The Best Things To Do from Home This Week: COVID-Safe Seattle Events for Dec 14-20, 2020

The Dina Martina Christmas Show, the KEXPY Awards, and More Top Picks
December 14, 2020
We hope the thrill of watching the Dina Martina Christmas Show (streaming online this weekend and next) is the only fever you get this year. (Courtesy of the artist)

As you continue to quarantine at home, count on our latest roundup of picks for ways to stay entertained without venturing into the germy outside world. We've compiled them below—from Irene Dubois' Quarantined Christmas Special to the KEXPY Awards, and from Yo La Tengo's famed Hanukkah Concert to This Is Beethoven. Plus, check out our StreamLocal events hub and stay tuned for a roundup of the best socially distanced things to do this weekend.

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A Cartoon Monsoon Holiday Spectacular
The hilarious Patti Harrison (you know her as the deadpan office assistant in Shrill), Ike Ufomadu (Tooning Out the News), and Francesca D’Uva (one Debra of the chaotic web series Three Busy Debras) will lock away their dirty jokes for the night and team up with WNYC to spread some all-ages holiday cheer. 


Indivisible Town Hall with Rep. Adam Smith
Join Indivisible groups across the state for a virtual chat with 9th District Rep Adam Smith on COVD-19 relief, workforce development, what's to come with the Biden administration, and more timely topics. 

Weird Homes Holiday Tour: Decked Out Collections
Take a virtual tour of a kooky Texas home bedecked with pop culture collectibles of decades' past, from vintage action figures to dolls to metal lunch boxes, with Atlas Obscura.


Collide-O-Scope: Xmess 2020
Collide-O-Scope will encapsulate the absolute mess that is the 2020 Yuletide season in video-compilation form. 

See Also: Multi-Day Events



Virtual Author Talk: Instant Family Meals by Sarah Copeland
Sarah Copeland, former food director of Real Simple, will discuss her newest cookbook, Instant Family Meals, alongside food writer and photographer Aran Goyoaga. 


Amazon Music Holiday Plays: Foo Fighters
Join TikTok-bred rapper and host Lil Nas X for the latest edition of Amazon Prime's holiday concert series, this time featuring a headlining set from the Foo Fighters.

Howie Day
Self-made, often self-accompanied singer-songwriter Howie Day will take the pop-chart charisma garnered from his late-'90s start to the digital Seattle stage. 

SYML'S Sad Christmas
Everyone knows the saddest Christmas songs slap the hardest in our hearts, and since the 2020 holiday season requires some shameless lamenting, go ahead and grab some tissues for an evening of "somber, subdued, and beautiful Christmas songs," along with some Yuletide stories, performed live online by Issaquah recording artist SYML. 


Brad Craft Reads 'A Christmas Memory'
Longtime University Book Store bookseller Brad Craft will continue the holiday tradition of orating Truman Capote's A Christmas Miracle, online this time.

See Also: Multi-Day Events



The COVID Crisis with Dr. Vin Gupta
Crosscut and KCTS 9 bring you a special conversation with Dr. Vin Gupta of UW's Department of Health Metrics Sciences, wherein he'll get into the latest efforts to mitigate the impacts of COVID. 

Virtual Silent Reading Party
The first worldwide silent-reading party was such a huge success that we're making it weekly. Every Wednesday at 6 pm we're going to throw these parties, at least until stay-at-home is over. Attendees at the first Zoom silent-reading party included famous actors, writers, composers, artists, families, teenagers doing their homework, people staring into space listening to the music because it was just so beautiful, cats, and even one household on Orcas Island that was eating dinner and decided to broadcast the reading party as their background music. (What a brilliant idea!) It wasn't just a great party to be at. Behind the scenes, this was a roaring success as well. The Stranger brought in revenue from the reading party for the first time ever, our musician Paul Matthew Moore made ten times more on Venmo tips than he's ever made in the tip jar at the Sorrento (thank you for your generosity—he deserves it!), and hundreds of people at the party have written us emails, clamoring for more. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE


Lauren Ko with Emily Kim: Modern Tart Art and Pie Design
The local pun-loving pie maven Lauren Ko, who's gained fame for her mind-bending geometric pastry creations on the Instagram account @lokokitchen, will chat about her new book Pieometry: Modern Tart Art and Pie Design for the Eye and the Palate with The Pastry Project cofounder Emily Kim.


KNKX Presents: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Seasoned Seattle jazz pianists Karen Kajita, Ryan Burns, Darrius Willrich, Tim Kennedy, Evan Captain, and Alex Guilbert will bring you the entire A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack at this Christmas party around the baby grand piano in this prerecorded concert. 

Pearl Jam + Lin-Manuel Miranda
Join Seattle-bred, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-approved band Pearl Jam and Hamilton progenitor Lin-Manuel Miranda for a conversation about their artistic inspirations and their support for the Georgia Latino community in advance of the January runoff election. 


Lauren Ko with Emily Kim: Modern Tart Art and Pie Design
If your pies and tarts ace the taste test but leave something to be desired aesthetics-wise, look no further than artist and internet-famous baker Lauren Ko's book of designs for crust-based desserts. She'll be joined tonight by Emily Kim, cofounder of the Pastry Project.

See Also: Multi-Day Events



Courtney Barnett - From Where I'm Standing
Live from Melbourne, Australian indie-rock darling Courtney Barnett will bring on her full band for an evening of old favorites and brand-new songs.

Tekla Waterfield & Jeff Fielder’s Holiday-ish/3rd Single Show!
Seattle-based singer-songwriter Tekla Waterfield will play her indie-folk tunes live on the internet alongside her husband, Jeff Fielder. They'll be performing a sneak peek of their upcoming album, Trouble in Time. 


A Green & White Christmas
Cozy up by your real or imaginary hearth and listen to the Seattle Radio Theatre and KIRO Radio's old-timey holiday audio drama about a snowstorm that threatens to upend a 1950s Seattle family's Christmas Eve tradition of visiting the old Frederick & Nelson department store downtown. Spoiler: Santa saves the day. 

Tacoma City Ballet: The Nutcracker & The Tale of the Hard Nut Watch Party!
Don your holiday flannels and relive old moments from Tacoma City Ballet's productions of The Nutcracker and Tale of the Hard Nut.


Johanna Garton with Mark Gunlogson
Record-holding mountain climber Christine Boskoff was at the top of her career when she and her partner died in an avalanche in 2006. In this conversation with Elliott Bay, Johanna Garton, author of Edge of the Map: The Mountain Life of Christine Boskoff will speak about the late athlete's life. She'll be joined in conversation by pro climber Mark Gunlogson.


Re/frame: All Together Now
Take a closer look at the objects in the Henry's collection with Associate Curator Anne Poulson, who will pay extra attention to images of families, friends, and colleagues gathered together to bring you some holiday warmth. 

See Also: Multi-Day Events



Cinema + Conversation: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Together with Netflix, the National Museum of African American History & Culture Center for African American Media Arts will host a discussion with the cast and crew of George C. Wolfe's August Wilson adaptation Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, featuring performances by Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, and Glynn Turman.


Barenaked Ladies a Very Virtual Christmas
Canada's Barenaked Ladies are, in the words of former Stranger critic Dave Segal, "the aural equivalent of khaki trousers." They are also extremely successful rock musicians who have managed to swing themselves onto the nostalgia circuit for sold-out tour stops for the last few summers. They'll get festive on the internet tonight with a livestreamed concert. 

Bushwick on Ice
Help fund Bushwick Book Club's next year of literature-inspired music shows with an online cocktail tutorial, raffle, and performance. 

Loudon Wainwright III
There's a whole generation of folks (myself included) for whom Loudon Wainwright III is more familiar as an actor (having appeared in M*A*S*H, three Judd Apatow productions, and G-Force—2009's Jerry Bruckheimer production about guinea pig secret agents). Wainwright the actor, while delightful, is nowhere near as interesting as Wainwright the musician, who's been recording and performing sardonic folk commentaries since his beatific 1970s self-titled debut. His long and storied career is still going strong, even if his new material is no longer about growing old (like his early stuff was) so much as it just plain sounds old (now he sings about things like "Cash for Clunkers"). Still, it would be worth it to hear some of Wainwright's older gems. JASON BAXTER

Nectar Virtual Concert Series presents YAIMA
Yaima hits up the old world for sonic inspiration, using instruments like flutes and handpans to weave familiar yet ancient tunes. They'll perform live on Nectar's YouTube page.

Round 187 w/Hillary Fretland, Tyler Edwards, Chan, Jana Gering
The Fremont Abbey Art Center's multi-disciplinary series the Round will continue with music by Hillary Fretland and Tyler Edwards, spoken word by Chan, and live painting by Jana Gering. 

Save the Senate Festival
This 48-hour broadcast, a benefit for the Georgia senate runoffs, will be packed with performances with big names in indie music, like Amanda Palmer, Ani DiFranco, Death Valley Girls, Okkervil River, and Rufus Wainwright.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Live Stream Watch Party
Yes, I know, they're cheesy in the extreme and not even actually from Siberia, but Trans-Siberian Orchestra's jolly blend of electric-guitar shredding and Christmas music is like the flu: It comes around every year and it's extremely catchy. That being said, if I'm going to be afflicted with pinch-harmonic-inflected cheer, then I'm at least going to focus on the upside. Which is, TSO formed from the remains of the excellent and under-appreciated power-metal outfit Savatage, whose interpretation of Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" probably sparked the whole classical-music-meets-metal fad. Now if only they still had Alex Skolnick from Testament in the band. JOSEPH SCHAEFER


Burning Man LIVE Holiday Special
The official Burning Man podcast will have a live recording with a special holiday twist. 

Into the Unknown — 17 Minute Stories
In addition to working within a time constraint, Macha Theatre Works' series of quick-bite solo shows also explores the very concept of time, or more specifically, how we end up where we do, and how we fumble through human existence in our own ways. The series kicks off with Claribel Gross's Gasp, which revolves around a young woman’s connection to her Nicaraguan roots and "the importance of making a proper rum drink."


Irene Dubois' Quarantined Christmas Special
Local drag queen Irene Dubois will link up with fellow drag stars from the Emerald City and beyond to give you a peek into the life of a performer in quarantine. Press materials promise "Christmas songs, high camp, and glamour!"

See Also: Multi-Day Events



Making Moves - A Virtual Evening to Benefit our Nonprofit Theater
As they prepare to move out of their current location, Seattle's Jet City Improv will host an online benefit hosted by local performers Preston McNeil and Taya Beattie.


An Absolut Delightful Night with Erik Hakkinen
Star bartender Erik Hakkinen (formerly of Pike Place's Zig Zag Cafe) is the drinks man behind this French-inspired Belltown bar, and tonight he's gonna teach you to whip up some special seasonal cocktails made with Absolut and Kahlúa. You're looking at an espresso martini, a cardamom White Russian, and a German chocolate cake and an apple spiced mule. Each kit includes enough for six to eight drinks.


Crack Sabbath Xmas Spectacular
The self-proclaimed "gods of Seattle's underground grunge jazz scene," Crack Sabbath will put on their annual Christmas show. 

Josh Groban: His First Ever Holiday Concert
We're honestly shocked that multi-platinum singer-songwriter Josh Groban has never done a Christmas concert before—seems up his alley, no?—but we're happy to announce that he'll make his Yuletide debut on the internet this year.

The KEXPY Awards
According to the KEXP, this may be their last listeners choice awards ever, and who can blame them for wanting to turn a new leaf once 2020 is over? With peeks into the everyday lives of your favorite radio DJs and special performances from Waxahatchee, Vagabon, Black Belt Eagle Scout, and La Luz, this online event is not to be missed. 

NVCS presents KUINKA 'Winter Solstice Internet Party'
Enjoy some joyous folk-pop to ease into the winter season with Kuinka on Nectar's YouTube channel, donations for which will benefit Seattle Homeless Outreach.

A Very COVID Christmas Show!
Local country twangers Wildcat Rose will satisfy your hankering for holiday honky-tonk with help from special guests. 

Virtual Holiday Jam 2020
Jazz host Abe Beeson will head up this Town Hall holiday concert with support from Darrius Willrich and Roosevelt Jazz. 


The Not-Creepy Gathering for Seattleites Who Want to Fall In Love
Nice people looking for socially distant romance with other nice people can gather at this singles' night on Zoom that promises to provide a respite from "cruise-y bar scenes and soulless dating apps." Be sure to have a notebook handy for some writing exercises. 


Local drag kings will take you into another dimension with a virtual show on their fifth anniversary.


16th Annual Dickens Festival at Stadium
Hark back to the era of Charles Dickens, a man who knew a thing or two about Christmas ghosts, by enjoying Victorian activities online. 

See Also: Multi-Day Events



Home For the Holidays. A digital toy drive listening party.
Show some love for Sustainable Shred's rock 'n roll toy drive by rocking and rolling to tunes from Seattle artists like Jenn Champion, Agonoy, Lisa Prank, Shaina Shepherd, Beverly Crusher, Kate Dinsmore, and others. 

Pedro the Lion - Holiday Show!
Seattle band Pedro the Lion, whose album Phoenix was described by Jasmyne Keimig as "big-dick-quasi-emo-indie-rock," will play a solo set peppered with Christmas songs from his holiday album Dark Sacred Night.

Snow Globe Concert
The holiday benefit concert that provides thousands of meals for Northwest Harvest (and which started as an album release for Kristin Chambers's Snow Globe) will move online this year, featuring performances by Kristin Chambers, the Mack Grout Trio (playing Vince Gauraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas), and other special guests.

A Sunday with Clinton Fearon #19
Jamaica-born, Seattle-based reggae legend Clinton Fearon (of the Boogie Brown Band) will perform songs live on Facebook.


Hershey Felder Presents: Tchaikovsky - Live from Florence
Musical theater superstar Hershey Felder stars as impressionist Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, streamed live from Italy, courtesy of the 5th Avenue Theatre. 

Mimosas Cabaret's Holiday Happy Hour
Isabella Extynn, Ruby Bouchè, Patsy De Cline, and the rest of the Mimosas Cabaret team will bring some festive entertainment to your living room. 


A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol
You may think you know the story of A Christmas Carol, but you have no idea. Watch a team of comics from Up Improv recreate Dickens's tale based on audience suggestions at this year's virtual run.


Cinema Italian Style
One major benefit of digitizing Cinema Italian Style, SIFF's weeklong mini-festival featuring the best in contemporary Italian cinema, is that all the films will be available on-demand at the same time, meaning you won't have to race to Queen Anne in the middle of a weekday for a matinee screening. You'll have 48 hours to watch your selections, from Salvatore Mereu's Sardinia-set detective story Assandira to Oscar-nominated director Gianfranco Rosi's Notturno, which tells the stories of those on the borders between Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan, and Lebanon.

FROM AFAR—a film festival
Roland Dahwen, the Artist-in-Residence at Reed College's Cooley Gallery, presents five recent films by his peers in a free mini-festival presented by the Northwest Film Forum. Each film—including his own 16mm debut Boruffa, about an immigrant woman in Oregon who learns that her husband has a second family—is accompanied by an essay that you can read on his website.
(All week)


KEXP Punk Xmas & Christmas Day Broadcasts
KEXP Brian Foss, the host of Sonic Reducer, will be your punk-rock Christmas angel.

This Is Beethoven
In celebration of both Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday and Seattle's small but mighty arts scene, local organizations will put on Seattle’s largest digital arts festival, tying in the composer's relationship with isolation and current social distancing mandates. At a glance: Seattle Opera, Byron Schenkman, and the Vashon Center for the Arts will put on concerts, Washington Ensemble Theatre will present a play inspired by the tragedy of Beethoven’s Pathetique, and the Northwest Film Forum and local dance collective zoe | juniper will create a dance film in dialogue with Beethoven’s handwritten scores for his late quartets.

Virtual Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition
Just because caroling is forbidden in public doesn't mean you can't belt out your Mariah Carey-inspired rendition of "Silent Night" in your own home. This virtual edition of the annual Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition will feature nightly streams for you to sing along to for the same cause as always: the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank.

Yo La Tengo’s Hanukkah Concert
Dreamy Hoboken rockers Yo La Tengo's beloved Hanukkah benefit shows, which they're famous for putting on for eight nights in a row every year, will move to the interwebs, recorded live from the Greene Space at WNYC and WQXR.


A Christmas Carol 2020
Cozy up around ye olde device for this on-demand version of ACT Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol: a dependable, simple pleasure with just enough variation to warrant returning year after year.
(All week)

For Better
Billing itself as a "romantic comedy for the digital age," this new work by Eric Coble, presented by the Burien Actors Theatre, is about two lovers kept apart by distance.

The Dina Martina Christmas Show
Last year, Chase Burns wrote, "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." This holds up, and we hope Dina is the only fever you get this year.

George Balanchine's 'The Nutcracker'
Rich Smith has written "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." This is an archival performance, so it'll feel extra nostalgic. Plus, if you miss those cookies and snacks from the lobby during intermission, you can even add a Nutcracker gift box to your ticket for a bundle of sweets.
(All week)

The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Special
If you watched the new K-Stew holiday rom-com Happiest Season on Hulu, you've already gotten a taste of Seattle drag legends Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme's holiday special, which is available to rent on-demand on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast. According to press materials, it's the story of two queens who set out to create a classic Christmas TV variety show but just can’t agree on how. It also involves the spirit of DeLa's deceased grandma, who resides in a glass of eggnog, and plenty of musical numbers.
(All week)

Kitten N' Lou Present: Jingle All the Gay!
Recorded in front of a live audience interwoven with phone calls, love letters, and other mid-pandemic quarantine modes of communication, this year's edition of Kitten N' Lou holiday special Jingle All the Gay! (which has two online viewing parties this weekend) will bring you some queer-tastic comfort.
(All week)

Mark Morris Dance Group Holiday Special: Home for the Holidays
Along with the return of The Hard Nut, a gender-bending play on The Nutcracker, the Mark Morris Dance Group is spending their 40th anniversary season online (like the rest of us) with a whole lineup of holiday performances and events. The only thing you can't do is join them for outdoor caroling in Brooklyn, unless you happen to be there, in which case, have fun.

Nutcracker Sweets Performances in the Comfort of Your Home
The ARC Dance Company will bring its Nutcracker suites to you with virtual selections from the Tchaikovsky classic.

Scott Shoemaker's War on Christmas!
Scott Shoemaker (Ms. Pak-Man) and illustrious friends like Ade, Waxie Moon, Mandy Price, and Fageddy 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!"
(All week)

Scott Silven 'The Journey'
Illusionist and performance artist Scott Silven invites you to an online theatrical experience streamed live from his home in rural Scotland.

Sex By Mae West
Play Your Part presents Sex, a flapper-era drama with music by Mae West and choreography by Sailor St. Claire, reimagined for the virtual stage by director Isabella Price.
(Monday & Thursday-Sunday)

Sugar Plum Gary
A misanthropic disposition combined with a strong satanist worldview distinguishes Sugar Plum Gary from other yuletide figures. Every year around this time, "somewhat beloved storyteller and comedian Emmett Montgomery" slips into a red onesie and takes the stage to give audience members completely unsolicited advice on how to best navigate the season, and it's often pretty funny if you're into dark, absurd humor. What's his favorite holiday decorating tip? In an interview with Brett Hamil in City Arts, Sugar Plum Gary gives his answer: I like to "find a dark place and put myself in a corner and wait," he says, with a creepy uncle grin. Merry Christmas. RICH SMITH


Rainier Beach Arts & Crafts Market
Stay safe at home while checking off your loved ones' holiday lists and supporting local artists. This Rainier Beach market will have online offerings throughout the month.
(All week)

Virtual Native Art Markets
Buy authentic Native gifts—clothing, drums, art prints, and more—from a group of diverse local artists.