See It This Week

Pickwick at the Crocodile, ‘Vietgone’ at Seattle Rep, Sugar Plum Gary at 18th and Union

Monday, Dec. 12 – Saturday, Dec. 17
One of this ‘burg’s great running holiday traditions, the Grand Illusion’s December screenings of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, began last week and continue unabated throughout the month. Alternately as sentimental as an old scrapbook and harrowing enough to pack an emotional wallop even now, the movie’s one of those old-school Hollywood classics that reveals new layers on every viewing. –Tony Kay
Grand Illusion Cinema

Monday, Dec. 12 & Thursday, Dec. 15 – Sunday, Dec. 18
Acrobatic Conundrum’s Love and Gravity is a brilliantly-balanced combination of acrobatics and aerial performances and intimate storytelling focused on love and relationships (as you may have guessed from the title), with dance and a little live music thrown in for good measure. Yes, the athletic spectacle is mind-blowing, but these charismatic performers are equally talented on solid ground. –Gemma Wilson
12th Avenue Arts

Tuesday, Dec. 13 – Sunday, Dec. 18
When playwright Qui Nguyen decided to tell the story of how his Vietnamese parents met at a refugee camp in Arkansas in 1975, he wasn’t interested in some stuffy, straightforward bio-play. His version of that family story, Vietgone, is both laugh-out-loud funny and truly touching, filtered through Nguyen’s love of nerdy pop culture, populated with modern, badass characters and crammed with comedy, rap music and ninjas. –Gemma Wilson
Seattle Repertory Theatre

Wednesday, Dec. 14
It’s been three years since Seattle heard new recordings from local faves Pickwick, but their intermittent shows over the last few months suggest they’re leaning away from retro-soul rock ‘n roll and into a decidedly disco/dance direction. We’ll find out more when their album drops sometime in the coming months. SISTERS, long one of our favorite electro-pop bands in the city, release Drink Champagne, their ecstatic, panoramic, full-length debut, in February. We expect both will be among 2017’s best local albums; we know both are phenomenal live acts who will surely blow up the stage tonight. –Jonathan Zwickel
The Crocodile

Thursday, Dec. 15
Seattle singer/rapper Guayaba had a crammed floor at Chop Suey’s Den eating out of her hand during last Friday’s Freakout Festival, so you better believe that her multi-culti, dub-influenced grooves and sensual delivery will bring some heat to this frigid-ass week. The stacked bill includes her producer Luna God, ambient electro artist Brakebill and Seattle DJ J-Nasty. –Tony Kay

Friday, Dec. 16 –  Saturday, Dec. 17
Clad in red footie pajamas, Christmas enthusiast and leading “Santanist” Sugar Plum Gary (who bears a striking resemblance to local comedy/storytelling luminary Emmett Montgomery) leads the audience on a journey into the apocalyptic heart of the holiday, which he envisions as an ancient and terror-filled occasion. It’s a hilariously Lovecraftian take on the yuletide season that will stay with you year-round. Also runs Dec. 23 and 24. –Brett Hamil
18th and Union (formerly New City Theatre)

Saturday, Dec. 17 – Sunday, Dec. 18
A log-flume ride down Yesler Street is a monumentally ridiculous idea, but a gallery space dedicated to works by Seattle public school art students is brilliant. Both proposals are presented, along with a dozen or so more (an international art biennial on Harbor Island; an LGBTQ-advocacy checkpoint to access Capitol Hill) in sober, thoughtful terms backed by clever visual aids in the Bureau of Arts & Culture, a not-so-satirical installation-cum-social statement running its final weekend at King Street Station. Produced by the three-man collective PDL, which comprises art-world instigators Arne Pihl, Jed Dunkerly and Greg Lundgren, the Bureau suggests that the answers to Seattle’s nagging issues requires wildly creative problem solving. Your move, Mayor Murray. –Jonathan Zwickel
King Street Station