It's a busy time of year, so we get it if the last thing you want to do around the holidays is spend lots of time planning how you're going to entertain your out-of-town friends and family or your kids on their holiday breaks. That's where we come in. If you just want the highlights, read on to find out about the biggest events you need to know about in every genre from now until the end of next week (after which we've got a separate guide to the biggest New Year's Eve events). We've rounded up everything from the Christmas Ship Festival's Grand Finale to the Winter Solstice Night Market to the opening of Little Women. You can find even more things to do over the holidays on our complete EverOut Things To Do calendar.
Jump to: Holiday Markets & Shopping | Santa Sightings & Family Festivals | Hanukkah Festivals | Solstice | Holiday Lightings & Displays | Major Concerts | Food & Drink Events | Comedy & Performances | Film | Other Noteworthy Happenings | Sports & Recreation
Note: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day may affect dates for recurring events. Double check to be sure.
HOLIDAY MARKETS & SHOPPING
BadWill Market - Holiday XL Edition at Rhino Room & Now or Never
Shop, booze, and schmooze all Sunday long at the BadWill Market, returning to Capitol Hill with tons of vintage apparel, handmade jewelry, beauty and grooming products, and more gift-worthy wares from local vendors.
Sun Dec 22, The Rhino Room (Capitol Hill)
United Indians Holiday Art Market
Fill up on salmon and Indian tacos while you shop for artful handmade wares from tribes across Washington State.
Dec 20-22, Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center (Magnolia)
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
Dec 20-21, Magnuson Park Hangar 30 (Sand Point)
SANTA SIGHTINGS & FAMILY FESTIVALS
Holidays at the Needle
Santa will park his sleek new glass sleigh on the Space Needle's revolving glass floor, so your photos with the jolly man will feature the Seattle cityscape beneath your feet.
Dec 20-24, Space Needle (Seattle Center)
Celebrate Kwanzaa with free art activities for all ages.
Fri Dec 27, Northwest African American Museum
Kiddos can bide their time until Christmas with Santa photos, penguin racing, cane cane fishing, carpet skating, and crafting.
Sat Dec 21, Imagine Children's Museum (Everett)
Every year, downtown Bellevue turns into a winter wonderland not just for one night but for a whole dang month, with (fake) falling snow, jolly live music, and a nightly parade filled with dancers and toy drummers.
Through Dec 24, Bellevue Collection
Swanson's Reindeer Festival
Shop a variety of seasonal plants, bulbs, arrangements, and Christmas trees, as well as other gifts like books, jewelry, and home decor, at the decked-out nursery. Plus, visit with Santa and his real-life reindeer, check out model trains, and enjoy live music throughout the season.
Through Dec 24, Swansons Nursery (Crown Hill)
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. This week brings performances by the Not-It's (Dec 21), Lelavision (Dec 22), Klez Kidz (Dec 23), the Dickens Carolers (Dec 26), Magic Rich (Dec 28), and more.
Through Dec 31, Seattle Center
The Chanukah Party III: #BlackHotChanukah
Celebrate Hanukkah with musician Adra Boo, comics Vanessa Dawn and Isaac Novak, bands Shaina Shepherd, King Youngblood, and Hotels (featuring Boo), and a dance party with DJs Silk Safari and Ruben Mz. and VJ Blazinspace. Plus, there'll be starchy Jewish delicacies like matzo ball soup, bagels, and potato latkes and a market with goods by T-Dub Customs and kemexkeme.
Sun Dec 29, Washington Hall (Central District)
Glow in the Dark Chanukah Celebration and Menorah Lighting
Renton mayor-elect Armonoda Pavone will give greetings at this Hanukkah celebration complete with a raffle, glow-in-the-dark crafts, traditional treats, and live music.
Sun Dec 22, the Landing (Renton)
Grand Menorah Lighting 2019!
Shoreline will light up its nine-foot menorah and dole out doughnuts, latkes, and raffle prizes on the first night of Hanukkah.
Sun Dec 22, Shoreline City Hall
Giant Menorah Lighting & Gelt Drop in Ballard
The first night of Hanukkah will be met with a menorah lighting, traditional treats like latkes, jelly doughnuts, and chocolate coins (which will rain down from an extended fire ladder in a "Great Gelt Drop"), and kids' activities.
Sun Dec 22, Bergen Place (Ballard)
Grand Menorah Lighting at Kirkland Marina Park
A human dreidel on stilts will shower you with gelt on the first night of Hanukkah—can't get more festive than that. Also on the docket: a giant menorah lighting and live music.
Sun Dec 22, Marina Park (Kirkland)
Grand Menorah Lighting at Volunteer Park
Join Chabad of Capitol Hill for a menorah lighting and latkes on the first night of Hanukkah. All children in attendance will receive a free gift.
Sun Dec 22, Volunteer Park (Capitol Hill)
Menorah on the Green
Chabad of Bainbridge Island will host an hour of family-friendly activities to ring in Hanukkah, including a giant menorah lighting, hot latkes and doughnuts, and gelt galore.
Sun Dec 22, Winslow Green (Bainbridge Island)
Public Menorah Lighting and Fire Truck Coin Drop
Issaquah will host Hanukkah events around town throughout the week, from a family-friendly coin drop and fire truck tour at Grand Ridge Plaza (Dec 22) to a menorah lighting and dreidel light show on Front Street (Dec 24).
Dec 22-28, Various locations (Issaquah)
SnoCo Giant Menorah Lighting
Join Lynnwood City Council officials and Seattle-based klezmer band Klez Katz at this eight annual menorah lighting followed by a Hanukkah sing-along.
Sun Dec 22, Lynnwood City Hall
U-Village Menorah Lighting
If you prefer to spend the first night of Hanukkah at home, take your family to U-Village on the second night for a klezmer-filled celebration and menorah lighting with Chabad of Seattle.
Mon Dec 23, University Village (University District)
WINTER SOLSTICE EVENTS
A Bonsai Solstice
Tour the enchanting bonsai collection under holiday lights, and enjoy free hot cocoa and coffee, live music, and free custom poetry. Bring your own flashlight.
Sat Dec 21, Pacific Bonsai Museum (Federal Way)
2019 Winter Solstice Walk
Take a luminary forest walk, make holiday crafts, warm up with hot drinks, and enjoy the Americana stylings of Bryan Rust.
Sat Dec 21, Washington Park Arboretum (Montlake)
A parade of lanterns will light up the darkest days of the year at this annual winter solstice walk. The afternoon walks are family-friendly and the evening walks are boozy.
Dec 20-21, Bloedel Reserve (Bainbridge Island)
Brighten up the darkest days of the year by walking through an illuminated garden, which will be open each day until the winter solstice passes.
Through Dec 22, Kruckeberg Botanic Garden (Shoreline)
HOLIDAY LIGHTINGS & DISPLAYS
Candy Cane Lane Holiday Lights Festival
1920s-era Tudor homes in Ravenna have been boasting impressive light displays every holiday season since 1949. Stroll along Northeast Park Road taking in Nutcracker-themed havens complete with sleighs, reindeer, sugar plum fairies, and blow-up candy canes galore.
Through Jan 1, Candy Cane Lane (Ravenna)
Christmas at the Mansion
Per holiday tradition, visitors can marvel at Puyallup's historic Meeker Mansion decked out in Victorian-style Christmas decorations (with 21st-century LED lights).
Through Dec 22, Meeker Mansion (Puyallup)
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.
Through Dec 22, Leavenworth
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.
Through Dec 23, Various locations (Lake Union)
Clam Lights Presented by Ivar's Restaurants
Every night, Ivar's powers up the park with thousands of Christmas lights depicting various clammy characters. Is this where clams go to heaven after you eat them at Ivar's?
Through Jan 1, Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park (Renton)
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.
Through Dec 29, T-Mobile Park (Sodo)
Whimsical flora and fauna, birds, animals, and cascading waterfalls get the holiday light treatment at Bellevue Botanical Garden's annual display. (To be clear, actual birds and animals will not be strung with lights.) Wander the grounds and take photos among the "half a million" bulbs.
Through Dec 31, Bellevue Botanical Garden
Check out over 200 LED-lit monkeys (Phinney's definitive mascot) at WildLights and around neighborhood businesses throughout the holiday season. On opening night, enjoy free refreshments and a performance from OK Chorale at the Phinney Neighborhood Association.
Through Jan 1, Woodland Park Zoo (Phinney)
The Lights of Christmas Festival
Meet Santa, have some snacks, hear stories and music, pay a visit to Baby J at the Nativity, shop, and pet friendly animals at "the largest holiday festival in the Northwest."
Through Dec 29, Warm Beach Camp & Conference Center (Stanwood)
This year, Santa is enlisting the help of young princes and princesses in helping him find six hidden presents. In addition to the prize-bearing hunt, this kid-oriented indoor festival will also have a gift market (complete with fresh produce and seasonal treats) and a light display.
Through Jan 5, Smith Cove Cruise Terminal (Interbay)
Maple Leaf Lights
Take some time to appreciate the lengths to which people have gone to illuminate their houses with impressive Christmas light displays.
Through Dec 31, Maple Leaf Lights (Maple Leaf)
Sheraton Grand Seattle Gingerbread Village
For the 27th 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 that uses 1,850 pounds of gingerbread, 150,000 pieces of candy, 350 pounds of fondant, and 15 gallons of egg whites, according to press materials. This year's theme is #ElfLife, featuring pixies, gnomes, and pucks from across genres.
Through Jan 1, Sheraton Hotel (Downtown)
Snow Day SLU
Denny Park's winter light display will provide a magical, twinkly respite from dark Seattle winter days.
Through Jan 19, Denny Park (South Lake Union)
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.
Through Jan 5, Woodland Park Zoo (Phinney)
Closed Dec 24-25
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. Displays from previous years have included hammerhead sharks and sea turtles, a majestic polar bear family, and a giant Pacific octopus.
Through Jan 5, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (Tacoma)
Closed Dec 24
MAJOR CONCERTS & FESTIVE MUSIC SHOWS
Benjamin Gibbard, Johnathan Rice
The last time I saw Ben(jamin) perform was at a Town Hall tribute to the late Leonard Cohen, wherein local luminaries covered folk classics that made a chapel full of adults rock with silent sobs for two straight hours. Hopefully this performance will be less of a wake, but just as honest, warm, and generous as Ben’s Cohen interpretations were that night. He’ll be joined by singer-songwriter and frequent Jenny Lewis collaborator Johnathan Rice, whose song “So Sweet” appeared on 2004’s Music From The OC: Mix 2 … and no, I’m not ashamed to say that’s why I know who he is. KIM SELLING
Fri Dec 20, Washington Hall (Central District)
The Black Tones
KEXP’s Audioasis DJ Eva Walker and her brother Cedric know how to punkify the blues and blues-ify the punk. If you’ve ever witnessed their high-octane rock and roll shows and the dynamic of Eva’s infectious and idiosyncratic quirks matched with the band’s avalanche-like force, then you know you can’t experience their shows enough. Their 2019 chart-topping Cobain and Cornbread is easily one of the strongest full-lengths (a debut at that!) to come out of Seattle this year—not to mention one of the more culturally salient bands to break out in the rock genre right before the new decade. ZACH FRIMMEL
Fri Dec 27, Neumos (Capitol Hill)
Blind Boys of Alabama Holiday Show
The legendary, multi-Grammy-winning Southern gospel, blues, and soul group plays four nights starting right after Christmas. Based on the show’s title, the set list will likely skew heavy on festive selections (they have a few holiday albums, the last being 2014’s Talkin' Christmas!). But the Blind Boys of Alabama have been active going on 80 years and have a vast catalog, so there’s sure to be other offerings, too. BBOA are currently led by sole original surviving member, vocalist Jimmy Carter, with heavy backup from the group’s other singers (Ricky McKinnie, Ben Moore, and Paul Beasley), guitarist and musical director Joey Williams, and a full band that includes players on bass, drums, and keys. Be prepared to be moved and uplifted. These dudes are gonna take you to church, in a good way. LEILANI POLK
Dec 26-29, Jazz Alley (Downtown)
Chromeo, the Juan Maclean
The last time I saw the Juan Maclean spin records from the Nectar main stage, I commiserated that live music venues always leave DJ sets feeling like an afterthought. But Nectar is doubling down on the disc jockey this pre-Xmas weekend, bringing in the latter-day funk masters behind Chromeo to join the Juan Maclean for a two-night-run of DJ sets. (Saturday sold out so quickly, a Sunday show was added.) While I confess to some surprise at Chromeo’s 15-year longevity—their 2018 release Head Over Heels was panned as tasteless and out of touch with contemporary gender politics—I’m curious what kind of record collection they’ve amassed along the way. But the real intrigue is flinty Maclean, a DFA Records staple whose techno and house machinations belie a career that stretches back to Six Finger Satellite, 1990s-era post-hardcore synth junkies with four Sub Pop releases. I promise better tunes than your company holiday party. GREGORY SCRUGGS
Dec 21-22, Nectar (Fremont)
Get sweaty at the club with Finnish dance music artist Darude on this winter tour stop.
Fri Dec 27, Ora Nightclub (Belltown)
The Four Seasons
An exploration of color and beauty, Vivaldi's masterwork The Four Seasons will be paired with the uptempo The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires by renowned Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla.
Dec 28-Jan 5, Benaroya Hall (Downtown)
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
Dec 20-22, Benaroya Hall (Downtown)
Judy Collins Holidays & Hits
Sublime jazzy folk icon Judy Collins will sing holiday favorites and share stories from her life at this seasonal show set.
Dec 19-22, Jazz Alley (Downtown)
The Music of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'
Because the Royal Room does the music of Charlie Brown every year, every year I have to write this love poem to the core tune, "Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)," 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 the 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 "Christmas Time 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
Dec 16 & 21, the Royal Room (Columbia City)
MxPx, Amber Pacific
MxPx’s best-known cut, “Chick Magnet,” told my story! No, really! I was always sitting there, unable to even get a woman to talk to me. And the guy next to me scored at will, and I could never figure out why or how. As I got older (not necessarily wiser), I met other fellows who thought MxPx were singing their song, too. And so I learned my story isn’t so special. A few years ago, I met the Chick Magnet (my Chick Magnet) on a bus platform. I’d noticed him back in town, wasn’t sure whether to talk. He was divorced, he said. He never saw his children. A few years later, his son died. And so I learned that even Chick Magnets live with what they conceal and they muster through. A painfully human moment sprung from punk-pop. ANDREW HAMLIN
Sat Dec 28, the Showbox (Downtown)
Seattle Men's Chorus: 'Tis The Season
In a landmark holiday event, the Seattle Men's Chorus will perform dazzling tracks of the season, like their own revamped takes on "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," "Festival Gloria," "Here We Come A-Caroling," and many more.
Through Dec 22, Benaroya Hall (Downtown
FOOD & DRINK EVENTS
2nd Annual Yule Ball
Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall herself invites you to don your finest robes for this Harry Potter-themed yuletide affair. They'll have special treats and teas for the occasion, as well as a professional photographer ready to capture your cosplay.
Sat Dec 21, Friday Afternoon (Wallingford)
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."
Dec 20-22, Flying Lion Brewing (Columbia City)
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.
Sun Dec 22, Dingfelder's Delicatessen (Capitol Hill)
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, Rob Roy (Belltown)
Zylberschtein's Hanukkah Dinner
The North Seattle Jewish deli will get a jump on the Festival of Lights with a traditional spread prepared by Chef Strega, complete with an optional wine pairing.
Dec 20 & 27, Zylberschtein's (North Seattle)
COMEDY & PERFORMANCES
All I Want for Christmas Is Attention
BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon are like peanut butter and jelly. They're two great tastes that taste great together. Though they were not on the same season of RuPaul's Drag Race, they were on back-to-back seasons, a one-two punch of perfect comic timing, stunning looks, and eccentric Seattle energy. Last year, they started a new tradition: a joint holiday show. There will be singing. There will be dancing. There will be looks. There will be jokes and jabs and verbal jousting. There will be... okay, look, I don't know what there will be, because I've never seen this show before. But I can tell you it's selling out like crazy. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Dec 21-27, Neptune Theatre (University District)
No show Dec 23 or 25
A(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.
Through Dec 23, Unexpected Productions' Market Theater (Downtown)
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.
Through Dec 22, Erickson Theatre Off Broadway (Capitol Hill)
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.
Through Dec 28, ACT Theatre (Downtown)
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).
Through Dec 29, Cafe Nordo (Pioneer Square)
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.
Through Dec 24, Seattle Public Theater (Green Lake)
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
Through Dec 24, ACT Theatre (Downtown)
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.
Sat Dec 21, the Pocket Theater (Greenwood)
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
Through Dec 28, McCaw Hall (Downtown)
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.
Through Dec 29, ArtsWest (West Seattle)
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.
Through Dec 22, Seattle Repertory Theatre (Seattle Center)
One of the stars of the hit Broadway show The Illusionists will tour on his own with some new legerdemain, comedy, and multimedia.
Sat Dec 21, Clearwater Casino (Suquamish)
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
Through Dec 29, Odd Fellows West Hall (Capitol Hill)
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.
Through Dec 22, Theatre Off Jackson (Chinatown-International District)
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.
Through Dec 29, Triple Door (Downtown)
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
Through Jan 4, the 5th Avenue Theatre (Downtown)
IBT's 'The Nutcracker'
Bellevue's own ballet company, the International Ballet Theatre, will perform the Russian classic, with choreography by Vera Altunina, adapted from the original Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa version. This year's performance will guest-star Kateryna Kukhar, Prima Ballerina of the National Opera of Ukraine, and Aleksandr Stoyanov, Principal Dancer of the National Opera of Ukraine.
Through Dec 23, Theatre at Meydenbauer (Bellevue)
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!"
Through Dec 22, Re-bar (Downtown)
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
Through Dec 22, Seattle Repertory Theatre (Seattle Center)
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
Through Dec 24, 18th & Union (Capitol Hill)
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
Dec 19-20, Moore Theatre (Belltown)
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.
Through Dec 21, Jet City Improv (University District)
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.
Through Dec 29, Seattle Public Theater (Green Lake)
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.
Dec 20-31, the Ruins (Queen Anne)
Legendary screenwriter William Goldman once said of the film industry, “Nobody knows anything,” and this is still mostly true, with one exception: If cinematographer Roger Deakins shot the movie, that movie is worth seeing on the biggest screen possible. Even if 1917 were solely the most impressive work of Deakins’ remarkable career—which it is—I’d be recommending it. But the World War I movie is also one hell of a stunning storytelling experience from director Sam Mendes, co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns, and editor Lee Smith. “But wait,” you say, “isn’t the whole point of this movie that there aren’t any cuts? Why did they need an editor at all?” 1917’s hook (or less generously, its gimmick) is that it’s meant to unfold in a single, unbroken take. It’s one of the rare instances of a film’s marketing actually benefiting the finished film, because of the way this knowledge is both paid off... and then subverted. BOBBY ROBERTS
Wed Dec 25, Various locations
When Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, and Margot Robbie all link up, what have you got? Well, a sizeable chunk of the Fox Newsroom, as it turns out. In this movie adapted from real-life events, Bombshell follows three women who accused late Fox founder and CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment, and the fallout when their accusations are made public. Kidman portrays former Fox host Gretchen Carlson, Robbie plays a fictionalized producer, and Theron seemingly fully transforms into Megyn Kelly. Announced in the months following Ailes’s death, the film will explore the toxic environment brewing over at the president’s favorite news channel. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Thurs Dec 19, Various locations
This Christmas, give yourself the gift of uncanny-valley terror as you watch A-list movie stars cavort under layers of digitally generated fur.
Fri Dec 20, Various locations
'Little Women' Opening
I loved Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird so much that I went into Little Women with trepidation. Making a follow-up to a movie everyone loved is tricky! And every hater on my block asked why we needed another Little Women movie when the 1995 version is “perfectly fine” and “has Winona Ryder in it.” The answer: You don’t know how good you can have it! You don’t know how good Little Women can be, you poor fools! Gerwig’s Little Women is Romance-era-oil-painting gorgeous, but it’s also realistic, thanks to the performances of the film’s star-studded cast of March sisters: Saoirse Ronan as Jo, Emma Watson as Meg, Florence Pugh as Amy, and Eliza Scanlen as Beth. Directing her actors to talk over each other, Gerwig turns family scenes into rampaging rivers of voices, while also making sure nothing is lost in the chaos. We see the Marches as we see many families: A force bursting into a room. Laura Dern—for the first time in cinematic history—gives the girls’ mother a full personality. And when the girls’ father turned out to be universally beloved Bob Odenkirk (!) my friend straight-up punched me in the arm because she was already crying and couldn’t talk. SUZETTE SMITH
Wed Dec 25, Various locations
'Uncut Gems' Opening
As Howard Ratner, a professional jeweler and asshole in Manhattan’s Diamond District, a great Adam Sandler rarely leaves the screen in Uncut Gems, and the plot is basically Howard and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. That isn’t a shock, considering the film comes from brothers/writers/directors Josh and Benny Safdie, who party-crashed the arthouse scene with 2017’s Good Time (in which Robert Pattinson was the one playing an asshole having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day). Uncut Gems is larger in scope, but like Good Time, it has a moral vacuum at its center—it takes place in the no-man’s-land where society’s walls crumble, and where those who look out only for themselves can best navigate the rubble. The Safdies aren’t interested in morality tales but amorality tales, and their stories’ no-holds-barred recklessness, at first freeing, steadily grows exhausting. Thankfully, the Safdies also know how to shoot, cut, and score like nobody else. There’s a twitchy, addictive energy to Uncut Gems, and the Safdies’ choppy, rapid-fire cuts coalesce into a surreal, exhilarating landscape of prismatic hues, blaring fluorescents, and sharp LEDs, all while the analog synth score by Daniel Lopatin (AKA Oneohtrix Point Never) adds to the lurid beauty. ERIK HENRIKSEN
Tues Dec 24, Various locations
'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Opening
I found The Rise of Skywalker, the last film in the Skywalker saga, boring. And it was not even a long movie, and I'm a fan of the director's (J.J. Abrams) work (particularly Mission: Impossible III—the best in that franchise), and many of the visual effects are impressive—particularly the haunting business of bringing the late Carrie Fisher back to life. But all together, the film is burdened by too much sentimental family stuff (you are my granddaughter, you are my son, you killed my parents, and so on), and its end did not know how to end for a very long time. CHARLES MUDEDE
Thurs Dec 19, Various locations
SPORTS & RECREATION
Candy Cane Lane Run
Run a 5K or one-mile course through the LED-lit winter wonderland that is Candy Cane Lane. The finish line will bear goodies like hot cocoa, candy canes, and kettle corn, plus finisher medals that light up.
Sat Dec 21, Candy Cane Lane (Ravenna)
Jingle Bell Run
Burn some steam and some calories before the Christmas holiday is in full swing. This three-mile run/walk is the final race of Tacoma Metro Parks's 2019 Run the Parks series.
Tues Dec 24 at Wright Park (Tacoma)
Magnuson Holiday Fun Run
Run or walk a 5, 10, or 15K course along Lake Washington for the promise of a warm cup of cider or hot cocoa at the finish line.
Sat Dec 21 at Magnuson Park (Sand Point)
Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Seattle Seahawks will take on the Arizona Cardinals.
Sun Dec 22 at CenturyLink Field (Pioneer Square)
Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Seattle Seahawks will take on the Arizona Cardinals.
Sun Dec 22 at CenturyLink Field
Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers
One week after their Cardinals matchup, the Hawks will play another home game against their West Coast rivals from the Bay. Find a list of places to watch the game here.
Sun Dec 29 at CenturyLink Field
OTHER NOTEWORTHY HAPPENINGS
Hello Kitty Friends Around The World Tour
Explore London, Paris, New York, Honolulu, and Tokyo through the eyes of everyone's favorite Sanrio character, Hello Kitty, by traveling to five interactive rooms with your 'passport' in tow. You'll pick up plenty of treats and souvenirs along the way.
Through Dec 29, Bellevue Plaza