*** designates recommended events. SEPTEMBER Sept 22 Charles Yu In his debut novel, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, the winner of the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 Award bends the rules of time and literary convention. University Book Store, bookstore.washington.edu Sept 22–26 Decibel Festival Pasty-faced electronica devotees have their day in the sun with this series of panels and performances. Various locations, dbfestival.com Sept 23 Hanson It's been 13 years since "MMMBop" hit the streets. Prepare to have it stuck in your head for another 13 after this show. Moore Theatre, stgpresents.org Sept 23 Terry McMillan She tapped into a cultural current with Waiting to Exhale, her 1992 novel about the love lives of middle-class black women. Now she revisits those characters in Getting to Happy. Town Hall, townhallseattle.org *** Sept 23–25 KEXP's Shake the Shack Rockabilly Ball See preview. Sept 24–25 Richard Lewis Plenty of performers try to mine their neuroses for laughs, but few do it as brilliantly as this guy. Parlor Live Comedy Club, parlorlive.com *** Sept 24–Oct 3 Pacific Northwest Ballet: Director's Choice Another work by Kylián (Six Dances) and a new-to-PNB Jerome Robbins (Glass Pieces) are among the works in artistic director Peter Boal's annual selection. McCaw Hall, pnb.or Sept 24–Oct 23 Wedding Belles In this new comedy for five actresses, a bride stranded at a bus station in 1940s Texas is taken under the wing of a garden club. Taproot Theatre, taproottheatre.org Sept 25 Best of Captain Smartypants Fresh off a rave review in this week's Weekly for his show at Balagan, Eric Lane Barnes brings his sub-unit of the Seattle Men's Chorus to KPC for a 10th-anniversary show. Kirkland Performance Center, kpcenter.org Sept 25 The xx The melodically melancholic Brits blend R&B with '80s post-punk for a sound that's entirely their own. Paramount Theatre, stgpresents.org Sept 25 Jet City Comic Show Meet the heroes of Seattle's comic-book scene. Seattle Center, jetcitycomicshow.com Sept 27 Deborah Fallows Like Lost in Translation if Scarlet Johansson had been a Harvard-trained linguist: Fallow's book Dreaming in Chinese chronicles her own, considerably less adulterous, adventures in an unfamiliar Asian culture. Town Hall Sept 27 The Flaming Lips Confetti cannons. Giant hamster balls. Armies of dancers in Santa Claus suits. It doesn't take psychoactive substances to have your mind blown at a Flaming Lips concert. Paramount Theatre Sept 28–Oct 17 In the Heights The Tony-winning snapshot of a Dominican-American neighborhood in New York City soars into Seattle. 5th Avenue Theatre, 5thavenue.org Sept 30 Guillermo del Toro The faun with hands for eyes from Pan's Labyrinth still haunts our nightmares. Now the director speaks to Warren Etheredge about his own twisted vision. Science Fiction Museum, empsfm.org Sept 30–Oct 2 World Headquarters A piece from Philadelphia-based Dance Theatre X, inspired by the work of the late Seattle science-fiction writer Octavia Butler. Velocity Dance Center, cdforum.org OCTOBER Oct 1 Ken Follett His new "Century" trilogy spans generations; reading the 1,000-plus pages of first volume Fall of Giants might take almost as long. Town Hall Oct 1 Northwest Sinfonietta Teen virtuosos Marié Rossano and Julian Schwarz perform Brahms' Concerto for Violin and Cello with this first-rate chamber orchestra. Benaroya Hall, nwsinfonietta.org Oct 1–2 Seattle Percussion Collective Two concerts from this ear-opening ensemble, one of Cage, the other including local composers. Various venues, seattlepercussioncollective.com *** Oct 1–2 The Rite of Mercury An all-volunteer troupe makes rock operas out of Aleister Crowley's cycle of mystical rituals. Broadway Performance Hall, eleusyve.com *** Oct 1–7 Local Sightings Film Festival The subjects of these films are all over the map, but all the directors call the Northwest home. The opening-night party will celebrate NWFF's 15th anniversary. Northwest Film Forum, nwfilmforum.org *** Oct 1–16 The Cherdonna and Lou Show See preview. *** Oct 1–24 God of Carnage The parents are as immature as the children in Yasmina Reza's 2009 Tony-winning comedy. Seattle Repertory Theatre, seattlerep.org Oct 1–31 Mauritius Theresa Rebeck's drama reveals the dark side of stamp collecting and sisterhood. Seattle Public Theater, seattlepublictheater.org Oct 1–31 Cannibal, the Musical People eat people and sing about it. Who could have written this play but South Park creator Trey Parker? Market Theater, unexpectedproductions.org *** Oct 2 La Sera See preview. *** Oct 2–Jan 23 Image Transfer The Henry takes on remix culture with a show of work by artists who appropriate, remake, and reuse commonplace visual material. Henry Art Gallery, henryart.org Oct 2–Feb 13 SuttonBeresCuller: Panoptos The infamous trio plasters the East Gallery with selections from the Henry's permanent collection; you'll be able to steer a robot camera to gain a closer look. Henry Art Gallery Oct 2–Feb 27 Weaving Heritage The Burke examines the fabric from which civilizations are formed in its first major textile exhibit. Burke Museum, washington.edu/burkemuseum *** Oct 3 ArtsCrush Kickoff Fair Live Theatre Week has been transformed into a month-long event celebrating visual and literary arts too, plus music and dance. One thing hasn't changed: free and discounted tickets to tons of great performances. Get a jump on the limited supply at this lunchtime event, with free tunes from Caspar Babypants and others. Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center, artscrush.org Oct 3 Scott Simon In his memoir Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other, the popular NPR host relates how he and his wife adopted two Chinese baby girls. Elliott Bay Book Co., elliottbaybook.com Oct 4 Michele Norris She delivers everything you need to know on All Things Considered, but uncovers a host of unspoken family history in her new memoir, The Grace of Silence. Town Hall Oct 4, 11, 18, 25 Trader Joe's Silent Movies The films might be noiseless, but Jim Riggs' organ accompaniment on the Paramount's Mighty Wurlitzer eloquently captures their spirit. Paramount Theatre Oct 5 T.R. Reid The foreign correspondent for NPR and The Washington Post delves into health care in our own country in The Healing of America. Benaroya Hall, lectures.org Oct 5 Robert Reich Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor shares his thoughts on the economic woes plaguing Obama in Supercapitalism. Town Hall Oct 5–Feb 6 Ginny Ruffner Glass, bronze, and steel blossom into organic shapes in the Seattle artist's hands. Bellevue Arts Museum, bellevuearts.org Oct 7 Steven Johnson The popular science writer ponders Where Good Ideas Come From. University Village Barnes & Noble *** Oct 7 David Rakoff The world-weary New Yorker reads from Half Empty, his memoir on the power of negative thinking. Town Hall *** Oct 7–9 Compagnie Jant-Bi Their name is Dutch, they're based in Senegal, and the dancing is pan-African. Meany Hall, uwworldseries.org Oct 7–10 Seattle Symphony Critics debate whether Rhapsody in Blue is jazz or classical. Either way, audiences eat it up. Benaroya Hall, seattlesymphony.org *** Oct 7–10 Christian Rizzo The French choreographer's 2006 OTB performance was strange and compelling. Now he's back to stun and mesmerize even more. On the Boards, ontheboards.org Oct 7—Nov 13 The Arc of Picasso An add-on to SAM's super-show includes sculpture and etchings from 1905–43. Greg Kucera Gallery, gregkucera.com *** Oct 7–Nov 15 Sextet Emphasis on the sex. Roger Benington directs this premiere of New York playwright Tommy Smith's dark drama about three love triangles in Europe. Washington Ensemble Theatre, washingtonensemble.org *** Oct 8 Cunningham MinEvent Performance See preview. Oct 8 Seattle Symphony Stravinsky's wry, dry musical fable A Soldier's Tale. Benaroya Hall Oct 8–30 Macbeth For the Halloween season, a special "Hard Bard" performance, with extra witchiness and gore. 2115 Fifth Ave., greenstage.org *** Oct 8–Nov 13 Sauced Café Nordo takes "dinner theater" literally–all their shows deal with food and drink, and this one's set in a murky cocktail bar. Cocktail legend Murray Stenson will be designing the drinks. Café Nordo, cafenordo.com Oct 8 The Blind Boys of Alabama As if they weren't enough, they're joined by Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys for a gospel two-fer that's plain heavenly. Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, broadwaycenter.org *** Oct 8–Jan 17 Picasso The SAM blockbuster to end all SAM blockbusters? A trove of more than 150 works from Paris will be a must-see for everyone from the hardcore viz crowd to tourists. Seattle Art Museum, seattleartmuseum.org Oct 8–17 Against the Grain/Men in Dance What claims to be Seattle's longest-running dance festival–and is unquestionably one of the most popular–draws on genres from classical ballet to spoken word for a sausage-fest of movement. Broadway Performance Hall, menindance.org Oct 8—Nov 11 Plush You! The annual cavalcade of stuffed art returns to Seattle's Epicenter of Cute Retail next to the Moore. Opening reception is tonight. Schmancy, Nancy, and Fancy, schmancytoys.com *** Oct 9 REVERB Local Music Festival Ten bucks gets you into 10 Ballard venues for the city's only all-local music fest (sponsored by this paper). Kinski, Wild Orchid Children, and Ivan & Alyosha are among the more than 60 bands and DJs booked. Various Ballard locations, seattleweekly.com/REVERBfestival *** Oct 9 Eye Music See preview. Oct 9 The Met: Live in HD A new season of opera performances beamed into local movie theaters opens with Wagner's Das Rheingold. Area theaters, metopera.org Oct 9 Jaap ter Linden Acclaimed in period-instrument circles, he'll play Bach's richly eloquent cello suites, all six. Town Hall, earlymusicguild.org Oct 9 Carmona Flamenco Old-school, testosterone-fueled flamenco from the Seattle-based troupe. Kirkland Performance Center Oct 9–10 Auburn Symphony Stravinsky's flashy Firebird shows every orchestra (that can handle it) at its best. Auburn Performing Arts Center, auburnsymphony.org Oct 9–10 Bellevue Philharmonic Faves by Berlioz and Mussorgsky as this troubled ensemble regains its footing. Meydenbauer Center, bellevuephil.org *** Oct 9–10 The Esoterics Combining choral music and visual art with winning works from their composition competition. Olympic Sculpture Park, theesoterics.org Oct 9–Jan 2 Implied Violence Veterans of the Bridge Motel show and other memorable events, these audacious multimedia artists will kick off a Frye-curated exhibit of props, costumes, videos, and other artifacts from their past work with a special performance at the reflecting pools. Frye Art Museum, fryemuseum.org Oct 9–Jan 2 Séance The first-ever show devoted solely to work by Albert von Keller, a 19th-century Munich artist who sought to link the aesthetic, the scientific, and the occult. Frye Art Museum Oct 10 Crimes of the Past Garrett Bennett's spy thriller closes out SIFF's Dinner and a Movie series. Volterra, siff.net Oct 10 Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers In their first performance after the loss of longtime maestro George Shangrow, Roupen Shakarian conducts Bach, Handel, and more. First Free Methodist Church, osscs.org Oct 10 Philharmonia Northwest Adam Stern conducts this fresh and lively mid-size orchestra, with pianist Byron Schenkman. St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, philharmonianw.org *** Oct 10 The Novel: Live! A kickoff party for ArtsCrush's Literary Week, during which Garth Stein, Kathleen Alcala, and a few dozen more Northwest authors will do tag-team novel creation. (Cheer them on during nightly happy hours at Hugo House.) At tonight's launch event, Nancy Pearl will preside over an auction of the novel's naming rights and other elements. Entertainment from the Vis-à-Vis Society and Laurie Katherine Carlsson. Elliott Bay Book Co., artscrush.org Oct 11 Bill Bryson He's traveled the world and tackled manageable little topics like the history of English. In At Home, he turns his pen to his own Victorian house. Town Hall *** Oct 12 The Moondoggies See preview. Oct 12 Garrison Keillor/Seattle Symphony Minnesota's most famous cultural export performs with the orchestra. Benaroya Hall *** Oct 12 Alex Ross The New Yorker music critic surveys the classical scene, in support of Listen to This, a collection of his columns. Town Hall Oct 13 Deadmau5 Some house producers just sit behind a computer and press keys at their shows, but that's not Deadmau5's style. Expect costumes and dance moves. Moore Theatre Oct 13 Jonathon Keats The Wired columnist explains how the language of technology takes root. No word on whether he can tell you what that techno-babble actually means. Town Hall Oct 14 Michael Cunningham The Pulitzer-winning author of The Hours has a new book about domestic discontent, At Nightfall. Town Hall Oct 14–17 Chamber Dance Company The UW dance troupe celebrates the 100th anniversary of American choreographer Alwin Nikolais' birth with a suite of dances influenced by his work. Meany Hall, meany.org Oct 14–Nov 27 Noah Davis The young Seattle-born painter, now based in L.A., shows new canvases of surrealism and sadness. James Harris Gallery, jamesharrisgallery.com Oct 15 Under the Influence Local writers Nancy Rawles, Ed Skoog, and Jess Walter, plus the band The Board of Education, premiere works about what fuels their creative fire. Richard Hugo House, hugohouse.org Oct 15 Broken Social Scene Their name might as well be Toronto Music Scene—the orchestral pop group's roster is a who's-who of the city's indie elite. Paramount Theatre Oct 15 Edwidge Danticat The MacArthur winner argues that immigrant artists have a duty to expose their countries' suffering. In Danticat's native Haiti, there's a lot to expose. Town Hall Oct 15 Robert Pinsky Jazz rhythms infuse the former Poet Laureate's work, so it's fitting that local jazz pianist Marc Seales and bassist Evan Flory-Barnes will accompany him. Benaroya Hall, lectures.org Oct 15 Conviction The bonds of blood are thick—and the Boston accents even thicker—as Hilary Swank plays a working mom who puts herself through law school so she can appeal her brother's murder sentence. Area theaters Oct 15–24 Seattle Gay and Lesbian Film Festival It's here, it's queer, it's in its 16th year. Multiple venues, threedollarbillcinema.org *** Oct 15–Nov 7 Earshot Jazz Festival Three invaluable weeks covering the vast spectrum of sounds that may or may not be jazz, from New York, Seattle, and around the world. Tonight, in addition to the Pinsky event (above), the Garfield High band plays the Triple Door and The Kora Band is at Tula's. Multiple venues, earshot.org *** Oct 15–Nov 14 The Lieutenant of Inishmore An Irish terrorist's love for his cat wreaks havoc in this gory farce, written by the guy who penned the Colin Farrell film In Bruges. ACT Theatre, acttheatre.org Oct 16 Bruce Katz Band A keyboard regular with Gregg Allman and various jazz/blues greats, he's got his own band that mixes up roots, rock, and other American goodness. Highway 99 Blues Club, highway99blues.com Oct 16–17 Clarinettissimo The 10th annual celebration of—guess what instrument—with master classes and a recital. UW School of Music, osbornmusic.com Oct 16–17 Seattle Women's Chorus Music from Holly Near to Sondheim in "We Are Family." Benaroya Hall, flyinghouse.org *** Oct 16–30 Seattle Opera A feud between two Scottish families sets the stage for tragic deaths and kilt-wearing in Lucia di Lammermoor. McCaw Hall, seattleopera.org 16–Jan 16 Harry Shearer: The Silent Echo Chamber Yes, that Harry Shearer, the Spinal Tap guy, who's prepared a video installation of bored, fidgety politicians awaiting their airtime. Henry Art Gallery *** Oct 18 Dinaw Mengestu His new novel, How to Read the Air, follows a young Ethiopian couple to strange new Nashville, Tennessee. Seattle Central Library, elliottbaybook.com Oct 18 Andras Schiff Piano works by Mendelssohn and Schumann, in honor of their bicentennials. Benaroya Hall Oct 19 Sara Paretsky As feisty as her lady detective character V.I. Warshawski, the mystery writer advocates social justice and freedom of speech. Benaroya Hall, lectures.org Oct 19 Simon LeVay The British-American scientist discusses his findings about the biological origins of sexual orientation. Town Hall Oct 20 What We Talk About When We Talk About Food Seattle food writers, including chef Ethan Stowell, discuss their work, with wine and appetizers too. Palace Ballroom, kimricketts.com Oct 20 Sam Harris The outspoken atheist's book The Moral Landscape makes a case for science-based morality. Town Hall Oct 20 Mighty Tacoma No, not the pickup truck, silly–the burly town to the south! In celebration of TAM's 75th anniversary, local shooters were commissioned to create a photographic portrait of the City of Destiny and its denizens. The show kicks off tonight. Tacoma Art Museum, tacomaartmuseum.org Oct 20–Nov 13 Evil Dead There will be blood—and terrible puns—as five college students find an abandoned cabin in this musical. Artswest, artswest.org *** Oct 21–24 Pat Graney Triptych The longtime Seattle choreographer reunites former members of her company to perform her pieces Faith, Sleep, and Tattoo back-to-back for the first time. On the Boards Oct 21–24 A Woman of No Importance One of Wilde's lesser-known epigram-stuffed comedies of manners. Cornish College, cornish.edu *** Oct 22 The Vaselines See preview. Oct 22 Sleepwalk With Me A guy telling stories about sleeping might not sound like fun, but not every guy is comedian Mike Birbiglia, whose sleep disorder once made him jump out the second-story window of a Walla Walla hotel. Moore Theatre Oct 22–Nov 13 Red Light Winter Azeotrope, a new local theater company, debuts with a Northwest premiere by playwright Adam Rapp. Theatre Off Jackson, azotheatre.org Oct 22–Nov 28 Three Tall Women Edward Albee's Pulitzer-winning play examines the stages of women's lives. Seattle Repertory Theatre *** Oct 22–Dec 5 The Scarlet Letter A new adaptation by playwright Naomi Iizuka. See preview. Intiman Theatre, intiman.org Oct 22–Dec 18 House Systems: Fort Club Adventure playgrounds and environmentalism are among the topics of this show at Seattle University. Hedreen Gallery, seattleu.edu/artsci/finearts Oct 23 Seattle Baroque Orchestra Celebrating opera composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's 300th birthday (ironically, he only lived to age 26). Town Hall, seattlebaroque.org Oct 23–Jan 30 Harry Potter: The Exhibition Which, these days, inevitably follows The Book and The Movie. See props and costumes from the films. Pacific Science Center, pacsci.org Oct 23–March 4 Battlestar Galactica: The Exhibition Three full-size prop spaceships are a highlight in this celebration of both the original series and the revival. Science Fiction Museum Oct 23–Sept 6 Glimmering Gone Beth Lipman and Ingalena Klenell spent a residency at MOG's Hot Shop in January; take a ride to Tacoma to see the fruits of their intriguing-sounding collaboration. Museum of Glass, museumofglass.org Oct 25 Melia Watras Contemporary music for viola, including a new work by Shulamit Ran, who'll be here. Meany Hall, music.washington.edu Oct 25 Ingrid Betancourt The former Colombian presidential candidate describes her six years in captivity, after revolutionaries abducted her on the campaign trail, in Even Silence Has an End. Town Hall Oct 26 Capitol Steps If anyone can find a rhyme for "Blagojevich," it'll be this chorus of political satirists. Paramount Theatre Oct 26 DXARTS An adventurous evening of music, video, and more from the UW's Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media. Meany Hall Oct 27 Of Montreal Expect costumes and crossdressing as the glam band tours in support of False Priest. Paramount Theatre *** Oct 27 Murray Perahia Arguably the best pianist you'll hear in Seattle this season; program TBA. Meany Hall Oct 27–Dec 5 Hamlet Something's rotten in the state of Denmark again. Seattle Shakespeare Company, seattleshakespeare.org Oct 28–30 Gilbert Gottfried You know how your grandma thinks those AFLAC commercials are just a hoot? Don't let it tempt you to bring her to this guaranteed raunchfest. Parlor Live Comedy Club Oct 28 Matana Roberts A celebrated young alto saxophonist joins forces with some of Seattle's top creative musicians at the city's favorite creative venue. Chapel Performance Space, earshot.org *** Oct 29 Dr. Dog See preview. Oct 29 Seattle Radio Theater: Dracula Take a step back to when vampires were scary, not just sparkly. Town Hall Oct 29 David Sedaris Yup he's still making the rounds. But you'll have to drive to Tacoma to get your caustic-humor fix this time. Broadway Center for the Performing Arts *** Oct 29 Kremerata Baltica Questing violinist Gidon Kremer leads his hand-picked string orchestra in music from their new CD De Profundis. Benaroya Hall *** Oct 29 Steve Lehman Octet Get a bulletin on the latest in New York jazz with this brilliant outfit. Seattle Art Museum, earshot.org *** Oct 30 Chop Shop: Northside Choreographer Eva Stone continues her quest to bring modern dance to new audiences in the 'burbs. Stone will give a talk prior to the performance, which includes Spectrum, Mark Haim, and Khambatta. Edmonds Community College, chopshopdance.org Oct 30 Sufjan Stevens The singer/songwriter brings his wide-eyed indie folk to town. Come on and feel the Illinoise. Paramount Theatre Oct 30 Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra Big-band music from movies, provided by this stellar ensemble. Benaroya Hall, srjo.org Oct 31 Seattle Symphony Beach season is over, but you can still imagine yourself at the shore as you listen to Debussy's La Mer, in a multimedia "Beyond the Score" performance. Benaroya Hall Oct 31 Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra Tchaikovsky's boisterous "Polish" Symphony. (Its relentless final minute may make you laugh out loud.) St. Mark's Cathedral, seattlephil.org NOVEMBER *** Nov 1 Craig Sheppard Brahms and Schumann from this UW faculty pianist, who never disappoints. Meany Hall Nov 2–Dec 7 Hitchcock Masterpieces Northwest Film Forum turns its lens on the master of suspense in this series of film appreciation classes. Northwest Film Forum Nov 3 Sankai Juku Avant-garde meets ancient tradition in the work of the renowned butoh dance troupe. Paramount Theatre Nov 3 Savion Glover The tap dancer turns his hand—er, feet—to flamenco. Benaroya Hall Nov 3–28 Seattle International Comedy Competition You better believe they have comedians from Canada. And apart from that international flair, an assortment of local and West Coast talent will compete over the course of the month. Tonight's kickoff is at the Vera Project. seattlecomedycompetition.com Nov 3–Dec 18 Legacies in Print While immigration debates rage across the nation, Cornish finds harmony between Mexican and American culture in this display of prints from Oaxaca and Seattle. Cornish Main Gallery, cornish.edu Nov 3–Dec 18 Mano a Mano Cornish students who recently traveled to Mexico display art inspired by their trip. Cornish Main Gallery *** Nov 4 Bi Local Two locales we love, Seattle and New Orleans, are celebrated in a multidisciplinary series of events organized by Town Hall and Tether. Tonight is the opening party for a show of screen-printed posters co-created by writer/designer teams from both cities. Tether Design Gallery *** Nov 4–6 Martha Graham Dance Company Since Graham's death almost a decade ago, the company has been carving a middle ground between the preservation of its founder's work and new creative directions. This program will feature early political pieces by Graham, plus three new works inspired by a classic Graham solo. Meany Hall *** Nov 4, 19 Seattle Opera Young Artists Donizetti's 1827 backstage farce Viva la mamma. Various venues, seattleopera.org Nov 5 Lake Union Civic Orchestra A surprising pairing: Beethoven's prankish Eighth Symphony and Shostakovich's bombastic Twelfth. Town Hall, luco.org Nov 5 Primal Symphony Film composer (with Seattle roots) Mateo Messina returns for his annual Children's Hospital benefit concert. Benaroya Hall *** Nov 5–13 Paige Barnes and Christopher Hydinger The Seattle choreographer and composer (respectively) present their new chamber-sized work, which looks to be exquisite and eccentric. Open Flight Studio, openflightstudio.org Nov 5–14 Pacific Northwest Ballet: All Tharp Two original works by the American dance icon, plus Waterbaby Bagatelles, her 2006 aquatic-themed ballet. McCaw Hall Nov 7 Moscow Virtuosi Orchestra They withstood lean years for the arts under the Soviet Union; since then, their star has risen globally. Benaroya Hall Nov 8 Music of Remembrance This year their annual recital in memory of Kristallnacht includes Spectrum Dance Theater. Benaroya Hall, musicofremembrance.org *** Nov 8 Mark Kurlansky The Salt guy is back with The Eastern Stars, about baseball in the Dominican Republic. Elliott Bay Book Co. *** Nov 9 Daniel Handler It's a two-for-one: Novelist and screenwriter Handler is the alter ego of the doleful children's author Lemony Snicket. He also plays a mean accordion. Benaroya Hall, lectures.org Nov 9–14 STOMP Anything's a potential rhythm instrument here. Not recommended for those prone to headaches. Paramount Theatre Nov 10–Jan 2 Anne of Green Gables You thought the scrappy redheaded orphan's journey to womanhood couldn't get any more heartwarming. Now it's a musical. Village Theatre, villagetheatre.org *** Nov 11 The Lonely Forest See preview. Nov 11–14 Seattle Symphony Before they play Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto no. 1, UW Slavic professor Claudia R. Jensen explains it. Benaroya Hall *** Nov 11–15 Seattle International Cabaret Festival Four nights of performance at multiple venues, with visitors and local favorites. thecancan.com/cabaretfestival Nov 12–14 Best of the Northwest Art & Fine Craft Show Get your holiday shopping done near the cruise-ship terminal. Pier 91, nwartalliance.com Nov 12–Dec 5 Dancing at Lughnasa An Irish family stands on the brink of love, sorrow, and change. Seattle Repertory Theatre *** Nov 13 Jonathan Evison See preview. Nov 13 Rhythms of the Sole A tap-dancing showcase put together by the celebrated Northwest Tap Connection. Followed by traditional African American desserts! Rainier Valley Cultural Center, seedseattle.org Nov 14 Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers A memorial concert for longtime conductor George Shangrow. Benaroya Hall, osscs.org Nov 15–Dec 5 Wittenberg David Davalos' comedy envisions Hamlet's life before he left school for Elsinore. A lot fewer ghosts, a lot more alcohol. Seattle Shakespeare Company Nov 17 Rawstock The local version of Spike & Mike's, with twisted shorts from all over, including the latest five-minute addition to an ongoing Seattle film project that's being handed from one creative team to the next. ACT Theatre *** Nov 17, 19, 21 Hansel and Gretel One of the loveliest opera productions we've ever seen was the last time UW staged this fairy tale. Meany Hall Nov 18 Nora Ephron She returns to the scene of the houseboat with her new collection of essays, I Remember Nothing. Town Hall Nov 18, 20 Seattle Symphony Ravel's Bolero was written as a ballet; try not to dance in the aisles. Benaroya Hall *** Nov 18–21 Ralph Lemon The Seattle debut of the Minneapolis-bred choreographer, known for political-minded multimedia work. On the Boards *** Nov 18–Dec 31 Chris Engman See preview. Nov 18–Jan 9 Lyle the Crocodile The titular reptile tap-dances his way into children's hearts in this play based on Bernard Waber's picture book. Seattle Children's Theatre, sct.org Nov 18–July 17 Wang Huaiqing The first solo exhibition at a major American museum of the Chinese oil painter's work. Seattle Asian Art Museum Nov 19 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 The second-to-last of the wizarding saga's film adaptations. Expect box-office magic. Area theaters *** Nov 19 Mother Knows Best David Lasky, Stacey Levine, and genius comedienne Lauren Weedman explore their mommy issues. Zoe Muth is the musical guest. Richard Hugo House *** Nov 19 Brandi Carlile/Seattle Symphony Buy now; she sold out Benaroya when she performed with the SSO in 2008. Benaroya Hall Nov 19–Dec 18 Vestal Virgins Don't be deceived by the title: Marcy Rodenborn's new play features former '80s punk rockers, not some goody-two-shoes Roman chicks. Theater Schmeater, schmeater.org Nov 21 Seattle Youth Symphony Mozart, Hindemith, and Tchaikovsky, probably as spiritedly as you'll ever hear them. Benaroya Hall Nov 22 Billy Collins A populist poet in the best sense, Collins returns with his wry, hilarious reflections-in-verse. Benaroya Hall, lectures.org Nov 23 Carpe Diem String Quartet The foursome covers all musical terrain, from classical to jazz and rock. Meany Hall Nov 23–Dec 23 Red Ranger Came Calling Berkeley Breathed's tale of his father's Christmas on Vashon Island in the '30s, turned into a musical. Book-It Repertory Theatre, book-it.org Nov 25 Brad Upton It's Thanksgiving. You've had a pretty tense day. Time to go hear this longtime Seattle favorite deliver the laughs. Laughs Comedy Spot, laughscomedy.com Nov 26–Dec 26 A Christmas Carol Now in its 35th year, ACT's annual Christmas show is hard to bah-humbug. ACT Theatre Nov 26–Dec 27 PNB's Nutcracker Cue a chorus of "Mommy, I want ballet lessons!" McCaw Hall Nov 26–Jan 2 Winterfest Fire and ice both show up in the family-friendly festivities. i.e., a skating rink and bonfires. Seattle Center, seattlecenter.com Nov 27–Dec 20 Seattle Men's Chorus Seasonal classics and songs from the hit TV show in "Holiday Glee." Benaroya Hall, flyinghouse.org *** Nov 28–Dec 4 Hair This is the re-dawning of the Age of Aquarius—for a week, at least, as the smash New York revival pays a visit. Paramount Theatre *** Nov 29 The Black Angels and Black Mountain See preview. DECEMBER Dec 1 Black Swan Natalie Portman dances and has a lesbian sex scene. Sounds like Oscar fodder. Area theaters Dec 1–24 A Tuna Christmas Two actors play the 24 residents of Tuna, Texas, in this tale of holiday mayhem. ArtsWest Dec 2 Preservation Hall Jazz Band Creole Christmas The New Orleans legends (or whoever is currently carrying their banner) come for an early shot of holiday swing. Edmonds Center for the Arts, edmondscenterforthearts.org Dec 2–5 Gloria's Cause More a performance artist than a straight dancer/choreographer, Dayna Hanson is exploring the American Revolution in her newest full-length piece. In collaboration with a half-dozen other Seattle artists, she'll deliver a "dance-driven rock musical" combining iconic historical moments with videotaped statements from "marginalized citizens of today." On the Boards Dec 2–5 Cirque de la Symphonie The Seattle Symphony turns pop and the stage turns circus as acrobats, jugglers, dancers, and mimes accompany the musicians. Benaroya Hall Dec 2–March 27 Joe Deal and Views of the Altered Landscape A survey of the late American photographer offers vistas of the Southwest and beyond. Henry Art Gallery Dec 3 Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers Stephen Stubbs leads a quadricentennial performance of this 90-minute, quasi-theatrical liturgical work. St. James Cathedral, earlymusicguild.org Dec 3 Global Dance Party The dances come from around the world, but the performers at this showcase of young talent are all local. Moore Theatre *** Dec 4 The Books The duo bends genres as they blend folk instruments with field recordings and movie samples. Their latest album, The Way Out, is no exception. Moore Theatre Dec 4 Michael Nicolella This guitarist/composer's repertory includes just about everything the instrument can do. Benaroya Hall Dec 4 Simon Shaheen Bridging East and West with his violin and oud. Meany Hall Dec 5 The Travelin' McCourys Scions of the legendary Del, these bluegrass masters will take you on home, and blow your mind as they do it. Edmonds Center for the Arts *** Dec 7 Yo-Yo Ma The best-known cellist in the world joins the Seattle Symphony for Shostakovich's Cello Concerto no. 1. Benaroya Hall Dec 8 Wendell Potter The CIGNA executive-turned-whistleblower explains how the health-insurance industry blocks health-care reform. Town Hall *** Dec 9–11 Seattle Symphony The orchestra performs Prokofiev's balletic version of Romeo and Juliet—appropriately, alongside Peter Lieberson's ravishing Neruda Songs, written for his wife Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Benaroya Hall Dec 10–19 Black Nativity Intiman's perennially sold-out production of Langston Hughes' holiday show moves to a larger venue this year. Moore Theatre Dec 10–12 Penn & Teller Seeing ain't believing for the comic illusionists, who bust myths on their Showtime program Bullshit! Paramount Theatre Dec 11, 18 Nowell, An English Christmas Would you like figgy pudding with that? Bastyr University Chapel and Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, seattlepromusica.org Dec 16–19 Seattle Symphony Messiah is back. Benaroya Hall This guide was written by Gavin Borchert, Rebecca Cohen, Mark D. Fefer, Sandra Kurtz, and Brian Miller.