Calendar of Merriment

HELLCAB Hellcab is a collection of scenes from the life of a Chicago cab driver on one bitterly cold, 14-hour workday right before Christmas. Six actors portray 30-plus passengers who come from all walks of life: a born-again couple going to church; several fellow cab drivers; obnoxious shoppers, lawyers, and New Yorkers; drug addicts; a drunk; a rape victim; and several horny, pregnant, or otherwise scary and/or uplifting people. This bittersweet holiday-season play by Will Kern has run for nine straight years since its debut in Chicago at the Famous Door Theatre. Union Garage, 1418 10th, 720-1942. $12 Fri. and Sat. Pay-what-you-will every Thurs. 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. Ends Sat., Dec. 15.

HOLIDAY ART SALE The Kirkland Arts Center presents its annual Holiday Art Sale featuring an imaginative array of holiday gift shopping ideas created by students, Arts Center members, and artists throughout the Pacific Northwest. Find beautiful pottery, sculpture, glassware, prints, painting, jewelry, candles, and soap. Participate in creative hands-on workshops and get a “sneak peek” at the best selection during the preview party and silent auction on Fri., Nov. 30. Kirkland Arts Center, Peter Kirk Building, 620 Market, 425-822-7161. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Ends Sun., Dec. 16.

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 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 $12 / $10 students and seniors. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat.; 4 p.m. Sun. 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 $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 $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 GeneralInspecting 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 an NEA funding inspector that throws everything into chaos. A homegrown holiday hit. Seattle Center, Seattle Repertory Theater, 443-2222 or $15-$44. 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Sun.; 2 p.m. matinee Sat. and Sun. Ends Sun., Dec. 30.

KING 5 WINTERFEST The annual five-week festival will span the entire holiday season beginning after Thanksgiving and culminating 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 the most spectacular fireworks show on the West Coast. Inside the Seattle 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 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 Winter- garden, Bellevue Art Museum holiday programming, and much more! Take a ride to the Eastside to enjoy five weeks of skating, lights, dance, song, and tradition. Various venues, downtown Bellevue, 425-453-1223 or Ends Mon., Dec. 31.

REDMONDLIGHTS RemondLights is a monthlong 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 from mid-November through December. 425-556-2299 or for more info. Continues through December.

GINGERBREAD HOUSE CONTEST This zany holiday event will be bringing artists, architects, dessert dabblers, pastry chefs, Pioneer Square neighbors, and “First Thursday Artwalk” walkers out to transform the Grand Central Arcade into a holiday village of gingerbread houses. There will be three separate categories: the first for professional pastry chefs, the second for nonprofessionals, and the third for children under 10. Grand Central Baking Company, 214 First S., 326-5466. Viewing 4 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 6.

OLDE FASHIONED CHRISTMAS The scent of baking bread, fresh apple pies, apple cider, and freshly cut pine boughs fills the air. You’ll find seven historic cabins with authentically costumed hosts to guide you on your journey back to the historical times of early Whatcom County. Join the fun at the Ferndale Heritage Society’s ninth annual “Deck the Halls—Olde Fashioned Christmas,” featuring decorated log cabins, horse-drawn carriage rides, English Christmas crackers, visits with Santa, a treasure chest, caroling, dancing, live entertainment, kids’ activities, and more! Pioneer Park, I-5 to exit 262, turn west toward downtown Ferndale and follow the signs to Pioneer Park, 360-384-3693. $3 / $2 kids. 5-9 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 6-Fri., Dec. 7; 4-9 p.m. Sat., Dec. 8. and 1-4 p.m. Sun., Dec. 9.

THE ARGOSY CHRISTMAS SHIP FESTIVAL This festival is a ship-to-shore holiday celebration that has become 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 for times and locations. $83 / $56 child (includes three-course dinner). Thurs., Dec. 6-Sun., Dec. 23.

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 for show times. $19. Opens Fri., Dec 7-Sun., Dec. 23.

INTERNATIONAL BAZAAR Mark your calendars for the third ever-popular, crowd-pleasing International Bazaar, presented by Wide World Books & Maps. Throughout the year, as the staff at WWB&M travel to faraway places, they select unique gift and craft items specifically for this bazaar. Silk scarves and delicate bamboo baskets from villages along the Silk Road in China, soap-stone carvings from Kenya, handwoven mudcloth pillow cases and wallhangings from Mali, silver and gold jewelry pieces from Nepal, small silk rugs from Kasmir, hand-painted batik wall-hangings from Zambia, colorful pieces of Talavera pottery from Mexico, and so much more. It’s holiday shopping at its best with prices for everyone. Wide World Books & Maps, 4411A Wallingford N., 634-3453 or www.travelbooksandmaps. com. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.Fri., Dec. 7-Sat., Dec. 8; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun., Dec. 9.

CROUCHING ELVES, HIDDEN PACKAGES Elves run amok in the Pork Filled Players’ new holiday comedy. Elves on 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. Runs Fri., Dec. 7-Sun., Dec. 23.

A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES A reading of Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales, interspersed with traditional carols from the British Isles. David Pichette, known for his work as Scrooge at ACT, narrates this perennial favorite accompanied by Mozart’s Magnificat and other classical Christmas works. Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, 75th and Greenwood N. 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 8 and 3:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 9. $17 reserved seating / $15 / $13 for students and seniors. 523-1196 or chamberchorus for tickets.

A BAROQUE HOLIDAY The Northwest Chamber Orchestra presents A Baroque Holiday with principal guest conductor and violinist Joseph Silverstein, who will reprise his Grammy-nominated performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Also on the program are Corelli’s Christmas Concerto and Handel’s Concerti Grossi. These beloved baroque masterworks are the perfect beginning for a magical holiday season. Benaroya Hall, Illsley Ball Nordstrom Hall, Third and Union, 343-0445 or e-mail boxoffice $30 / $25 students and seniors. 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 8 and 2:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 9.

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 beautiful holiday exhibit. Benham Gallery, 1216 First, 622-6383. Christmas party and artist’s reception 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Sun., Dec. 9. Exhibit runs Sun., Dec. 9-Sat., Jan. 12.

YIDDISH EROTICA Yiddish Erotica asks the questions, “What would classic greats like Sophie Tucker, Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, and Molly Picon do if they were alive today? Would they have showed a little more of themselves? Would they dig a little deeper into the grit of the immigrant Jewish underworld? Might they not push today’s boundaries the same way they pushed the boundaries of the 1920s and ’30s?” Expect to see and hear some twisted stuff at this Hanukkah party. Sure, it is replete with menorahs, dreidels, and the smell of potato latkes, but there is more—oh, so much more. This is art and sex for a better world, a Hanukkah party in eight unorthodox acts. Re-bar, 1114 Howell, 726-3015 or $15. 8 p.m. Mon., Dec. 10-Tues., Dec. 11.

TALLIS SCHOLARS The Tudor Choir presents the world-renowned Tallis Scholars in a holiday concert at St. Mark’s Cathedral. Rather unlikely superstars in the classical music world, the Tallis Scholars have earned an unparalleled reputation as the finest singers of Renaissance sacred polyphony. Experience the excitement and purity of sound by this astonishing 10-voice ensemble directed by Peter Phillips. St. Mark’s Cathedral, 1245 10th E., 322-3118. $30 reserved seating / $22 festival seating. 8 p.m. Thurs., Dec 13.

HELL’S BELLES South Side Johnny’s legendary yearly Christmas Big Bells Bash has drawn some of the coolest talent any parties have seen, and this year local hipsters Hell’s Belles join in. The Fabulous Firwood, 8014 Valley E., Fife, 628-0888 or for info. $10. Doors at 7 p.m. Sat., Dec. 15.

METRO BUS HOLIDAY LIGHTS TOUR This year, instead of Mom making you climb into the back of the old station wagon for some holiday lights excursion, why not climb aboard some restored vintage buses and let Santa Claus guide you on a two-hour tour of the best Christmas and holiday lights in the Seattle area? Buses depart from S. Main and Third, across the street from the Seattle Fire Department Headquarters in Pioneer Square, 684-1816 or $5 / $4 seniors and children. 7 p.m. Sat., Dec. 15.

JINGLE BELL BASH Their claim to fame is Seattle’s hottest holiday concert. Join KISS 106.1’s fourth Jingle Bell Bash, featuring the Barenaked Ladies, Train, Jessica Simpson, Lifehouse, Craig David, Michelle Branch, Blu Cantrell, and American Hi-Fi. Stadium Exhibition Center (next to Safeco field), 628-0888 or $35. 5 p.m. Mon., Dec 17.

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 for their Christmas show. KeyArena, 305 Harrison, 628-0888 or $32.50 and $28.50. 8 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 20.

SMOOTH JAZZ CHRISTMAS This December Dave Koz and a group of special friends will join together at the Fifth 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. Fifth Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth, 625-1900 or www.jazz $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 $24 reserved seating / $18 general / $12 children. 7 p.m. Sat., Dec. 22.

ELLINGTON SACRED MUSIC CONCERT Earshot Jazz again presents its popular 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 $23 preferred seating / $19 general / $17 Earshot Jazz members. 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 22.

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 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 King’s 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.

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