Steve Gouveia, Christopher Kale Jones, Erich Bergen,
and Deven May in Jersey Boys
(© Joan Marcus)
Steve Gouveia, Christopher Kale Jones, Erich Bergen,
and Deven May in Jersey Boys
(© Joan Marcus)
December proves to be a happy month for musical theater lovers. 5th Avenue Theatre brings the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Jersey Boys (December 11-January 2) to town. Seattle Repertory Theatre produces the Northwest premiere of Back Home Again: A John Denver Holiday Concert (December 5-24), featuring Seattle's own Dan Wheetman. Village Theatre introduces Love Is Love (through December 16), conceived and directed by Martin Charnin and co-starring Broadway veteran (and Charnin's wife) Shelly Burch.

Seattle Children's Theatre will present David S. Craig's adaptation of Michael Ende's beloved novel The Neverending Story, featuring original music by the rock band Heart (December 7-January 27). Bastian, a young boy tormented by school bullies, receives an amazing book that gives him refuge.

Our American Theatre continues to present readings of classic plays. Up next is The Dining Room (December 3-4), A.R. Gurney's exploration of the dining room throughout the 20th Century. Renton Civic Theatre presents The Lion in Winter (December 7-23) by James Goldman. Meanwhile, Medea Knows Best is Nebunele Theatre's contribution this month (December 7-22). Euripides' classic story of the sorceress Medea, betrayed by Jason of the Argonauts, is given a 1950s musical twist with a quirky, creepy doo-wop chorus.

Holiday offerings include Seattle Public Theater's rendition of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (December 7-24) and Artswest's musical version of O. Henry's The Gifts of the Magi (December 5-23), by Mark St. Germain and Randy Courts. In addition to the classic story of a young couple who love each other, there is another O. Henry tale of Soapy, who wants to get arrested for Christmas -- so he can spend the night in a warm cell. SecondStory Repertory presents The No Hole Holiday (December 7-23), with gnomes, goblins, and Santa Claus. A Child's Christmas in Wales (December 7-23) is told by Stone Soup Theatre, recreating the nostalgic magic of Dylan Thomas' childhood Christmas. Also, The Grand Christmas History of the Andy Landy Clan (Driftwood Players, December 2-10) chronicles the clan's journey through annual holiday letters as this family of oddball characters attempts to stay in touch across the miles.