Theater Openings & Events The book of Mormon Satirically pointed, outrageously profane,


Openings & Events

The book of Mormon Satirically pointed, outrageously profane, and probably the most popular musical of the past decade—should we draw a lesson from that? The Paramount, 911 Pine, $58.75–$166.75. Opens Dec. 29. 7:30 p.m. Tues.–Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri., 2 & 8 p.m. Sat., 1 & 6:30 p.m. Sun. Ends Jan. 10.

The Edge Bainbridge Island’s own improv troupe. Bainbridge Performing Arts, 200 Madison Ave. N., Bainbridge Island, 842-8569, 
$12–$16. 7:30 p.m. Sat., Jan 2.

Sandbox Radio LIVE! Music, storytelling, and new work by Scot Augustson, Juliet Waller Pruzan, and Wayne Rawley. ACT, 700 Union St., $10–­$25. 8 p.m. Mon., Dec. 28.


A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol Unexpected Productions wants your help with the rewrite. Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, $5–$15. 8:30 p.m. Thurs.–Sat. plus Dec. 21 & 22; 7 p.m. Sun. Ends Dec. 26.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Those Herdman kids are ruining our holiday play! Seattle Public Theater, 7312 W. Green Lake Dr. N., $17–$34. Runs 2 & 4 p.m. Sat.–Sun. and Dec. 22–24. Ends Dec. 24.

A Charlie Brown Christmas A stage adaptation of the animated TV special, 50 years old this season. Taproot Theatre Company’s Isaac Studio Theatre, 212 N. 85th St. $25. Runs Fri.–Sat. plus Dec. 22 & 23; see for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 26.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Caractacus Potts and his flying car are back. Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Center, $25 and up. 7 p.m. Thurs.–Fri., 2 & 5:30 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. Sun. Ends Dec. 27.

A Christmas Carol Keep your parodies and improv shows; ACT dishes the Dickens straight up. Kurt Beattie and Charles Leggett tag-team as Scrooge. ACT, 700 Union St. $27–$37 and up. Runs Tues.–Sun. plus Mon., Dec. 28; see for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 30.

Christmastown: A Holiday Noir Wayne Rawley’s hard-boiled detective story. Seattle Public Theater, 7312 W. Green Lake Dr. N. $17–$34. Runs Thurs.–Sun. plus Dec. 22 & 23; see for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 24.

Dina Martina Christmas Show 2015 An all-new show of warmth and wonder from the incomparable, indefatigable, indescribable entertaineress. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St. $22–$25. Runs Fri.–Sat., then nearly every day starting Dec. 10; see for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 31.

Emma No one gets married during the holiday season, because there are so many other competing parties and family gatherings. So here’s a happy chance to attend the wedding—and prior courtship, and countless preliminary romantic misunderstandings—in this staging of the Jane Austen classic, probably the sweetest work in her canon. Appropriately, Book-It is reviving its 2009 adaptation (by Rachel Atkins, directed by Carol Roscoe) for the bicentennial of Emma’s publication. Back from that production is Sylvie Davison as our heroine, now pitted with the challenge of resisting the handsome, charming Mr. Knightly (Sylvester Kamara). Along the way, of course, Emma is a famous meddler and know-it-all who proves herself wrong in one failed match after another. Yet she blithely steamrolls her way through Highbury and the surrounding countryside, crushing good sense at every turn. The comic disconnect between her intentions and outcomes has been profitably mined on film (with Alicia Silverstone in Clueless and Gwyneth Paltrow in Emma), but Emma’s well-intentioned foolishness never gets old. Like she says, “The most beautiful thing in the world is a match well made.” BRIAN MILLER Book-It Repertory Theatre, Center House Theater (Seattle Center), 216-0833. $25–$50. Runs Wed.–Sun., see for exact schedule. Ends Jan. 3.

Hansel & Gretel and Three Bears The Fremont Players’ annual British panto: a fairy tale with lots of music, audience participation, and a dash of camp. Hale’s Palladium, 4301 Leary Way N.W., $7–$13. 4 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., 1 & 4 p.m. Sun. Ends Jan. 10.

Homo for the Holidays Don your gayest apparel for this queer burlesque revue, starring BenDeLaCreme, Kitten LaRue, Lou Henry Hoover. Waxie Moon, and many others. West Hall, OddFellows Building, 915 E. Pine St. $25–$37. 8 p.m. Wed.–Thurs., 7 & 10 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 5 & 8 p.m. Sun., plus 8 p.m. Dec. 21 & 22. Ends Dec. 27.

Land of Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker Most productions of The Nutcracker are definitely family fare, but Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann have been presenting a decidedly adult version of the show for the past 10 years. Their burlesque Nutcracker is full of salacious fun in the best tradition, with showgirl snowflakes, a King of the Rats with tearaway pants, and Verlaine herself as the Countess of Coffee, stripping in a steamy cup. If you’re a bit bored with the traditional fare over at PNB, this is a zesty alternative to the G-rated version. SANDRA KURTZ The Triple Door, 216 Union St., $35–$65. Runs daily, generally at 7 & 10 p.m.; see for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 27.

My Fair Lady The enduringly popular and hit-filled 1956 Lerner and Loewe musical is directed by our homegrown Tony- and Pulitzer-winning Brian Yorkey, who must love the thing. Village Theatre, 303 Front St. N., Issaquah. $38–$70. Runs Tues.–Sun.; see for exact schedule. Ends Jan. 3. (Runs in Everett Jan. 8–Feb. 7.)

The Sound of Music It’s partially a credit to the original Richard Rodgers score itself, as well as to this locally cast production, that the 60-year-old musical manages to keep the audience rapt through 38 songs. By including all the songs, the musical must, necessarily, lose some plot nuances from the Oscar Hammerstein book—otherwise the show would last all night. When Maria comes to the von Trapp home and meets the children, there’s only a perfunctory struggle to win them over; in just one number, she’s got them under her thumb. Standouts in this familiar 1959 musical include Scenes at the abbey, where Anne Allgood’s Mother Abbess practically steals the show. Not only do her interactions with Kirsten deLohr Helland’s Maria feel charged and authentic, but her voice is a marvel, leading a legion of nuns in several numbers. Her chill-inducing crescendos had me seriously contemplating going to church. The children are all adorable and exactly what you’d expect, with an exceptional performance from Liesl, the eldest (Shaye Hodgins), whose voice stood out as one of the loveliest. Likewise Jessica Skerritt plays a far feistier, more complicated Baroness Elsa than we’re used to. In Act 2, the staging, directed by David Bennett, manages to impart the ominousness of Germany’s occupation of Austria. A huge red Nazi flag hangs boldly—the one with the “black spider,” says one of the von Trapp children, before their escape. And the finale isn’t sunny; instead we hear the haunting voices of the Mother Abbess and her forlorn nuns—a reminder of the horrors that follow the happy ending. NICOLE SPRINKLE 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave. $29 and up. Runs practically every day; see for exact schedule. Ends Jan. 3.

Teatro ZinZanni: Lighter Than Air The band Recess Monkey headlines their family show. Teatro ZinZanni, 222 Mercer St., 802-0015. $20–$25. Runs 11 a.m. some Sat. & Sun.; see for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 27.

Teatro ZinZanni: Hollywood Nights Plus-one called it the best ZinZanni show he’s seen, and I see no reason to disagree. The company channels silver-screen glamour as Ron Campbell plays movie director Cecil B. DeGrille, who invades the theater with his crew and inspires dreams of stardom among the performers. In a TZ show, everyone multitasks, and here not only are the cirque stunts as dazzlingly skillful as usual, but the character work overall is a cut above the norm. I wish all opera singers were as comedically ferocious as soprano Juliana Rambaldi, who then turns around and delivers a sumptuous “Con te partiro.”And I still can’t figure out how Wayne Doba makes tap-dancing so affecting; his “Rainbow Connection” number is the show’s emotional high point, and I’ve never even liked the song. GAVIN BORCHERT Teatro ZinZanni, 222 Mercer St., 802-0015. $99 and up. Runs Thurs.–Sun. plus some Wed.; see for exact schedule. Ends Jan. 31.

This Christmas The holiday threatens to careen out of control (but probably won’t) in Anne Kennedy Brady’s play. Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St. $20–$40. Runs generally Tues.–Sat.; see for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 26.

Winterfest All kinds of music, dance, circus, and more through Dec. 31. Seattle Center,

Wonderful Life Yes, Frank Capra’s holiday perennial will return to the Grand Illusion on Friday the 11th, but first arrives a new take on the famous 1946 movie. The shorter title is a clue to the recent abridgement by Helen Pafumi and Jason Lott: It’s a one-man show, here starring Andrew Lee Creech, in which the storyteller takes on all the roles in Bedford Falls. That means the same guy plays both noble, suicidal George Bailey and the evil banker Mr. Potter, which may seem a rather schizophrenic exercise. Add to that the angel Clarence, faithful wife Mary (the Donna Reed role), and miserable alternate-reality denizens of Pottersville (basically Hell), and Creech will be embodying an entire community. But that unitary spirit is appropriate to the source, Philip Van Doren Stern’s 1943 self-published short story, first called “The Greatest Gift.” About to leap off a bridge in financial despair, George is granted a vision of his town without him—as if he’d never been born. Yet this show (and the movie) emphasize how the individual and the community are so interdependent; the health of one affects all. And a society’s true prosperity is measured by how we treat those like George who are down on their luck (or “losers,” as Donald Trump would call them). Erin Murray directs. BRIAN MILLER ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave. S.W., $17–$37.50. 7:30 p.m. Wed.–Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. Ends Dec. 27.


Pacific Northwest Ballet: Nutcracker PNB director Peter Boal has merged George Balanchine’s 1954 choreography with new set and costume designs by renowned children’s author/illustrator Ian Falconer (of Olivia the Pig fame). This Nutcracker reflects the classical heritage that defines ballet for many people, alongside a more conventional telling of the story. Longtime Seattle dancegoers will note the difference not in plot, but in positioning Clara squarely back in the safe place of childhood innocence. Clara is danced by a child throughout, rather than transforming into an adult performer; and the role of Drosselmeier is much more benign—an eccentric toymaker rather than a menacing male figure. Balanchine’s choreography for Nutcracker is laced with references to the 1892 original by Lev Ivanov, including the mime sequence for the young prince as he describes the battle with the Mouse King, and the gymnastic jumping for a group of candy canes. It’s a much more old-fashioned, even patriarchal production, set firmly in the classical tradition. Compared to the old Maurice Sendak designs, Falconer’s palette is brighter—especially the vivid use of colored light in the second act. His “Land of Sweets” is outlined by pink and green stick candy and paper-doily lace, with elaborate, old-fashioned gelatin molds and piles of butter mints. It’s all very Currier and Ives, more sweet than tart. SANDRA KURTZ McCaw Hall, Seattle Center. $25–$156. Runs a lot; see for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 28.

So You Think You Can Dance Stars from the 12th season of the reality-competition show on tour. The Paramount, 911 Pine, $39.50–$69.50. 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 26.

On Stage With Classical King Fm Your favorite DJs host an evening of social dance (with a lesson!) with music by the Valse Cafe Orchestra. Resonance at SOMA, 288 106th Ave. N.E., Suite 203, Bellevue, $25. 7 p.m. Sat., Jan. 2.

Classical, Etc.

Messiah Sing- and Play-Along Bring your instruments, or just your voice—if you think you can Handel it. Karen P. Thomas conducts. University Unitarian Church, 6556 35th Ave. N.E., $13–$18. 7 p.m. Sat., Dec. 26.

Crosstalk Brahms and Smetana piano trios, played by the Sonare Trio from Cleveland, plus discussion. Resonance at SOMA, 288 106th Ave. N.E., Suite 203, Bellevue, $12.50–$25. 2 p.m. Sun., Dec. 27.

Byron Schenkman and Friends SEE EAR SUPPLY, BELOW.

Seattle Symphony The traditional year-end Beethoven Ninth. Benaroya Hall, Third Ave. & Union St., $28 and up. 7:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 30; 9 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 31 ($50 and up; incl. afterparty); 8 p.m. Sat., Jan. 2; 2 p.m. Sun., Jan. 3.

St. James Cathedral Bach, Handel, Rheinberger, and more on their choral/orchestral New Year’s Eve concert. 804 Ninth Ave., $30. 11 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 31.

Cappella Romana Ring in the new year with Byzantine and Old Roman chant. Blessed Sacrament Church, 5050 Eighth Ave. N.E., $22 and up. 7:30 p.m. Fri., Jan. 1.

David Brooks An interesting miscellany of piano works by C.P.E. Bach, Messiaen, Grieg, and Schoenberg. Brechemin Auditorium, School of Music, UW campus, Free. 7:30 p.m. Tues., Jan. 5.