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Seattle Spotlight: December 2006

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A scene from White Christmas
(© Chris Bennion)
Taking someone to the theater can be a fantastic idea for a holiday gift, and December brings a slew of intriguing opportunities for families, hip young adults, and culturally knowledgeable connoisseurs.

Suzan-Lori Parks' ambitious 365Days/365 Plays is being performed as a yearlong national festival featuring simultaneous and separate performances by over 600 theaters across the country, creating the largest theater collaboration in U.S. history. In Seattle, the event features performances by 52 different groups. A single evening marathon (December 4) consolidates all 21 performances from the first three weeks into one sitting. Meanwhile, December plays are presented by Seattle Repertory Theater (December 1-3), North Seattle Community College (December 4-10), theatre simple (December 11-17), Shawn Belyea (December 18-24), and Josh Beerman (December 25-31).

The Paramount Theater presents the national tour of All Shook Up (December 12-17), the Broadway musical about a guitar-playin' roustabout who shakes up a small town with his hip-swivelin', lip-curlin', and sexy singin'. Over at 5th Avenue Theater, another musical theatre favorite, White Christmas (through December 20) comes to town, with a score full of Irving Berlin classics.

At Theatre Off Jackson, The Excursionists: An Aristocratic Adventure, (December 5-20) centers on two Brits' dilemma when they find England has sunk; while Sgt. Rigsby and His Amazing Silhouettes: A Terrible Price for Whimsy (December 1-23) is described as "a puppet show for adults." More adult humor is available in The Cody Rivers Show, a sketch comedy revue at the JewelBox Theatre (December 1-23).

If you're seeking shows that reflect the holiday season, there's Langston Hughes' beloved Black Nativity, A Gospel Song Play (Intiman, through December 27), Babar and Father Christmas (Northwest Puppet Center, December 1-17), The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, (Seattle Public Theater, December 7-24), and Merry F'ing X-Mas at the Eclectic Theater (December 8-23), a late night offering that follows, of all things, Eclectic's production of Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter.

For true family fare, consider Willy Wonka at the Everett Performing Arts Center (December 9-10), The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Seattle Children's Theater, December 1-January 27), Sleeping Beauty (SecondStory Repertory, December 8-23), and Fairystories at Village Theatre (December 7-23). Much singing and dancing will be had by all. Last but not least in family entertainment is Snow White and the Three Dwarfs presented at Hale's Palladium by The Fremont Players (December 1-10), done in the famed "British-Panto" style.

Reading or other one-or-two-showings events include Insatiable! Seattle's First Asian American Playwright's Festival, Northwest Actors Studio (December 2), The Philadelphia Story, Our American Theater (December 11), The Seven Chinese Brothers, ReAct (December 22) and ReAct's How the Grinch Stole Christmas, (December 2, 15, 17).

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