Happy Holiday Happenings

​A round-up of holiday events

Nutcracker 1

There’s a definite chill in the air, fireplaces are crackling, and more strings of twinkle lights appear every day. But if that’s not enough to get you in the holiday spirit, don’t give up just yet. With the help of your TeenTix pass, it’s easy to find something out there to warm even the Scroogiest of hearts.

For the easily swayed, there are the Christmas classics — as sweet and simple as sugar cookies, and just as loved.

It’s a Wonderful Life has been reaffirming its holiday-classic standing since its release way back in 1946. It’s likely you’ll be watching it this season, so why not make an event of it? It’s playing in it’s usual film form at Grand Illusion Cinema. Or you can catch a live production when either Seattle Radio Theatre or The 14/48 Projects Theatre Anonymous act it out (in Theatre Anonymous' version, nobody--not even the cast--knows who is in the cast. Seriously.) And finally, Jet City Improv offers its own improvised version with It’s Your Wonderful Life.

Even older and arguably more well-known than It’s a Wonderful Life is Charles Dickens’ tried and true A Christmas Carol. You may already know the story, but ACT’s production brings it to life and serves as a reminder of what holiday spirit is really all about. Though not all performances of A Christmas Carol are TeenTix eligible, a good handful of them are.

Last but not least in the realm of holiday classics is the ever-lovable Nutcracker performed by Pacific Northwest Ballet. The idealized magic of Christmas becomes reality, and things are even better than could be imagined. With over 200 dancers, glimmering sets, and gorgeous costumes, Nutcracker promises to be awe-inducing time and time again. (NOTE: only one performance of PNB's Nutcracker is TeenTix-eligible: Friday, December 27 at 5:30 PM. Alternatively, check out Cornish College of the Arts' version, December 21 & 22 at the Playhouse at Seattle Center.)

But if the classics are just a little too expected, Seattle Public Theater and Unexpected Productions both offer lighthearted, unique takes on typical holiday tales.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Seattle Public Theater is much more than a Christmas pageant. It’s a hilarious story of how holiday traditions sometimes fall apart and how that’s not such a bad thing after all. Acted almost entirely by kids, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is endearing, heartwarming, and reaffirms holiday spirit in unexpected ways.

Unexpected Productions take the unexpectedness of holiday traditions even further with A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol. The audience plays a hand in reforming the all too-classic classic for a totally different — yet still totally enjoyable — experience.

Though it may be cozy wrapped up in blankets in front of the fireplace, there are other ways to keep winter hearts thawed against winter’s iciness. Just as romantic and soothing as fire-lit snuggles is Taproot Theatre’s Le Club Noel. Set in a 1930s Parisian cabaret, sultry singing and Christmas miracles ensue.

And finally, there’s even a little something for those bitter elves out there.

Seattle Public Theater’s production of The Santaland Diaries is certainly good-humored and spirited, but it takes a different approach than usual holiday productions. Spiked with David Sedaris’ typical sardonic wit, this play by the humor writer flaunts the bitter, anti-holiday spirit of a jaded mall elf. You can laugh at the ridiculousness of holiday traditions while still partaking in a good-hearted holiday experience.

So don your scarf and gloves, make that hot chocolate to-go, and brave the cold with your TeenTix pass in hand. The warmth and magic of the holiday season awaits you.

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