John Bolton in
A Christmas Story, The Musical!
(© Don Ipock)
John Bolton in
A Christmas Story, The Musical!
(© Don Ipock)
Music and Christmas fill theaters this time of year, as seen in 5th Avenue Theatre's presentation of A Christmas Story--The Musical! (November 30-December 19), based on the stories of radio humorist Jean Shepherd and adapted from the hilarious 1983 family holiday film. The show stars 11-year-old Olympia, Washington actor Clarke Hallum as Ralphie Parker, with the cast also featuring Anne Allgood, John Bolton, Frank Corrado, and more.

The Village Theatre world premieres Anne Of Green Gables by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman (November 10-January 30, 2011). Kasey Nusbickel stars as talkative and clever Anne with a knack for getting into trouble! Also starring are Suzy Hunt, Matthew John Kacergis, and Dennis Bateman. ACT Theatre presides over the 35th annual production of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (November 26-December 26), while Seattle Musical Theatre plays up the laughs in Chicago (November 12-December 4).

Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt, world-class sketch artists aka Dos Fallopia, celebrate 20 years of performing together with Ham for the Holidays: Wham Bam, Thank You, Ham! (November 24-December 24) Also, drag artist Dina Martina presents her 2010 Christmas Show (November 26-December 31), but remember 21+ only. The Cody Rivers Show will feature more outrageous sketch comedy at Theatre Off Jackson, November 28-December 12.

Taproot world premieres local playwright John Longenbaugh's Sherlock Holmes & the Case of the Christmas Carol (November 19-December 28) as the presumed dead, titular detective resurfaces after three years but turns his back on people who need him. Three callers arrive on Christmas Eve uncovering clues from the detective's past, present and future to save Holmes from a dire end. Seattle Repertory brings Ireland home in Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel (November 12-December 5) when the five Mundy sisters greet their brother, a missionary, just returned from Uganda.

Book-It Repertory borrows Seattle Children's Theatre to debut Red Ranger Came Calling by Berkeley Breathed, adapted by Myra Platt (November 23-December 23). Breathed's father, at age nine, insisted on being addressed as the "Red Ranger of Mars," and for Christmas, 1939, the Red Ranger is sent to Vashon Island to spend the holiday with Aunt Vy and meets Saunder Clös. Seattle Shakespeare Company produces Wittenberg by David Davalos (November 15-December 5), in repertory with its currently running production of Hamlet. Imagine what Hamlet was like as a schoolboy, facing the quandary of who to study with (while also struggling with his tennis game).

Theater Schmeater presents the world premiere of Vestal Virgins by local playwright Marcy Rodenborn (November 19-December 18), about a punk group's rise, fall, and hard climb back to the top. Annex Theatre world premieres Center Cut Ham Dinner Night Slide Show (November 2-17), as Dr. David M. Nixon, Ph.D. (philosophy professor, actor, musician, dancer, animator, painter, and member of local band "Awesome") explores what makes the difference between a wasted life and a meaningful life with music, animation, film, dance, and mouth noises. Another solo performance, Straight, written and performed by The Stranger's David Schmader (Richard Hugo House, November 13-14) focuses on conversion therapy.

Burien Little Theatre presents Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis by Charlotte Jones (November 26-December 19) about Josie, a dominatrix about to turn 40, deciding it's time to hang up her whips for good. Driftwood Players steals hearts with Annie (November 19-December 19) as the 1930s orphan charms a cold-hearted millionaire into wanting to adopt her. Ghost Light Theatricals produces Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (November 5-21).

Families have a wealth to choose from. Seattle Children's Theatre world premieres Lyle the Crocodile, adapted into a musical by Kevin Kling and Rich Gray from the book, The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber (November 18-January 9, 2011). Storybook Theatre presents Little Red (November 6-December 5) a non-frightening look at the classic fairy tale, this time with a vegetarian wolf. Storybook Theatre also brings families 'Twas the Night (November 27-December 19), a hilarious musical adaptation of the famous poem by Lani Brockman & Susan Bardsley. Centerstage commissioned and is presenting the world premiere of a new Paul Hendy musical Sleeping Beauty (November 27-December 22), which tells the familiar story in unique panto style. Carter Family Marionettes creates a new Sorcerer's Apprentice (November 6-21) drawn from both the original poem by Goethe, and "The Grand Hand," a 19th-century Parisian puppet play by Duranty.