How to Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular
We have a soft spot for the DreamWorks animated movie about a nerdy young Viking who’d rather befriend dragons than slay them, so a sweeping stage adaptation—starring fire-breathing dragons with 40-foot wingspans—sounds like a fine idea to us. Tacoma Dome, $32–$72.
Though we’ll never forget the late, great Marvin Hamlisch, Seattle Symphony has asked Jeff Tyzik (the longtime pops conductor for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra) to fill in as its new pops principal designate. He leads the symphony, fronted by vocalists Doug LaBrecque and Christiane Noll, at this “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Benaroya Hall, $19–$91.
One of the most underrated holiday shows of the season, this rafter-raising telling of the Nativity story relies on the poetry of Langston Hughes, choreography by Brooklyn’s Jamel Gaines, and the soaring refrains of Pastor Patrinell Wright and the Total Experience Gospel Choir. Grammy-winning gospel singer BeBe Winans joins as a guest star December 21–23. Moore Theatre, $23–$38.
Great Figgy Pudding Street Corner Caroling Competition
Wassailing gets serious in this annual (friendly) competition, as nearly 40 caroling teams compete for bragging rights on street corners around Westlake Center. A winner is crowned a little after 8pm. All proceeds benefit the Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank. Westlake Center, $75 per team.
Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker
A day of holiday frolicking wouldn’t be complete without revisiting PNB’s monumental Nutcracker with its 187 dancers, storied Maurice Sendak sets and costumes, and Boeing-engineered Christmas tree that grows to 28 feet. McCaw Hall, $22–$125.
Thru Dec 23
Owen Meany's Christmas Pageant
Book-It Repertory Theatre faithfully adapts a chapter of John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany, when the child-size hero Owen plays baby Jesus in the most disastrous Nativity play his small town’s ever seen. Center House Theatre, $23–$45.
It’s been a banner year for Seattle’s own Allen Stone, who has been touring relentlessly (and in progressively larger venues) in support of his self-titled second album. Fresh off a European tour, Stone returns home to give his adoring local fans one more dose of sweet and soulful tunes to close out 2012. Paramount Theatre, $21.
Indie singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens brings his latest tour—take a deep breath—“The Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long -Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice” (yes, that’s how it’s spelled) to the Neptune. Long title short, he’s going to host a holiday sing-along (with provided sheet music) in support of his new Christmas album Silver and Gold. Neptune Theatre, sold out.
After years in the Grammy-winning prog-bluegrass band Nickel Creek, singer-songwriter and fiddler Sara Watkins began a solo career when the group disbanded in 2009. The frequent A Prairie Home Companion contributor recently released her second album, Sun Midnight Sun, which featured guest appearances by Fiona Apple and Jackson Browne. The Triple Door, $20.
Thru Dec 10
Kyle Loven: Loss Machine
Next-gen Seattle puppeteer Kyle Loven received grants from the Jim Henson Foundation and the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs to develop Loss Machine, a world premiere at On the Boards. Don't expect kid-friendly Muppets here; Loven dabbles in dark magic. For this performance he manipulates a "Rube Goldberg-esque set" meant to be a lost city of lost items, each with its own sad story. On the Boards, $20.
Seattle Met style editor Laura Cassidy and Northwest Film Forum cocurate this three-day series exploring the film fashion that inspires Seattle tastemakers. You won't find a Hitchcock flick or Audrey Hepburn role here. The series is an offbeat, conceptually chic look at characters and dress, from Purple Noon to The Passion of Anna, with each film feeding a panel discussion on how onscreen images influence our personal aesthetics. Northwest Film Forum, $10, series pass $30.
Next NW: Real/Time and Next Dance Cinema
Back for another go, this season’s festival of cutting-edge dance performance includes new work by regional artists Shannon Stewart, Raja Kelly, Babette McGeady, Erica Badgeley, Molly Sides, and Markeith Wiley. A film night and round table discussions round out the program. Velocity Dance Center, $15.
BOOKS & TALKS
If you don't follow Ken Jennings on Twitter, you might not know that he's sneakily one of the funniest people in Seattle. In the Jeopardy champ's newest book Because I Said So! The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids, he investigates the pearls of wisdom parents offer their children ("Don't sit to close to the TV!" "Don't crack your knuckles!") and how they're all a bunch of lies. Elliott Bay Book Company, free.
FOOD & DRINK
Dec 7 & 8
Winter Beer Fest
The fact that the temperature’s dropping outside does not preclude a necessity for chilled suds. Embrace the decadence of the season with oysters from Taylor Shellfish, sweets from Theo Chocolate, and seasonal stouts and hearty ales from 32 Washington breweries. Hale's Brewery and Pub, $25–$30.
Take the Kris Kringle diet and stock up on shortbread, chocolate chip, and gingerbread men at CookieFest. They’re made with love by the city’s top bakeries and culinary programs, and all proceeds support Seattle Milk Fund. Plus, they have arts and crafts to keep the kids busy while you eat…er, shop. Macy's, free.