When the weather turns foul, I can’t think of many places I’d rather be than tucked inside a darkened theater. Many theater and dance companies offer Christmas-themed fare during this season, of course, but others just produce shows with an extra shot of glitter designed to brighten our mood at this sometimes gloomy time of year.
Not to add to your level of stress, but holiday shows are popular, so don’t wait to buy tickets for anything that catches your eye.
Plays and puppets
A Christmas Carol
Music and colorful costumes will keep kids’ interest in this retelling of Dickens’ classic holiday tale, but watch out for the creepy ghost of Jacob Marley. No babes in arms. $24-$45. Nov. 23-Dec. 24. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle. 206-292-7676, www.acttheatre.org (Downtown Seattle)
A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley
A new adaptation of the story, in which Scrooge himself narrates his ghost-assisted journey from misery to contentment. $10-$20. Nov. 23-Dec. 9. New Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave., Everett. 425-258-6766, www.everetttheatre.org (Everett)
‘Twas the Night . . .
The original musical comedy is based loosely on Clement Clark Moore’s famous poem about a family’s brush with St. Nick. Ages 5 and older. Nov. 24-Dec. 16. Studio East, 402 Sixth St. S., Kirkland, 425-827-3123 (or 1-877-827-1100), www.studio-east.org (Kirkland)
The story of a boy who wants to stay that way and his adventures with the very proper Darling children, performed using author J.M. Barrie’s prose. $15-$40. Nov. 30-Dec. 27. Book-It Repertory Theatre at the Center House Theatre, 305 Harrison St., Seattle. 206-216-0833, www.book-it.org (Seattle Center)
The Gift of the Magi
A musical based on O. Henry’s short story about a young, broke couple’s loving Christmas gift exchange. Ages 5 and older. $10-$32. Dec. 5-23. ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave. S.W., Seattle. 206-938-0339, www.artswest.org (West Seattle)
A Child’s Christmas in Wales
Stone Soup Theatre’s adaptation of the Dylan Thomas poem about childhood holiday magic, performed by students and adult professional actors. $14. Dec. 7-23. 4135 Stone Way N., Seattle. 206-633-1883, www.stonesouptheatre.com (Wallingford)
The Neverending Story
An adventure fantasy about a young boy’s quest to save the kingdom of Fantastica from the encroaching Nothingness. Ages 8 and older. $17-$33. Dec. 7-Jan. 27. Seattle Children’s Theatre, 201 Thomas St., Seattle. 206-441-3322, www.sct.org (Seattle Center)
The Miracle on 34th Street
Bellevue Youth Theatre’s take on the Christmas story about each person’s unique importance, with music and costumes from the '40s. Ages 4 and older. $10. Dec. 7-9. The Theatre at Meydenbauer Center, 11100 N.E. Sixth St., Bellevue. 206-325-6500, www.ci.bellevue.wa.us/youth_theatre_productions.htm (Bellevue)
The No Hole Holiday
SecondStory Repertory’s popular holiday musical is back this year! Find out what happens when the Gump Sisters sabotage the world’s hole factory. (What’s a Christmas stocking without a hole on top?) All ages. Dec. 7-23. $14-$18. SecondStory Repertory at Redmond Town Center, 16587 N.E. 74th St., Redmond. 425-881-6777, www.secondstoryrep.org (Redmond)
Merry Chris Mouse
A poor brown mouse family discovers a surprise in the children’s playroom of their new home and learn a lesson about helping others. Thistle Theatre’s bunraku-style puppetry makes this uniquely entertaining for kids. Ages pre-K-grade 3. $7-$9. The show plays Dec. 8-23 at locations in Seattle and Bellevue. 206-524-3388, www.thistletheatre.org (Ballard, Sand Point, Bellevue)
The Elves and the Shoemaker
A pair of elves improve a poor shoemaker’s holiday in this adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Ages pre-K-grade 3. $12-$14. Sunday, Dec. 9 only. Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett. 425-257-8600, www.villagetheatre.org (Everett)
Music and dance
It’s big and glittery and the very definition of a holiday show for many families. Pacific Northwest Ballet’s annual production appeals even to toddlers with its brilliant sets and props by Maurice Sendak, but it’s best for children who can sit through the longish performance. Nov. 23-Dec. 29. Ticket prices and packages available online. Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, 301 Mercer St., Seattle. 206-441-2424, www.pnb.org (Seattle Center)
Celtic Yuletide Concerts
Magical Strings’ long-running holiday shows include Celtic instruments, Irish step dancing, Thomas Arthur’s lyrical juggling, seasonal carols and general winter pageantry. Shows run Nov. 25-Dec. 17 at venues in Shoreline, Kent, Seattle and Bellevue. $18-$25. Look here for concert schedule and tickets: www.magicalstrings.com/YT_2007.html. (Many locations)
Black Nativity: A Gospel Song Play
The popular Christmas pageant (this is its 10th year) features roof-raising music by the Total Experience Gospel Choir. Ages 4 and older. $10-$48. Nov. 28-Dec. 28. Intiman Theatre, 201 Mercer St., Seattle. 206-269-1900, www.intiman.org (Seattle Center)
International Ballet Theatre performs the ballet the way it was created by Tchaikovsky and Petipa more than a century ago in St. Petersburg, and features principal dancers from the Kirov Ballet. It plays at Kirkland Performance Center on Dec. 7-9 and at Meydenbauer Center on Dec. 14-22. $20-$45. Tickets: 425-284-0444, www.ticketwindowonline.com, information: www.interballetschool.com (Kirkland, Bellevue)
Kris Collingridge is ParentMap’s Out & About editor.