Over the holiday season before it’s started? Just looking for something different? Here are a few shows just for you — from big musicals to performance art — to enjoy in December.
(List may be updated as new shows are found. Shows are sorted by end date in each category. For show dates and tickets, see Calendar page.)
Shorts & Variety
Note: Advance tickets are strongly recommended for these events, which tend to sell out.
Ah, Yes, The Two Genders: Gender Bachelor/ette @ Copious (12/6)
A recurring mashup of drag, weirdness, and intrigue, created by Alexei Cifrese and friends, in the underground cabaret space at Copious. In this episode: Twelve Genders, One True Love.
Sunday Dinner: Donald Byrd & Dani Tirrell @ Langston Hughes (12/8)
One acclaimed dance-maker interviews another, as Dani Tirrell talks with Donald Byrd, the storied choreographer and Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater. Tirrell curates the Sunday Dinner series, hosted by Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, which features candid conversations with local Black artists and includes a meal by local Black chefs.
Performance Lab: Uncanny Cabaret @ On the Boards (12/11)
This installment of the multi-genre series is co-curated by drag artist Matt Aguayo (Angel Baby Kill Kill Kill) and OtB’s Charles Smith. (See more in NWT’s shorts coverage, here.)
Next Fest: Ritual & Rebellion @ Velocity Dance Center (12/12-15)
This year’s festival of emerging artists is co-curated by Spectrum Dance Theater’s Nia-Amina Minor & Fausto Rivera, and James Ray fellow Cameo Lethem. (See more in NWT’s shorts coverage, here.)
Ahamefule J. Oluo: Susan, On the Boards (12/5-8)
This darkly comic musical portrait of Oluo’s mother builds one story out of many, a journey from Section 8 housing in 1980s Seattle to the mangrove swamps of the Niger Delta to the Clallam Bay Correctional Facility. With stunning new compositions combined with soul-baring stand-up interludes, Oluo explores two intertwining narratives: his mother’s life as the white, Midwestern wife of a Nigerian chief and, later, a destitute single mother; and his own journey to Nigeria, as an adult, to visit his late father’s village and discover a family on the other side of the world.
Jomama Jones: Black Light, UW – Meany Center (12/12-14)
Developed by Daniel Alexander Jones and starring Jones’s alter ego — legendary singer Jomama Jones — Black Light is a musical journey that fuses the Black American Freedom movement, Afromysticism and goddess mythology with the musical influences of Prince, Sade, Diana Ross and Tina Turner. Black Light removes the barrier between artist and audience, allowing them to bear witness, be witnessed and reflect on the present time.
Shout Sister Shout!, Seattle Repertory Theatre (thru 12/22)
Long before ‘women in rock’ became a media catchphrase, Sister Rosetta Tharpe proved in spectacular fashion that women rocked. Inspired by Gayle F. Wald’s book Shout, Sister, Shout!, this new theatrical work tells “The Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s” incredible story. Ambitious, courageous, and uncompromisingly public, Sister Rosetta Tharpe became a legend who redefined the national and international music scene in the 1930s and ’40s. Experience her story through this musical portrait.
Head Over Heels, ArtsWest Theatre (thru 12/29)
Venture to the forest with the royals of Arcadia on a quest to save their beloved kingdom after they learn of an Oracle’s prophecy of doom, all while moovin’ and groovin’ to the music of The Go-Go’s in this exuberant Elizabethan-inspired musical. A fresh contemporary musical with a profoundly queer heart.
Corduroy, Seattle Children’s Theatre (thru 12/29)
Late at night while the world sleeps, a curious bear named Corduroy searches every inch of a department store in pursuit of his missing button, leaving behind delightful messes. A night watchman is on the case to discover the origin of this playful destruction, while a young girl dreams of bringing Corduroy home as a new cuddle companion. Don Freeman’s classic picture book comes to life with a cast that features Chip Sherman (as Corduroy), Dedra Woods, and other local favorites.
Howl’s Moving Castle, Book-It Repertory Theatre (thru 12/29)
When you’re the eldest, your destiny is decided. Or so Sophie believed, until the Witch of the Waste’s curse turns her into an old woman. Seeking refuge in the dreaded Howl’s castle, she finds unlikely allies and friends in the sorcerer, his fire demon, and a lovesick apprentice, who help Sophie realize she has the power to decide her own fate. A musical adaptation featuring music and lyrics by Justin Huertas.
Mrs. Doubtfire, The 5th Avenue Theatre (thru 12/29)
A struggling actor disguises himself as a British nanny in order to spend quality time with his children after losing custody, and learns a lot more about fatherhood than he bargained for. Based on the 1993 film, this new musical premieres in Seattle before heading to Broadway in March.
NWT Note: opens 12/13; previews are 11/26-12/12.
Guys and Dolls, Village Theatre – Issaquah (thru 12/29) and Everett (1/3-2/2)
Infamous gamblers, woebegone yet determined missionaries, a troupe of dancing showgirls, and one momentous craps game come together on the streets (and in the sewers) of New York City. The brassy and colorful musical comedy first hit Broadway in 1950.
A Night Like This, Teatro ZinZanni (Woodinville) (thru 2/9)
A pairing of fine dining and acrobatics under the big top. Step back into a time where glitz and glamour reign supreme, and the entertainment takes place both on stage and off. Returning from a trip abroad, Christine Deaver as Penelope Wilde spins tall tales from her exotic travels; meanwhile, two star-crossed lovers find magic in the air, hoops spin, ballerinas dance, the chef longs for a 5 star review, and Master of the House, Cunio of Postmodern Jukebox, pulls you in with his powerhouse vocals.
Ongoing Non-Seasonal Fun
Note: These events are relatively informal and have tickets at the door (or drop-in admission).
The Magic Hat, The Rendezvous – Grotto (Mondays)
Emmett Montgomery hosts a storytelling show among friends, in the mysterious basement of Belltown’s storied bar and theatre. Admission $5 at the door.
Joketellers Union, The Clock-Out Lounge (Wednesdays)
Emmett Montgomery and Brett Hamil host local comedians, visiting comedians, and various strange and special guests; and the makers of Seattle’s best pizza (says me, and Seattle magazine does too) at Breezy-Town serve up strange and special slices alongside their usual lineup. Admission $7 at the door.
Sh*t Gold, Velocity Dance Center (1st & 3rd Mondays)
Velocity hosts a long-running, open mic-style performance series, which invites multi-genre performers to experiment in five-minute slots. (See more in NWT’s shorts coverage, here.) Free admission.
Chase D. Anderson is Editor & Producer of NWTheatre.org.