.

109. 'Welcome to Marwen' Opening
Another film that prominently features miniatures, but won’t give you nightmares for weeks afterwards. Welcome to Marwen might even warm your heart. The inspirational drama from Robert Zemeckis is a true-life tale about a man, Mark Hogancamp (played by Steve Carell) who, after getting so violently assaulted he suffers brain damage, constructs a miniature World War II village in his yard to help in his recovery and deal with his mostly lost memories, populating it with dolls that represent himself, his friends, and even his attackers. It’s a mix of live action and stop-motion-style animation, and is probably not for anyone who has emotional attachment to the 2010 documentary, Marwencol, about the man on whom this film is based. LEILANI POLK

MUSIC

110. Travis Thompson, Sylvan LaCue, Laza
That particular strain of fresh-faced everydude rap that is so beloved in Seattle has an unlikely new hero in young MC Travis Thompson, a stoner goofball who revels in cocky wordplay. He reps hard for the southwest side of town, even naming his 2016 debut tape Ambaum, for the street that runs between White Center, Burien, and West Seattle. He’s worked a bunch with Sol’s chief collaborators, Nima Skeemz and Elan Wright, so his sound tends toward the lean, live-band sound approach, though Thompson also fit in time to rock over a Jake One beat—all of which has helped dude’s SoundCloud hit more than a million plays. Good for him and great for White Center—too bad it wasn’t in time to save Muy Macho taqueria. LARRY MIZELL JR.

DECEMBER 21-22

MUSIC

111. San Holo, Chet Porter, Taska Black, DUSKUS
Electro-trap artist San Holo will bring his futuristic beats to town with more EDM support from Chet Porter, Taska Black, and DUSKUS.

112. Sir Mix-A-Lot, Guests
Sir Mix-A-Lot did not rap like Ice Cube or Chuck D, nor was he swept up by the Das EFX fast-rap "-iggedy" craze of that moment. Sir Mix-A-Lot rapped only like Sir Mix-A-Lot. Sir Mix-A-Lot's hiphop was like a weird plant (purple leaves, red stem) growing under the blended and bending light of two distant suns. But most importantly, Sir Mix-A-Lot wasn't so fucking serious. "Baby Got Back," which opens with a conversation between two white girls disgusted by a black woman's huge butt, returned laughter to the hiphop charts and the dance floor. The record felt like a window being opened in a stuffy room. Finally, someone wasn't rapping about being shot, or shooting a nigga, or returning to Africa, or being proud about the color of their skin. "This," Riz Rollins explained to me, "was Seattle's big gift to black America. People remembered it was good to have fun now and then. And it could only happen in Seattle because we were so isolated. We were free to do whatever we wanted." "Baby Got Back" spent five weeks at the top of the Billboard chart. CHARLES MUDEDE

DECEMBER 21-24

PERFORMANCE

113. BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon: To Jesus, Thanks For Everything! - Jinkx and DeLa
BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon are like peanut butter and jelly: two great tastes that taste great together. They were on back-to-back seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, they are both stunning drag queens from Seattle, they are both fiery political commentators, and they’ve never had a proper theatrical production, just the two of them. This one is clearly a riff on the 1995 film To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, with a little baby Jesus thrown in. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

DECEMBER 22

MUSIC

114. Cathedrals XXV: Gundersen Family Holiday Show
The Gundersen clan, namely Lizzy, Noah, Abby, and Jonny Gundersen, gather together every Christmas for an evening of cheery folk and holiday classics. Tonight they'll gather for the 25th entry into the special Cathedrals event series.

115. Ookay (Live)
California-based solo artist Ookay's unique brand of dance music blends all kinds of electronic influences. His most recent stuff is very trap-y.

PERFORMANCE

116. Savion Glover's All Funk'd Up, The Concert
Savion Glover is the modern-day boundary-pushing equivalent of Fred Astaire. This program finds Glover—a leader and innovator in tap dance who has both performance and choreographic chops—adding his own tapping percussion to the funky, grooving, horns-escorted tunes of the six-piece live band that accompanies him on stage. He’s also joined by some backup dancers. LEILANI POLK

THROUGH DECEMBER 23

PERFORMANCE

117. A Very Die Hard Christmas
Marxiano Productions, who most recently created the hit show Bohemia, will stage a merry holiday musical from a script by the top-notch sketch comedy outfit the Habit, which peppers the rip-roaring action with songs, jokes, and more.

WINTER HOLIDAYS

118. Christmas Ship Festival
Every holiday season, the Spirit of Seattle (Argosy Cruises's "Official Christmas Ship") sails to 65 Washington waterfronts, bringing Christmas choirs and sparkling light displays to onlookers. December 14 is the Parade of Boats night.

THROUGH DECEMBER 24

FOOD & DRINK

119. Miracle on 2nd
In 2014, Greg Boehm of New York bar Boilermaker temporarily transformed the space for his bar Mace into a kitschy Christmas wonderland replete with gewgaws and tchotchkes galore. Now the pop-up has expanded to bars in 50 cities worldwide and will be taking up residence in Belltown’s Rob Roy. The specialty cocktails are no ordinary cups of cheer: Beverages are housed in tacky-tastic vessels (a drinking mug resembling Santa’s mug, for example), bedecked with fanciful garnishes like peppers and dried pineapple, and christened with irreverent, pop-culture-referencing names like the “Bad Santa,” the “Yippie Ki Yay Mother F**r,” and the “You’ll Shoot Your Rye Out.” JULIANNE BELL

PERFORMANCE

120. 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. Directed by Kelly Kitchens.

WINTER HOLIDAYS

121. Snowflake Lane
Flurries of snow (the kind that shoots out of a machine) dust the streets as bright lights, festive music, toy drummers, and other emblems of magical holiday cheer fill the streets for nightly parades.

DECEMBER 25

FILM

122. 'On the Basis of Sex' Opening
You’ve been waiting on this biopic about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s early pre-SCOTUS life, as a lawyer working alongside her husband to bring a groundbreaking gender discrimination case before the U.S. Court of Appeals and make gender equality a civil right. The tagline is “Her story made history.” You’re going because you need some hope in these dark times, where we seem to be going backwards and repeating past mistakes, and you’re going despite the fact that British actress Felicity Jones (as RBG) has an awful American accent. LEILANI POLK

THROUGH DECEMBER 26

WINTER HOLIDAYS

123. Seattle Festival of Trees
Every year, the historic hotel celebrates the winter season with a fancy dinner, caroling, an impressive display of decorated trees in their lobby, and a teddy bear suite.

DECEMBER 28

MUSIC

124. Thievery Corporation, The Suffers
A quick breakdown of Washington, D.C., duo Thievery Corporation's music into its three fundamental parts: The band's spirituality is drawn from the Rasta tradition in reggae/dub, their urbanism from black-American hiphop, and their cosmopolitanism (which is not the same as urbanism) from continental European chic or cool. These basic parts form a musical machine that processes Nigerian Afro-beat (the duo's album, Radio Retaliation, featured Fela Kuti's son Femi Kuti), Brazilian bossa nova (which is prominent on their third album, The Richest Man in Babylon), and Indian raga/classical (which is featured on their second and most successful album, The Mirror Conspiracy). From this multicultural sound rises Thievery Corporation's politics, which, because of its global scope, is a politics of what the philosophers Negri and Hardt call "the multitude." CHARLES MUDEDE

THROUGH DECEMBER 28

PERFORMANCE

125. 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 a Katy Perry video starring dancing desserts and a glittery peacock that moves like a sexy broken river. Bring a pot lozenge. RICH SMITH

DECEMBER 29

MUSIC

126. The Polish Ambassador, Yaima, Wildlight
The suave Californian producer known as the Polish Ambassador (aka David Sugalski) has a facile grasp of several festival-friendly musical styles. His winsome productions are rooted in hiphop, myriad strains of down-tempo funk, chiptunes, and dub. Fans of Thievery Corporation and their sophisticated, globe-trotting ilk will dig the polyglot funkiness of it all. Tonight is a part of the Love Lights the Way Tour, with visual artist Liminus, plus musical associates Yaima and Wildlight. DAVE SEGAL

127. Railroad Earth, Shook Twins
Long-gigging Americana band Railroad Earth will return for an evening of acoustic folk jam classics with opener Shook Twins.

128. Seattle Rock Orchestra's 10th Anniversary Concert
Seattle Rock Orchestra perform rock and pop filtered through an orchestral lens, and for their 10th anniversary spectacular, they'll attack the existential range of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

THROUGH DECEMBER 30

PERFORMANCE

129. Annie
This production of the classic musical is being directed by Billie Wildrick (she was the lead in the 5th Avenue’s recent Pajama Game), and she’s joined by an all-female creative team. Two young actors will switch off playing Annie. One of them is a girl of Tongan descent who happened to see 5th Avenue’s production of The Little Mermaid, in which Diana Huey played Ariel, and she turned to her mother and said, “Her skin is brown like me—that means I can do that, too.” Look at her now. Plus, Timothy McCuen Piggee will play Daddy Warbucks, and Cynthia Jones will play Miss Hannigan. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

130. My Ántonia
Look, Willa Cather is a literary lesbian prairie goddess and My Ántonia is one of her most famous masterpieces. Published in 1918, My Ántonia is a story of an orphaned boy from Virginia who befriends a bunch of bohemian immigrants in Nebraska. The play version of the novel is lyrical, pretty, and very American in a way that will make even a depressed, sapphire-blue liberal cry patriotic tears. Usually, American prairie shit gives me hives, but My Ántonia is good stuff. CHASE BURNS

WINTER HOLIDAYS

131. Enchant Christmas
Not to knock quaint community Christmas tree displays, but this inaugural event at the Mariners' home base looks like it's going to raise the standards for holiday light spectacles by a lot. Safeco Field will be transformed into a magnificent winter wonderland complete with the "world's largest Christmas light maze" (which you can explore via an ice skating trail), seasonal concessions, live entertainment, and an artisan Christmas market.

132. Garden d’Lights
Walk among "half a million" sparkling lights in the shapes of flowers, plants, birds, and waterfalls at this annual holiday display.

DECEMBER 31

FILM

133. Moulin Rouge! New Year's Eve Sing-Along
If you’re anything like me, the hardest part of watching Moulin Rouge on the big screen for the first time was not getting to sing along. From “Lady Marmalade” to “Rhythm of the Night” to “Material Girl” to “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” to “Your Song,” the soundtrack practically begs for vocal accompaniment. Now all the musical-theater nerds who love this movie will get their chance at this sing-along screening of Moulin Rouge. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

FOOD & DRINK

134. 24K SOUL
Welcome the new year with open arms and a full belly at this luxe prix fixe dinner followed by an evening of music, merriment, and champagne toasting with Talib Kweli and live DJs. 

135. MIDNIGHT: Hawaii
This year's version of Canlis's shmancy-as-ever New Year's Eve shindig is Hawaii-themed, complete with an "aloha formal/island black tie" dress code and a collaboration with Tommy Bahama. Guests can expect tropical nosh, champagne, dancing to live music from the Chris Norton Band, and "a hint of the unexpected."

MUSIC

136. 7th Annual Artist Home New Year's Eve Celebration
Dance your way into 2019 with live sets from eclectic Seattle greats like Whitney Mongé, the Black Tones, Emma Lee Toyoda, Acid Tongue, Naked Giants, and many others.

137. Cold Cave, Drab Majesty
There’s a video of Cold Cave playing Pitchfork Music Festival at the height of their popularity in 2011, the entire ensemble decked out in black leather despite what looks like a typically sweltering July day in Chicago. It’s a good summation of how committed Wesley Eisold is to his project’s very particular aesthetic: sleek, sad synth-pop with gothic and post-punk undertones, delivered with winking solemnity. Expect new music at this show: Eisold released an EP this year, which will be the first collection of new material from Cold Cave in more than seven years. ANDREW GOSPE

138. New Year's Eve with Thunderpussy and Red Fang
These four Seattle women—Molly Sides (vocals), Whitney Petty (guitar), Leah Julius (bass), and Ruby Dunphy (drums)—make rock music that's built for IDGAF id-liberating. Thunderpussy's songs make a beeline for your lizard brain and then impel you to bang the container in which said lizard brain sits. In this regard, they resemble the lubricious ruggedness of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin at their raunchiest, and the Runaways. No, it's not innovative, but Thunderpussy's hard rock slams with a classic AOR punchiness. DAVE SEGAL

139. Straight No Chaser
Straight No Chaser take their name from a Thelonious Monk blues song divided not into three four-measure segments, but two six-measure sections, because Monk couldn’t do anything the normal way, heaven cherish him. So Straight No Chaser are well-versed in not doing things the conventional way themselves. But they’re not afraid to throw in a medley of boy-band classics, spiked with Britney Spears for flavor. They’re also famous for the “12 Days of Christmas” video bit that landed in 1998, and, as of the afternoon I’m typing this, has tallied 20,723,331 views. So they’re a little white bread and they make all the percussion noises with their lips, which pisses off some people, but they’re talented, choreographed, and cute. Also, hey, Britney Spears. ANDREW HAMLIN

140. Wicked Karma: Bollywood New Year's Eve
Wicked Karma will take over the south end to throw its Bollywood vibes across every surface of Showbox Sodo. Shake it out all night to DJs Gabbar and RDX playing Seattle's best Bollywood, with a midnight champagne toast, a Desi food feast, party favors, and more.

NEW YEAR'S EVE

141. Indulgence
The 18th annual Indulgence New Year's Eve Bash takes place right by the Space Needle, so attendees will have prime views of the fireworks show. Guests can also wander through MoPOP's exhibits and dance to party jams from a live band and live DJs.

142. New Year's Eve Party Cruise
Spend the final hours of 2018 on a festively decorated Waterways yacht to revel in champagne toasts, fireworks, and live DJs. 

143. Resolution Festival 2019
Resolution is an annual end-of-the-year electronic music bash that gathers extremely popular and mainstream EDM and nü-rave artists into an arena-like space and unleashes their energy onto a throng of writhing young adults. It's not for everybody, but what is?

144. Spectra 2019: New Year’s Eve Under the Arches
Dance off the last hours of 2018 with live DJs and sip drinks from an open bar while you wait for the luminary explosions of the Space Needle's annual fireworks show to begin.

PERFORMANCE

145. Moisture Festival New Year's Eve Extravaganza
At this New Year's spectacular, Moisture Festival variety performers will wow you with juggling, aerial acts, and more entertainment. Plus, giant red balloons and snacks and champagne!

THROUGH JAN 1

WINTER HOLIDAYS

146. Gingerbread Village
For the 26th year in a row, diabetes research center JDRF Northwest has invited local architecture firms to use their skills for a holiday tradition: crafting an elaborate gingerbread village, this year with the theme of "Welcome to Whoville." See five life-size whimsical Seussian creations in person throughout the season, accompanied by clips from the classic 1966 How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

THROUGH JAN 5

WINTER HOLIDAYS

147. WildLights
The zoo will light up with more than 700,000 (energy-efficient) LED lights that recreate wild scenes and creatures at the annual WildLights display.

THROUGH JAN 6

WINTER HOLIDAYS

148. Winterfest
From a winter train village to an ice rink, and from music and dance performances to ice sculpting, Winterfest promises five weeks of free festive cheer for all ages.

149. Zoolights
Holiday traditions don't get more classic than strolling through the zoo when it's transformed into a luminous wonderland of 3-D animal light installations. Last year's displays included hammerhead sharks and sea turtles, a majestic polar bear family, and a giant Pacific octopus.

THROUGH JAN 13

PERFORMANCE

150. Wonderland
There are few cuter Seattle nights than those spent at the Can Can. Divided into three short acts that make up a brisk 90-minute show, each part of the Can Can’s wintertime cabaret Wonderland gets progressively naughtier, although the most scandalous thing you’ll see is a jock-strapped ass and bare tits covered by pasties. The show has danger, but it’s often found in the cancan lines that occur mere feet from audience members’ dinner salads. I once saw an athletic duet at Wonderland nearly knock over a birthday girl’s wine glass. But it didn’t. Everyone whooped. Pro tip: Get the beignets. CHASE BURNS