What’s on tap for holiday entertainment this year? Hear are some of the highlights:
ACT Theatre’s 33rd annual production of “A Christmas Carol,” stars Allen Fitzpatrick and Sean Griffin who share the role of Scrooge.
“A Christmas Carol” focuses on the tightwad Ebenezer Scrooge who transforms from selfish prig to enlightened human after a horrible night filled with ghostly visitors from Christmases past, present and future.
Shows are at various times Nov. 28 through Dec. 27 at ACT, 700 Union St., Seattle, $22 to $47, 206-292-7676, www.acttheatre.org. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Part of the merriment includes a holiday tea with the Fezziwigs where families can enjoy tea, cocoa and treats, sing along with carolers and create holiday ornaments before the 2 p.m. performance Dec. 6 or 13. To order these special tickets, call Kait Peters at 206-292-7660, ext. 1331.
Book-It Repertory Theatre: Willa Cather’s personal and poetic remembrance of the immigrants who settled in the Nebraska prairie is the basis for her novel “My Antonia” which comes to life at Center House Theatre for the holiday season. The friendship of narrator Jim Burden and the girl from Bohemia, Antonia Shimerda, paints a picture of the determination, hardship and resiliency of the people of the Great Plains at the turn of the last century.
“My Antonia” runs 7:30 evenings and 2 p.m. matinees from Nov. 25 to Dec. 21 at Center House Theatre, 305 Harrison St., Seattle. $15 to $40, 206-216-0833, www.book-it.org.
The Driftwood Players are presenting three holiday shows this season: “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” “The Eight Reindeer Monologues” and “Erwilian.”
All shows are at the Wade James Theatre, 950 Main St., Edmonds. 425-774-9600, www.driftwoodplayers.com.
“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” tells the story of an almost doomed Christmas when the horrible Herdmans are cast in the annual Christmas pageant. Shows are at 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 7 p.m. Sundays Dec. 7 to 16. $10 for the show and dessert buffet.
“The Eight Reindeer Monologues” gives a hilarious and sometimes obscene behind the scenes peek into the lives of Santa’s famous eight reindeer. Not for easily offended elves. Midnight on Fridays and Saturdays Dec. 12 to 20. $5.
“Erwilian” is an ensemble that brings age-old and rarely performed holiday tunes from around the world that are performed on an assemblage of ancient and one-of-a-kind instruments. 7 p.m. Dec. 21. $20.
Intiman Theatre’s “Black Nativity: A Gospel Song Play” begins its second decade of offering gospel favorites by powerful soloists and a full choir, and dance from traditional to tap. Musical direction by Pastor Patrinell Wright. Shows run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 27 at Intiman Playhouse, 201 Mercer St., Seattle. $15 to $45, 206-269-1900, www.intiman.org.
Northshore Performing Arts hosts “The Snowman” a production of Ballet Bellevue with a live orchestra, based on the stage show by author Raymond Briggs, who wrote about a little boy who believes in the magic of Christmas. Show times are 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 and 2 p.m. Dec.14 at Northshore Performing Arts Center, 18125 92nd Ave. NE, Bothell. $27, $23 and $15, 425-408-7997, www.npacf.org.
The Moore Theatre presents “A Christmas Carol – The Musical,” which is set to music but includes Tiny Tim, Scrooge and all the other favorites for the whole family.
Shows are at 7 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19; 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 20 and 21 at the Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle. $10 to $23.50, 206-628-0888, www.ticketmaster.com.
Seattle Public Theater presents “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” where our traditional notions of Christmas are challenged as the story of a misfit group of kids in bedsheets transforms us all. Shows runs at various times Dec. 11 through Dec. 24 at Seattle Public Theatre, 7312 W. Greenlake Drive N., Seattle. $15-$25, 206-524.1300, www.seattlepublictheater.org
Also playing are the “Santa Land Diaries,” a story for mature elves only as told in the sardonic voice of David Sedaris who details his experience working as an elf in Macy’s Santaland. Shows are various times Dec. 4 to Dec. 24. $15 to $28.
Taproot Theatre’s production of “The Christmas Foundling” is set during the California gold rush where the lives of some rough-and-tumble miners are turned inside out when an orphaned infant appears on their doorstep on Christmas Eve. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Saturday Nov. 28 to Dec. 27 at Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St., Seattle. $20-$33, 206-781-9707, www.taproottheatre.org. Recommended for ages 8 and above.
Whidbey Island Center presents “Inspecting Carol,” about the almost broke Soapbox Theatre Company further challenged with its annual winter show of “A Christmas Carol” because Tiny Tim is a bit old, Marley keeps getting his chains tangled, and there is an inspector arriving any minute. Add to that the arrival of an inept new actor and the hilarity ensues. Evening performances at 7.30 p.m., matinee performances at 2 p.m. Dec. 5 to Dec. 20 at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, 565 Camano Ave., Langley. $12 to $16, 360-221-8268, 800-638-7631, www.wicaonline.com.
Whidbey Playhouse is putting on the Rob Frankel comedy, “Dear Santa,” a play composed of a number of short scenes from the hilarious to the touching. Many views of Santa are seen from the point of view of the children. Santa and his helpers shed light on many of the mysteries surrounding him, including how Santa delivers all those gifts in one night. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays Dec. 11 to 21 at Whidbey Playhouse, 730 S.E. Midway Blvd., Oak Harbor. $12, 360-679-2237, www.whidbeyplayhouse.com.
Holiday music events
Everett Chorale is performing “A Christmas Celebration Around the World” featuring Jeffrey Cohan on the flute. Concert times are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 and 3 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave. Everett. $16 and $14, 425-257-8600, 888-257-EPAC.
The Dorothy Jayne Foundation presents “A Christmas Spectacular, the Gift of Music,” along with Shelley Logan and the Snohomish Children’s Choir. There is also a special appearance by the Imagine Children’s Museum Singers. Also, cool-cat pianist Dehner Franks will be playing along with the Jack Klitzman Combo and performers Ksenia Popova and Carl Kelley, Broadway performer Chris Clay, Victor Benedetti of the New York City Opera, Megan Chenovick from the Lyric Light Opera, Juliana Rambaldi of Chicago Opera and Teatro Zinzani, and singer Aubrey Logan. Former KING-5 Evening Magazine host Brian Tracey will be the master of ceremonies.
“The Gift of Music” begins at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave., Everett. Minimum donation of $15 and five nonperishable food items to benefit Volunteers of America Food Bank. Tickets at the door; limited seating.
Sno-King Community chorale performs the “Holiday Magic: Winter Wonderland” featuring special holiday music during two concerts at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. at Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N, Edmonds, $15, $13, $11, 425-275-9595, www.ec4arts.org.
Northwest Boychoir presents “A Festival of Lessons &Carols,” a 30-year tradition featuring eight performances and showcasing the 80-member combined chorus of the Northwest Boychoir and Vocalpoint!. It’s patterned after the Christmas Eve observance at King’s College in Cambridge, England, where a traditional carol is performed by the choir, and another carol is sung by the choir and audience.The concerts will run at various times and venues Dec. 12 to 23 including:
7 p.m. Dec. 21, Trinity Lutheran Church, 6215 196th St., SW, Lynnwood. $22, $17, $12, advance tickets are available through the Northwest Choirs at 206-524-3234 or online at www.nwchoirs.org.
7:30 p.m. Dec. 23 at Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle. $20-$63, tickets are exclusively through Seattle Symphony, 206-215-4747, www.seattlesymphony.org.
Seattle Men’s Chorus will be joined by Broadway star Jennifer Holliday for two shows is a series called “Fruitcake,” billed as being soaked in spirits with a bit of nuts and spices tossed in too. The chorus also will sing “Stomp the Halls,” an original composition by Eric Lane Barnes, Scott Warrander’s funny title piece “That Fruitcake Song,” and the small ensemble Captain Smartypants will open each act of the show.
Act 2 will feature a rendition of “We Three Kings,” with three kings appearing as Elvis. “The Promise,” features nine songs, three soloists and a six-piece chamber orchestra, and is a WWII story of a young soldier coming home for Christmas. Traditional favorites include “Silver Bells,” “Ave Maria” and “Deck the Halls.”
8 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8 with special guest Jennifer Holliday at Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle. $20 to $65, 206-388-1400, www.flyinghouse.org.
8 p.m. Dec. 6 at Everett Civic Auditorium, 2415 Colby Ave., Everett. $18 to $38, 206-388-1400, www.flyinghouse.org.
Seattle Women’s Chorus, with accompaniment by the Rainbow City Band, takes listeners on a musical tour of holiday traditions during their “Dressed in Holiday Style” concert where they celebrate Christmas traditions as they happen in many of Seattle’s diverse neighborhoods and share new songs and fresh takes on standards like “Silver Bells.”
7 p.m. Dec. 9 at McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way, Mount Vernon, $25.
8 p.m. Dec. 13 and 2 p.m. Dec. 14 at Seattle-Meany Theater, 4001 University Way, NE, Seattle. $20 to $50.
For tickets call Flying House Productions at 206-388-1400, www.flyinghouse.org.
Seattle Symphony presents the “Holiday POPS!” concert with new principal pops conductor Marvin Hamlisch, Kevin Glavin on bass and the Seattle Choral Company with an evening of seasonal favorites.
Shows are Dec. 4 to 7 at S. Mark Taper Foundation, 200 University St., Seattle. $35.99 to $94.99, 206-215-4747, 866-833-4747, www.seattlesymphony.org.
Other Seattle Sympnony events include:
“Play Me a Story,” where tots from birth to 5 years see their musical holiday story come alive. Concerts are 35 minutes. Dec. 5 to 6.
“Holiday Sing-Along” with the Seattle Symphony Chorale and starring you the audience singing your favorite carols. Dec. 9.
“Winter Dreams” has the music of Vivaldi’s Oboe Concerto in C major and Tchaikovsky romantic “Winter Dreams” symphony. Dec. 11 to 13
“Holiday Dreams for Kids” is designed for children 5 to 12 years of age. Concerts are 45 minutes in length. Come early for preconcert activities. Dec. 13
Violinist Natalie MacMaster performs during “A Celtic Christmas,” a mix of Cape Breton classics and traditional holiday tunes played with a passionate fiddling style. Dec. 16.
Handel’s “Messiah,” with Gerard Schwarz conducting and featuring the “Hallelujah” Chorus. Dec. 18 to 21.
“New Year’s Eve Concert, Countdown and Celebration!” along with the Seattle Symphony Chorale, Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline as such classics as Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever” ring out. Festivities continue after the concert with champagne, dessert, dancing and countdown with the maestro. Dec. 31.