We’re not quite in Christmas Carol territory, but holiday-themed events are popping up around Seattle. Especially markets. Another one appears on Saturday when Gobble Up Northwest serves up gifts for the foodies on your holiday shopping list. And two other faces we haven’t seen in a while: Women’s hockey returns in a big way with the Women’s Rivalry Series at Climate Pledge Arena, and Teatro ZinZanni is back, ready to show you what it’s like to get ZinZazzled.
📸: Courtesy Teatro ZinZanni
Opens November 16
Teatro ZinZanni takes the concept of “dinner theater” and turns it on its head. From the moment you cross the festive threshold, you’re treated more like a guest than an audience member, encouraged to don one of the sparkly accessories available in the gift shop, for example, to join in all the fun. The evening unfolds at a leisurely pace, with food and frolicking alternating throughout the night. A welcoming song. Some tasty appetizers. A little comedy. A zesty salad. A heartstring-tugging torch number. A hearty main course. An aerial display by an athletic performer? Very likely. Audience participation? Possibly. It’s the kind of show where the unexpected is—expected.
This latest iteration is appropriately titled Coming Home. After losing its original lower Queen Anne location to development, spending some time in the wilds of Woodinville, and shutting down entirely during the pandemic, Teatro ZinZanni returns to within the Seattle city limits at Sodo Park. The cast includes ZinZanni veteran Kevin Kent, overseeing a bill that features the likes of Chinese pole artist Domitil Aillot, hula hoop star Vita Radionova, and “yodeling dominatrix” Manuela Horn. The culinary experience will be provided by award-winning caterers Herban Feast, headed by Chef Jason Munger, dishing up a fabulous four-course meal (tip: if you can afford it, opt for the wine pairing). The show’s currently running through February 19, giving you plenty of opportunities to find out what it’s like to get ZinZazzled. GILLIAN GAAR
📸: Courtesy Stephanie Nam
Produced by Stephanie Nam, a queer Korean-American comic—whose other live shows include: Just a Phase, Model Minority, and The Queer Agenda—Men Aren’t Funny is a monthly stand-up show giving a stage to women and non-binary comedians. And Nam says it’s consistently sold out ever since its first show in November 2019. It’s been happening third Fridays of the month at The Royal Room, a cozy, eclectic, and mildly goth-decorated bar and restaurant—which coincidentally also serves an amazing burger.
“The unfortunate reality is that women are consistently gatekept from comedy clubs, competitions, and festivals by men who still believe that women aren’t funny. This has happened to me and nearly every other woman that I know in comedy. It is not a thing of the past as many like to believe,” said Nam. Shows like Men Aren’t Funny, which focuses on the experiences of women and non-binary people and offers a safe place for these groups to decompress, feel necessary now more than ever.
Tickets to the event are on sale on Nam’s website and are on a $20-50 sliding scale—pay what you can. Proof of vaccinations is required and masks are encouraged at The Royal Room. REMI FREDERICK
📸: Courtesy Urban Craft Uprising
November 19 • 10 am – 5 pm
A universal truth: Everybody’s gotta eat. That’s why food-related presents are always a win in my book. For fun local picks, knock out your holiday shopping at Gobble Up NW, a crafty food and beverage show curated by the folks at Urban Craft Uprising. Over 80 vendors will stock their wares on Saturday, November 19, at Hangar 30 in Magnuson Park. To make a day of it, go to lakefront Magnuson Brewery and take in a cloudy view over a beer afterward.
Check out these highly giftable edible treats:
- Handcrafted Yoka Miso, a family recipe made in small batches by a daughter-father duo
- Any of the flavors made by Jonboy Caramels: Absinthe with Black Salt was inspired by Scandinavian salted black licorice
- Fancy salts—Peep San Juan Island Sea Salt’s popcorn seasoning!
- For Bitter, For Worse, zero-proof bottled cocktails the New York Times called “pleasantly bitter and thoroughly grown up”
- Take & bake cookie dough (and samples!!) from The Pastry Project (their Theo Chocolate-laced Peppermint Blackout is rich, dark, and everything I want in a holiday cookie)
The event is free to attend. Just reserve your spot ahead of time. MEGHNA JARADI
📸: Courtesy The 5th Avenue Theatre
Opens November 19
Everybody look around, ’cause there’s a reason to rejoice, you see. It’s The Wiz, the 5th Avenue Theatre’s latest family-geared holiday spectacular.
A soul, R&B, and gospel retelling of The Wizard of Oz with an all-Black cast, The Wiz’s original Broadway production won seven of its eight 1975 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical. Three years later, it became a Sidney Lumet film starring Diana Ross (they aged Dorothy up for the movie to be Harlem schoolteacher), Nipsey Russell, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor, and Lena Horne.
I spoke with associate artistic director Jay Woods, who also directed last season’s sensational Beauty and the Beast, to get more info on this brand-new production. “This is the first time The 5th is creating an original staging of The Wiz by an almost entirely local cast that is wildly talented,” Woods said. “It’s great for the whole family and is something to share in community during the holidays.”
The production boasts direction and choreography by Twin Cities-based theatremaker Kelli Foster Warder, who choreographed previous 5th Ave shows Annie (2018) and the stripped-down revival of Flaherty and Ahrens’ Ragtime (2017), one of the most emotionally stirring things I’ve seen on that stage.
“Warder and her team have dreamed up such a specific and joyous world for this very special production,” Woods concluded. “I hope audiences will be wrapped up in that love and joy. It is certainly a blessing to have this show here in Seattle.” MARCUS GORMAN
📸: Courtesy USA Hockey
Sunday, November 20 • 4 pm
I’m thrilled to have a hockey team back in Seattle, but it’s time to bring back the women, too.
Ice hockey historian Wayne Norton, author of Women on Ice, writes that women’s hockey came to Seattle in January 1917. A Vancouver, BC paper reported that wives of the Seattle Metropolitans men’s team had made a team of their own: The Seattle Vamps. In 1921, they competed in various competitions against the Vancouver Amazons and Victoria Kewpies. Sadly, they didn’t continue that following year.
Fast forward to the present: women are back on Seattle ice in a big way. Team USA and Team Canada will participate in the Women’s Hockey Rivalry Series kicking off Sunday, November 20, at Climate Pledge Arena, featuring a rematch of the 2022 Winter Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game, which Team Canada won. The series will continue with games in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Back in college, I lived super close to the ice arena for the women’s hockey team at the University of Minnesota. I’d waddle over and see them kick butt, especially Wisconsin’s. It’s time to do the same here in Seattle. Don’t miss the teams participating in a ceremonial puck drop at the Seattle Kraken game the day before they play. ABBIE GOBELI
📸: Courtesy SMASH + STG
Sunday, November 20 • 7 pm
A tribute to David Bowie to raise money for a nonprofit organization that helps Puget Sound-area musicians gain access to healthcare? That’s a win-win—more “Hang On To Yourself” than “Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide,” to frame it in Ziggy Stardust terms. The concept involves linking legacy Northwest musicians with younger players from the region to homage musical icons, with proceeds going to SMASH (Seattle Musicians Access to Sustainable Healthcare).
Bowie’s catalog boasts so many fascinating facets that the show can’t help being a thrillathon. Curated by Black Fret, this year’s lineup included Peter Buck (R.E.M., Filthy Friends), Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney, Filthy Friends), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie), Jessica Dobson (Deep Sea Diver), Shaina Shepherd, Kurt Bloch (Fastbacks), Molly Sides (Thunderpussy), Jovino Santos Neto, and Mike McCready (Pearl Jam). One new twist to the event will be an afterparty at Madame Lou’s featuring Boots! DJs Sarah Savannah and Maxwell Edison spinning ’60s soul and garage-rock 45s to get you moving and grooving—along with Boots’ stable of go-go dancers. DAVE SEGAL