Fall Arts Preview 2012: Family Theater, Music and Dance in Greater Seattle

Published on: August 06, 2012

This year’s fall arts season provides more opportunities than ever to expose your kids to top-notch theater, dance and music — often very affordably (see related article “It’s a Deal”).

Mark your top picks for keeping your family learning, laughing, and inspired all season. And check back here for updates. Did we miss something? Email us at emurray@parentmap.com.


Grease, Sept. 7–22
The rollicking musical about Rydell High’s senior class of 1959. Renton Civic Theatre, Carco Theatre [RENTON]

Huck Finn Village TheatreBig River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Sept. 12–Oct. 21, Oct. 26–Nov. 18
Mark Twain’s great American novel is retold by Huckleberry Finn himself in this Tony Award–winning musical that’s chock-full of bluegrass, blues and country tunes by Roger Miller. Ages 8 and older. Village Theatre [ISSAQUAH, EVERETT]

Duck for President, Sept. 14–30
This sequel to Click, Clack, Moo, Duck for President is a hilarious tale about a duck who decides to run for office. A great pick for the fall election season. SecondStory Repertory Theatre  [REDMOND]

Celebrate Seattle, Sept. 16
A multimedia celebration of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 40th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair, featuring famous movie music paired with Stravinsky, Bizet, Dvořák and Beethoven. Pacific Northwest Ballet, McCaw Hall.  [SEATTLE CENTER]

Cinderella PNBCinderella, Sept. 21–30
This breathtaking ballet stars Prokofiev’s evocative score and a rich array of character roles — from silly stepsisters to tiny dancing pumpkins to a gentle, handsome prince. Pacific Northwest Ballet, McCaw Hall  [SEATTLE]

Alex Zerbe, Sept. 2123

Two-time Guinness World Record holder Alex Zerbe brings his electrifying show The Zaniac to the Youth Theatre mainstage, with physical comedy of controlled chaos, juggling, and laugh-out-loud fun. Youth Theatre Northwest [MERCER ISLAND]

Fall Free for All, Sept. 22–23
A free community arts festival with more than 75 music, dance, drama, film, and children’s events and activities. Broadway Center for the Performing Arts  [TACOMA]

The Cat in the Hat, Sept. 27–Oct. 28
Originally produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain, Seattle Children’s Theatre’s season opener brings the iconic Dr. Seuss character to life with humor, puppetry and physicality. All ages. Seattle Children's Theatre.  [SEATTLE]

A Celebration of Woody Guthrie’s 100th Birthday, Sept. 29
Northwest duo The Wanderers and recording artist/Guthrie expert Joel Rafael pay tribute to the life of an American folk-music hero. Includes a sing-along. Seattle Folklore Society, Phinney Neighborhood Center. [PHINNEY/GREENWOOD]

September events
October events
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Fall arts previewPaul Taylor Dance Co., Oct. 4–6
A great modern dance experience for older kids, Paul Taylor continues to win acclaim for the vibrancy, relevance and power of his recent dances as well as his classics. Meany Hall [SEATTLE]

Nanda: The Jacket, Oct. 5–7
Performance troupe Nanda performs “acrobaticalist ninja theater”; expect expert acrobatics, martial arts moves and comedy from this unique, kid-friendly show. Broadway Performance Hall [SEATTLE]

I Never Saw Another Butterfly, Oct. 5–13
A play about Raja, who survived Terezin, a World War II concentration camp. While only about 100 of the 15,000 Jewish children who passed through Terezin survived, the art they created lives on. Studio East [KIRKLAND]

King of Dinosauria, Oct. 6–7, 13–14, 20–21, 27–28
Bunraku puppet company Thistle Theatre kicks off its 20th anniversary season with a show inspired by the comedy of the Marx Brothers, starring many of your favorite dinosaurs. All ages. Various locations. Thistle Theatre [SEATTLE, BELLEVUE]

Book-It Theatre’s Family Fun Day, Oct. 6
A live theater performance of Thank you, Mr. Falker, Patricia Polacco’s powerful story of overcoming dyslexia and discovering one’s true gifts, plus book-themed craft projects and a drama workshop. Ages 5–13. The Center Theatre [SEATTLE]

WickedWicked, Oct. 10–Nov. 17
Declared “The Best Musical of the Decade” by Entertainment Weekly, Wicked is the untold story of the witches of Oz and their remarkable odyssey. STG Presents at the Paramount Theatre [SEATTLE]

Go Dog. Go!, Oct. 12–28
A canine cabaret tells the children’s classic with physical comedy, acrobatics and magic music. Ages 4 and older. Olympia Family Theater [OLYMPIA]

Hi-Lo Big Top Circus, Oct. 12–13
Sisters Lisa and Linda of Let Your Music Shine! present a 35-minute interactive Tiny Tots program featuring the music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven played on flute, violin and tuba. Ages newborn–5. Benaroya Hall [SEATTLE]

Wild Wes, Oct. 13
A free performance by Taproot Theatre’s Road Company of a play about a boy named Wes, who has an imagination as big as a Texas prairie and challenges to face when he moves to the Northwest. Taproot Theatre, Central Library  [SEATTLE]

John McCutcheon, Oct. 13
Legendary folk musician McCutcheon performs Appalachian folk tunes, contemporary folk songs, and pieces from his own considerable body of music. Edmonds Center for the Arts, [EDMONDS]

Elevate, Oct. 13–14
An eclectic, professionally choreographed program of premieres. Evergreen City Ballet Black Box Theatre, [RENTON]

The Great Mountain, Oct. 15
A retelling of a Native American story about a girl who sets off on an empowering journey and discovers the transformative power of nature. Ages 7–11. Everett Performing Arts Center, Village Theatre [EVERETT]

Danny, King of the Basement, Oct. 18–Nov. 18
A young boy uses his imagination to help overcome the cold realities of a tough childhood, including hunger and a long-absent father, whom he eventually runs away to find. Ages 8 and older. Seattle Children’s Theatre [SEATTLE]

Natalie McMasterNatalie MacMaster, Oct. 19
If you’re looking for musical inspiration for your kids, spend an evening with Cape Breton fiddler MacMaster, a favorite of masters such as Yo-Yo Ma and one of the most versatile and exciting musicians on the folk and Celtic music scenes. Edmonds Center for the Arts [EDMONDS]

Dracula, Oct. 19–21, 26–28
This annual production of the classic includes Eastern European folk rhythms, magicians, jugglers, cloggers and tappers. All ages. International Ballet Theatre [KIRKLAND]

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Oct. 19–28
A charming musical about the Peanuts gang, starring their trademark quirks, wit and poignant moments. Studio East Mainstage Theater [KIRKLAND]

Seattle Symphony Community Celebration, Oct. 21
The Seattle Symphony helps conclude Seattle Center’s Next Fifty celebration with a rousing, free closing-day performance featuring classical favorites. Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Symphony [SEATTLE]

Natalie MacMaster, Oct. 21
Another opportunity to see the renowned Cape Breton fiddler, a favorite in Olympia. Washington Center for the Performing Arts [OLYMPIA]

The Addams Family, Oct. 25–Nov. 11
A dream cast brings Morticia, Gomez and rest of the creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky crew to life in a new musical comedy. 5th Avenue Theatre, 5thavenue.org [SEATTLE]

The Phantom Tollbooth, Oct. 26–28
Seattle Public Theater’s student actors give a free performance that tells of the journey of a 10-year-old boy named Milo. The Bathhouse Theater, Seattle Public Theater [SEATTLE]

A Little Night Music for Halloween, Oct. 27
Throw on a costume and join the Seattle Symphony for Mozart’s “A Little Night Music” and Haydn’s “Drum Roll” Symphony. Part of the Gilman Family Discover Music Series. Ages 6–12. Benaroya Hall [SEATTLE]

3 Pigs3 Pigs, Oct. 27–Dec. 2
A fast-paced and zany rendition of the familiar tale: When the wolf is on the hunt for some succulent pork, three “little porkers” start making a sturdy, tooth-proof home for protection. Ages 3 and older. StoryBook Theater [RENTON, EVERETT, KIRKLAND]

A Night at the Movies, Oct. 28
A benefit costume concert by Tacoma Youth Symphony and Tacoma Young Artists. Urban Grace Church, Tacoma Youth Symphony [TACOMA]

September events
October events
November events
December events


Global Dance Party, Nov. 4
A high-energy performance of cultural and contemporary dance and music, featuring young local performers from Seattle Theatre Group’s Dance This. The Moore Theatre, Seattle Theatre Group Presents [SEATTLE]

The Real Inspector Hound, Nov. 2–4, 9–10
A free performance by Seattle Public Theater’s student actors of Tom Stoppard’s one-act play, paired with an original student-written mystery play. The Bathhouse Theater, Seattle Public Theater [SEATTLE]

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Nov. 3–4, 10–11
What would you do if woke up with gum in your hair, your best friend had abandoned you on the playground, and your mom forgot to put dessert in your lunch box? Ages 3 and older. Tacoma Musical Playhouse [TACOMA]

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Nov. 2–18
A non-Disney, straight play adaptation of the beloved Brothers Grimm tale. All ages. Youth Theatre Northwest [MERCER ISLAND]

Fiddler on the Roof, Nov. 7–Dec. 30, Jan. 4–27
Multi-award-winning musical with a timeless story and some of the most beloved songs in musical theater. Village Theatre [ISSAQUAH]

Video Games Live, Nov. 9
The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra performs music from the most popular video games of all time, along with exclusive video footage and music arrangements, synchronized lighting and solo performers. All ages. Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, Pantages Theatre [TACOMA]

The Frest Beat BandThe Frog Prince, Nov. 9–25
When the princess loses her precious golden ball down the well, a frog comes to the rescue, and complications ensue. SecondStory Repertory [REDMOND]

The Fresh Beat Band Live in Concert, Nov. 10
Nickelodeon’s popular preschool music group and stars of the hit TV series is on a nationwide tour. Comcast Arena [EVERETT]

Tacoma Youth Symphony Concert, Nov. 11
TYSO performs music by Strauss, Wagner and Schumann. Tacoma Youth Symphony, Rialto Theater [TACOMA]

The Wizard of Oz, Nov. 15–Jan. 6
Be transported to the wondrous land of Oz, via the musical version of the L. Frank Baum classic. Ages 5 and older. Seattle Children’s Theatre [SEATTLE]

Dance Theatre of Harlem, Nov. 16–17
The globally acclaimed dance institution will perform a world premiere of a new ballet called Far But Close. STG Presents, The Moore Theatre [SEATTLE]

Sing & Sway Musical Adventure, Nov. 16–17
A string quartet and Lisa and Linda of Let Your Music Shine! present famous, toddler-friendly melodies by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Brahms. Ages newborn–5. Benaroya Hall [SEATTLE]

Tacoma Young Artists Concert, Nov. 17
TYSO performs music by Nicolai, Schubert and Wagner. Tacoma Young Artists, Urban Grace Church [TACOMA]

Scrooge, Nov. 16–Dec. 9
The musical version of the holiday classic. All ages. Seattle Musical Theatre [SAND POINT]

Lalo & Beethoven, Nov. 18
Called “one of the most outstanding young violinists of her generation,” Janet Sung performs for the second time with Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, Rialto Theater [TACOMA]

A Christmas Carol, Nov. 23–Dec. 24
A cheerful, straightforward retelling of Dickens’ classic holiday tale (but prepare younger kids for a scary ghost of Jacob Marley). Ages 5 and older, no babes in arms. ACT Theatre [SEATTLE]

The Music Man, Nov. 23–Dec. 23
A con man comes to a Midwestern town with a scam using a boys’ marching band program, but things don’t go according to plan. The Driftwood Players [EDMONDS]

Inspecting Carol, Nov. 23–Dec. 23
Seattle Rep’s quirky annual Christmas production – a hilarious spoof about about a struggling theater’s annual slapdash production of A Christmas Carol. Seattle Repertory Theatre [REDMOND]

The Winter Wonderettes, Nov. 23–Dec. 30
A nostalgic Christmas revue of late-’50s and early-’60s music. All ages. ArtsWest Playhouse [SEATTLE]

The Sound of Music Sing-Along, Nov. 24
Watch the 1965 movie in Technicolor, and sing, boo and cheer, then attend the annual holiday tree lighting. Pantages Theater [TACOMA]

Sing-A-Long Sound of Music, Nov. 24
Another sing-along-with-the-Von-Trapps opportunity, plus a holiday tree lighting in downtown Edmonds. Edmonds Center for the Arts [EDMONDS]

’Twas the Night, Nov. 24–Dec. 16
From the team that created the clever StoryBook Theater musicals, a funny spin on the familiar holiday poem. Ages 4 and older. Studio East Mainstage Theater [KIRKLAND]

Elf, Nov. 30–Dec. 31
The funny, warm-hearted holiday tale of the elf who, after learning he’s human, sets off to find his real family. 5th Avenue Theatre [SEATTLE]

Cinderella, Nov. 30-Dec. 23
A musical British pantomime version of the traditional Christmas show, designed for the whole family.  Centerstage Theatre, Knutzen Family Theatre [FEDERAL WAY]

Miracle on 34th Street, Nov. 30–Dec. 23
See the holiday classic about a Macy’s holiday Santa on stage. Ages 5 and older. The Tacoma Little Theatre [TACOMA]

The Wind in the Willows, Nov. 30–Dec. 23
An original musical adaptation of the 1908 English tale about Toad, Rat, Mole and Badger. Ages 5 and older. Olympia Family Theater [OLYMPIA]

September events
October events
November events
December events


The Gingerbread Boy, Dec. 12, 1516, 22–23
A puppet Christmas drama involving a magical world of candy, cookies and ice cream. All ages. Thistle Theatre [SEATTLE, BELLEVUE]

Holiday Spectacular, Dec. 1
A collection of favorite holiday things, including a musical sing-along story. Ages newborn–5. Benaroya Hall [SEATTLE]

Sounds of the Season, Dec. 2
The Tacoma Youth Chorus returns for Tacoma Symphony Orchestra’s annual collage of seasonal musical delights. All ages. Tacoma Symphony, Pantages Theatre [TACOMA]

Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, Dec. 2
The first of a three-concert series titled "Beyond the Score," which pairs live concerts with multimedia presentations to help audiences understand the context of a masterwork before hearing it. Ages 12 and older. Benaroya Hall [SEATTLE]

The Nutcracker, Dec. 2-3, 8–9, 14–16
A period production, including the beautifully costumed party scene, a snow scene and the Waltz of the Flowers. Evergreen City Ballet [KIRKLAND, AUBURN, RENTON]

Owen Meany’s Christmas Pageant, Dec. 4–23
Tiny Owen Meany’s unwavering determination to play the baby Jesus in the church Christmas pageant leads to side-splittingly hilarious adventures. Book-It Theatre, Center Theatre [SEATTLE]

Black Nativity, Dec. 6–23
A gospel-song play by noted American poet and novelist Langston Hughes. STG Presents, The Moore Theatre [SEATTLE]

Festival of Lessons & Carols, Dec. 7–23
In a nine-concert series, Northwest Boychoir, Vocalpoint! Seattle and members of Northwest Sinfonia perform the story of the Nativity, with readings, choral pieces and carol sing-alongs. NW Choirs [SEATTLE]

Annie, Dec. 7–22
The beloved musical about a spunky Depression-era orphan determined to find her parents. Renton Civic Theatre, Carco Theatre [RENTON]

The Nutcracker, Dec. 7–29
Gorgeous costumes, sets by Maurice Sendak, a snowfall every performance and impeccable dancing make this the Nutcracker to see. Pacific Northwest Ballet, McCaw Hall [SEATTLE CENTER]

PNB NutcrackerThe Nutcracker, Dec. 7–8, 15–16, 22–23
A full-length traditional production of Tchaikovsky’s holiday ballet, with guest artists. Olympic Ballet Theatre [ARLINGTON, EDMONDS, EVERETT]

Hootenanny, Dec. 8
The Kindiependent Kids Rock Series presents a rockin’ concert by The Not-Its!, The Board of Education, Caspar Babypants, Johnny Bregar, The Harmonica Pocket and Recess Monkey. Kindiependent, Mount Baker Community Center [MOUNT BAKER]

A Christmas Carol, Dec. 8, 15, 22
A one-hour original adaptation designed to appeal to even the youngest theatergoers. SecondStory Repertory [REDMOND]

The Nutcracker, Dec. 8–9, 15–16, 22–23
The story of Clara and the Nutcracker performed by Tacoma City Ballet, in concert with the Northwest Sinfonietta. Tacoma City Ballet, Pantages Theater [TACOMA]

The Best Christmas Pageant EverThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Dec. 8–24
As the infamous Herdman clan take over the church pageant, everyone’s traditional notions of Christmas are challenged. Seattle Public Theatre, The Bathhouse Theater [NORTH SEATTLE]

Holiday Traditions, Dec. 9
The Tacoma Concert Band presents its first holiday concert in many years, featuring mezzo-soprano Dawn Padula. Tacoma Concert Band, Rialto Theater [TACOMA]

Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, Dec. 9
European-style clowns, amazing juggling and balancing acts and talented performing pets who were once strays. All ages. Kirkland Performance Center [KIRKLAND]

Sleeping Beauty and the Pea, Dec. 15–Jan. 13
A rowdy, irreverent musical comedy version mash-up of two fairy tales performed “panto” style — a British pantomime for which vigorous audience participation is encouraged. On-site concessions including Hale’s beer. All ages. The Fremont Players, Hale’s Palladium [FREMONT]

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Dec. 13–24
A Lakewood Playhouse production about a church Christmas pageant colliding with the inventively awful Herdman kids. Lakewood Playhouse [LAKEWOOD]

The Nutcracker, Dec. 14–16, 19–23
Brilliant costumes and sets from Ukraine and principal dancers from Russia. All ages. International Ballet Theatre, Meydenbauer Center Theatre [BELLEVUE]

Big Top Rock, Dec. 15, 16, 23, 27, 29, 30
Teatro ZinZanni’s second annual Big Top Rock show for kids blends circus arts with music by local Kindiependent bands; come early for preshow carnival games in the lobby. Teatro ZinZanni [SEATTLE]

Messiah, Dec. 14
An all-star list of vocal soloists performs one of the most beloved oratorios of all time. All ages. Tacoma Symphony, St. Charles Borromeo Church [TACOMA]

The Christmas Revels, Dec. 15–16, 18–19
A timeless celebration drawing on many centuries of English song, dance, foolery and drama. Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, Rialto Theater [TACOMA]

Moscow Boys Choir, Dec. 19The Not Its
One of Russia’s most prestigious all-boy choirs sings holiday favorites. Edmonds Center for the Arts [EDMONDS]

Kindie New Year, Dec. 29
Kindiependent Kids Rock Series at the Mount Baker Clubhouse presents a New Year’s Eve event by The Not-Its!. Kindiependent at the Mount Baker Community Center [MOUNT BAKER]

Elisa Murray, ParentMap's Out + About editor, has a must-see list longer than her arm after writing this preview. 

September events
October events
November events
December events

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