The Must List: Gift Ideas, Black Nativity and Willy Wonka!

Black Nativity
This local holiday classic is back for its 14th year, telling the original Christmas story with a mostly African-American cast, gospel-style, with some inspired additions, such as poetry by Langston Hughes and choreography by Spectrum Dance Theatre’s Donald Byrd. The singing is phenomenal. And while the show tells a Biblical story, the commentary is all about fostering tolerance and understanding across all denominations (and non-denominations). Anyway, there’s a good chance you won’t be too worried about the bigger message - you’ll be too busy clapping and dancing in the aisles.

12/8–12/24. Times and prices vary. The Moore Theatre, 1932 2nd Ave.; 206.812.3284;

The Matryoshka Show
If you were ever enchanted by a Russian nesting doll as a kid, you may find yourself delighted by this unique art showing, The Matryoshka Show, curated by local artist Michael Alm. He’s rounded up eighteen emerging artists, including Seattle mag spotlight winner Troy Gua, to “interpret” the classic toy in a variety of media on display now at Ghost Gallery in Capitol Hill. Bonus: Ghost Gallery sells delightful locally made jewelry, art and wares from local crafters that should make for great gift shopping.

12/8-1/8. Hours vary. Free admission. Ghost Gallery; 504 E Denny Way;

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Take your little ones (or yourself) to see the classic 1971 film the way it was meant to be experienced: on the big screen - and in “sense surround,” as SIFF is calling it. On-screen treats leap to life in the form of free goodie bags filled with aromatic, edible sweets, while audience cues encourage sing-alongs and shout-outs (à la The Rocky Horror Picture Show). Golden ticket not required!

12/9-12/11. Times vary. $10–$15. SIFF Cinema at the Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206.324.9996;

Allspice in everything!

Local chefs and bartenders are looking to allspice—the utility player of the holiday spice rack—to add warmth and complexity to dishes and drinks during the cold winter months. Here are 4 places we’re getting our cozy, winter cravings fix.

12 Days of Gift Giving
Seattle mag shopping editor Kate Calamusa has your last-minute and lost-for-ideas gift buying needs covered. For 12 days straight, she’ll post ideas on the blog to help guide you to great gifts that support local proprietors. First up: Locally made gifts fit for foodies.