The Season’s Best Performances, Plays, and Nutcrackers

Holiday stories from stages in Bellevue, Seattle, and throughout King County.


International Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker With traditional Russian choreography. Meydenbauer Center, Bellevue, 11100 N.E. Sixth St., Bellevue, $25–$50, Dec. 15–22

Emerald Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker Accompanied by the Rainier Symphony. Northshore Performing Arts Center, Bothell, 18125 92nd Ave. N.E., $20–$43, Dec. 2-10

The Nutcracker & The Tale of the Hard Nut An alternative take from the Tacoma City Ballet: How did the Prince get turned into a nutcracker, anyway? Federal Way Performing Arts & Event Center, 31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S., Federal Way, $18–$104, Dec. 15–23

Buttcracker III Replacing Tchaikovsky with ’80s hair metal. Erickson Theater, 524 Harvard Ave., Seattle, $20–$25, Dec. 8–17

Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker Sure, there are things we all miss about the Maurice Sendak/Kent Stowell production, but PNB’s George Balanchine/Ian Falconer version is as magical, and the music is still Tchaikovsky. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, $26–$190, Nov. 24–Dec. 28


Bellevue Youth Theatre Presenting ’Twas the Night Before Christmas (Nov. 24-Dec. 3) and Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical (Dec. 8–17). Bellevue Youth Theatre, 16051 N.E. 10th St., Bellevue.

A Christmas Carol Timothy McCuen Piggee and Peter Crook share the role of Scrooge in Seattle’s most acclaimed production of the Dickens favorite. ACT, 700 Union St., $32–$105, Nov. 24–Dec. 28

A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol If you’ve ever wanted to rewrite Dickens, now’s your chance. Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, $5–$15, Nov. 24-Dec. 23

Dina Martina Christmas Show The consummate entertaineress’s annual holiday extravaganza of comedy, song, audience gifts, and general WTF-ness. With accompanist Chris Jeffries. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St., $25, Nov. 24–Dec. 31

Uncle Mike Ruins Christmas “You write down a heartwarming holiday memory. We re-enact it. Then Uncle Mike ruins it.” Jet City Improv, 5510 University Way N.E., $17–$18, Nov. 24–Dec. 23

Holiday Inn Inspired by the Oscar-winning film, with songs by Irving Berlin. 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave., $34–$131, Nov. 24–Dec. 31

Studio East Presenting ’Twas The Night … ($20; Nov. 25–Dec. 17) and The Elves & The Toymaker ($18; Dec. 2–19) in various Eastside venues; see for complete schedule.

Jane Lynch: A Swingin’ Little Christmas From game shows to Glee, and a lynchpin of Christopher Guest’s genius series of mockumentaries, Jane Lynch also sings. She returns to the Triple Door to pep up your holiday. The Triple Door, 216 Union St., $55–$80, 6:30 & 9:30 p.m., Nov. 29-30

A John Waters Christmas The one-man show from the outlaw filmmaker that asks those burning questions “Is Prancer the only gay reindeer?” and “Should you disrupt living crèche celebrations this year in the name of political action?” The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., $38–$115, Nov. 30

Ham for the Holidays The comedy duo of Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt present their high-camp sendup of holiday traditions for the 17th year. ACT, 700 Union St., $20–$45, Nov. 30–Dec. 17

A Charlie Brown Christmas A stage adaptation of the evergreen animated special based on Charles Schulz’s Peanuts characters. Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St., $15–$25, Nov. 30–Dec. 27

A Christmas Carol SecondStory Rep’s fifth annual production of Dickens. SecondStory Repertory, 7325 166th Ave. N.E., Suite F250, Redmond, Dec. 1–23

The Flight Before Xmas & Christmastown: A Holiday Noir Seattle Public Theater’s comic double bill strands you in an airport on Christmas and puts you in the (gum)shoes of a hard-boiled detective. Seattle Public Theater, 7312 W. Green Lake Dr. N., $17–$34, Dec. 1–24

Homo for the Holidays Burlesque, cabaret, dance, and drag with an all-star cast of dozens. Make your Yuletide really gay! West Hall, OddFellows Building, 915 E. Pine St., $35–$40, Dec. 7–30

Elf the Musical Raised mistakenly by elves at the North Pole, a human returns to New York to wreak sparkly havoc in this musical based on the Will Ferrell vehicle. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., $30 and up, Dec. 5–10

The View From Santa’s Lap Scot Augustson’s show for Cafe Nordo sets a murder mystery in a department store. Nordo’s Culinarium, 109 S. Main St., $85, Dec. 7–24

Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker In its 12th year, Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann make the holiday chestnut a little spicier. The Triple Door, 216 Union St., $45–$70, Dec. 7–28

It’s a Wonderful Life Twelfth Night Productions presents Frank Capra’s heartwarming classic in the form of a live radio show. Kenyon Hall, 7904 35th Ave. S.W., $18–$20, Dec. 8–17

12 Days of Christmas Each of those gifts—the maids-a-milking, the French hens, and the rest—has a backstory. Here it is, in a musical. Renton Civic Theatre, 507 S. Third St., $22–$25, Dec. 8–23

It’s a Wonderful Life Done in Theater Anonymous style: None of the cast knows who anyone else in the cast is until performance time. Cornish Playhouse, Seattle Center, $20, Dec. 9

Twisted Flicks Jet City Improv re-dubs, live, the notoriously terrible 1964 film Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland, $16–$24, Dec. 16

Cirque Dreams Holidaze Grand and glitzy Vegas-style entertainment for the whole family. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., $40–$70, Dec. 22–24

A Drag Queen Christmas A sextet of stars from RuPaul’s Drag Race help you through your post-Christmas hangover. The Moore, 1932 Second Ave., $21.50–$160.50, Dec. 29


Trans-Siberian Orchestra “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” is the theme of their subtle and understated holiday musical production. KeyArena, Seattle Center, $42-$74, 3:30 p.m. & 8 p.m., Nov. 25

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Chip Davis has released 27 Christmas albums from which to choose the set list for his annual holiday extravaganza. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., $32–$82. 8 p.m. Sat., Nov. 25

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