Little mermaid edqmaw

The underwater family fun of Disney's The Little Mermaid splashes down at 5th Avenue Theatre.

Theater

Thru Dec 31
Disney's The Little Mermaid
Just because the water in Puget Sound gets dreadfully chilly in the fall doesn’t mean one can’t venture under the sea. The musical adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid brings mermaid princess Ariel’s quest for love and legged acceptance to the stage for kids (and their nostalgic parents) to enjoy. After all, everything’s better down where it’s wetter. 5th Avenue Theatre, $36–$190

Holiday

Thru Dec 28
The Nutcracker
After debuting its new version of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker last year, Pacific Northwest Ballet settles into its new holiday routine in year two. While it may not have the same one-of-a-kind design eccentricities as the beloved Sendak version, Balanchine’s active choreography (especially in act two) fills the stage with an exciting new vigor. McCaw Hall, $27–$180

Fri, Dec 2
A John Waters Christmas

The cult king of camp makes his annual bawdy pilgrimage to the Neptune Theatre for A John Waters Christmas. Pregame with some eggnog and make a night of it. Neptune Theatre, $38–$100

Sat, Dec 3
Unsilent Night

Think of Unsilent Night as avant garde Christmas caroling. Participants download Phil Kline’s titular electronic composition, convene at On the Boards, and then venture out playing the tracks through their boom boxes and phones to create a dissonant electronica sound sculpture that traverses the cold, dark streets. On the Boards, Free

Comedy

Dec 1–23
Austen Translation
For those who think that six classic novels just aren’t enough, Jet City Improv joins forces with Book-It Repertory Theatre to revive the enchanted world of Jane Austen—with a bit of whimsy thrown in. Hilarity ensues during this impromptu romcom, as improvisers create a create an on-the-fly masterpiece in the spirit of Pride and Prejudice and Emma with stand-ins for treasured characters like Mr. Darcy and Marianne Dashwood. Avid Austen fans will recognize the familiar details: yearning stares, family dramas, and tantalizing affairs. Each performance will presumably be filled with carriage rides, country dances, and lots of tea. Jet City Improv, $10–$18

Sun, Dec 4
Joe Mande
Joe Mande’s fingerprints are all over a lot of the best modern comedy. He’s written for Parks and RecreationMaster of None, Kroll Show, or The Good Place, acted on Modern Family, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Love, and toured as an opener for pals like Aziz Ansari. Be prepared to feel a bit of comedic unease when Mande heads to Columbia City Theater. Despite a calm stage demeanor, his standup style ably pushes boundaries much more than any of his network TV credits would suggest. Columbia City Theater, $15–$18 

Sun, Dec 4
Weird and Awesome with Emmett Montgomery: 6 Year Anniversary
Seattle’s most beloved bearded comedian (and there are a lot of them), Emmett Montgomery heads to his happy place on the stage of the Annex Theatre to celebrate the sixth anniversary of his monthly oddball comedy and performance showcase, Weird and Awesome. The festive occasion will include special comic co-host Danielle K.L. Grégoire (Comedy Womb founder/Moth StorySLAM producer), jokes from top-notch ex-Seattleite standup Derek Sheen and Portland’s Elizabeth Teets, craft prizes, and a cavalcade of other eclectic Montgomery pals. Annex Theatre, $10

The Sporting Life

Sun, Dec 4
Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers
31–24. It’s a score the Seahawks won’t soon forget. The Panthers denied Seattle a chance for its third straight Super Bowl trip last season by jumping out to a crushing 31-0 lead at halftime of the NFC divisional round playoff game. While Russell Wilson and company clawed back to make it a game, it was too little, too late. Revenge is a dish best served on a cold Sunday night at CenturyLink Field. CenturyLink Field, $235–$625

Visual Art

Dec 1–24
Sarah McRae Morton: Mapping the Stars at Noon
Painter Sarah McRae Morton found quite the familial muse when poring over relatives’ old diaries: Stories of her great-great-great-great grandmother’s journey west, capture by Native Americans, and ransom back to Virginia led to the stirring Northwest images of Mapping the Stars at Noon. This premier collection of oil paintings for Foster/White shows the soft beauty in the faded specters of distant memories. Foster/White Gallery, Free

Classical & More

Thur & Sat, Dec 1 & 3
The Dream of Gerontius
Edward Elgar’s choral masterwork The Dream of Gerontius takes listeners on a moving musical journey through the Roman Catholic afterlife, featuring death, angels, purgatory, and Godly judgment. Experience the piece’s full glory, thanks to the combined forces of the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Symphony Chorale, and Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke. Benaroya Hall, $37–$122

Concerts

Fri, Dec 2
Sims
It’s no secret that some of the greatest music has been fueled by pain and heartbreak. With his latest album, More Than Ever, Minnesota-native rapper (and member of the excellent collective Doomtree) Sims continues the time-honored musical tradition, having written the album in the aftermath of personal losses. In keeping with Sims’ past work, the album features heavy beats backing gritty political jabs, but interrupts the fury with dreamy, echoing songs searching for answers to the unanswerable questions of life. The thirteen tracks follow the artist’s journey of recognizing that joy is essential in the face of sorrow. Witness this equally thoughtful and celebratory performance when Sims hits the stage at Barboza. Barboza, $13

Fri & Sat, Dec 2 & 3
Cathedrals XV & XVI: Lemolo & Damien Jurado
In the dead of winter, there’s sonic warmth to be found in the cavernous confines of St. Mark’s Cathedral. For the latest round of Abbey Arts Cathedrals concerts, patrons are invited to a two-night local doubleheader of dream-pop duo Lemolo (with string ensemble accompaniment) and master singer-songwriter Damien Jurado. Even if being nestled tight in the pews doesn’t warm your extremities, the echoing acoustics of the music should still melt your heart. St. Mark's Cathedral, $15–$18

Sat, Dec 3
DoNormaal
When DoNormaal (aka Christy Karefa-Johnson) grabs the mic and starts rapping, it’s hard to not fall into a deep, dark, hypnotic haze. The Seattle MC layers a slow, elongated enunciation of poetic lyrics over smooth grooves to entrance listeners and set their hips and heads swaying. Funhouse, $5–$7

Sat, Dec 3
SMooCH 2016
Every December, Seattle Musicians for Children’s Hospital hosts a loaded fundraising concert for its cause, and this year’s edition is shaping up to be an indie rock extravaganza. The 2016 lineup includes satirical rock messiah Father John Misty, Canadian indie supergroup the New Pornographers, Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis, and Seattle’s own Naked Giants. It’s a rare benefit show that’s actually worth the inflated ticket price. The Showbox, $52–$252

Sat, Dec 3
Water Is Life: Benefit Show for #NoDAPL

To raise funds in support of attempts to block the construction of the the North Atlantic Drilling Company’s oil pipeline through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota (which would put the tribe’s water supply in jeopardy), Seattle’s community Hollow Earth Radio hosts a benefit show at the Black Lodge with the money going to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Water Is Life features the acclaimed boundary-destroying serenity of politically-minded cellist Lori Goldston, the pissed off noise of Mommy Long Legs’ actively-blissed activist punk, the calm, almost floating, electronic soundscapes of Nación De Humo, and more. Black Lodge, Donation

Film

Thur, Dec 1 
Campout Cinema: Die Hard
Start December with a bang by watching the technically a Christmas classic, Die Hard on the glorious Sky Church screen. The genre-defining 1988 action movie still holds up decades later thanks to the loathabilty of  Alan Rickman’s skyscraper terrorizing mastermind Hans Gruber and Bruce Willis’s cunning and heroic badassery as John McClane. Yippie-ki-yay, forever. EMP Museum, $12

Dec 3–20
National Theatre Live
Oscar hopefuls aren’t the only ones delivering stirring performances on the big screens this December. London’s premier theatrical stage gets projected on SIFF screens via a particularly impressive slate of the ongoing National Theatre Live series. Catch encore performances of Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet (Dec 3–14), Kenneth Branagh in The Entertainer (Dec 5–8), the breathtaking stage puppetry of War Horse (Dec 18–20), and a live broadcast of Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart starring in Harold Pinter’s comedy classic, No Man’s Land, on December 15. SIFF Cinema Uptown, $20–$25

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