Look Ahead

Your Guide to December 2021 Events in Seattle

Holiday Shows, New Year's Eve Parties, Concerts, and More
November 29, 2021
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What better way to celebrate the holidays than with Bendelacreme & Jinkx Monsoon: The Return of The Jinkx & Dela Holiday Show, Live!?

You made it to the last month of 2021—congrats! Whether you'd prefer to celebrate with holiday events (like the Christmas Ship Festival Add to a List ), extravagant New Year's Eve parties (like the Indulgence New Year's Eve Bash Add to a List ), or a show that has nothing to do with either (like Todd Barry Add to a List ), December has plenty to offer. We've rounded up the biggest events happening this month below so you can make sure not to miss out on anything.

MUSIC

Lettuce Add to a List
Boston-brewed funk-jazz faves Lettuce celebrated 27 years in 2018. More impressive than their longevity, however, is the fact that the septet still features most of its original 1992 lineup, held down by the tight dual work of guitarists Eric Krasno and Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff, ramped up by rhythm-section monsters bassist Erick Coomes and drummer/percussionist Adam Deitch, and a horn section driven by sax-juggling extraordinaire Ryan Zoidis. 2016's Mt. Crushmore EP might be seven songs short, but it hits hard with dark shades of psychedelic soul, stealthy, chugging grooves, and 1970s-era Tower of Power–inspired brass arrangements that add an urgent quality to the instrumental propulsion. These dudes are pros, no doubt about that. LEILANI POLK
The Showbox, Downtown (Fri Dec 3)

Smokey Robinson Add to a List
You either love Smokey with your whole heart, deeply appreciate his foundational influence and industry-altering contributions to soul and pop, and generally melt for his lilting honeyed tones, or you know nothing about anything. Openly cherish this national treasure while he's still around. KIM SELLING
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Fri Dec 3)

Thundercat Add to a List
The soundtrack to a good time, the funky bass slaps of Thundercat have been sought after for collaboration by the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Erykah Badu, and other legends. His latest tour will include material from his Grammy-winning album It Is What It Is and support from the buzzworthy Channel Tres. 
Paramount Theatre, Pike Pine Retail Core (Sat Dec 4)

Thievery Corporation Add to a List
Twenty-five years into their genre-defying electronic music career, Thievery Corporation’s founding principles of D.I.Y. and inclusion have become key themes in mainstream social conversation. After a dozen highly acclaimed full-length albums, remix LPs, concert recordings, and over two decades of incendiary live performances that have thrilled audiences worldwide, Thievery Corporation’s music and message is more relevant and important now than ever.
The Showbox, Downtown (Dec 4–5)

Beach Bunny Add to a List
Beach Bunny frontwoman Lili Trifilioi has been described as "Liz Phair for the TikTok generation." Her indie-pop quartet's 2020 full-length Honeymoon is full of bops that are very hard not to jump around to, so get your ya-ya's out at their Seattle tour stop with Minneapolis solo artist Miloe. 
Neumos, Capitol Hill (Sun Dec 5)

TV Girl Add to a List
Check out the just-reopened, remodeled Crocodile at this show featuring TV Girl, about whom The Stranger's Jas Keimig has written: "TV Girl lead vocalist Brad Petering’s voice sounds like it should be sailing over some math rock tune, some classically twee indie rock song—but it’s not. He sings over strange, experimental pop beats that have hooks you want to move to. His music sounds like the color the room turns when the television is left on overnight. Keep an ear out for 'Stupid Actress.'"
The Crocodile, Belltown (Wed Dec 8)

The New Pornographers Add to a List
The Canadian power-pop and indie-rock juggernaut headed up by singer/songwriters Carl Newman and Neko Case returns to town for two back-to-back headlining shows.
Neptune Theatre, University District (Dec 9–10)

Laura Marling Add to a List
Dark-voiced, Grammy-nominated British singer-songwriter Laura Marling, who has performed with the likes of Bob Dylan and Neil Young, will come to Seattle to promote her seventh studio album, Song for Our Daughter.
Neumos, Capitol Hill (Sat Dec 11)

SMooCH 2021 with Modest Mouse, Shaina Shepherd, Josiah Johnson Add to a List
The charity circuit will get an indie-rock soundtrack as a pitch-perfect lineup gathers to help raise funds for Seattle Children's Hospital. Tickets include a "a unique food and wine experience featuring top chefs, curated by Ethan Stowell featuring the following chefs: Shota Nakajima (Taku) & Melissa Miranda (Musang) & Trey Lemont (Jerk Shack) & Victor Steinbrueck (Local Tide) & Ethan Stowell (ESR) & Stephanie King (Kitchen and Market)." 
The Showbox, Pike Pine Retail Core (Sat Dec 11)

​A Charlie Brown Christmas Add to a List
The Strawberry Theatre Workshop will host the Jose "Juicy" Gonzales Trio as they bring you the entire A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack at this annual 1960s-themed Christmas party. 
Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, Uptown (Sun Dec 12)

Nirvana Live @ The Paramount 30th Anniversary Screening with THEM & the Black Tones Add to a List
"On October 31, 1991, five weeks after releasing what was to become the formative album of a generation, Nirvana went on a national club and small theatre tour landing them at Seattle's Paramount Theatre for a very special homecoming show. The nineteen song set started with a riveting cover of the Vaselines' 'Jesus Doesn't Want Me For A Sunbeam,' then tore through the hits from their newly-released album Nevermind with 'Smells Like Teen Spirit,' 'Lithium' and 'Breed,' plus earlier favorites like 'School,' 'Love Buzz' and 'About A Girl' and a very early version of 'Rape Me.' The Paramount concert is the only show ever shot of the band on 16mm film and mixed in 5.1 surround sound and stereo from the original multi-tracks." (Organizer description)
Paramount Theatre, Pike Pine Retail Core (Sun Dec 12) 

Courtney Barnett Add to a List
Melbourne rocker Courtney Barnett returns to Seattle armed with her signature blatant lyrical approach that empathizes with “Crippling Self-Doubt and a General Lack of Confidence.” Her shredding slices through your latest anxiety without beating around the bush. ABBIE GOBELI
Paramount Theatre, Pike Pine Retail Core (Tues Dec 14)

Built to Spill Add to a List
Built to Spill's first IRL Seattle tour stop in a long-hot minute will give new life to that PNW indie-rock nostalgia you ripped into early on in quarantine. Melanie Radford and Teresa Esguerra fill out the band's new lineup.
The Showbox, Pike Pine Retail Core (Thurs Dec 16)

Milky Chance North American Tour 2021 Add to a List
German duo Milky Chance is back on tour with an album rife with electronic beats and indie-folk melodies.
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Thurs Dec 16)

Givēon Add to a List
"Givēon has made himself one of music’s brightest stars by bringing vivid color, depth, and soul to songs that capture the intensity of life’s twists and turns. After coming to fame via Drake’s 'Chicago Freestyle,' the CA native became a force in his own right. Givēon had a whirlwind 2020 after releasing his Platinum-certified 'Like I Want You' (225 million cross-platform streams in the US). He kept the momentum with 'Heartbreak Anniversary,' a gauzy ballad that peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100, garnered over 668 million streams, and earned 2X Platinum status. In March 2020, Givēon’s debut EP, Take Time, confirmed his evocative songwriting prowess and would be nominated for Best R&B Album at the 2021 Grammys." (Organizer description)
The Showbox, Pike Pine Retail Core (Wed Dec 22)

Straight No Chaser Add to a List
Straight No Chaser take their name from a Thelonious Monk blues song divided not into three four-measure segments, but two six-measure sections, because Monk couldn't do anything the normal way, heaven cherish him. So Straight No Chaser are well-versed in not doing things the conventional way themselves. But they're not afraid to throw in a medley of boy-band classics, spiked with Britney Spears for flavor. They're also famous for the "12 Days of Christmas" video bit that landed in 1998, and, as of the afternoon I'm typing this, has tallied 23,120,103 views. So they're a little white bread and they make all the percussion noises with their lips, which pisses off some people, but they're talented, choreographed, and cute. Also, hey, Britney Spears. ANDREW HAMLIN
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Mon Dec 27)

Allen Stone's Grown Up Homecoming in Seattle Add to a List
Celebrate New Year's Eve with soul singer Allen Stone and a night of what he's known for: neo-soul classics and probably a few grandpa sweaters.
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Fri Dec 31)

Beats Antique Add to a List
Oakland-based Beats Antique is a prime paradigm of three people with diverse talents banding together to create something uniquely fresh. CIA grad David Satori spent many years playing in a 10-piece Afrobeat band, and he juggles viola, guitar, banjo, melodica, and various instruments from around the world like the saz and electric cĂĽmbĂĽĹź (a sort of Turkish banjo). Lifelong dancer Zoe Jakes started in jazz and ballet, settled on belly dancing that incorporates elements of tango, popping, and Indian styles, did stints with Yard Dogs Road Show and Belly Dance Superstars, and plays strap-on bass drum. Tommy "Sidecar" Cappel picked up drums young (he was beat-keeping by 6), and his jazz, prog, and metal influences were augmented by a Berklee education, and grew to encompass world music that included non-jazz rhythmic patterns of African and Arab music. All three are involved in electro production techniques, their resulting sound heady, mesmerizing, sonically bright and exciting, danceable, and just fucking cool experimental world fusion that's heavy on samples, sequencing, and percussives. LEILANI POLK
Showbox Sodo (Fri Dec 31)

Polyrhythmics - New Year's Eve! Add to a List
The controlled tempest of the Polyrhythmics is like manna from heaven in our occasionally funk-starved town. KYLE FLECK
Neptune Theatre, University District (Fri Dec 31)

Thunderpussy NYE Add to a List
The Showbox is doing it right this year! There’s no better way to usher in (hopefully) another year closer to shredding the patriarchy than with the mellifluous matriarchs of Thunderpussy. ZACH FRIMMEL
The Showbox, Downtown (Fri Dec 31)

COMEDY

Whitney Cummings: Touch Me Tour Add to a List
"Hailed as 'the reigning Queen of American stand-up,' Whitney Cummings is one of the preeminent comedic voices currently working as a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, producer and director. Best known for creating and starring in the NBC series Whitney, she also co-created and co-wrote (with Michael Patrick King) the Emmy-nominated CBS comedy series 2 Broke Girls." (Organizer description)
Neptune Theatre, University District (Sat Dec 4)

Ronny Chieng Add to a List
Ronny Chieng, a featured contributor to The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and an internationally performing stand-up comic, has been on fire lately: He appeared in the hit romance Crazy Rich Asians, his new series Ronny Chieng: International Student dropped on Comedy Central, and his Netflix special Asian Comedian Destroys America has gotten rave reviews. With his air of cynicism leavened with sweetness, it's no wonder he's gotten popular.
Neptune Theatre, University District (Sat Dec 11)

Jim Gaffigan: The Fun Tour Add to a List
If you're looking for an evening of relatively family-friendly comedy, watch Jim Gaffigan make jokes about impressive food consumption and the trials and tribulations of daily life. Gaffigan's known for his TV and film appearances (most recently in Troop Zero, Them That Followed, and Light From Light), stand-up specials Mr. Universe, Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed, and Quality Time, and his books Dad is Fat and Food: A Love Story.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Dec 15–19)

Todd Barry Add to a List
This Bronx-born comedian has been slaying audiences with his deadpan stand-up since the mid-’80s. In addition to lending his voice to cult favorite shows like Bob's Burgers and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Barry continues to tour the country making headlines with his improv-heavy shows that tend to involve the crowd, with hilarious results. NICK ZURKO
Neptune Theatre, University District (Sat Dec 18)

Patton Oswalt Add to a List
You'll probably recognize Patton Oswalt from his numerous appearances on TV shows from Veep to Parks and Recreation, or from his comedy specials. He's a talented comedian and very active Twitter user (of the sane, liberal variety), and appears in the upcoming screen adaptation of Dave Eggers's tech dystopia novel The Circle.
McCaw Hall, Uptown (Fri Dec 31)

PERFORMANCE

A John Waters Christmas: It's A Yuletide Massacre Add to a List
The trash-auteur King of Filth, who can probably be considered a patron saint of Seattle at this point, will bring his particular brand of cheer, featuring "reindeer virgin births, the illegally squatting Christ-child and chubby-chasing Mrs. Claus."
Neptune Theatre, University District (Wed Dec 1)

The Future Is 0 Add to a List
"I’m often told of a magical TV show that aired during the even more magical era that was Seattle in the 1980s and ’90s, a time when everyone lived in a punk house and everyone sucked gay cock. That TV show was Almost Live!, and it was basically like Seattle’s SNL, and everyone loved it. While I never watched Almost Live! live, I've spent a good deal of time watching it on (gasp) the internet, and I’d like to posit that The Future Is 0—a live game show—carries on the tradition of Almost Live!’s nerdy, affable, charismatic humor. But, of course, they are not the same thing, and Seattle has sucked since Almost Live! ended and the Kingdome exploded," wrote The Stranger's Chase Burns. The game show will once again be at the center of this year's benefit for On the Boards, featuring contestants like Tacocat's Bree McKenna, Prom Queen's Leeni Ramadan, and LIVt's Liv Thomas (Dec 2), plus The Stranger's own Jas Keimig (Dec 4). 
On the Boards, Uptown (Dec 2–4)

Scott Shoemaker's War on Christmas! Add to a List
Scott Shoemaker (Ms. Pak-Man) and illustrious friends like Adé, Waxie Moon, Mandy Price, Faggedy Randy will lead a fearless investigation into the War on Christmas. Their weapons: "ALL NEW hilarious comedy, songs, dance numbers, amazing videos and partial nudity!"
Theatre Off Jackson, Chinatown-International District (Dec 2–24)

Can Can Presents: Wonderland Add to a List
Can Can has transformed their intimate space into a "whimsical winter chalet" so you can check off "walking in a winter wonderland" this holiday season. Their culinary cabaret combines dinner theatre with dazzling performances that nod to yesteryear. 
Can Can, Pike Place Market (Dec 2–Jan 9)

Jingle All the Gay! Add to a List
A mashup of burlesque, cabaret, dance, drag, and music, this queer-tastic holiday tradition is brought to you by Seattle beloveds like Kitten N' Lou, Cherdonna Shinatra, Markeith Wiley, and a slew of fabulous fruitcakes from afar. 
Odd Fellows West Hall, Capitol Hill (Dec 3-18)

A Christmas Carol Add to a List
ACT Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol is a dependable, simple pleasure, with just enough variation to warrant returning year after year. For the 46th (!) edition, Julie Beckman will direct and Amy Thone and R. Hamilton Wright will alternate as Scrooge.
ACT - A Contemporary Theatre, Downtown (Dec 7–26)

Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker Add to a List
Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker is a lascivious holiday show experience with sugar plum fairies, exciting clothes-dropping times, and more swanky fun.
Triple Door, Downtown (Dec 8–29)

The Dina Martina Christmas Show Add to a List
Watching Seattle drag legend Dina Martina perform is a bit like having a Christmastime flu. You will sit there, confused and warm, your thoughts disassociating, a fever addling your brain, while the holiday cheer twinkles all around you. Truly, there’s no performer who is more like a strong dose of Nyquil than Dina Martina. She is cozy but disorienting. You will laugh without knowing why. Take her with alcohol and double the danger. CHASE BURNS
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Dec 10–11)

Last Podcast on the Left Add to a List
Delight your ghoulish sensibilities with a live edition of this frighteningly addictive comedic podcast dedicated to freaky and violent real-life events (or events that a lot of people believe in), including cultish shenanigans, demonic apparitions, alien abductions, and more. Join Marcus Parks, Henry Zebrowski, and Ben Kissel to "laugh at things you will probably feel guilty about later." (True enough, but the humor is at the expense of killers and charlatans—and the occasional Slender Man erotic fanfic—so let that temper your shame as you will.)
Paramount Theatre, Pike Pine Retail Core (Sat Dec 11)

The Winter's Tale Add to a List
Seattle Rep has put together a filmed version of Shakespeare's absorbing "problem play" The Winter's Tale, so called because of its mishmash of comedy and brutal drama, featuring the Public Works "family of community and professional actors." You can choose to see the film in person, or stream it at home.
Seattle Repertory Theatre, Uptown (Dec 16–19)

Mystery Science Theater 3000 LIVE: Time Bubble Tour Add to a List
Those irrepressible connoisseurs of godawful movies, Joel, Crow T. Robot, Servo, and Gypsy, will head out on Joel's last tour promising live riffs on a cinematic stinker.
Moore Theatre, Belltown (Sat Dec 18)

Bendelacreme & Jinkx Monsoon: The Return of The Jinkx & Dela Holiday Show, Live! Add to a List
If you survived quarantine Christmas last year by streaming the Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Special, you'll be thrilled to know that the former Seattle-based queens ("two great tastes that taste great together," to quote former Stranger editor-in-chief Christopher Frizzelle) are bringing their holiday show to town live again this year. As The Stranger's Matt Baume wrote last year, the vibe is: "Two funny pals, one chipper and the other jaded, wander through the holidays, remarking on odd traditions and emotional angst and befuddlement about what it’s all for." Expect it to be complete with its "signature whip-smart comedy, brand new songs, and a few perennial favorites," as well as "a post-apocalypse-mas extravaganza certain to make your yuletide gayer than ever!"
Neptune Theatre, University District (Dec 21–26)

Pacific Northwest Ballet: George Balanchine's The Nutcracker Add to a List
If you haven't seen this Christmas classic since you were a kid, give it a go this year. In 2014, Pacific Northwest Ballet replaced its beloved Maurice Sendak set with one by Ian Falconer, who did the Olivia the Pig books, and I'm glad that they did. The new set is gorgeous in a Wes Anderson-like way, and it reflects the genuine weirdness and beauty in the story. I mean, the last 45 minutes of this thing is a Katy Perry video starring dancing desserts and a glittery peacock that moves like a sexy broken river. Bring a pot lozenge. RICH SMITH
McCaw Hall, Uptown (Through Dec 28)

My Fair Lady Add to a List
Douchey professor Henry Higgins will once again turn Cockney flower seller Eliza Doolittle into a lady—but find her more than he can handle—in this Broadway staging of the Lerner and Loewe musical.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Dec 28–Jan 2)

FESTIVALS

Emerald City Comic Con Add to a List
Geeks across fandoms save their most inventive cosplay for Emerald City Comic Con, the biggest local comic event of the year. The four-day festival is filled to the brim with panels, meetups, special events, fun parties, and tons and tons of guests hanging out in the artist alley.
Washington State Convention & Trade Center, Downtown (Dec 2–5)

Winter Beer Festival Add to a List
The Washington Beer Commission's Winter Beer Festival returns with 26 regional breweries pouring dark malty stouts, robust winter warmers, barrel-aged gems, piney IPAs, and many more unique beers to warm your bones. 
Magnuson Park Hangar 30, Sand Point (Dec 3–4)

OTHER HOLIDAY EVENTS

Urban Craft Uprising 2021 Winter Show Add to a List
You're bound to find something special for a loved one or for yourself at the winter edition of "Seattle’s largest indie craft show," which features over 150 artsy vendors.
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall (Dec 4-5)

Renegade Seattle Add to a List
"The broadest reaching curated craft showcase in the world," Renegade will return to Seattle for a "festival wintertime marketplace" complete with plenty of gifts for everyone from skincare enthusiasts to plant parents, plus food and drink offerings.
Magnuson Park Hangar 30, Sand Point (Dec 11–12)

Winter Solstice Holiday Night Market Add to a List
If you're a last-minute holiday shopper, check out this 125-booth indoor market, which will also have two DJs, two bars, and 20 food trucks. There will also be a family-friendly session on Saturday afternoon.
Magnuson Park Hangar 30, Sand Point (Dec 17–18)

Christmas Ship Festival Add to a List
The Puget Sound is filled with lights throughout the holiday season, but no vessel can compete with Argosy Cruises' Christmas Ship, which docks in 65 waterfront communities to serenade people onshore and onboard with its resident choir. Those who choose to board the ship will enjoy photos with Santa, a reading of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," and kids' activities. For a less family-oriented option, you can trail behind in a 21+ boat with rotating themes each week. It's also free to watch from the shore.
Various locations (through Dec 23)

WildLanterns presented by BECU Add to a List
The Woodland Park Zoo is taking a more realistic approach to its beloved annual holiday light display by lining its paths with glowing lanterns in the likeness of tigers, snow leopards, aquatic creatures, zebras, and other exotic animals.
Woodland Park Zoo, Phinney Ridge (through Jan 16)

NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTIES

Abduction 2021: New Years Invasion Add to a List
This New Year's Eve, Abduction will be landing on Planet Earth at the WAMU theater for a night of live music, dancing, aliens, lasers, and more. Lineup will include EDM masters Eric Prydz, Lane 8, Dabin, Droeloe, Nostalgix and Frida K, and will be nothing short of otherworldly. Will you make it into 2022 without being abducted?
WaMu Theater, SoDo (Fri Dec 31)

Indulgence New Year's Eve Bash 2021 Add to a List
The 20th annual Indulgence New Year's Eve Bash will provide plenty of entertainment before the clock strikes midnight, including comedy performances, live bands and DJs, and after-hours access to MoPOP's exhibits. Plus, the party takes place right under the Space Needle, so you'll have prime views of the fireworks show.
Museum of Pop Culture, Uptown (Fri Dec 31)

New Year's Eve at Smith Tower Add to a List
Hark back to the decade of bootlegged booze and glamorous parties in one of the classiest spots in the city—the 35th floor of a building that was once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River—at this 1920s-themed party. Tickets include a five-course dinner, two cocktails, a midnight champagne toast and a bottle of champagne for your table, a themed photo booth, and live entertainment.
Smith Tower, Pioneer Square (Fri Dec 31)

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