’Tis a good season to be a theater fan. During the holidays, theaters offer a slew of productions you can bring your friends and relatives to as they come through town. You can attend a beloved L. Frank Baum adaptation in 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of “The Wiz” (through Dec. 23) or you can head to Seattle Public Theater to catch some local holiday traditions in the return of The Habit’s “A Very Die Hard Christmas” (Nov. 25-Dec. 20) and “Christmastown” (Dec. 2-24), the latter of which is taking the SPT stage for the final time.
From classics to new twists on Christmas regulars to a Tony-winning jukebox musical and a special appearance from Paddington, these are some of your best bets for attending theater in Seattle this holiday season.
“A Christmas Carol”
It isn’t the holiday season until the productions of “A Christmas Carol” start rolling out. This year, you will have four completely different ways to experience the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future from the classic Dickens tale.
For the traditionalists, head to ACT to see “A Christmas Carol” adapted by Gregory Falls and directed by artistic director John Langs. Over at Seattle Rep, you’ll be able to check out a world premiere commission, “Mr. Dickens and His Carol,” adapted by Samantha Silva from her novel of the same name. Artistic director Braden Abraham will, in his final production before leaving the company, direct this comedy that follows Charles Dickens as he tries to write a Christmas book in a month or risk losing everything.
ArtsWest will present “Q Brothers Christmas Carol,” a remix of Scrooge’s journey from Chicago’s Q Brothers Collective, whose adaptive work regularly fuses hip-hop and theater. Their rendition of the story has regularly delighted audiences in Chicago since its premiere in 2014 with its mix of musical styles and witty writing, though it has rarely been seen outside of that city. And finally, raise a glass to the return of Seattle Opera’s “A Very Drunken Christmas Carol” starring The Drunken Tenor (Robert McPherson), who gets knocked out while preparing for a holiday concert and wakes up in an alternate reality. During this four-performance run, he’ll be joined by duet partners to perform a mix of opera and holiday favorites and set out on a journey to understand the person he’s become and the potential consequences of his decisions.
“A Christmas Carol” — Nov. 25-Dec. 24; ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle; $23-$94; 206-292-7676; acttheatre.org
“Mr. Dickens and His Carol” — Nov. 25-Dec. 23; Seattle Rep, 155 Mercer St., Seattle; $20-$98; 206-443-2222; seattlerep.org
“Q Brothers Christmas Carol” — Nov. 25-Dec. 23; ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave. S.W., Seattle; $15-$44; 206-938-0339; artswest.org
“A Very Drunken Christmas Carol” — Dec. 9-18; Seattle Opera, Tagney Jones Hall, 363 Mercer St., Seattle; $50; 206-389-7676; seattleopera.org
“The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley”
Attention all Jane Austen fans: Taproot Theatre Company is presenting this Jane Austen-inspired story from Lauren Gunderson (the second-most produced playwright in regional theater this season) and Margot Melcon; it’s a companion piece to their “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley,” which ran at Taproot in 2018. While “Miss Bennet” followed the events upstairs, “The Wickhams” heads downstairs to find the staff dealing with a holiday scandal. Producing artistic director Karen Lund will direct this holiday tale featuring some familiar faces from Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” world.
Nov. 23-Dec. 30; Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St., Seattle; $25-$51; 206-781-9707; taproottheatre.org
“Paddington Saves Christmas”
Paddington saves Christmas? Of course he does! It’s the holidays in the Brown household and they’ve run out of sugar for the seasonal marmalade jam and chaos ensues when Paddington heads next door to borrow some from the grumpy Mr. Curry. You and your family can find out just how Paddington saves the day in Seattle Children’s Theatre’s production based on the book by Michael Bond, adapted by Doug Kmiotek and created by Jonathan Rockefeller.
Through Dec. 31; Seattle Children’s Theatre, 201 Thomas St., Seattle; $35-$40; 206-441-3322; sct.org
“Moulin Rouge! The Musical”
Rounding out the year is this national tour, which brings to the Paramount stage the memorable songs and humor from the 2001 Baz Luhrmann-directed film “Moulin Rouge!” This Broadway hit won a total of 10 Tony Awards, including best musical, after its 2019 Broadway premiere. Like the movie, the musical follows a young composer who falls in love with the star cabaret actress at the Moulin Rouge. This jukebox musical mixes Broadway showmanship with radio hits from artists like Katy Perry, Elton John, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Adele, Lorde, Outkast, Whitney Houston and the White Stripes, to name but a few.
Dec. 14-Jan. 1; The Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle; tickets start at $35; 206-682-1414; stgpresents.org