Don't miss your chance to catch a glimpse of the largest and longest public video art exhibit ever in the Seattle area, Let There Be Light, which will illuminate Elliott Bay through Friday. Friends of Pier 86 via Facebook
Our music critics have already chosen the 31 best music shows this week, but now it's our arts critics' turn to recommend the best events in their areas of expertise. Here are their picks in every genre—from A Very Didion Christmas to the Fifth Annual Dark Beer Fest, and from BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon's To Jesus, Thanks for Everything! Jinkx and DeLa to a Campout Cinema screening of Die Hard. See them all below, and find even more events on our complete Things To Do calendar.

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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


12 Minutes Max
This show features 12 (surprisingly quick or unfortunately long) minutes of brand-new work from Pacific Northwest performers.  RICH SMITH



SODO Track: Process and Prints
For the past few years, over 60 artists from around the world have been transforming a two-mile stretch of boring industrial buildings into a two-mile stretch of exciting murals, or "the world's longest contiguous street art corridor." Shop for prints by some of the artists, and check out photos of their process. 


Let There Be Light
Elliott Bay is getting lit. Like, literally. In what’s been called the largest and longest public video art exhibit ever in the Seattle area, Pier 86 Grain Terminal has been featuring projection art installations by Northwest artists that celebrate the waterfront’s history (Hexagon Misfit’s Chris Rojas and Craig Winslow are showing through December 21). The installation is visible from Centennial Park, Myrtle Edwards Park, Olympic Sculpture Park, Belltown, Queen Anne, West Seattle, and the ferries that glide across our beloved bay. There are only a few days left of its run, with the closing viewing party happening on December 21. Come and celebrate our beautiful city’s history—and art! JASMYNE KEIMIG
Closing Friday



Holiday Tea at Hotel Sorrento
Instead of gazing at a virtual Yule log video, take your tea beside an actual roaring, crackling hearth at Hotel Sorrento’s Fireside Room, a Mad Men–worthy old-school vision in opulent ochre mahogany paneling. You can nosh on posh teatime fare—like freshly baked chocolate-filled croissants with butter and jam, cucumber and cream-cheese finger sandwiches, and chocolate espresso pots de creme with strawberries—as you sink into a squishy high-backed leather chair and enjoy sounds played on a baby grand piano. If you’re lucky, you might even spy the ghost of Alice B. Toklas, who is said to roam the halls of the hotel. JULIANNE BELL

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


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 die-hard, inside-joke-obsessed, constantly laughing crowds. Her dedicated fans include Whoopi Goldberg, John Waters, and Kevin Costner. I’m not kidding. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
No Tuesday performance

Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker
The 13th annual Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker is a lascivious holiday show experience with sugar plum fairies, exciting clothes-dropping times, and who knows, maybe some "woody" jokes.


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.



Lit Fix 24: Braving the Chill
This series always responds to your craving for literary stimulation. This time, hear poetry by civil rights lawyer/poet/Hugo House resident writer Shankar Narayan and Moss poetry editor/Hugo House and Jack Straw fellow Dujie Tahat, historical fiction by Katrina Carrasco (The Best Bad Things is her debut novel) and award-winning children's and YA novelist Kevin Emerson. Roots rock will be provided by the Del Vox Duo. Proceeds will benefit Hopelink.



Arthur Luiz Piza
Sao Paulo-born, Paris-educated Arthur Luiz Piza is known for his unusual style of gouging designs in ultra-thick copper plates with hammers and chisels. His designs are unsteadily balanced, thick abstracts that give an impression of weight and power.
Closing Saturday

Charlie Parriott, Cappy Thompson, Dick Weiss: Old Friends, New Work
Cappy Thompson is responsible for the 90-foot-long window mural—a woodland/celestial scene of painted glass titled I Was Dreaming of Spirit Animals (2003)—at Sea-Tac International Airport. Thompson will show work with Dick Weiss, an Everett-born glass artist whose large-scale piece can also be seen at Sea-Tac, and Charlie Parriott, who spent 12 years as a colorist at Chihuly Studio before helping to run the hot glass studio at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.
Closing Saturday

Georges Rouault: The Complete Miserere
The print-focused Davidson Galleries brings another European heavy hitter to town: Georges Rouault, who lived from 1871-1958 and worked in Fauvist and Expressionist modes. Here, you can see his two-part series comprised of the Miserere (plea for the pity of God) and Guerre (war), which responded to the horrors of World War I with Christian and humanist imagery. This is one of the great print series of the 20th century and it's pretty amazing that you can see it in Seattle for free.
Closing Saturday

Margie Livingston: Extreme Landscape Painting
This isn’t your grandma’s landscape painting—there’s not a sun setting over an empty field or a river snaking toward the horizon in sight. Rather, the title of this exhibition refers to Margie Livingston’s practice of harnessing a canvas to her body and then dragging it behind her. Sometimes the canvas will be painted in different layers of colors before being dragged, resulting in a heavily textured painting with various colors exposed and interacting with one another. The Seattle-based artist’s work is interesting, telling a story of the city and acting as an artifact of her performance. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Closing Saturday

Sarah McRae Morton
The shadows of ancestors loom in Morton's art in this exhibition with themes of spirit and lineages. Her latest painters are blurred with motion, hinting at fabulistic characters and tempestuous weather.
Closing Saturday

Saul Becker: Uneven Terrain
A Saul Becker landscape might be a painted sky hanging over a photographed sea on a piece of paper that fits in the palm of your hand. Real places are pulled into a frame, altered digitally and mechanically, and Frankensteined together. This is one way to be a contemporary landscape painter, to extend the tradition of using a flat surface and paint to evoke place, within a society awash in photography. JEN GRAVES
Closing Saturday



This fantastic production of the classic musical is directed by Billie Wildrick (who usually stars in 5th Avenue shows), and she’s joined by an all-female creative team. They really have Annie dialed in: It’s sensational. I laughed and I cried. Two 11-year-old actors 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.” Plus, Timothy McCuen Piggee is phenomenal as Daddy Warbucks. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

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.

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.

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 for 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. CHASE BURNS

Valtesse Versailles
Bathe your senses in an evening of old-fashioned, decadent strumpetry with the sensual-chic dancers, contortionists, and aerialists of Valtesse. Dress in black, red, gold, and/or silver to match the Palais de Versailles visuals.

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.


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. 



Learn How to Podcast! An Introduction to Audio Fiction Podcasts
Learn the basics of indie podcast fiction from Ayla Taylor of the very cool xenobiological sci-fi podcast Tides. You'll discover some awesome new stories to listen to and get tips for making your own.


Better Improv Through Die Hard
What makes Die Hard a modern classic, as opposed to just another '80s action flick? Local Jet City improviser Douglas Willott will explore this question, as well as what improvisers can take away from the film, live on stage.



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.” RICH SMITH



Alexandra Karakashian: in on itself
Based in Cape Town, this young, award-winning Johannesburg-born painter has been frequently exhibited in her home country as well as at the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London.
Closing Saturday


Free Public Tour & Tasting
Beer geeks can get an inside look into Optimism's full brewery and cellar, where they can check out the lab and the sensory evaluation facilities (and taste beer, of course). 



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, Pacific Northwest Ballet 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-like 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

Hollywood & Vine
Enjoy a vintage and magic-filled tribute to Tinseltown with the 20-year-old circus troupe Teatro ZinZanni as they open their new home in Woodinville.

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

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.

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

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



Winter Flavor Tasting
Mingle with the Molly Moon's team and sip a cocktail while being the first to try their upcoming seasonal flavors, including rose milk tea, red velvet cake, blood orange sherbet, vegan golden milk, and Meyer lemon, along with new toppings.


So You Think You Can Drag
Live drag competitions are the latest thing in Seattle’s drag scene, with many drag venues hosting some type of competition in recent months. So You Think You Can Drag at R Place is the biggest one in the city, with a grand prize of $5,000 and a competing cast filled with some of the best queens in town. (Really, when is Irene DuBois going to get on Drag Race?) Watch the girls duke it out each week as they one-up their way to the top. Bring cash for tips and be prepared to scream like hell for your favorite. CHASE BURNS
P.S. The Stranger's digital editor and weirdo drag champion Chase Burns will be a judge for this week's final.


Notis: Translating Comics and Graphic Novels
One of the great crimes of contemporary book culture is the lack of attention we give to translations. Maybe two translations per year receive wall-to-wall coverage, but the rest get mentioned only on random long lists and niche blogs. This is a shame and a disservice—and not just to publishers and writers, but also to readers. The challenges of translating one language into another make for some of the most fascinating and revealing stories, raising fundamental questions of meaning and the possibility of actual connection with cultures other than our own. Some of those questions are bound to come up at the Northwest Literary Translators panel presentation on translating graphic novels and comics. Speakers include José Alaniz (who was instrumental in bringing Victoria Lomasko to town to talk about her incredible book of graphic journalism, Other Russias), Melissa Bowers, and Lola Rogers. Gary Groth, cofounder of Fantagraphics, will also join the conversation. RICH SMITH



Crabgrass Productions' 'The Judy Garland Christmas Special'
This is an imaginary dress rehearsal for Judy Garland's doomed 1963 television Christmas special. Garland drinks and snarls her way through loathsome Christmas television treacle. It doesn't have as much to do with the holidays as it does with the frightening fantasies of her drink-addled mind, but there's terrifically bad singing, comically inept dancing, and Garland shoots Santa dead. You'll leave feeling drunk, abused, and forgotten—just like Liza!  PAUL CONSTANT


Acrobatic Conundrum: Something Stolen
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. The theme of this performance is "Something Stolen," which the organizers describe as "an homage to circus past, art translated into movement, and thrilling feats that plagiarize life experience itself." RICH SMITH


Warren Dykeman: Attention Span
Do you remember learning about cuneiform—one of the earliest systems of writing from the region of Sumer? Wedges made with reeds that made language? I was obsessed. I started thinking about cuneiform, then went down a hobo code rabbit hole while trying to figure out the symbolism in Warren Dykeman’s work. Which led me to early computer language. I so badly want to decode the rows and rows of symbols. Does the mirror frame plus green square plus tree plus the letter "Z" add up somehow? A painting emblazoned FRONT STAB seems easily interpretable, but the one declaring SAFE FAZ leads us back into the cryptic. KATIE KURTZ
Closing Saturday



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

Brett Hamil
Irreverent, political, and Seattle-focused comedian Brett Hamil, host of the Seattle Process, is always worth your time. You have six opportunities to catch his stand-up this week.


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!"



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 their 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."

SAD Queers: A Holiday Comedy Special
Leaven the darkest day of the year with comedy sets by delightful queers like Andy Iwancio, Aila Slisco, Summer Azim, Graham Downing, Vee Chattie, Melissa Beadle, Amethyst de Wolfe, and Llynn Marks. Clara Pluton will host this benefit for TransWomen of Color Collective.


Future Ancestors: The Death Dome
Based on Buddhist Bardo texts, this semi-interactive audio/visual experience leads participants "through the intermediary states between life, death, and rebirth." 


Gift Hole
Want to do your December shopping for "artist made shit that doesn't immediately trigger existential dread or perpetuate the systematic malaise of big box stores and late stage capitalism"? Party Hat has you covered. Screen-print your own gift wrap and buy Brandon Vosika's custom-painted tote bags.



Uncle Mike Ruins Christmas
Mike Murphy (Uncle Mike, on Saturdays), Graham Downing (Cousin Graham, on Fridays), and Jet City cast members reenact and trample over your fond Christmas memories in a happily vulgar performance. Not necessarily for squeamish types.


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



Fifth Annual Dark Beer Fest
Cozy up with dark, rich brews all weekend. They'll have 25 taps of local and guest taps, from special releases to barrel-aged beers and more.

Sun Liquor Eggnog Extravaganza
Sip a glass of Sun Liquor's cult-favorite Fancy Aged Eggnog while supplies last.


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 for 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



Jazz Club Comedy Time III
Seattle comics Wildred Padua, Cameron Mazzuca, and Steven Mays will share the stage with out-of-towners Arijana Ramic (who has opened for Langston Kerman and Jenny Zigrino) and Peter Graham.


Campout Cinema: Die Hard
It's the most wonderful time of the year... to indulge in the 1988 thriller Die Hard. In the classic Christmas-set flick, an NYPD officer is tasked (while he's on vacation!) with saving a group of hostages—including his estranged wife—from a German terrorist. Watch the on-screen explosions and enjoy drinks and gallery access at this Campout screening.

Cinema Eclectica
At the December installment of this alt film series, see a collection of "progressively more adventurous" animated films based on well-known stories of love and morality. The theme is "24 frames per second." The films include the '80s fantasy epic The Neverending Story, Jan Švankmajer's deeply disconcerting stop-motion-animated version of Alice in Wonderland (Neco z Alenky), and some short films.


Holiday Candy and Confections
Learn to make six different kinds of festive holiday candies and confections like velvet fudge, chocolate bark, toffee, and more. You'll go home with gift bags, boxes, ribbon, and paper with which to wrap up your creations for holiday gifts. 

Holiday Cookie Extravaganza
Add gumdrop cookies, cold dough cakes, snowflake cookies, and other sweet treats to your holiday baking repertoire. Gift-wrap materials (including boxes, ribbon, and paper) are included in the class.


Christmas Blessings Show and Fundraiser
This variety show will feature great acts from the theater's regular drag, comedy, theater, and music notations, incuding beloved musician/comedian Lisa Koch, queens Sylvia O'Stayformore and Bobbi Jo Blessings, and dancer James Darling.

Dark Fusion Theater presents: "Satan Is Coming to Town!"
Diva le Déviant will present to you a diabolical holiday party with variety performers Titano Oddfellow, Jackie Hell, Bettie Beelzebub, Vector Vervain, and Little Bear, plus musical guest T-Rox.

Mystery Drag Queen Theater 3000: Holiday Edition
In this series, the glamorous Betty Better, Demonia Creeper, Miss Kitty Franzia, and Old Witch riff on the best/worst B movies live on stage. For this holiday installment, watch as they heckle the 1987 trash horror gem Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. Plus, enjoy themed drink specials, drag performances, and pictures with Santa. 

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 onstage. He’s also joined by some backup dancers. LEILANI POLK

A Very Didion Christmas
Joan Didion had her 84th birthday this month! Celebrate the author of The Year of Magical Thinking and novels like Play It as It Lays with this cabaret by Sarah Paul Ocampo and The Stranger's own Christopher Frizzelle. I have it on very good authority that the show is based on the premise that Didion, like Jesus Christ, is immortal and has access to all of time. She takes George Orwell to the mall, where the two authors meet Britney Spears. From there, all kinds of fresh hell breaks loose. Ernest Hemingway is involved as well, and there’s a song called “Have a Donner Party Christmas” for reasons related to Didion’s family connection with the cannibalistic pioneers. It all sounds nuts. Go see it. RICH SMITH



addo Themed Brunch: Grinch Who Stole Christmas
If Whoville had five-course holiday tasting menus (who's to say they don't?) they might resemble Chef Eric Rivera's brunch inspired by How the Grinch Stole Christmas.