THE HOLIDAY BIG BROADCAST Take a trip back in time with a mix of radio vignettes and television-inspired material in this salute to the sights and sounds of the past. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland, 425-893-990. $18-$26. 8 p.m. Dec. 20-22 and 26-29. 2 p.m. Dec. 20, 22, 23, 29, and 30. 7 p.m. Dec. 23 and 30. Special New Year's Eve performance and party at 8 p.m. Mon., Dec. 31.
A TAP DANCE CHRISTMAS CAROL Yes, Anthony Peters and Cheryl Honson put Tiny Tim on tap. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 323-1400. $16-20. 8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 21; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 22; 2 p.m. Sun., Dec. 23.
AMERICAN JAZZ NUTCRACKER Ballet Bellevue director Ronn Tice chose the Duke Ellington interpretation of the Tschaikovsky score for a new take on the work. Moore Theater, 1932 Second, 443-1744. 7:30 p.m. Fri., Dec. 21; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 22.
DANCE THEATRE NORTHWEST The whole family can enjoy performances featuring holiday songs and dance including "The Toy Trumpet" and excerpts from The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. Performers include Heather Ruiz, Leah Wickstrom, Heather Loving, Tammy Evans, Lilliane Christian, and Rena Ahdut, with other Dance Theatre Northwest dancers and vocalists. Cascade Park Vista, 242 St. Helen Ave. S., Tacoma, 253-627-3833. Free. 3:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 22.
CHRISTMAS FROM DUBLIN WITH THE THREE IRISH TENORS The Three Irish Tenors—Ciaran Nagle from Riverdance, Anthony Norton from La Scala Milan, and Tom Cregan from Royal Opera Covent Garden—will be joined by soprano Jacqueline Whelan and a host of dancers and musicians. This evening will leave you humming "Christmas in Killarney," "The Wexford Carol," and "Mrs. O'Leary's Christmas Cake" among others. Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham, 360-734-6080. $24, $29, $32. 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 22.
HEDONIST X-MAS Call the information line and the message ends with "and yes, there will be bikini Jell-O wrestling." This could be the party of the year for all the raver/DJ/beat-bustin' people. Scott Henry, Simply Jeff, and Donald Glaude are the featured DJs on stage one; Soulslinger and T.C. Izlam of New York, Louis Osborn from the U.K., Mars from San Francisco, Adam J from Seattle, and Mikah from Tacoma will be on stage two. Don't forget the special FX, visuals, stilt walkers, fire performances, and body painting. NAF Studios, 6327 W. Marginal Way, Ticketmaster 628-0888. Information line: 888-531-8060. $18 adv. / $25 door / $50 VIP. 9 p.m. Sat., Dec. 22.
ISSAQUAH REINDEER FESTIVAL The only Reindeer Festival outside of the North Pole. The whole family is invited to join in this one-of-a-kind event to benefit the animals and the education programs at the Cougar Mountain Zoo. Visit with Santa in his house, check out the reindeer as you walk through the play yard, listen to a story by an elf, sit in the Grand Traveling Sleigh, and enjoy all the music, lights, sights, and sounds. Cougar Mountain Zoo, 19525 S.E. 54th, Issaquah, 425-391-5508. $8 / $6 children. 10 a.m.-noon and 5-7 p.m. Wed.-Sun. Ends Fri., Dec. 23.
SEATTLE MEN'S CHORUS The Holiday Hit Parade is a wintertime tradition at Benaroya Hall, with the boys singing all the holiday hits you can handle. Benaroya Hall, 200 University, 214-4700 or www.seattlemenschorus.org. Call for prices and times. Ends Sun., Dec. 23.
A VERY LESBIAN NUTCRACKER, HUNG BY THE CHIMNEY Based on the titles alone, you're in for an original pair of holiday shows. "Their breasts heave, their eyes lock, they stalk each other like cats, and they threaten to turn from respectable women into sex-craved animals at any moment," Seattle Weekly said about this group's last venture. Isn't that enough to get you there? Northwest Asian American Theatre, 409 Seventh S., 340-1049 or www.nwaat.org. $12 / $10 students and seniors. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat.; 4 p.m. Sun. Ends Sun., Dec. 23.
THE ARGOSY CHRISTMAS SHIP FESTIVAL This festival is a ship-to-shore holiday celebration that has been a local tradition for the past 51 years. The Spirit of Seattle is the official Christmas Ship, decorated with hundreds of shimmering white lights and miles of holiday garland. Aboard ship, some of the finest Northwest choirs sing holiday greetings. On the water, other decorated boats join in the festivities by following the Christmas Ship, forming the largest holiday flotilla in the world. The parade will cruise to over 45 waterfront communities spreading sights and sounds of the holiday season. A portion of all ticket sales goes to benefit The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy. 623-1445 or www.argosycruises.com for times and locations. $83 / $56 children (includes three-course dinner). Ends Sun., Dec. 23.
VOICES OF CHRISTMAS Conceived by Ruben Sierra and Colleen Carpenter-Simmons of The Group Theatre, this revival production features stories woven together with popular and traditional songs, skits, prose, and poetry to create a multicultural tapestry with universal appeal. ArtsWest Playhouse, 4711 California S.W., West Seattle, 938-0339 or www.artswest.org. $10-$24. Ends Mon., Dec. 24.
THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER This family comedy centers on a community's production of the traditional Christmas pageant. Plenty of twists and turns challenge traditional assumptions of the Christmas story. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever cast consists mostly of children of a variety of ages and cultural backgrounds, while six notable adult actors fill in the remainder of the cast. Sure to please the whole family. Bathhouse Theater, on Green Lake, 325-6500 or www.ticketwindowline.com. $16 / $11 students and seniors. 8 p.m. Thurs., Fri., and Sat.; Sun. matinees at 2 p.m. Ends Sun., Dec. 30.
INSPECTING CAROL A comic collision of classics—Dickens' A Christmas Carol and Gogol's The Inspector General—Inspecting Carol is a behind-the-scenes peek at a struggling theater's annual production of A Christmas Carol, complete with prima donna performers, cast love affairs, tyrannical directors, and a surprise visit from a National Endowment for the Arts funding inspector that throws everything into chaos. A homegrown holiday hit. Seattle Center, Seattle Repertory Theater, 443-2222 or www.seattlerep.org. $15-$44. 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Sun.; 2 p.m. matinees Sat. and Sun. Ends Sun., Dec. 30.
FORBIDDEN XMAS 2001 Richard Gray's show returns to the Cabaret de Paris for a ninth year of spoofing Seattle's holiday traditions. This 90-minute comedy revue skewers everything from the holiday ships on Lake Union to the Christmas tree lot at Chubby & Tubby. Cabaret de Paris, 1333 Fifth (second level of Rainier Square), 623-4111. $55 for a three-course dinner and show, $20 for show only. 8 p.m. Tues., Wed., Thurs., Sun.; 8:30 p.m. Fri. and Sat. Ends Sun., Dec. 30.
KING 5 WINTERFEST The annual festival will culminate in a dazzling display of fireworks on New Year's Eve. Visitors of all ages will enjoy timeless favorites such as the carousel, train exhibit, and other holiday-themed entertainment and activities. And, of course, the only place in town to ring in 2002 will be at New Year's at the Needle while enjoying live music and watching one of the most spectacular fireworks shows on the West Coast. Inside the Center House, enjoy student music performances, holiday big-band dances, Worldfest at Winterfest, cultural holiday performances, and the Holiday Marketplace with unique gifts from around the world. Seattle Center, 684-7200 or www.seattlecenter.com for more details. Ends Mon., Dec. 31.
WELLS FARGO MAGIC SEASON This year's Magic Season attractions include the Wells Fargo Ice Arena, Puget Sound Energy Theatre performances, Garden D'Lights, Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides in Old Bellevue, Cards of the World, Santa's Toyland Parade, Tree Lighting in the Wintergarden, Bellevue Art Museum holiday programming, and much more. Take a ride to the Eastside for skating, lights, dance, song, and tradition. Various venues, downtown Bellevue, 425-453-1223 or www.magicseason.com. Ends Mon., Dec. 31.
REDMONDLIGHTS RemondLights is a community celebration of traditions, cultures, and faiths honoring the spirit of December holidays. It includes public gatherings, symbolic decorations, and special events for the entire family reflecting Redmond's diverse population. Events, programs, and activities are highlighted in a special brochure available in stores, visitor centers, and city buildings through December. 425-556-2299 or www.ci.redmond.wa.us for more info. Continues through December.
OWEN MEANY'S CHRISTMAS PAGEANT "The story is about what is essentially a war between an 11-year-old child and a 40-year-old woman," says Jane Jones, who helped adapt this play to the stage. Based on selected chapters from the popular John Irving novel, this hilarious holiday tradition from the Book-It Repertory Theatre returns for its fifth annual presentation. North Seattle Community College campus, Stage One Theatre, 9600 College Way N., 325-6500 or www.book-it.org for show times. $19. Ends Sun., Dec. 23.
CROUCHING ELVES, HIDDEN PACKAGES Elves run amok in the Pork Filled Players' new holiday comedy. Elves audition for Hollywood! Asian Santa suffers identity crisis! Multicultural Christmas carolers mired in muddled mystery! "What?" you say. Find out as Seattle's multicultural you-name-it comedy group entertains you in Crouching Elves, Hidden Packages (The Musical). Theatre Off Jackson, 409 Seventh S., 365-0282. $8 / $6 students / $5 groups. 10:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 7 p.m. Sun. Ends Sun., Dec. 23.
ARTIST HOLIDAY EXHIBIT Christmas is a time to honor people, family, and friends. However, we must not forget mankind in other parts of the world; our current world situation has made victims of innocent citizens who will celebrate little this holiday season but the memories of their own family and friends, killed in a war they did not ask for. Benham Gallery presents Alan Pogue, who has been documenting and photographing the lives of the people of Iraq and Palestine since 1997. Also featured is the work of resident artist Phil Borges, who has been visiting and documenting indigenous and tribal cultures around the world for over 25 years. Stop by to celebrate the diverse talents of Benham Gallery's resident artists and honor world peace in this holiday exhibit. Benham Gallery, 1216 First, 622-6383. Ends Sat., Jan. 12.
KIRK FRANKLIN AND THE FAMILY CHRISTMAS SHOW Get in a praising spirit, raise your hands high above your head, and get ready to clap, shout, worship, dance, and stomp with songwriter, preacher, and gospel singing stars Kirk Franklin and the Family. KeyArena, 305 Harrison, 628-0888 or www.ticketmaster.com. $32.50 and $28.50. 8 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 20.
SMOOTH JAZZ CHRISTMAS Dave Koz and a group of special friends will join together at the 5th Avenue Theatre to perform A Smooth Jazz Christmas. Guitarist Peter White, trumpeter Rick Braun, pianist David Benoit, and vocalist/pianist/songwriter Brenda Russell make up the core members of Koz's musical performing package. As a group, all will be performing Christmas classics as well as selections from the latest CD releases from each artist. 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth, 625-1900 or www.jazzconcerts.com. $45 / $37.50. Fri., Dec. 21.
MAGICAL STRINGS Imagine yourself in the midst of a joyful procession of musicians, Irish dancers, jugglers, storytellers, and a children's choir in a beautiful sanctuary listening to songs of the season with the Boulding family and friends: Celtic harps, hammered dulcimers, violins, cello, whistles, percussion, Irish pipes, hurdy-gurdy, and more. Come celebrate yuletide life with Magical Strings. First Presbyterian Church of Seattle, Seventh and Spring. 292-ARTS or www.magicalstrings. com. $24 reserved / $18 general / $12 children. 7 p.m. Sat., Dec. 22.
ELLINGTON SACRED MUSIC CONCERT Earshot Jazz presents its holiday concert Sacred Music by Duke Ellington, featuring the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra with guest vocalists Dee Daniels and James Caddell. Ellington's eminently enjoyable Sacred Music is both serious and swinging. Composed late in his 55-year career, it's a reverently hip body of composition for jazz big band, vocal soloists, a gospel choir, and tap dancer. "Every man prays in his own language," Ellington said; the sacred concerts celebrate that quote by embracing the jazz heritage and all religions. University Christian Church, 4731 15th N.E., 547-6763 or www.ticketmaster.com. $23 preferred / $19 general / $17 Earshot Jazz members. 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 22.
NORTHWEST BOYCHOIR The Northwest Boychoir, with the Chamber Orchestra, presents its traditional Festival of Lessons & Carols. Let the mystical voices of this choir wash over you as the spirit of the holiday is brought to life. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine, 528-0250 or Ticketmaster at 292-ARTS. $12-25 adults / $7-20 children. 7:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 23.
HOLIDAY LASER SHOWS Sit back and enjoy Laser Nutcracker and Colors of the World. Pacific Science Center, 200 Second N., 443-2001. $12.50 / $10 children 13 and under. Laser Nutcracker at 1 and 3 p.m., Colors of the World at 2 and 4 p.m. Wed., Dec. 26-Mon., Dec. 31.
AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS Menotti's Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors captures the essential spirit of Christmas. The New York Times called Amahl "rare art . . . tender and exquisite." It tells of the Three Kings, who follow the star to Bethlehem and stop for shelter at the home of Amahl, a poor, lame shepherd boy who lives with his widowed mother. Inspired by the Kings' story of a child whose kingdom is "built on love alone," Amahl offers his own simple gift to the Christ child. ArtsWest, 4711 California S.W., 938-0339 or 325-6500. $15 / $10 students and seniors. 8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 28; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 29; 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sun., Dec. 30.
NEW YEAR'S STYLE
A NIGHT IN OLD VIENNA Spend "A Night in Old Vienna" and ring in 2002 with the Seattle Symphony. Savor the music of Strauss, then count down the New Year at a postconcert celebration. Light hors d'oeuvres, dancing, champagne, and party favors are included in ticket price. Special packages (dinner, dance, and concert) available starting at $350. Benaroya Hall, 200 University, 215-4747. $65-$150. 9 p.m. Mon., Dec. 31.
NEW YEAR'S AT THE 5TH The Seattle Choral Company rings in the new year with Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana." Also on the program this year will be a lullaby to Old Broadway, featuring songs from the winning musical "42nd Street." 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth, 363-1100. $15-$50. 7:30 p.m. Mon., Dec. 31.
BLUWATER BALL 2001 Featuring La Movida, Rockin' Teenage Combo, and DJ LS with special guest MC Jamal. Champagne toast at midnight. Show up early and have a bite before the party (food not included in ticket price). Bluwater Bistro, 1001 Fairview N., Ticketmaster 628-0888. For more information 447-0769. $22.50 adv. 9 p.m. Mon., Dec. 31.
TANGO BALL An elegant evening of Argentine tango including a tango show with national dancers, champagne toast, and dessert bar. Free 30-minute introductory tango class from 9-9:30 pm. Ballard Odd Fellow's Lodge, 1706 N.W. Market, 781-9553. $20 adv. / $25 door. 9 p.m. Mon., Dec. 31.
HEAVEN AND HELL BALL A benefit for Consolidated Works featuring IQU, Kinski, the Gun Street Girls, DJ Suspense, and a whole lot of others to celebrate the opening of the new 30,000-square-foot space. Are you an angel or a devil? ConWorks, 500 Boren (Boren and Republican), 381-3218. $30 adv. / $40 door. Tickets at www.ticketweb.com. 9 p.m. Mon., Dec. 31.
GIRL4GIRL NEW YEAR'S PARTY DJ Stacy, cage dancers, fire dancers, and more. Catwalk, 172 S. Washington. Tickets at www.ticketweb.com. $25 adv. 9 p.m. Mon., Dec. 31.
DEFY BUSH'S COUP IN 2002 A New Year's Eve celebration for irrepressible optimists, featuring Latin and World Beat music and King George's Follies, a theatrical farce on serious matters. The Radical Women offer a political outlet to get your New Year's Eve on. Festivities include dancing, a no-host bar, party favors, and an anti-corporate international buffet. New Freeway Hall, 5018 Rainier S., 722-5057 or 722-2453. Door donation is $5; buffet donation is $14.95. 8:30 p.m. Mon., Dec. 31.