Compiled by Rick McKinnon
SGN Staff Writer
Pratt Fine Arts Center Holiday Art Sale. Nov. 21-30, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily (except Thanksgiving Day). Pratt Fine Arts Center, 1902 S. Main St. Enjoy a great selection of art and unique gifts, including handmade glass, sculpture, jewelry, paintings, prints, ornaments, and other functional objects – all made by local artists. FREE and open to the public. A portion of proceeds will benefit Pratt Fine Arts Center, the most dynamic year-round, multi-disciplinary arts center in the Pacific Northwest. www.pratt.org.
25th Anniversary Seattle Area Support Groups & Community Center Holiday Tree (& Greenery) Sale. Nov. 28-Dec. 23, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. SASGCC, 303 17th Ave. E. www.sasgcc.org; 206-322-2437.
Arboretum Foundation’s “Gifts Galore” Holiday Sale. Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Washington Park Arboretum Graham Visitors Center, 2300 Arboretum Dr. E. Due to a scheduling conflict at the Graham Visitors Center, the Arboretum Foundation won’t be able to host their regular “Gifts & Greens Galore” holiday sale this December. In its place, they will be offering a single-day, pared-down, but still awesome, version of the sale. The sale will feature: An expanded selection of nature-inspired gifts, including seasonal specialty items such as exclusive Arboretum honey; nature-themed tree ornaments from local artisans; a limited selection of centerpieces and wreaths; hand-crafted by Foundation volunteers; pre-bundled, pre-priced loose greens; complimentary refreshments. All sales benefit the Washington Park Arboretum. www.arboretumfoundation.org; 206-325-4510.
PLEASE DONATE YOUR GREENS: If you or anyone you know has specialty greens, the Arboretum Foundation would love it if you would share some with them for the sale (especially if you have something with color). Collections will be on the patio at the Graham Visitors Center on Sunday, November 30 and Monday, December 1, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. They will have a self-service drop-off center with easy-to-follow instructions posted on a sandwich board located on the Arboretum Drive side of the patio.
INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING? If you’d like to help out at this event, please contact Volunteer Resources Manager Megan Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org; 206-325-4510.
Seattle Sampling Artists Studio Tour. Dec. 5-7. Don’t miss the Seattle Sampling Artists Studio Tour – celebrating its 26th year. Thirty-six of Seattle’s award-winning and professional crafts people will be showing at nine locations throughout the greater Seattle area. This free, self-guided tour offers holiday shoppers a relaxed and intimate opportunity to meet the artists in their own environments. An opening night reception at each location will be held Friday, Dec. 5, 4-9 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6-7, each venue is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. A map and a complete listing of all the artists and their locations are available for download at www.seattlesampling.com. Shop local this holiday season and support Seattle’s vibrant artist community.
Seward Park Clay Studio Winter Holiday Show & Sale. Dec. 5-24. Opening night, 6:30-9:30 p.m., Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat-Sun, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Seward Park Clay Studio, 5900 Lake Washington Blvd. S. With the closing of the Northwest Craft Center in the re-do of the Seattle Center, there is now no single location for Puget Sound residents to see a representative sample of the variety of ceramics being produced in this area. That is, except during the Thanksgiving-Christmas window at the annual Winter Holiday Sale at Seward Park Clay Studio. This working studio, usually the creative home for a score of resident artists, plus 120+ students, transforms into a retail clay paradise for the holidays.
What is on view, and available for purchase, is not just the product of those professional and hobbyist potters currently associated with Seward Park Clay Studio, but also art from an additional invited two-dozen local clay artists. Also impressive is the range of work: sculpture, majolica, functional stoneware, delicate porcelains, raku, wood-fire, wall hangings. Even if you aren’t in the market for purchasing (and prices are remarkably affordable!), just surveying the range of expression in clay is worth a trip to this event.
A fundraising opening night party, with a suggested donation of $10 at the door, will be held on Friday, Dec. 6, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Attendance gets you first crack at the full shelves, plus a wide selection of finger foods and wine/beer.
Join us in celebrating the diversity of Puget Sound ceramics. www.sewardparkart.org.
South Park Arts 9th Annual Art Under $100 Holiday Sale. Dec. 6, 2-9 p.m. Seattle Design Center, 5701 6th Ave. S. Artists from South Park and beyond will knock your stockings off with original work not seen at a typical holiday sale. This year, over 50 artists will showcase a diverse array of art, including painting, sculpture, neon, jewelry, clothing, photography, glass, letterpress, and more. See website for details. And everything’s affordable with nothing priced over $100.
Beloved elements of past sales return: Groove to DJ dpauly and DJ Stack as they spin records from their booth high above us in the scissor lift. Create your very own masterpiece with the Makery, a mobile art lab that runs on recycled materials and creativity. Enjoy beer, wine, and appetizers, and support local art. Every 20 minutes, a raffle ticket will be drawn and lucky winners get their pick of art donated by participating artists. There will be food trucks and beer and wine. FREE covered parking. All proceeds go to South Park Arts. www.southparkarts.org.
Argosy Cruise Christmas Ship. Nov. 28-Dec. 23. www.argosycruises.com.
“Visions of Sugarplums” – Gig Harbor Holiday Tour of Homes 2014. Dec. 13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy an inside look at some of The Harbor’s most beautiful and beautifully decorated homes. Tickets: $25. www.gigharborholidaytour.org.
LGBT COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS
“Snowball!” Dec. 6, 7 p.m. Bertha Knight Landes Room, City Hall, 5th Ave. @ Cherry St. Each year Ingersoll Gender Center holds a holiday celebration called “Snowball!” There will be music, food, drink and friends! It’s a Celebration! Tapas-style catering provided by local Salvadorean Bakery and Stuffed Cakes! Tickets: $25 advance; more at the door. www.brownpapertickets.com/event/907473. This is an all-ages event.
Auntie Mame. Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m. AMC Pacific Place Cinema, 600 Pine St. Celebrate the season with Three Dollar Bill Cinema and Auntie Mame, the beloved 1958 film starring the incomparable Rosalind Russell returns for one night only of festive revelry, a “Homo for the holidays” tradition! Always armed with a colorful dress and an acerbic quip, the flamboyant, vibrant Mame Dennis (Russell) is an unconventional socialite from the Roaring Twenties. When her young orphan nephew comes to live in her madcap party pad, Mame takes him under her wing for an adventure in living life to its fullest. Tickets: $12.50; $10 for Three Dollar Bill Cinema members. This is an all-ages event. www.threedollarbillcinema.org.
Pictures With Santa. Dec. 12-13, 9 p.m.-midnight. The Cuff Complex, 1533 13th Ave. www.seattlemeninleather.org. Seattle Men in Leather hosts their annual event to celebrate the holidays and raise money for their designated charity, which this year is Chicken Soup Brigade. Get your picture taken with one of SML’s hunky Santas and enjoy the evening’s festivities. $5 suggested donation.
“Light the Night:” A GLBTQ Hanukkah Celebration. Dec. 16, 6:45-8:45 p.m. Calamus Auditorium at Gay City, 517 E. Pike St. Join Kolenu for their sixth annual GLBTQ Hanukkah celebration. Enjoy tasty latkes, colorful dreidels, music, and a beautiful candle lighting symbolizing both the miracle of Hanukkah and the idea that great leadership and community action will prevail against oppression. FREE and open to the community. Allies, friends, and family welcome! RSVP to email@example.com. This is an all-ages event.
LGBT CABARET & MUSIC
“The Dina Martina Christmas Show 2014 – ALL NEW!” Nov. 28-Dec. 31. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St. “The Second Lady of Entertainment,” the most surreal and hilarious chanteuse you’ll ever find - DINA MARTINA! - returns to Seattle’s Re-bar with an ALL-NEW holiday show. Accompanied on the ivories by Stranger Genius Award winner MR. CHRIS JEFFRIES and armed with truly legendary songs, stories, costumes and audience gifts, Dina Martina will give you one of the most festive, invigorating and ingeniously funny evenings you’ve ever had! See why she’s a favorite of John Waters, Matt Stone, Margaret Cho, Jennifer Coolidge, Graham Norton and many, many more! Get your tickets NOW, BECAUSE PRETTY SOON THEY’LL BE GOIN’ LIKE HOTCAKES! Performance dates: 11/28-11/29, 12/5-12/7, 12/11-12/15, 12/17-12/24, 12/26-12/31 – all evening performances at 8 p.m.; 12/13-12/14, 12/20-12/21, 12/27-12/28 – all matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets: $22 advance; $25 at the door. www.brownpapertickets/com/event/451053. www.dinamartina.com
“Ham for the Holidays: Fear the Bacon.” Dec. 4-21. Falls Theatre, ACT Theatre, 700 Union St. Comedians Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt (aka Dos Fallopia) return to ACT with their absurd, gender-bending holiday sketch romp. Directed by David Hunter Koch, the long-running cult series (think Carol Burnett on crack) has found a hammy holiday home at ACT’s Falls Theatre, in collaboration with the Central Heating lab. Platt and Koch create an evening chock full of wickedly funny social satire, musical parody, and redonkulous characters. Enter The Waiting Womb, a women’s health clinic with pizzazz; a class reunion of aging superheroes gets snarky; game show “What the Heck’s a Puget?” spotlights Northwest trivia; the tiny Sequim Gay Men’s Chorus sings with glee; country duo The Spudds debuts Mama’s Nativity prequel, “Saturday Night Jesus!” Performance dates: 12/4 (preview) @ 7:30 p.m., 12/5 (opening night) @ 7:30 p.m., 12/6 @ 8 p.m., 12/7 @ 2 p.m., 12/10-12/11 @ 7:30 p.m., 12/12 @ 8 p.m., 12/13 @ 2 p.m. & 8 p.m., 12/14 @ 2 p.m., 12/17-12/18 @ 7:30 p.m., 12/19 @ 8 p.m., 12/20 @ 2 p.m. & 8 p.m., 12/21 @ 2 p.m. Tickets: $15-$40. Available to ACTPass holders. www.acttheatre.org; 206-292-7676.
Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea) presents “Holiday Cheer – Vol. 2 CD Release Party & Benefit Concert.” Dec. 5, 7 p.m. doors; 8-10 p.m. show. Neighbours Nightclub, 1509 Broadway – entrance in alley off E. Pike St. A benefit for “From the Heart,” SOSea’s LGBTQ Homeless Teen Outreach Program featuring performances by Jack Mozie, Latin Rose, Karin Parks, Yee-Shin Huang, Eric Blu, Michael Cagle, Ryan Crawford, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Ricky Caudle, Jon Noble, and more! Entry: $10 CD/Show.
“Homo for the Holidays.” Dec. 11-27. West Hall, Odd Fellows Building, 2nd Floor, 915 E. Pine St. A seasonal spectacle guaranteed to make even the most stubborn yuletides Gay! An unforgettable all-star cast of burlesque, cabaret, dance, drag, and musical local luminaries come together in a display of glittering grandeur. A hearty holiday fruitcake packed with rollicksome reindeer, enticing elves, ghostly guests, sexy snowstorms, agile angels, musical Maccabees, and new ways to define coming home. It’s not Christmas in July, it’s Pride in December! Light your menorah, stuff your stockings, and join our chosen family in celebrating our favorite wintry holiday of all. Featuring an all-star cast of burlesque, cabaret, dance, drag, and musical local luminaries: BenDeLaCreme, Kitten LaRue, Lou Henry Hoover, Cherdonna Shinatra, The One The Only Inga, Faggedy Randy, ilvs strauss, The Luminous Pariah, Scott Shoemaker, and Josh Hartvigson. Performance dates: 12/11 @ 8 p.m., 12/12-12/13 @ 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., 12/14 @ 8 p.m., 12/17-12/18 @ 8 p.m., 12/19-12/24 @ 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., 12/26-12/27 @ 8 p.m. Tickets: $25-$30 advance; $30-$35 at the door; plus front row VIP tables $175 (seats up to 4). www.strangertickets.com.
“KPC’s Holiday Late Night” – Arnaldo! Drag Chanteuse with Captain Smartpants and Sensible Shoes, Dec. 19, 8 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland. Fierce. Fabulous Festival! A night of drag and holiday traditions turned on their heads. Captain Smartypants, Sensible Shoes and Arnaldo! will bring hilarious campy fun with satirical versions of your favorite holiday songs. Hosted by David Hunter Koch. 18+ show. Tickets: $25. www.kpcenter.org; 425-893-9900.
Rainbow City Band presents “Holiday Queer!” Dec. 20, 7 p.m. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway. Rainbow City Band is spreading holiday cheer in a concert featuring music composed by or for members of the LGBTQ community. Tickets: $12-$15. www.rainbowcityband.com.
Seattle Men’s Chorus presents “…Our Gay Apparel.” Nov. 29-Dec. 22. (See complete schedule and location information below.) SMC pulls out every tux, gown and tacky holiday sweater from the back of their closets for their 2015 holiday concert “…Our Gay Apparel.” With seven concerts in Seattle’s Benaroya Hall plus additional Tacoma and Everett concerts, SMC will bring all the glitz, glamour, camp, and holiday flair in their repertoire to the stage.
Sensation Linda Eder, well-known for her portrayal of Lucy in Broadway’s Jekyll & Hyde, will lend her superior vocal talent to the first two SMC concerts on November 29 and 30 - both concerts at 2 p.m.
For 35 seasons SMC has presented their unique blend of song, dance and campy comedy to the Northwest and carved a niche as Seattle’s OTHER holiday tradition.
This year audiences can look forward to skits and songs that pay homage to high holiday fashion as well as classic tunes like “Ding Dong Merrily on High,” “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” and “Silver Bells.”
For the third consecutive year, SMC is proud to partner with Lifelong AIDS Alliance for a Holiday Food Drive during the Seattle concerts at Benaroya Hall. All non-perishable goods will be accepted and will be used in Lifelong AIDS Alliance’s food program, Chicken Soup Brigade.
Two Sunday performances, November 30 at 2 p.m. and December 14 at 7:30 p.m. will include ASL interpreters: Billy Seago and Cameron Larson. Patrons requesting tickets to the ASL interpreted section should call the box office to ensure best seating.
The Seattle Men’s Chorus “…Our Gay Apparel” concerts will be held 11/29* @ 2 p.m., 11/30* @ 2 p.m. w/sign language interpretation, 12/12 @ 8 p.m., 12/14 @ 2 p.m., 12/14 @ 7:30 p.m. w/sign language interpretation, 12/21 @ 7:30 p.m., and 12/22 @ 7:30 p.m. at Benaroya Hall, 3rd Ave. & Union St., Seattle. Tickets: $28-$78. www.SeattleMensChorus.org; 206-388-1400. *w/special opening weekend guest Linda Eder.
The SMC’s Tacoma concert will be held 12/4 @ 8 p.m. at Pantages Theatre, 901 Broadway, Tacoma. Tickets: $19-$69. www.BroadwayCenter.org; 253-591-5894.
The SMC’s Everett concert will be held 12/20 @ 8 p.m. at Civic Auditorium, 2415 Colby Ave., Everett. Tickets: $28-$48. www.SeattleMensChorus.org; 206-388-1400.
Seattle Men’s Chorus presents “…Our Gay Apparel.” Nov. 29-Dec. 22. (See details above under LGBT Cabaret & Music.)
Roosevelt High School Jazz Band – Duke Ellington’s and Billy Strayhorn’s “Jazz Nutcracker.” Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m. & Dec. 7, 2 p.m. Roosevelt High School Performing Arts Theatre, 1410 NE 66th St. Tickets: $15-adults, $12-students and seniors. www.rooseveltjazz.org.
Seattle Baroque Orchestra – “European Christmas Potpourri.” Dec. 6, 8 p.m. (Pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m.) Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave. @ Seneca St. Seattle Baroque Orchestra is joined by Eric Milnes and Canadian soprano solist Hélène Brunet for a holiday celebration including Handel’s famous “Gloria,” “Noels” by Delelande, Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto,” Marin Marais’ “Chaconne,” and sacred cantatas and arias by Scarlatti, Salazar, and Bach. Tickets: $45 general reserved, $40 senior, $20 under 25, $27 discount side section. www.earlymusicguild.org; 206-325-7066.
Seattle Pro Musica – “Noël – French Christmas.” Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m. (Pre-concert lecture at 6:30 p.m.) Seattle First Baptist Church, 1111 Harvard Ave. Seattle Pro Musica brings a Gallic flair to the holidays with Christmas motets by 20th-century French masters Francis Poulenc and Pierre Villette. Our program also showcases medieval and Renaissance Christmas music from France along with traditional French carols. Tickets: $35 prime, $25 general, $18 senior, $12 student. www.brownpapertickets.com/event/685638 www.seattlepromusica.org; 206-781-2766.
(Also Dec. 13, 3 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. (pre-concert lectures at 2 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.) at Chapel at Bastyr University, 14500 Juanita Drive NE, Kenmore.)
Candlelight Concerts – “CPE Bach Festival.” Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m. University Christian Church, 4731 15th Ave. NE. Celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach in 1714 with concerti for cello and flute, trio sonatas for flute, violin and continuo and the Duet for flute and violin by Johann Sebastian Bach's most well known son, with the Sans Souci Ensemble including flutist Jeffrey Cohan, violinists Leonid Keylin and Stephen Provine, violist Roxanna Patterson, cellist Douglas Davis, harpsichordist Kyobi Hinami and bassist Matthew McGrath. A reception follows the concert. Suggested donation: $25, $20 or $15, with series passes available for $50. www.candlelightseattle.org; 206-522-0169. (Additional concerts 12/14 & 12/28.)
Northwest Chamber Chorus – “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” narrated by David Pichette. Dec. 7, 3 p.m., & Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m. Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, 7500 Greenwood Ave. N. Dylan Thomas’ unforgettable ode to his childhood Christmases provides a perfect setting for music of the season – including the beloved carols of Alfred Burt, originally composed as annual Christmas cards for his friends and family. Also featured: Francis Poulenc’s magical “Quatre motets pour le temps de Noël” and music by Melinda Bargreen, Eleanor Daley, Jake Runestad, and more, plus the chorus’s traditional Christmas carol sing-along. Albert Burt was a jazz musician who continued his father’s tradition of writing an original Christmas song to include in the Christmas cards sent to his friends and family. Both Thomas and Burt have a particular facility for speaking directly from their own early experiences, and connecting those to a broad audience. Tickets: $22 general, $17 senior 62+, student & singer $12, children ages 6-12 free. www.brownpapertickets.com/event/846437 (12/7) and 846491 (12/13). www.northwestchamberchorus.org; 206-523-1196.
Strawberry Theatre Workshop - "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Dec. 11, 6 p.m. cocktails, 7 p.m. show. Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center (formerly Intiman Theatre), 201 Mercer St. "Linus and Juicy" is back! The Jose "Juicy" Gonzales Trio returns to Strawberry Theatre Workshop for the jazziest Christmas party in Seattle. Groove to the fresh sounds of Vince Guaraldi's holiday classic, "A Charlie Brown Christmas," played in its entirety. Now in its fourth year, "Charlie" has jammed its way onto the list of the region's most hip holiday traditions. Dress in your favorite jazz threads and step back into 1965, when the music was fly, and Snoopy was still just a drawing on the comics page. Featuring a silent auction of holiday gifts. All proceeds benefit Strawberry Theatre Workshop programs for 2015. Tickets: $30 advance; $36 at the door; $27 seniors over 60 years; students under 25 years $18. www.brownpapertickets.com/event/750537; www.strawshop.org.
ChoralSounds Northwest – “Shining Night.” Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m. & Dec. 14, 2 p.m. Highline Performing Arts Center, 401 S. 152nd St., Burien. ChoralSounds Northwest looks back at its first 30 years of music-making in Burien, with a Christmas show that includes singer and audience favorites from past years. Biebl’s “Ave Maria,” “White Christmas,” “African Noël”, and the hysterical “Grandma’s Killer Fruitcake” are among the numbers that will make this show an unforgettable holiday treat. The show ends with ChoralSounds Northwest’s unique take on the “Hallelujah Chorus” from the Messiah. Tickets: $25 reserved; $20 festival seating; 17 & under FREE with adult ticket holder. www.nwassociatedarts.org; 206-246-6040.
Northwest Chamber Chorus – “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” narrated by David Pichette. Dec. 7, 3 p.m., & Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m. Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, 7500 Greenwood Ave. N. (See Dec. 7 listing for details.)
Seattle Choral Company – “On Christmas Night: From Darkness Into Light.” Dec. 13, 8 p.m. & Dec. 19, 8 p.m. Saint Mark's Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave. E. "On Christmas Night: From Darkness Into Light" will feature music of all styles, artfully melded into a collage, that combines music and poetic narration. SCC director Freddie Coleman skillfully blends classical works, carols, popular songs and more, to create a unique and intensely meaningful experience.
We encourage you to arrive one hour before the start of the program to hear program information from the director. The traditional family carol sing-along with the Flentrop organ will then take place at 7:30 p.m. At 7:45 p.m., pre-concert carols will be played by our guest artists, Resonance Handbells.
Holiday works on the program will include: "The First Nowell," arr. by Ola Gjeilo; "In the Deep Midwinter," arr. by Ola Gjeilo; "Away in the Manger," arr. by Ola Gjeilo; "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence," arr. by Donald McCullough; "O Magnum Mysterium," by Fredrik Sixten; "Lo How a Rose E're Blooming/The Rose," arr. by Craig Hella Johnson; "Gloria," by Jan Sandstrom, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," by J. David Moore; "Star Song (Seattle premiere), by Edward Henderson; "Chanukah Suite," arr. by Jason Robert Brown; "Light of a Clear Blue Morning," by Dolly Parton, arr. Craig Hella Johnson.
Non-reserved single tickets: $25. Youth 6 and over and students with valid ID are admitted FREE at the door. www.brownpapertickets.com/event/880585; www.seattlechoralcompany.org; 206-363-1100.
Candlelight Concerts – “Dreamscapes for Guitar, Flute & Viola.” Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m. University Christian Church, 4731 15th Ave. NE. Guitarist Michael Nicolella, flutist Jeffrey Cohan and violist Roxanna Patterson perform 19th and 21st century chamber music for guitar with flute and viola, a combination of instruments that was very popular during Beethoven and Schubert's time but has been little heard since. The program skips to the here and now for the world premiere of Seattle-area composer Huntley Beyer's “In Dreams” for flute and viola, and a work by Michael Nicolella. A reception follows the concert. Suggested donation: $25, $20 or $15, with series passes available for $50. www.candlelightseattle.org; 206-522-0169. (Additional concerts 12/7 & 12/28.)
The Irish Tenors Holiday Concert. Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m., S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, Benaroya Hall, 3rd Ave. & University St. Enjoy holiday and traditional Irish music sung by the world-renowned Irish Tenors Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns, and Ronan Tynan with full orchestra. Proceeds for the concert benefit Ballard NW Senior Center, lead presenter of the concert, and Central Area Senior Center, Shoreline/Lake Forest Senior Center, Sno-Valley Senior Center, Southeast Seattle Senior Center and Senior Center of West Seattle. Tickets: $47-$87. VIP reserved seats $152, includes a post-concert beverage and dessert reception with The Irish Tenors. www.BenaroyaHall.org; 206-215-4747; 1-866-833-4747; or at Benaroya Hall Box Office, 3rd Ave. & Union St. The Irish Tenors Holiday Concert is sponsored by KIXI-AM.
KPC’s Holiday Late Night – Arnaldo! Drag Chanteuse with Captain Smartpants and Sensible Shoes. Dec. 19, 8 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland. Fierce. Fabulous Festival! A night of drag and holiday traditions turned on their heads. Captain Smartypants, Sensible Shoes and Arnaldo! will bring hilarious campy fun with satirical versions of your favorite holiday songs. Hosted by David Hunter Koch. 18+ show. Tickets: $25. www.kpcenter.org; 425-893-9900.
Pacific MusicWorks – J.S. Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” – Cantatas 1, 3 and 6. Dec. 19, 8 p.m. St. James Cathedral, 804 9th Ave. The joyous festivity of Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” is too rarely heard in America. Celebrate the holiday season with a collection of North America’s best period instrumentalists and vocal soloists in this festive performance of three of Bach’s six Christmas Oratorio Cantatas. An exciting new regional collaboration featuring multiple presenters in the Pacific Northwest and co-produced by Early Music Vancouver. Featuring Tess Wakim, Soprano; Krisztina Szabó, Mezzo Soprano; Zachary Finkelstein, Tenor; Sumner Thompson, Baritone. Tickets: $40 reserved seating; $35 senior reserved; $35 suggested donation at the door; $10 under 25; children 7-12 free with accompanying adult tickets. www.brownpapertickets.com/event/698161; 1-800-838-3006. http://pacificmusicworks.nationbuilder.com (Also, Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m., at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 4400 86th Ave., Mercer Island.)
Seattle Choral Company – “On Christmas Night: From Darkness Into Light.” Dec. 13, 8 p.m. & Dec. 19, 8 p.m. Saint Mark's Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave. E. (See Dec. 13 listing for details.)
Rainbow City Band presents “Holiday Queer!” Dec. 20, 7 p.m. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway. Rainbow City Band is spreading holiday cheer in a concert featuring music composed by or for members of the LGBTQ community. Tickets: $12-$15. www.rainbowcityband.com.
Earshot Jazz 26th Annual “Concert of Sacred Music” by Duke Ellington. Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave. @ Seneca St. Ellington's wonderful "Sacred Music" is both serious and swinging. It is a reverent and hip body of jazz composition, written late in his career, for jazz big band, vocal and instrumental soloists, gospel choir, and tap dancers. For the past 25 years Earshot Jazz has presented an annual concert of Ellington's “Sacred Music.” The concert features the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, co-directed by Michael Brockman and Clarence Acox, guest vocalists Stephen Newby, Nichol Veneé Eskridge, and the Northwest Chamber Chorus, and special guest tap-dancer Alex Dugdale. Tickets: $38-$19 preferred; $28-$14 general. www.brownpapertickets.com/event/821833; 1-800-838-3006.
HISTORY OF ELLINGTON’S SACRED MUSIC
"Every man prays in his own language." –Duke Ellington
It is this quote that captures the spirit of the three Sacred Music concerts that Ellington premiered in 1965, 1968 and 1973, and that were the culmination of the last, liturgical phase of his life's work in music.
Ellington's inspiration for the Sacred Music concerts began during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. In his program notes for the first concert he wrote, “How can anyone expect to be understood unless he presents his thoughts with complete honesty? This situation is unfair because it asks too much of the world. In effect, we say, ‘I don't dare show you what I am because I don't trust you for a minute, but please love me anyway because I so need you to. And, of course, if you don't love me anyway, you're a dirty dog, just as I suspected, so I was right in the first place.’ Yet, every time God's children have thrown away fear in pursuit of honesty, trying to communicate themselves, understood or not, miracles have happened."
The first sacred concert took place in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco in 1965. The Cathedral commissioned the work as part of its yearlong consecration celebration, and Ellington's star-studded orchestra, featuring such legends as Cootie Williams, Cat Anderson, and Pail Gonsalves, performed with a massed choir. The Second Sacred Concert took place in 1968 at the Cathedral of St. John in New York and St. Mark's Cathedral in New Canaan, CT.
Ellington spent most of his last full year of life composing a notably more pastoral Third Sacred Concert. The compositions were built around the voice of Alice Babs, the soulful baritone saxophone of Harry Carney, and Ellington himself on the piano. The third and final concert was premiered on October 24, 1973 at London's Westminster Abbey. Exactly seven months later Duke Ellington passed away, leaving an insurmountable legacy that included these sacred music concerts, performed hundreds of times during this last decade of his life.
Ellington's compositions for these concerts drew heavily on earlier pieces, which were then augmented to convey an intense emotion and reverence. The pieces belied Ellington's spirituality that was derived from his roots in the Baptist Church, but was able to transcend denomination with a poignant universalism. The Sacred Concerts, wedding music and spirituality brought the great jazz tradition into the church.
In his lifetime, Ellington stated this was the most important music he'd ever written, but because of the scale of the music and the sheer number of artists needed to execute each work, Ellington's sacred concerts have rarely been performed in the 30 years since his death in 1974.
Northwest Boy Choir – A Festival of Lessons & Carols. Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m., Dec. 21, 6 p.m.; Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m. @ St. Mark’s Cathedral (1245 10th Ave. E.) & Dec. 23, 7:30 p.m. @ Benaroya Hall, 3rd Ave. & University St. www.nwboychoir.org; 206-524-3243. (Also Dec. 12, Phinney Ridge; Dec. 13, Lynnwood; Dec. 14, Ballard; Dec. 19, West Seattle.)
Orchestra Seattle / Seattle Chamber Singers – Handel’s “Messiah” HWV56. Dec. 21, 3 p.m. First Free Methodist Church, 3200 3rd Ave. W. No other piece of music has become more closely associated with OSSCS than Georg Frideric Handel’s most celebrated oratorio, “Messiah.” For over four decades, audiences have delighted in OSSCS’s complete and uncut performances. A pivotal point in history, the life of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah or “anointed one,” is the subject of Handel’s 1742 oratorio. A long-standing OSSCS performing tradition, the oratorio raised enough money at its Dublin premiere to procure the release of 142 indebted prisoners, who were thus given the opportunity to experience new life, a gift that countless Christians have experienced through their faith in Jesus over the past two millennia. Tickets: $25 general, $20 senior, $10 full-time student, FREE youth 7-17. www.osscs.org/concerts; 1-800-838-3006.
Byron Schenkman & Friends – “Bach Harpsichord Concertos.” Dec. 28, 7 p.m. Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall, 3rd Ave. & Union St. “I am delighted to present Ignacio Prego’s Seattle debut in this concert of Bach concertos for one and two harpsichords. I will be playing the E Major concerto, Ignacio will play the G Minor concerto, and together we will play the C Major double. Ignacio is one of the best harpsichordists I have every heard. His playing exudes great joy!” With Ingrid Matthews and Laurel Wells, violins; Jason Fisher, viola; Nathan Whittaker, cello. Tickets: $42 general, $38 senior, $10 student. www.byronschenkman.com; 206-215-4747.
Candlelight Concerts – “Jazzin’ with the Classics by Candlelight for Christmas.” Dec. 28, 7:30 p.m. University Christian Church, 4731 15th Ave. NE. In this program by candlelight, classical and jazz artists and friends from classical and jazz realms meld their musical perspectives and personalities for the third year in an unusual collaboration and festive celebration of the Yuletide season that is guaranteed to generate an abundance of Christmas cheer. Soprano Linda Tsatsanis, flutist Jeffrey Cohan and jazz pianist, clarinetist and flutist Martin Lund team up to bridge contemporary improvisational jazz and art music of Baroque and Renaissance times. Instrumental musicians have "jazzed up" melodies familiar to them in the style of their day for centuries, and this team's virtuoso improvisations on Yuletide favorites, and their renditions of classical standards will bring together the best of jazz and classical worlds. A completely new program for 2014. A reception follows the concert. Suggested donation: $25, $20 or $15, with series passes available for $50. www.candlelightseattle.org; 206-522-0169. (Additional concerts 12/7 & 12/14.)
Cappella Romana – “Echoes of the Renaissance.” Jan. 9, 8 p.m. St. Joseph Church, 732 18th Ave. E. Dr. Tikey Zes (b. 1927) is the most prolific composer of Greek Orthodox liturgical music in America. “Cappella Romana sings this music as if already in the heavenly realms, and can transport the listener there, as well.” –Fanfare. Long a proponent of Zes’s music, Cappella Romana will perform excerpts of a setting of his “Divine Liturgy” that Cappella Romana released on CD last season. Preceding the music of Zes are excerpts from the “Missa MiMi” by Johannes Ockeghem, who with other masters of the Renaissance inspired Zes’s approach to modal harmony and counterpoint. Zes recorded the Ockeghem “Missa MiMi” on LP with his Berkeley Chamber Singers in the 1960s, at the dawn of the modern Early Music movement. Tickets: $44-$22 with student/senior discount. www.cappellaromana.org; 503-236-8202.
Seattle Baroque Orchestra – “A Twelfth Night Celebration.” Jan. 10, 8 p.m. (Pre-concert lecture at 7 p.m.) Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave. @ Seneca St. Guest Director Julie Andrijeski leads Seattle Baroque Orchestra in music inspired by Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, including selections from Henry Purcell’s “The Fairy Queen,” Matthew Locke’s “The Tempest,” and works by Avison, Handel, and Van Wassenaer. Tickets: $45 general reserved, $40 senior reserved, $20 under 25, $27 discount side section. www.earlymusicguild.org; 206-325-7066.
THEATRE & DANCE
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Gregory A. Falls. Nov. 28-Dec. 28. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St. Join us for a Seattle tradition: a ripping good telling of the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge, the curmudgeonly businessman who requires the intervention of a few spectral guides to understand the true meaning of Christmas and life. Well over a century after its writing, Dickens' classic tale of hope and redemption continues to remind us what's really worth celebrating – at the holidays, or any time! Tickets: www.acttheatre.org; 206-292-7676.
A Christmas Story, The Musical. Nov. 25-Dec. 30. 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 5th Avenue. This December, experience Seattle’s favorite holiday tradition at The 5th Avenue Theatre and let the season unfold around you with music, festivities, and fun. This year, The 5th takes you to 1939 Indiana, where a bespectacled boy named Ralphie has a big imagination and one wish for Christmas – a Red Ryder BB Gun. A kooky leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a cranky department store Santa and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the obstacles that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas dream. “A Christmas Story, The Musical” is holiday entertainment that captures a simpler time in America with delicious wit and a heart of gold. Tickets: www.5thavenue.org; 206-625-1900.
A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol. Nov. 28-Dec. 22. Unexpected Productions, 1428 Post Alley (down the cobblestone alley or down the stairs next to Rachel the Pig at the Pike Place Market). We all know the story of Charles Dickens classic, "A Christmas Carol." Or do we? Unexpected Productions brings back its holiday favorite, "A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol". Based on audience suggestions, our improvisers bend and twist Charles Dickens' tale of Ebenezer Scrooge in all sorts of hilarious directions – and each show is different. Where does Scrooge work? What ails Tiny Tim? Does Scrooge even get reformed? It's all up to you in this wild, hilarious, holiday ride. A holiday tradition for countless locals since 1985, it's the perfect way to celebrate the holidays with friends or family. Tickets: www.unexpectedproductions.org; 206-587-2414.
Appalachian Christmas Homecoming by Phillip DePoy. Nov. 21-Dec. 27. Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St. Life used to be simple, but love never was. Childhood crushes go awry, rebellious youth break hearts, and old-age dreams go unfulfilled. But not this Christmas in Mossy Rock! Listen to the story of three generations told through music and memories during a family-friendly evening at Taproot Theatre. Tickets: www.taproottheatre.org; 206-781-9707.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Dec. 13-24. Seattle Public Theater, 7312 W. Greenlake Dr. N. The delightfully horrible Herdman clan descends on the Bathhouse for their 14th consecutive year, turning a pedestrian pageant into sidesplitting chaos and bringing new life to an old tradition. Featuring a cast of young actors alongside adult professionals, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is the not-to-be-missed holiday favorite for kids of all ages. Tickets: $5-$32. www.seattlepublictheater.org; 206-524-1300.
Christmastown: A Holiday Noire. Dec. 4-24. Seattle Public Theater, 7312 W. Greenlake Dr. N.The name is Nick. Nick Holiday. I’m no saint – but if you can pay me half up front, I may be able to find what you’re looking for. Unless, of course, what you are looking for is happiness. Then you’re on your own. Because me? I work in Christmastown. And this story starts just like they all do… with an elf. Tickets: www.seattlepublictheater.org; 206-524-1300.
Dick Whittington and His Cat. Nov. 13-Dec. 21. Seattle Children’s Theatre, 201 Thomas St. A new musical version of the beloved English story. With all the traditional charm of old London at the holidays, Dick Whittington’s adventurous story begins with Dick’s poor beginnings as an orphan who comes to the big city in hope of finding the streets paved with gold. From there he finds his way in the world, buoyed by the kindness of others and an alliance with a most remarkable cat. Together, they overcome many a rat, making their way through foreign lands, past pirates and back home to good fortune and a better life. Tickets: www.sct.org; 206-441-3322.
Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical. Dec. 2-7. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St. Discover the magic of Dr. Seuss’ classic holiday tale as it comes to life on stage. Featuring the hit songs “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Welcome Christmas,” The Grinch discovers there’s more to Christmas than he bargained for in this heart-warming holiday classic. Max the Dog narrates, as the mean and scheming Grinch, whose heart is “two sizes too small,” decides to steal Christmas away from the Whos, an endlessly cheerful bunch bursting with holiday spirit. Celebrate the holidays with this heartwarming holiday classic. Tickets: www.tickets.com; 877-STG-4TIX; and in person at the Paramount Box Office.
Evan & Bobbie: A Twisted Christmas Carol. Dec. 4-13. STAGEright Theatre, Theatre Off Jackson, 409 7th Ave. S. Bobbi Cratchitt works for Evan Scrooge. She also sleeps with him. Once, that made her happy. But now she is an emotional and sexual hostage to Scrooge, holding on to her job to keep health benefits for her son Timmy and sleeping with the boss to preserve her job. Evan and Bobbi's relationship has deteriorated into something very toxic and she has stopped hoping for anything better. A Christmas Carol is one of the most recognized and familiar stories in the English language, but how can you keep it relevant? Evan & Bobbi updates the social issues and the setting of the classic tale while still following the path of Past, Present and Future, revealing how Evan and Bobbi got this way, where they are, and where things may yet go. Most importantly for Scrooge, how far do you have to fall before redemption is no longer an option? Last year Evan & Bobbi won STAGEright's Xmas Carol Xperiment, and now you can see the complete vision of this subversive, modern re-telling of the Christmas classic. Tickets: www.brownpapertickets.com/event908242; 800-838-3006.
The Hours of Life: a new musical. Dec. 5-14. Cornish Playhouse Studio (formerly Intiman Theatre), 201 Mercer the hands of Fate conspire against their happiness (with some help form an Austrian inventor). The Hours of Life is an epic journey through the Industrial Revolution featuring the unlikely combination of mechanical Turks, Bavarian dwarfs, and forbidden romance. Featuring a cast of Seattle’s finest performers and musicians, The Hours of Life is the exciting conclusion to Theatre22’s dynamic inaugural season. Tickets: $5-$22. www.brownpapertickets.com/event/858076; theatre22.org; 206-257-2203.
Judy’s Scary Little Christmas. Dec. 4-Dec. 28. ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave. SW. Making spirits bright this holiday season is none other than Judy Garland, reveling in all things old Hollywood glam! “My goodness, I’m back home again. I’ve missed you all so much!” With spiked grog in hand, Judy welcomes her baggage-ridden celebrity stars – Bing Crosby, Liberace, Ethel Merman, Joan Crawford, Lillian Hellman, VP Richard Nixon, Punch, and a special dark guest – to her 1959 TV Christmas Special. Stylized zany camp is the wrapping on this gift of clever satire, endearing fun and wicked toe-tapping music! Tickets: $17-$36.50. www.artswest.org; 206-938-0339.
Mary Poppins. Nov. 13-Jan. 4. Village Theatre, 303 Front St. N., Issaquah. Based on the timeless books of P.L. Travers and complete with all the beloved songs from the Academy Award-winning Disney film, this magical stage musical tells the inspirational tale of the amazing flying nanny, who’s practically perfect in every way. With Mary and Bert leading the way, rejoice in beloved songs like “Spoonful of Sugar,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” and “Jolly Holiday,” as we sweep you away in this exhilarating live theatre experience for the whole family. Tickets: www.villagetheatre.org; 425-392-2202. (Run continues Jan. 9-Feb. 28 at Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett. www.villagetheatre.org; 425-257-8600.)
Nutcracker. Nov. 28-Dec. 28. Pacific Northwest Ballet, McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St. Year after year, family and friends share the wonder and beauty of the holidays with PNB’s world-famous Nutcracker. Created by Founding Artistic Director Kent Stowell and favorite children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, PNB’s one-of-a-kind Nutcracker has been dazzling Northwest audiences for 31 years. Join us for the final season of PNB’s beloved Nutcracker before it goes into the PNB vault. Featuring the mighty PNB Orchestra, celebrating its 25th Anniversary season. Tickets: www.pnb.org; 206-441-2424.
Pride and Prejudice. Nov. 25-Dec. 28. Book-It Repertory, The Center Theatre, Seattle Center Armory, 305 Harrison St. Miss Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is replete with the author’s charm, wit, and keen observations. This comedy of manners and courtship boasts a cast of beloved and unforgettable characters led by the extraordinary Elizabeth Bennet and the dashing Mister Darcy. Book-It is delighted to once again stage a treasured favorite for new and returning audiences this holiday season. Tickets: www.book-it.org; 206-216-0833.
Tiny Tim is Dead. Dec. 5-20 (pay-what-you-can preview Dec. 4 and PWYC industry night Dec. 16). Thurs.-Sun. Play Factory Theatre (formerly Playwright's Theatre), Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave. On a frigid Christmas Eve amidst cardboard shelters and trashcan hearths, five adults and a mute boy band together and give the only gift they can offer. "A Christmas Carol," as enacted by this ragtag group of vagrants who themselves might ask only for a little heat, leftover food and mittens. This irregular holiday tale is wickedly amusing and delightfully poignant as it takes a wry and ironic look at a group of homeless people who form an unconventional family, related not by race, class or education, but by the same circumstances life has found them. (A West Coast premier play by Barbara Lebow.) Tickets: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/909168; www.playwrights-theatre.org.