Yes, we know, the holidays are coming at us fast! But never fear: The Seattle theater, dance, drag, cabaret, circus, and comedy communities are here to help you get in the spirit. From old standards like ACT's A Christmas Carol to irreverent comedies like Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme's All I Want for Christmas is Attention to new dance pieces like Donald Byrd's The Harlem Nutcracker, Seattle's stage works offer delightful diversions from the cold and dark. For even more options, check out our full winter holidays calendar, or check out our performance calendar for everything happening in Seattle's theater scene.
NOVEMBER 20–21Cirque Musica Presents: 'Holiday Wishes'
Holiday music (performed live by a symphony orchestra) and circus arts—acrobatics, aerial, comedy, and more—combine in this family-friendly spectacular.
Angel of the Winds (Nov 21) and Showare Center (Nov 22)
NOVEMBER 22–23A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage
Actors will take on the roles of your favorite Peanuts characters in this live take on the classic holiday show A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Federal Way Performing Arts Center (Nov 22) and Moore Theatre (Nov 23)
NOVEMBER 27–DECEMBER 28The Bishop's Wife: A Live Radio Play
This live radio broadcast is an adaptation of the classic 1947 film about an angel sent to help answer a bishop's prayer, but who, in his human form, is just too dang handsome to avoid provoking the bishop's jealousy. (Cary Grant played the angel in the original.)
NOVEMBER 29–DECEMBER 22The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Rambunctious siblings crash a church Christmas play in this playhouse adaptation of the young adult novel.
Lakewood Playhouse Elf the Musical
A taller-than-average elf learns that he's really a human in this staged rendition of the beloved holiday movie Elf.
Tacoma Musical Playhouse Inspecting Carol
In this "locally developed holiday show," a ragtag theater troupe attempts to stage A Christmas Carol while weathering an inspection that will determine their future.
Phoenix Theater (Edmonds)
NOVEMBER 29–DECEMBER 23A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol 2019
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.
NOVEMBER 29–DECEMBER 24Christmastown
If your holiday season lacks slinky dames, growling gumshoes, and hard-boiled bosses, try Seattle playwright Wayne Rawley's Christmas noir, back onstage once again.
Seattle Public Theater
NOVEMBER 29–DECEMBER 28
A Christmas Carol
ACT Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol is a dependable, simple pleasure, with just enough variation to warrant returning year after year. Kelly Kitchens will direct.
NOVEMBER 29–DECEMBER 29A Very Die Hard Christmas
Marxiano Productions will restage last year's hit holiday musical from a script by the top-notch sketch comedy outfit the Habit (plus Jeff Schell), which peppers the rip-roaring action with songs, jokes, and more.
Seattle Public Theater
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30Cirque Dreams Holidaze
This lavish circus performance is chock-full of holiday icons like gingerbread men, snowmen, angels, Santa, ornaments, and others—all performing acrobatic feats in 20 acts and 300 costumes.
Pantages Theater (Tacoma)
NOVEMBER 30–DECEMBER 22Robin Hood, A Holiday Panto
Enjoy a broad panto-style comedy with this tale of that dear wealth redistributor Robin Hood, his antagonist the Sheriff of Nottingham, and the bold Maid Marion.
Knutzen Family Theater
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5A John Waters Christmas: Filthier and Merrier
Legendary cult director/noted Baltimore resident/mustache-haver John Waters will regale Seattle once again with filthy Christmas jokes, monologic shenanigans, and gripes about annoying holiday traditions.
DECEMBER 5–22Scott 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: "ALL NEW hilarious comedy, songs, dance numbers, amazing videos and partial nudity!"
DECEMBER 5–24The Dina Martina Christmas Show
Watching Seattle drag legend Dina Martina perform is a bit like having a Christmastime flu. You will sit there, confused and warm, your thoughts disassociating, a fever addling your brain, while the holiday cheer twinkles all around you. Truly, there’s no performer who is more like a strong dose of Nyquil than Dina Martina. She is cozy but disorienting. You will laugh without knowing why. Take her with alcohol and double the danger. CHASE BURNS
DECEMBER 5–JANUARY 5
Wonderland is divided into three short acts that make up a brisk 90-minute show. Hosted by the exceedingly charismatic JonnyBoy (Jonathan Betchtel), each act gets progressively naughtier, although the most scandalous thing an audience member sees is a jock-strapped ass and bare tits covered by pasties. The show has danger, but it's found in the cancan lines that occur mere feet from audience members' dinner salads. During the third act, two dancers perform an athletic duet that—when I saw it—nearly knocked over a birthday girl's wine glass. But it didn't. Everyone whooped. CHASE BURNS
Also available in family-friendly form at the 'Wonderland' Brunch Show
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6Captive Christmas Returns
Twisted Seattle drag performer Heavy Scene Macaque will host a night of Christmas malevolence with unfortunate "guests" Dolce Vida, Britt Brutality, Mona Real, and Solana Solstice.
Timbre Room The Twelve Gays of Christmas
Malone Wolfe, Mr Gay Seattle 43, will host a holiday-themed drag king show. Bring a donation for Mary's Place or Lambert House to pay the cheaper admission.
DECEMBER 6–8Ensemble Ballet Theatre Presents 'The Nutcracker'
Here's another option for your Nutcracker Ballet-watching needs.
IKEA Performing Arts Center (Renton)
DECEMBER 6–15The Best Burlesque Pageant Ever
In a continuation of a Seattle burlesque tradition, Stella D'Letto, Lady Drew Blood, and other sexy mischief-makers crash an innocent Christmas pageant and cause much shock, horror, and arousal.
Columbia City Theatre The Hard Nut
The brilliant ballet choreographer Mark Morris's update of The Nutcracker, now a 28-year-old classic in itself, transports E.T.A. Hoffman's story from 19th-century Germany to 1970s America. With production design inspired by the great Fantagraphics-published comics artist Charles Burns, this Broadway staging is gonna be weird, queer, and perhaps even John Waters-esque.
Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Radio Play
Travel back to the pinnacle of radio drama in the 1940s-style live radio play based on the 1947 holiday favorite Miracle on 34th Street, accompanied by a Wurlitzer Pipe Organ and Foley sound effects.
DECEMBER 6–22A Christmas Story
The young actors and singers of KidStage will enliven this musical version of the cherished holiday film.
First Stage (Issaquah)
Evergreen City Ballet: The Nutcracker
Evergreen City Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker features all the classic elements of the perennial favorite.
The Judy Garland Christmas Special
Crabgrass Productions portrays the dress rehearsal of Judy Garland's deeply uncomfortable 1963 Christmas television special, with Judy overwhelmed by terrifying alcohol-induced hallucinations and wreaking havoc on sugary Christmas tunes. Troy Mink plays Judy in this mean but reportedly very funny Christmas trainwreck.
Theatre Off Jackson
DECEMBER 6–29The Christmas Killings at Corgi Cliffs
Butch Alice once again stars as Becky June Beasley-Jones in this drag-filled send-up of Agatha Christie-type whodunits.
The Flight Before Xmas
Maggie Lee's The Flight Before Xmas (directed by Amy Poisson for Macha Theatreworks) is a sweetly comedic holiday show about a group of strangers in an airport connecting with each other as their flights become more and more delayed.
West of Lenin
Jingle All the Gay!
Last year, after seeing the new revamp of the beloved institution Homo for the Holidays, Chase Burns wrote: "The new performers are the standouts in Jingle All the Gay. Kitten N' Lou brought in Markeith Wiley and Randy Ford, two breakout dancers/performance artists who've been having a great couple of years performing around Seattle. Wiley plays the mailman, an important figure in any holiday story, and he's got to deliver lots of big, uh, packages. Ford plays Lil' Fruitcake, a femme voguing fruitcake who fucks shit up in the best way possible. Ford and Wiley's duets are highlights, as are the numbers from Seattle drag artist Abbey Roads, who brings solid musical theater chops and good comic timing. Also in this cast: New York City's Mr. Gorgeous, serving his uniquely tall and hilarious boylesque as the Little Drummer Boy." These favorites return, along with the UK's Reuben Kaye.
Miracle on 34th Street
Get into a heart-warmed Christmas mood with Seattle Musical Theatre's production of an extravaganza based on the 1947 film and written by The Music Man's Meredith Wilson.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7Sister's Holiday Party: A Burlesque Revue
These two dancing sisters will lead a sing-along.
Theater Anonymous Presents 'It's A Wonderful Life'
Theater Anonymous's yearly performance of It's a Wonderful Life is slightly different from Frank Capra's 1946 holiday classic. In this version, the cast members (who have never met each other) will pop up out of the audience and start reciting lines. Don't be surprised if your best friend turns out to be George Bailey.
The drag company Bacon Strip, helmed by Sylvia O'Stayformore and Mizz Honey Bucket, sets a gaggle of mischievous queens to shocking shenanigans every month (usually on the first Saturday). December's themes is the "Wrapped in Bacon Holigay Drag Show."
Palace Theatre & Art Bar
DECEMBER 7–15Emerald Ballet Theatre Presents 'The Nutcracker'
Youth performers and guest artists perform the beloved holiday ballet, accompanied by the Emerald Ballet Theatre Orchestra.
Northshore Performing Arts Center (Bothell)
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8The Clairvoyants Christmas
Christmas goes mental...ist with the world champion illusionists the Clairvoyants, finalists from America's Got Talent.
Jet City Improv's stars will put their powers of goofiness to good use at this benefit show for the Seattle Times Fund for the Needy, which in turn helps fund Childhaven, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, and other socially active nonprofits. This year's edition will offer laughs from delightful indie groups Super Mega Art Show, Cotton Gin, Bad Breath, The Woggles, and Mr. Snake.
Jet City Improv (University District)
DECEMBER 8–22Christmas Carol Junior
For those too young and sensitive to deal with Christmas ghosts, this adaptation casts cute little elves as Present, Past, and Yet to Come.
Second Story Repertory (Redmond)
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10Eight Nights: A Staged Reading
Los Angeles playwright Jennifer Maisel (The Last Seder, birds) has penned a new play about immigrants and refugees that takes place in a single apartment from 1949 to 2016. The Book-It Theater will perform a staged reading with a discussion to follow. Some proceeds will benefit pro-immigrant organizations.
Stroum Jewish Community Center
Seattle Radio Theatre: KIRO Radio's 'Goodbye Christmas!'
A fan of an old baseball radio show tries to get the story behind the hosts' estrangement in this heartwarming, family-friendly live radio play.
DECEMBER 12–15Donald Byrd's 'The Harlem Nutcracker'
Acclaimed local choreographer Donald Byrd developed this adaptation of the cherished Christmas ballet for black American culture. This will be the performance of "phase one," which will include Act 1, "Party Scene" and Act 2, "Club Sweets."
On the Boards
DECEMBER 12–29Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker
Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker is a lascivious holiday show experience with sugar plum fairies, exciting clothes-dropping times, and more swanky fun.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13Crossdresser for Christmas
Few queens belt a Broadway hit like Ginger Minj. I once saw the RuPaul’s Drag Race star perform her Crossdresser for Christ cabaret show to a sold-out crowd of bears (the gay kind), and her brassy singing brought the crowd to tears. By the end of it, I was drunk and singing along in the balcony. I’m pretty sure it will go down as the gayest night of theater in my life. Now that she’s bringing a version of that showtunes-filled original show to Queer/Bar, maybe I can have the queerest night of theater in my life. CHASE BURNS
Now in its ninth iteration, SnowGlobed will assemble a crack team of writers and theater artists for a night of three 10-minute plays and other performances, chosen by Wiley Basho Gorn. This year's playwrights are Corinne Magin, Dylan Thomas Elwood, and Anthea Carns and Lauren Freman (The Devil and Sarah Blackwater).
DECEMBER 13–15Nutcracker Sweets
This Nutcracker production is kid-friendly and features students of ARC School of Ballet alongside the professional dancers.
DECEMBER 13–22Auburn Community Players: The Five Ghosts of Ebenezer Scrooge Head to Auburn for a new twist on A Christmas Carol featuring the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, the ghost of Jacob Marley, and a fifth mystery ghost.
Auburn Avenue Theater Buttcracker V...the Last Thrust!
This festive and raunchy holiday show promises glittery professional dance and holiday satire set to a hair-metal soundtrack...for the very last time.
Erickson Theatre Off Broadway
DECEMBER 13–23Olympic Ballet Theatre: The Nutcracker
Experience the popular winter ballet in Edmonds and Everett.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14
Holiday Strip and Sing-Along: A Burlesque Affair
Sing holiday songs so that hotties onstage can remove their clothing.
Magical Strings: A Celtic Yuletide
The Bouldings, a big, musical Northwest family, make up a Celtic string ensemble. This season, they will inspire some holiday craic with the help of the Tara Academy of Irish Dance, Dublin-born guitarist Colm MacCárthaigh, and other collaborators.
DECEMBER 14–15The Nutcracker
Youth dancers bring sugarplum fairies, little Clara, the Mouse King, the Nutcracker, et al. to life.
Carco Theatre (Renton) The Steadfast Tin Soldier, a Story Ballet
If you've already got your fill of The Nutcracker, try out The Steadfast Tin Soldier for another plot-driven holiday ballet. This production, presented by Dance Fremont, will feature live music and a cast of 50 dancers.
Shorecrest Performing Arts Center
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15
Ghosts of Christmas
"Gothic Royalty" Morgue Anne will reveal the haunting side of the holidays.
Short Stories Live: A Rogue’s Family Christmas
Julie Briskman, Kurt Beattie, Marianne Owen, and special guests Nancy and Joe Guppy will read oddball Christmas stories. House band Pineola with Leslie Braly will provide the tunes.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 18
Twisted Christmas Tales and Cocktails
Calling all holiday creeps! Librarian David Wright, the host of Thrilling Tales, will darken that festive mood with some "seriously messed-up" seasonal stories, "from ghost stories to noir to whatever the hell it is Chuck Palahniuk writes." Arrive early to snag a seat.
Palace Theatre & Art Bar
DECEMBER 18–21Lesbian P.I. in: Carol of the Hells!
Leslie Bean (Get it? Les Be-an?) calls upon her supernatural sleuthing talents to solve the case of an attempted kidnapping, two werewolves, and some sketchy real estate machinations. Sailor St. Claire stars along with Scarlett O'Hairdye, Maggie McMuffin, Crystal Storm, Isabella L Price, Onyx Asili, Ramona Rhapsody, and Apollo Vidra.
DECEMBER 19–20Taylor Mac: Holiday Sauce
MacArthur Grant-winning genius Taylor Mac is an unparalleled playwright and performer. Mac produces shows that are bombastic and colorful, somewhere between drag and cabaret and classical Greek tragedy, with the loudest costumes ever concocted, created by the equally genius designer Machine Dazzle. I’m betting Mac’s new music-filled show about “Christmas as calamity” will be the highlight of Seattle’s holiday show season. CHASE BURNS
DECEMBER 20–21Adam Trent's Holiday Magic
One of the stars of the hit Broadway show The Illusionists will tour on his own with some new legerdemain, comedy, and multimedia.
Neptune Theatre (Dec 20) & Clearwater Casino (Dec 21)
Seattle City Nutcracker
This version of the ballet is set in familiar landscapes like the Central District, where the Drosselmeyer Brothers own the Dros Bros Fix-It Shop and the heroic Clara must seek the Mayor's help.
Broadway Performance Hall
DECEMBER 20–22Cornish Preparatory Dance Company Presents 'Nutcracker'
Watch Cornish Preparatory school dancers aged six to 18 bring this cherished ballet tradition to life.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 21
All I Want for Christmas is Attention
Last year, in a preview of To Jesus, Thanks for Everything! Jinkx and DeLa, Christopher Frizzelle wrote: "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." With To Jesus a smashing success, Jinkx and DeLa are back with another bid for your love.
A Christmas Carol
Spooky Christmas ghosts, cheerful costumes, and festival carols animate this Tacoma production of the classic tale.
Pantages Theater (Tacoma