Gift Ideas

Holiday Gift Guide, Part 2: Tickets, Tickets, Tickets

Giving an experience means more fun for you, too.

By Laura Dannen December 8, 2010

Constantine Maroulis stars in Rock of Ages. Photo courtesy Joan Marcus.

Okay! So I’m selfish. But at least I elicit opinions from my family before I get them tickets to a show each year. It’s not like I’m dragging them all to see The Merchant of Venice when they’re clamoring to see Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. (But how can you resist Pacino?!) Anyway…here are a few ideas for the people in your life who are impossible to shop for. Just remember: If you give a pair of tickets, it doesn’t always mean you get one back.

For the sister who still sings "Don’t Stop Believin’" at karaoke…
Rock of Ages
Paramount Theatre, Feb 8-13
Yes, the story is literally about a "small-town girl, living in a lonely world…" But you’re not going for the poetry. You’re in it for the ’80s nostalgia and healthy doses of Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, and Whitesnake. Tickets ($25-$70) to see the Broadway rock musical just went on sale at the end of November, so there are still decent seats.

For your dad/uncle/husband, who still has his electric guitar even though he hasn’t played it since 1973…
Eric Clapton
KeyArena, Feb 26
Do I need to explain why this is a good idea? The 65-year-old axeman tours behind his 19th solo record, Clapton, with bassist Willie Weeks, keyboardist Chris Stainton, drummer Steve Gadd, and backing vocalists Michelle John and Sharon White. Tickets go on sale Saturday, Dec 11, 10am at

For your friend who thinks motorcycle helmets are a waste of time…
Rat City Rollergirls
He’ll probably appreciate women in short skirts, on rollerskates, beating the #[email protected]%$ out of each other. (Their words, not mine.) This local flat-track roller derby league has seven games, January through July, and season tickets are on sale now; single-event tickets go on sale Dec 16.

For your Pavement-lovin’ college roommate…
The Dismemberment Plan
Showbox SoDo, March 12
You could spend all of 2011 following reunited ’90s bands—but this one is worth your time. The DC-born post-punk act played amazing live shows in the mid- to late ’90s, broke up in 2003, and announced a very-select-city reunion tour in September. Seattle made the cut. (I would hope so, since local indie label Barsuk Records is putting out a vinyl reissue of their ’99 album Emergency and I. ) Tickets go on sale Friday, Dec 10, at 10am, but the presale runs Dec 9, 10am-10pm, password "showbox."

For the Bellevue-based modern dance fan who’s tired of schlepping to Seattle…
Chop Shop Dance Festival
Theatre at Meydenbauer Center, Bellevue, Feb 12 & 13
The dancers will come to you. Some of the best talent in Seattle and Eastside—including Spectrum Dance, Zoe Scofield, and Catherine Cabeen—perform in the fourth annual festival. Tickets ($20-$25) are on sale now, and these shows will likely sell out.

For your brother with a newborn who never leaves the house…
Tron at Golden Class Cinemas, Redmond
It’s deluxe moviegoing: dinner, a full bar, a chair that’s a cross between a seat from the Enterprise and a Lay-Z-Boy, and a movie for $27. Even if Tron is terrible, he’ll can curl up with a blanket and pillow and take a nap. Some new dads would pay good money for that.

And don’t forget: We already told you about David Sedaris at Benaroya, and Picasso at Seattle Art Museum. Can’t go wrong with either of those.

The third and final Holiday Gift Guide—all local gifts—is coming up next Wednesday. Keep an eye out for it on Culture Fiend.

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