Oliver (Jeffrey Weber, from left)), Fagin (David Pichette) and the Arftul Dodger (Grayson Smith), in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of “Oliver.” Photo by Mark Kitaoka

Oliver (Jeffrey Weber, from left)), Fagin (David Pichette) and the Arftul Dodger (Grayson Smith), in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of “Oliver.” Photo by Mark Kitaoka


Seattle’s always-lively theater scene goes frenetic during the holidays. Here’s a user’s guide to the multitude of offerings.

An explosion of Victoriana

Many of the Christmas traditions we practice today originated during the Victorian era, making the explosion of Victorian-themed productions apropos to the season. In addition to four different versions of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” The 5th Avenue Theatre (www.5thavenue.org) stages “Oliver!” the musical version of Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” with book, music and lyrics by Lionel Bart and featuring a cast of 66 local actors.

At the Seattle Repertory Theatre (www.seattlerep.org), Sherlock Holmes reigns with a world-premiere adaptation of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” (reviewed in the Nov. 27 News).

ACT Theatre’s (www.acttheatre.org) 38th-annual production of “A Christmas Carol” features artistic director Kurt Beattie alternating with Peter Crook as Scrooge and Marley.

Other “Christmas Carols” include a musical version by Seattle Musical Theater (www.seattlemusicaltheatre.org) featuring traditional carols and “A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol” by Unexpected Productions (www.unexpectedproductions.org).

At Theatre Off Jackson (www.theatreoffjackson.org), four theater companies collaborate to produce “An Xmas Carol Xperiment”; each company is responsible for a single ghostly visitation, and the audience votes for its favorite.

Some music with your theater

ArtsWest’s (www.artswest.org) holiday offering, “Little Women, the Musical,” is based on Louisa May Alcott’s stories of the March sisters.

A 1930s Parisian cabaret is the setting for “Le Club Noel,” by local playwrights Candace and Sam Vance, at Taproot Theatre (taproottheatre.org).

Sadly, there will be no performances of “Black Nativity” this year. But in its place, the Total Experience Gospel Choir will perform “O Holy Night: A Gospel Christmas Concert” in various area churches (ecww.org/events-calendar/o-holy-night-gospel-christmas-concert-series).

Family fare

Seattle Public Theater (www.seattlepublictheater.org) returns with the infamous Herdman children turning everyone’s notion of the true meaning of Christmas on its head in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

Stone Soup Theatre (www.stonesouptheatre.org) celebrates the season with two short plays: “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” adapted from a poem by Dylan Thomas, and “The Long Christmas Dinner,” following generations of Bayard family Christmas dinners.

Wing-It Productions presents its annual rendition of “It’s Your Wonderful Life,” an improvised version of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

For nontraditionalists

Choices abound for those who prefer their holidays less traditional. Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt bring their irreverent brand of humor to ACT Theatre (www.acttheatre.org) with their annual sketch-comedy extravaganza, “Ham for the Holidays: Close Encounters of the Pork Rind.”

Crumpet the Elf returns to Seattle Public Theater (www.seattlepublictheater.org) for “The Santaland Diaries,” adapted from David Sedaris’ sardonic holiday chronicle.

And at the Center House Theater (www.soundtheatrecompany.org), One Lump or Two Productions presents the world premiere of “Holiday of Errors (or Much Ado About Stockings),” a mash-up of “Twelfth Night,” “Richard III” and “A Christmas Carol.”

Naughty but nice

And for those who prefer a little spice with their holiday entertainment, these shows feature a little naughty with the nice. Drag diva Dina Martina returns to the Re-Bar (www.rebarseattle.com) for “The Dina Martina Christmas.”

“Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker” plays at The Triple Door (www.thetripledoor.net) with new cast members, including former members of Spectrum Dance Theater and Ballet Bellevue.

Winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Seattle’s own Jinkx Monsoon appears in “Homo for the Holidays” (www.thestranger.com/seattle/homo-for-the-holidays/Event?event=18008249) at Oddfellows Hall in Capitol Hill.

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