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MONDAYFOOD & DRINK
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 the Ballard pizzeria can procure, with albacore crudo, handmade Il Corvo pasta with lobster, Dungeness crab, Penn Cove mussels, anchovies, roasted oysters snatched from Delancey’s roaring wood-fired oven, and a steady flow of wine throughout. They’ll finish with some delightful-sounding butterscotch pots de creme for dessert.
Bard in a Bar: Winter's Tale!
Shakespeare's mishmash of comedy and brutal drama will be treated to a beer-filled karaoke-style reading at this installment of Bard in a Bar.
Christopher Boffoli: Bite Sized
Culling inspiration from Jonathan Swift’s 18th-century tale Gulliver’s Travels, Seattle-based artist Christopher Boffoli creates miniature sculptures of people juxtaposed against bright and cheery pictures of food. He creates images of impossible situations: people jumping from cake pop to cake pop, a diver swimming in a martini, a family camped out on top of a s’more. Boffoli adds a layer of cheekiness to each of his compositions, giving the photos irreverent titles that can be read along with the image. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Maja Petrić, Etsuko Ichikawa, Peter Gronquist: Digital Perspectives
This group exhibition brings together three artists whose work—in one way or another—utilizes different digital mediums to talk about humanity’s relationship to the world around us. Maja Petrić will be presenting Particle Attraction, a new interactive piece where viewers have the chance to walk through a simulated landscape. Etsuko Ichikawa will be continuing her exploration of nuclear waste and “what we choose to leave behind” in Murmurings of Love, in which a futuristic figure smashes a vessel made of uranium glass. And finally, in A Visual History of the Invisible 2, Peter Gronquist will be projecting a “soothing and hypnotic” digital installation of a large gold fabric magically suspended against a bright-blue sky. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Susan Dory: Exotic Mass
In 2012, Jen Graves wrote: "Susan Dory's color combinations have always been luscious. But in the last two years, her work has undergone a transformation—in Catenary Curves, Dory's signature softness and refined paint handling has gone a little bit street. It's as if each painting were a set of open jaws, or many sets of jaws, each vying for space in a fractured horizon. It is an exhilarating break." See how Dory's style has evolved even further at this solo show.
MONDAY & WEDNESDAY-SUNDAYPERFORMANCE
The 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
ALL WEEKFOOD & DRINK
Miracle on 2nd
In 2014, New York bar owner Greg Boehm temporarily transformed his space into a kitschy Christmas wonderland replete with gewgaws and tchotchkes galore. Now the pop-up has expanded to more than 100 locations all over the world and will be returning to Belltown’s Rob Roy this year. 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.” New this year: At nearby Vinnie's Raw Bar, there will be a spin-off holiday-tiki-themed pop-up called "Sippin' Santa," which asks you to "imagine Santa on a surfboard instead of a sleigh and palm trees instead of pine." Drinks include the "Kris Kringle Colada" (dark Jamaican rum, Cynar, allspice, lime and pineapple juice, and cream of coconut) and the "Christmas Eve of Destruction" (dark overproof rum, herbal liqueur, nutmeg syrup, lime juice, and Angostura bitters). JULIANNE BELL Through Dec 24.
Land 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.
Christmas Ship Festival
The Puget Sound is filled with lights throughout the holiday season, but no vessel can compete with Argosy Cruises' Christmas Ship, which docks in 65 waterfront communities to serenade people onshore and onboard with its resident choir. Those who choose to board the ship will enjoy photos with Santa, a reading of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," and kids' activities. For a less family-oriented option, you can trail behind in a 21+ boat with rotating themes each week. It's also free to watch from the shore. Don't miss the Grand Finale on December 23.
Enchant Christmas 2019
Following a successful first year, Enchant Christmas will transform T-Mobile Park into a winter wonderland complete with an impressive light maze, light sculptures, a market curated by Urban Craft Uprising, and more. This year's theme is "Mischievous," so expect to see sly little elves roaming about.
The zoo will light up with thousands upon thousands of (energy-efficient) LED lights that recreate wild scenes and creatures. You can also throw fake snowballs at your friends, get up close with certain animal residents, and sip hot chocolate.
Performance Potluck Salon
The Degenerate Art Ensemble will gather filmmakers, artists, performers, organizers, writers, and other artistic types for a potluck and art share. Hear from such diverse and fascinating creatives as video artist Etsuko Ichikawa, painter Paul Rucker, LandForms Dance, actor/director Paul Budraitis, butoh dancer Shoko Zama, and many others.
Annual Holiday Reading with Brad Craft
Join the Book Store's beloved used books buyer, Brad, to drink in Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory," a tale of making Christmas traditions with his older cousin "from buying illegally made whiskey for their fruitcakes to cutting down their own tree and decorating it with homemade ornaments."
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.
Natural History: Botanical and Naturalist Subjects
Who doesn't love botanical and faunal illustration? This exhibition presents work by the 16th-century engraver Andres Lagunas, illustrator of the Dioscorides Anazarbeo, Acerca de la materia medicinal ("the Anazarbeo Dioscorides, on medicinal matter," 1555). These are accompanied by other hand-colored engravings of natural subjects.
New Additions: Lesley Frenz, Emily Gherard, Saya Moriyasu
At two months old, the J. Rinehart Gallery already has some impressive artists on its roster. And that list keeps growing. In this show, the gallery’s latest artist additions will be on full display. The mountainous landscapes and terrains of painter Lesley Frenz look as if you’re viewing the world through a drippy, frosty window. Painter, draftsman, and printmaker Emily Gherard uses hulking, abstract compositions and paintings to investigate human fragility and vulnerability. And the smooth, playful ceramic figures of Saya Moriyasu teeter on their puffy forms, inviting the viewer to look and admire their beauty. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Norman Lundin: Remembered Detail
I do believe in the holiness of certain overlooked spaces. Especially at times of the day that almost do not exist. Like, 3:30 p.m. is definitely a time, but 6:43 a.m.? I don’t know her. Seattle-based artist Norman Lundin’s work memorializes and depicts this kind of time, in these kinds of spaces. The way the light from the late-afternoon sun slants through the windows onto the neglected side of a studio, or the orange glow of dawn outside the windows of a dark workroom. A reminder that the forgotten, the overlooked, the just barely remembered can be sacred and beautiful, too. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Paul Rucker: Forever
Forever Stamps are first-class stamps that retain their value forever. If you buy them at, say, 50 cents a stamp, and the first-class postage rate goes up, your Forever Stamps will still be valid. This concept of perpetual retention of value is what makes artist Paul Rucker’s show compelling. Constructing commemorative stamp prints out of aluminum, Rucker eschewed “traditional” subjects, decorating his prints with mostly black civil-rights activists, schoolchildren, and falsely accused teens who were murdered by white supremacists. In centering these martyrs in his work, Rucker investigates the way we remember our country’s violent history. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Hershey Felder: Beethoven
Former Stranger writer Sean Nelson described Felder as an "astonishingly gifted vocalist and pianist, not merely in terms of pure technique, but in his capacity for restraint." In this show, he takes on the roles of both Ludwig van Beethoven and his student Gerhard von Breuning while playing such beloved pieces as Moonlight Sonata and Pathetique Sonata, as well as excerpts from the famed Fifth and Ninth Symphonies.
This is the world premiere of the musical Mrs. Doubtfire, a stage adaptation of the 1993 Robin Williams film. After its run in Seattle, it goes straight to Broadway. Mrs. Doubtfire is directed by Jerry Zaks, a Broadway legend who won a Tony Award for directing the revival of Guys and Dolls in 1992, and was nominated again for his revival of Hello, Dolly! with Bette Midler in 2017. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Shout, Sister, Shout!
A black queer woman named Rosetta Tharpe invented rock and roll as we know it today. Exuberant and stomping with an electric guitar in hand, her picking and singing influenced the likes of Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, and the list goes on. Born the daughter of two cotton pickers in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, Tharpe rose up through gospel, and became internationally known for fusing rural and urban styles of music in certified bangers such as "Down by the Riverside" and "This Train." Playwright Cheryl L. West offers this dramatic treatment of Gayle F. Wald’s biography of the "Godmother of Rock and Roll" in a show that's drawn near universal praise from critics. Get pumped to watch this musical portrait of a legend. RICH SMITH
A 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.
An Evening with Auntie Mame
Three Dollar Bill Cinema's continues its holiday-time tradition of screening the gayly beloved 1958 film, in which Rosalind Russell plays a woman so fabulous, fearless, life-loving, and drunk that she was immediately and forever crowned Queen of the Gays.
Salare x Cloudburst Beer Dinner
Acclaimed local brewery Cloudburst Brewing will team up with chef Edouardo Jordan's James Beard Award-winning Ravenna restaurant Salare for a dinner paired with their beers.
Bingo All The Way!
Local drag queens Jane Don't and Eucalypstick will host this performance-filled game night one weeks B4 Christmas (see what we did there, with the bingo pun?).
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.
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
Get a discount at this Thursday's Beer & Ballet special.
Jingle All the Gay!
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 have 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, plus Lola van Ella from New Orleans. CHASE BURNS
Wilfred Padua and Friends
Dave Segal has described Wilfred Padua as "Seattle's funniest middle-school teacher by some distance." But let's not damn with faint praise (no disrespect to middle-school teachers): Padua has also had a lot of success in the POC-centered showcase Minority Retort and has performed previously at Bumbershoot, Bridgetown, Boring Time, and other festivals.
Grateful: A That Brown Girl Cooks! Celebration
Celebrate the 19th birthday of local POC-owned culinary collective That Brown Girl Cooks with drinks and music.
Holiday Vegan Bake-Off, Home Bakers Edition!
Anyone who’s ever drunk too much eggnog or eaten too many milk-chocolate Santas has likely realized how much better Christmas would be without dairy. The Animal Rights Initiative is hosting a holiday-themed vegan bake-off to show you just how much better. Home bakers will compete to see who can make the best candies, cookies, one-handed pastries (muffins, doughnuts, and the like), and fork pastries (pies and cakes) without using ingredients that came from anything with eyes and toes. Even if you don’t have any sweet treats to enter, everybody is invited to come down and judge. DAVID LEWIS
Martinis and Mistletoe
Sip Absolut Elyx vodka or Malfy gin martinis at this classy holiday party.
Oyster Feast with Pleasant Bay Oyster Farm at The Growler Guys
Slurp some superlatively fresh oysters (pulled from the ocean that very morning and shucked on the spot) from Pleasant Bay Oyster Farm, paired with four kegs of Breakside Brewery beer (including a 2019 Salted Caramel Stout).
Native Womxn Writers Celebration
Don't miss this lineup of extremely talented Native womxn writers Laura Da', Rena Priest, Storme Webber, Arianne True, Sara Marie Ortiz, and Sondra Simone Segundo, brought to you by the Northwest Native Writers Circle.
Britain's Baking Challenge
See the inherently silly drama of The Great British Baking Show recreated by four improvisers who really bake onstage and present the results to two "remarkably placid judges."
Taylor 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
Neddy Artist Awards Exhibition
The finalists for Cornish College's prestigious 2019 Neddy Awards—Amanda Knowles, Jite Agbro, Romson Regarde Bustillo, Julia Freeman, Emily Gherard, Tatiana Garmendia, Julia Freeman, and the winners, Inye Wokoma and Aramis O. Hamer—exhibit their pieces. Here's your chance to see some Washington State talent.
Northwest Mystics 2019: Women of the PNW
Twenty-two women artists working in various media, from music to sculpture to video, pay tribute to gallery owner and Northwest School maven Zoë Dusanne with performances, installations, and "lighted animatronic motion-sensitive 'flowers' that seem to speak directly to visitors."
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.
The Christmas Killings at Corgi Cliffs
Butch Alice once again stars as Becky June Beasley-Jones in Scot Rigsby Augustson's drag-filled send-up of Agatha Christie-type whodunits, directed by Jasmine Joshua (artistic director of Reboot Theatre Company).
Head Over Heels
Tunes by the Go-Go's [sic] pepper this musical loosely based on a 16th-century narrative poem by Sir Philip Sidney. A royal family learns of a fateful prophecy that may disrupt "the Beat" that supplies the rhythm to their kingdom. Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q, Bring It On: The Musical, the screenplay for Can You Ever Forgive Me?) wrote the book and lyrics.
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: "ALL NEW hilarious comedy, songs, dance numbers, amazing videos and partial nudity!"
Julia Wald: The Golem: A Family History
In this very personal show, Seattle-based artist and illustrator artist Julia Wald will present work that details her Jewish family’s time as refugees. Using pen and ink, she’ll tell the history of her family using the metaphor of a golem, an anthropomorphic creature made of stones, mud, and clay that can be a monster, hero, or villain to the Jewish people, and is called upon in times of hope or despair. Wald connects this creature with the experiences of her family, saying, “My family’s history can be summed up pretty nicely as a combination of hope and despair, monsters and saviors.” JASMYNE KEIMIG
Back in the '00s, Andy Haynes was one of the funniest people in Seattle, the proverbial big fish in a medium-sized pond full of discarded Amazon boxes. So, he did what any sensible stand-up comic would do—he moved to NYC to become a small fish in a Big Apple. The risky move has paid off with appearances on Conan, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival, and a Comedy Central Half Hour Special. Haynes parlays a smooth, non-histrionic delivery into logically flowing sets that touch intelligently and mordantly on race, relationships, sexuality, depression, public transportation, substance abuse, and his own WASP-y looks (e.g., "I suffer from what some people call 'president face.'"; "I look like a senator's nephew."). DAVE SEGAL
Uncle Mike Ruins Christmas
Mike Murphy and Jet City cast members reenact and trample over your fond Christmas memories with gleeful vulgarity. Not for the squeamish.
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 butter croissants, lemon scones, and chocolate beignets; cured salmon with alfalfa sprouts and herb cream cheese; and smoked ham with pimento cheese and pickles—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
Winter Solstice Night Market
This edition of the now-monthly Seattle Night Market (spearheaded by South Lake Union Saturday Market’s Ryan Reiter) is held over a weekend in which the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year, winter solstice, falls. Hence the name. It’s also indoors, which makes for a comfortable shopping (and eating) experience, with more than 150 booths, food trucks, and restaurant pop-ups that offer “locally made wares and tasty fare” spread all throughout Magnuson Park’s giant (20,000-square-foot) Hangar 30. Separate tickets into the Winter Solstice Beer Festival include samples of wintry brews from upwards of 25 local and regional breweries. Oh, there’s live music, too. In sum, it’s a groovy, beery, shoppy good time. LEILANI POLK
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.
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 Brett Hamil in City Arts, 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
Sadly, Sun Liquor's cult-favorite aged eggnog won't be available for retail this year. However, all is not lost: They'll be selling their 2019 Holiday Spirit Blend, the same mixture of bourbon, American single-malt whiskey, aged rum, and apple brandy used to make their classic eggnog, at Metropolitan Market locations so you can mix it into nog yourself, and Sol Liquor Lounge will have limited quantities of aged eggnog available by the glass through Christmas Day.
6th Annual Dark Beer Fest
Dark winter days call for similarly dark beers. At this three-day event, Flying Lion will offer over 30 such brews, including "cellared favorites, special releases, and plenty of limited availability brews."
Kink, luxury, and avant-garde fashion combine in Valtesse's signature style at this "futuristic sex dream" of a cabaret. Be sure to dress in red or black cocktail attire.
Christmas Lighting Festival
Holiday cheer abounds in Washington's own Bavarian-style village of Leavenworth, which celebrates the season with live Christmas music, visits from both St. Nickolaus and Santa Claus, sledding, and more—all culminating in glorious lighting ceremonies every Saturday and Sunday.
SATURDAYFOOD & DRINK
Cold weather calls for a warm bowl of saimin, a Chinese noodle dish whose origins date back to the late 1800s in Hawaii. For one night only, Super Six will serve up their rendition with Dashi and shoyu broth, kalua pork, smeared spam, egg, fish cakes, bok choy, nori, and scallions.
Final Day of the Pocket Theater
Say a sad farewell to this wonderful theater, which for five years was a development lab for new fringe acts and a reliable venue for weird, wild shows. There will be toasts, duos, solo performances, the tongue-in-cheek Ding Dong Awards, a "community improv marathon," improvised Blink-182, and more great acts by Pocket regulars and local improv/sketch celebrities.
SATURDAY-SUNDAYFOOD & DRINK
Sibling chefs Trinh and Thai Nguyen will welcome Tom Vu, owner of the Vancouver dessert spot CrackleCreme (and also their cousin), to their Bainbridge Island Vietnamese restaurant. Stop by for gourmet crème brûlée in mason jars and a selection of macaroons fashioned after animated characters like Hello Kitty, Pokémon, and the Despicable Me minions.
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 with All I Want for Christmas Is Attention.
SUNDAYFOOD & DRINK
Hanukkah at Dingfelder's
Fill up on latkes, sufganiyot, and other Hanukkah favorites from the Capitol Hill deli on the first night of the holiday.
Light Up the Night - Burger Fest
What do Jews and burgers have in common? You’ll find both at this annual Hanukkah celebration hosted by CYP Seattle and Chabad of Downtown in Westlake Park. There will be a giant menorah lighting, to-go boxes featuring hot gourmet burgers and latkes (because who needs fries when you have those crispy potato pancakes?), all made with love by Rabbi Shmuly Levitin’s wife, Chaya, and some volunteers, plus hot drinks and doughnuts, a mitzvah tank, live music by a Hasidic rock band, and a holiday market. In sum, delicious, festive, and fun. And admission is free! LEILANI POLK