Vaudeville and vampire bunnies, dragons and giants, Dickens and English panto — there’s a lot going on in the South Sound area this fall.

The new arts season for families is packed with enough shows to keep you busy from now until the new year. (We’ve listed a few big Seattle-area shows that we think are worth the drive, too.)


Sept. 20: The Reluctant Dragon. A non-threatening, artsy dragon fights a mock battle with Sir George the Dragonslayer. Tears of Joy Theatre performs. All ages. $8. Knutzen Family Theatre, 253-835-2020, [FEDERAL WAY]

Sept. 27: A Salute to Vaudeville — Voice of the City. Celebrate the Broadway Center’s 25th anniversary with a variety show that harks back to vaudeville’s golden era, when Charlie Chaplin and W.C. Fields performed at the Pantages Theater. All ages. $25–$65. Pantages Theater, 253-591-5894, [TACOMA]

SCT's "Green Sheep" October

Oct. 1: The Green Sheep. Seattle Children’s Theatre reprises last summer’s hit show for tots, in which kids learn basic words and concepts via the antics of sweet sheep puppets. Oct. 1–Nov. 2. Ages 1–4. $13. Seattle Children’s Theatre, 206-441-4488, [SEATTLE CENTER]

Oct. 3: Night of the Living Dead. Zombies! Artistic director Linda Hartzell directs a show for teens based on George Romero’s classic horror flick. Oct. 3–Nov. 1. Ages 13 and older. $20. Seattle Children’s Theatre, 206-441-4488, [SEATTLE CENTER]

Oct. 10: The BFG. Olympia Family Theater begins its third season with David Woods’ sparkling adaptation of Roald Dahl’s story about a young girl who befriends a (Big Friendly) giant, learns how to capture dreams and visits the queen. Oct. 10–Nov. 2. All ages. $8–$15. Olympia Family Theater, 253-596-5501, [OLYMPIA]

Oct. 25: The Backyardigans Live! Tale of the Mighty Knights! Knights Uniqua and Tyrone rescue a runaway egg and a meet a dragon along the way. Oct. 25–26. Ages 6 and younger. $17–$41. The Paramount Theatre, [SEATTLE]

Oct. 26: Tacoma Youth Symphony Association Costume Concert. Young performers play music from the movies, including Star Wars, Phantom of the Opera and The Fellowship of the Ring. $10–$15, family package $30. All ages. Rialto Theater, 253-591-5894, [TACOMA]

Pinocchio November

 Nov. 1: Pinocchio. The wooden puppet longs to become a real boy, but chooses bad companions. To his horror, his nose becomes longer with every lie he tells. Storybook Theater performs a humorous musical version of the fairy tale. Ages 3–10. $8. Knutzen Family Theatre, 253-835-2020, [FEDERAL WAY]

Nov. 1: Bunnicula. The Monroe family brings home a befanged bunny with an odd habit of sucking the juice out of the family’s vegetables. Is Bunnicula really a vampire? Tacoma Children’s Musical Theater kicks off its new season with the mystery musical, which premiered at the Seattle Children’s Theatre. Nov. 1–9. All ages. $10–$15. 253-565-6867, [TACOMA]

Nov. 21: The Wizard of Oz. The woman behind the curtain is artistic director Linda Hartzell, who directs the Royal Shakespeare Company’s adaptation of the screen classic. Nov. 21–Jan. 17, 2009. Ages 6 and older. $17–$40. Seattle Children’s Theatre, 206-441-4488, [SEATTLE CENTER]

Nov. 23: Tacoma Youth Symphony Orchestra — Concert No. 1. The symphony performs works by Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Rimsky-Korsakov. All ages. $4–$15 (100 free main-floor tickets for students of high school age and younger are available at the door on the day of the performance). Rialto Theater, 253-591-5894, [TACOMA]

Nov. 28: Scrooge. A musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel about greed, ghosts and second chances. All ages. Nov. 28–Dec. 21. Capital Playhouse, 360-943-2744, [OLYMPIA]

PNB's "Nutcracker" Nov. 28: Aladdin. Paul Hendy’s uproarious musical comedy in the English panto style, full of slapstick, audience participation and sight gags. Dress up as your favorite character! Produced by Centerstage Theatre. Nov. 28–Dec. 21. All ages. $8–$25. Knutzen Family Theatre, 253-661-1444, [FEDERAL WAY]

Nov. 28: Nutcracker. The 25th anniversary production of the Stowell/Sendak ballet features surprise appearances and special guests. Nov. 28–Dec. 30. All ages. $22–$120. McCaw Hall, 206-441-2424, [SEATTLE CENTER]

Nov. 29: Movie and Tree Lighting. Get into the holiday spirit with a showing of the 1970 Christmas classic Scrooge: The Movie Musical, and a tree lighting in Tacoma’s theater district (5 p.m.). All ages. Movie $8, tree lighting free. Pantages Theater, 253-591-5894, [TACOMA]


Dec. 5: A Christmas Carol. Ebenezer Scrooge learns a thing or two about life and love in this original adaptation of the Dickens novel that’s been created for the Lakewood Playhouse. Dec. 5–28. All ages. $14–$22. Lakewood Playhouse, 253-588-0042, [LAKEWOOD]

Dec. 5: Oliver! The Tony Award-winning musical — based on the Dickens novel about a street urchin who falls in with a bad crowd — is packed with musical theater classics: “Consider Yourself,” “As Long as He Needs Me,” and “I’ll Do Anything.” All ages. Dec. 5–21. Ovation! Musical Theatre, 206-842-0472, [BAINBRIDGE ISLAND]

Dec. 6: Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus. Troubled reporter Frank Church has an assignment: to answer an 8-year-old girl’s question about the existence ofSanta Claus. This classic holiday story is based on the teleplay by Val De Crowl and Andrew J. Fenady. Dec. 6–21. All ages. $10–$12. Olympia Little Theatre, 360-786-9484, [OLYMPIA]

Dec. 6: Dan Zanes and Friends Holiday House Party. A festive family dance and jam with Dan and his posse of singers and musicians. Dec. 6–7. All ages. $35. The Moore Theatre, [SEATTLE]

Dec. 7: Magical Strings 22nd Annual Celtic Yuletide Concert. The Boulding family’s annual holiday show includes harp-like instruments from around the world, Irish step dancing, drumming, storytelling and pageantry. It’s part of Kent’s Spotlight series. All ages. $16–$20. Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center, 253-856-5050, [KENT]

Dec. 11: Once Upon a Mattress. Princess Winifred is sorely tested in this 1959 Broadway musical, a reworking of the fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.” Dec. 11–21. All ages. $18–$24. Bainbridge Performing Arts, 206-842-8569, [BAINBRIDGE ISLAND]

Dec. 13: The Christmas Revels. An 18th-century Scottish solstice celebration that includes bagpipes, Highland and Scottish country dancing, and storytelling. Dec. 13–17. All ages. $10–$26. Rialto Theater, 253-591-5894, [TACOMA]

Dec. 13: The Nutcracker. Tacoma City Ballet continues its 54th season with a performance of the holiday ballet. All ages. Dec. 13–21. Pantages Theater, 253-591-5894, [TACOMA]

Dec. 18: Aladdin. See Nov. 28 entry. Dec. 18–21. $22–$34. Theatre on the Square, 253-591-5894, [TACOMA]

Kris Collingridge is ParentMap’s Out & About editor.


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