Pick List: Skating Polly, Merce 100, Jim Henson’s Holiday Special

The week’s best entertainment options.


We’ll meet again, we’ll part once more as Neal Kosaly-Meyer reads/performs from memory (you read that right) Chapter 5 of James Joyce’s richly absurdist classic Finnegans Wake. This concludes his autumn cycle of readings. but more are planned. GAVIN BORCHERT Gallery 1412, gallery1412dotorg.wordpress.com. $5–$15. 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 15.


For Merce 100, local dance artists—Donald Byrd, Kate Wallich, and several others—offer a weekend of “performing, recalling, re-enacting, reading, teaching, and transmitting the work and ideas” of Centralia-born, Cornish-trained revolutionary Merce Cunningham, whose centennial is coming up April 16. GB Velocity Dance Center, velocitydancecenter.org. $15–$50. 7:30 p.m. Fri., Dec 14–Sun., Dec. 16.


Of the four adaptations of Patrick Dennis’ 1955 novel Auntie Mame—stage play, movie, stage musical, movie musical—the film, from three years later, is probably the most fondly remembered. It’s largely, I’m sure, because of the magnificent Rosalind Russell in the title role of a flamboyant bohemian who becomes the guardian of her guarded nephew and tries, through the Depression and beyond, to keep him off the straight-and-narrow path. Never too sententious, it’s a lavish, particolored celebration of nonconformity; without a single openly gay character in it, it’s about the gayest movie Old Hollywood ever released. Three Dollar Bill Cinema screens it for their annual fundraiser. GB AMC Pacific Place 11, threedollarbillcinema.org. $20–$120. 6 p.m. Wed., Dec. 12.

La traviata, Verdi’s tale of conspicuous consumption, was a good call for the Metropolitan Opera’s live-in-HD broadcast series, with Juan Diego Florez and Diana Damrau as the doomed lovers. GB See fathomevents.com for participating theaters. 9:55 a.m. Sat., Dec. 15.

How’s this for an eclectic resume? Among dozens upon dozens of other credits, actress Marilyn Sokol survived Can’t Stop the Music in 1980 and dropped a memorable N-bomb in the most recent season of Broad City. She also voiced Ma Otter, 41 years ago, in the almost ridiculously heartwarming Emmet Otter’s Jug-­Band Christmas. It’s being screened as part of Jim Henson’s Holiday Special, a triple bill of nostalgia from the master Muppeteer, alongside The Bells of Fraggle Rock and a making-of featurette, “Memories of the Jug­-Band.” GB See fathomevents.com for participating theaters. $10.50–$13.13. 1 & 4 p.m. Sun., Dec. 16.


It’s hard to imagine a comedy rock record will ever come close to the masterwork that is Tenacious D’s 2001 self-titled debut album. On paper it doesn’t make sense that Jack Black and Kyle Gass’s acoustic-based duo would work, but with Black’s endless bravado, catchy melodies, and some nifty riffing by Gass, it becomes so easy for listeners to buy into the band’s own hype that “The D” is the greatest band in the world. Because Black apparently has another job (I guess he’s trying to make it as an actor?), Tenacious D tours are a rare occurrence, so find a way to see the duo swing through town in support of its new album, Post-Apocalypto. SETH SOMMERFELD The Moore, stgpresents.org. Sold out. 8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 14.

Any discussion about the best local albums of 2018 that omits Skating Polly’s The Make It All Show is, quite frankly, uninformed. The Tacoma-based trio—a family affair that began with stepsisters Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse before adding bro Kurtis Mayo on drums—rip though a rocking mix of sugary power pop, dark brooding ditties, and banshee punk screams. Without being derivative, the album sounds like a beefed-up amalgamation of the various strands of underground Olympia rock circa the ’90s. The group lets loose one last time in 2018 on a great triple bill with Potty Mouth and Mosterwatch. SS The Sunset, sunsettavern.com. $12. 8 p.m. Sun., Dec. 16.


One ancient technology, one new, but both, aerodynamically similar, can function as transportation and as artistic media: Stonington Gallery’s inventive new exhibit Fast Forward juxtaposes skateboard decks and canoe paddles. GB Stonington Gallery, stoningtongallery.com. Free. Thru Jan. 6.

The Olympic Sculpture Park’s works will be lit with the glow of luminaria during the annual holiday edition of SAM Lights, with music, sips, and nibbles on offer too. GB Olympic Sculpture Park seattleartmuseum.org. Free. 6 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 13.

Let There Be Light projects public art by Chris Rojas and Craig Winslow onto the Pier 86 Grain Terminal after dark. GB Myrtle Edwards Park. Dec. 14–21.

Renegade Craft Seattle boasts emerging and established makers, local eats, holiday drinks, DJ sets, workshops, installations, and more. GB Hangar 30 at Magnuson Park. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat., Dec. 15 & Sun., Dec. 16.

For one week only, Gallery 4 Culture offers fine art prints for sale by a selection of SODO Track artists with documentary photographs of their artistic process on view. GB Gallery 4Culture, 4culture.org. Free. Dec. 17–21.


All considered, The Lion King is probably Disney’s most lucrative property ever. (Especially considering these ticket prices.) GB The Paramount, stgpresents.org. Runs Tues.–Sun.; Dec. 13–Jan. 6.

Prepare to experience the dark side of the holidays via comedian Emmett Montgomery’s twisted character, Sugar Plum Gary. Simply by taking questions from the audience and improvising responses in this one-man show, Gary lays out a world where Santa is the ultimate evil to be feared and respected while slipping in other hilarious holiday nightmares. SS 18th and Union Seattle, 18thandunion.org. $12–$22. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Fri.–Sat. Dec. 14–Dec. 23; plus 7:30 p.m. Dec. 24.


Donald Byrd’s new work Iolanta is a metaphor-rich fairy tale about a secluded blind princess. GB Spectrum Dance Theater, spectrumdance.org. $15–$20. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 13; 8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 14–Sat., Dec. 15; 2 p.m. Sun. Dec. 16.

Some theater, some dance, but mostly uncategorizable in-between performance stuff populates 12 Minutes Max, the periodic short-works showcase. This month features Naomi Macalalad Bragin, Ankita Das, Miss Texas 1988, and others. GB Base Experimental Arts and Space, thisisbase.org. $12. 7 p.m. Sun., Dec. 16–Mon., Dec. 17.


Countertenor Dmitry Sinkovsky conducts the Seattle Symphony and sings the alto solos in Messiah, with Yulia Van Doren, Colin Balzer, and Michael Kelly. GB Benaroya Hall, seattlesymphony.org. $24–$89. 8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 14; 1 and 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 15; 2 p.m. Sun., Dec. 16.

Seattle Men’s Chorus’ popular annual holiday blowout features the debut of their new vocal ensemble, The Supertonics. GB Benaroya Hall, seattlechoruses.org. $25–$85. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20, 21, 23; 8 p.m. Dec. 16; 2 p.m. Dec. 23.