The wholly unholy Christmas parody returns to ACT, where the law firm of Goldberg, Frankenstein, and Murray investigates Joseph of Nazareth’s paternity suit and the shady corporate dealings of Santa Inc. ACT Theatre, $20–$25.
There’s no shortage of Handel during the holidays, but the SSO’s annual Messiah concert—featuring the Seattle Symphony Chorale and four soloists—is one of the most dynamic. Benaroya Hall, $24–$91.
Thru Dec 27
Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker
This isn’t your little sister’s Nutcracker. There’s no little Clara and, come to think of it, no nutcracker. But for the past seven years, the racy dance, shake, and jiggle of the sugar plum fairies has packed the Triple Door, where the dancers show a lot of skin, and a lot of skill. It’s one of the few “ballets” that features a man en pointe, and the aerial act could compete with anything you’d see at Teatro ZinZanni. The Triple Door, $28–$45.
The End of the World As We Know It: Apocalypse Film Festival
If the Mayans were right, this will be our last film festival, so we might as well make the most of it. Beginning with 12 Monkeys (on 12/12/12), SIFF offers up a slew of apocalyptic visions committed to celluloid. Of course, the fest concludes with 2012 hours before our demise. SIFF Cinema Uptown, $10.
Opens Dec 14
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Peter Jackson returns to Middle-earth with the prequel to his epic Lord of the Rings trilogy. Despite being based on a single novel, Jackson has managed to find a way to stretch The Hobbit into another trilogy. New Zealand should be making bank on Hobbit tours for the next decade. Cinerama, $15 (for 3D film).
Collision Theory: Raucous Bacchus
Lingo Dance continues its yearlong study of music, dance, and performance art that engages with its audience with Raucous Bacchus, "a night with no off switch"—live music, "delerious dance" performances, and a specialty cocktail created just for the occasion at Oola Distillery. Oola Distillery, $10, RSVP required at lingodance.com/collisiontheory.
Best known as Ruxin on FX's The League, comedian Nick Kroll excels at both droll and the wildly over-the-top humor (see: his stand-up and Comedy Bang! Bang! characters like Bobby Bottleservice and El Chupacabra). His new Comedy Central sketch series Kroll Show premieres in January and he's bringing clips to his gig at the Neptune. Neptune Theatre, $20.
Dec 14 & 15
Don't you dare pull this "one of the funniest female comedians" bit when discussing Maria Bamford. She's one of the funniest stand-ups around. Period. No need for gender subjugation. After all, she was a member of the original Comedians of Comedy lineup (alongside Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, and Brian Posehn) for a reason. Laughs Comedy Spot, $20.
Cathedrals 4: Damien Jurado
Abbey Arts' Cathedral concert series places Seattle's best local music on literal holy ground. The fourth installment features Damien Jurado, arguably the Seattle scene's most revered singer-songwriter, for a night of tunes at St. Mark's Cathedral on Capitol Hill. St. Mark's Cathedral, $15–$18.
10th Annual Double Album Christmas Benefit Show: Sign 'O' The Times by Prince
Every year the Double Album Christmas Benefit Show brings together a bunch of bands to tackle a legendary album, with proceeds supporting MusiCares. Each artist takes a crack at a single track; this year Mike McCready and Friends, Sean Bates, Aaron Daniel, and more cover Prince's Sign 'O' the Times. Tractor Tavern, $10.
David Bazan Plays Pedro the Lion's Control
It’s a bit confusing that Seattle singer-songwriter David Bazan isn’t just calling this a Pedro the Lion reunion, since he was basically the band’s only formal member. Regardless, Bazan will play the entirety of his best album, Control, to celebrate its 10th anniversary and vinyl rerelease. Neptune Theatre, $16–$18.
Don’t buy into that live hard, die young nonsense. Real rockers persevere. Walking Papers is the latest hard-rocking project from Seattle vets Jeff Angell (Post Stardom Depression, vocals and guitar) and drummer Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees). They also get an assist on bass from their famous friend Duff McKagan. The Crocodile, $10.
Thru Dec 29
New York–based photographer Maggie Carson Romano and UW fine arts grad Serrah Russell (a new member of artist-run gallery SOIL) kicked off their collaboration with a weekend trip to a roadside motel in Washington, where they could explore the “tenuous relationship between sterility and comfort,” says Romano. They translated their Northwest vacation through collage, installation, sculpture, and photography. Soil Art Gallery, free.