Lorna luft and eric ankrim lead the cast of irving berlins holiday inn at the 5th avenue theatre   photo credit mark kitaoka wjrxf9

The Broadway hit Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn at 5th Avenue Theatre.

Image: Mark Kitaoka


Sun, Dec 3
The Boston alt-rock quartet came up and then disbanded at just about the same time as Nirvana on our coast. But the Pixies made a second act out of their earlier success— prompted at least in part by a rediscovery of their 1988 track “Where Is My Mind,” aka the song in Fight Club. Paramount Theatre, $61 


Dec 1–3
Next Fest NW
Think of Velocity Dance Center’s Next Fest NW as a preview, a salon even, of what’s new and exciting in Seattle dance. The annual string of performances brings emerging and veteran choreographers presenting new work. This year’s fest concludes with Next Dance Cinema, two screenings of filmed local and international dance. Velocity Dance Center, $20–$50

Nov 24–Dec 28
George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
Unlike snow days, The Nutcracker is a winter guarantee every year in Seattle. Now in its third production, after replacing Pacific Northwest Ballet’s long-tenured Maurice Sendak run, the George Balanchine iteration offers all the timeless staging and iconography that this classic ballet is known and loved for. McCaw Hall, $26–$180

Special Events

Fri, Dec 1
The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition
If you only know caroling from saccharin holiday movies on cable TV or as an intrusion during family dinner at a particularly festive restaurant, plant yourself in Westlake Center. Nearly 40 caroling teams compete at this annual evening block party, all to help raise funds for the Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank. Westlake Center, Free


Thru Dec 23
A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol
Tired of the same old lineup of carolers, cherubs, and gingerbread men? Fear not. Venues around the city offer decidedly alternative versions of holiday pageantry. Unexpected Productions’ Improvised Christmas Carol invites the Ghost of Christmas Audience Suggestions every night. Unexpected Productions, $12–$15

Thru Dec 30
Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn
Last year’s Broadway hit, based on the 1942 musical film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, boasts all the trappings of a feel-good holiday stage spectacle: song-and-dance entertainment with music from the late, celebrated composer Irving Berlin, an idyllic New England setting, and a story of fame, the simple life, and long-simmering romance. 5th Avenue Theatre, $29–$150

Nov 29–Dec 30
Howl's Moving Castle
Based on the 1986 novel by Diana Wynne Jones, this new musical finds young Sophie Hatter in a bit of a pickle. After crossing the Witch of the Waste, she’s transformed into an old woman and must win over the good but ambivalent wizard Howl (who has a moving castle) in order to break the curse. Don’t you hate it when that happens? Book-It Repertory Theatre, $25–$99

Dec 2–27
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Every year, the 1965 television Christmas special, based on Charles M. Schulz’s beloved Peanuts characters, reliably warms family living rooms like a hearth. The stage adaptation returns to Seattle for a breezy, kid-friendly, 40-minute production featuring a melancholy Charlie Brown looking for holiday magic in a world preoccupied with seasonal commercialism. Taproot Theatre, $25

Visual Art

Thru June 17
Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith
There is perhaps no better visual documentarian of twentieth century African American life in Seattle than Al Smith. The prodigious photographer shot everything in his day: street scenes, festivals, marches, sporting events, and the night clubs that used to line the Central District in the 1940s. But it wasn’t until the 1980s when his work started to be recognized as a vital historical record (an exhibition or book on the history of jazz in Seattle is bound to feature a Smith photograph). The new MOHAI exhibition offers the largest gathering of Smith’s work to date; an excellent entry point into an often overlooked swath of Seattle history. MOHAI, Free–$19.95

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