Arts and Entertainment

A very untraditional holiday line-up at Kirkland Performance Center

Singer, songwriter, entertainer Christine Lavin and folk-pop trio Uncle Bonsai deliver this year’s only Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, New Year
Singer, songwriter, entertainer Christine Lavin and folk-pop trio Uncle Bonsai deliver this year’s only Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, New Year's concert with a grain of salt and a lot of laughter at the Kirkland Performance Center on Dec. 1.
— image credit: Contributed

Kirkland Performance Center’s popular Old-Time Holiday Show returns with four performances Dec. 14-16 for families seeking traditional holiday entertainment; remaining performances in the post-Thanksgiving KPC line-up fall in the very untraditional category.

Shows featuring jazz, soul, indie, folk, comedy and even ninja acrobatics keep holiday audiences entertained from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

VIP tickets are available for The Four Freshman on Nov. 24 and Nanda: The Jacket – Christmas “Kung Faux” on Dec. 21-22. Quantities are very limited. VIP patrons receive prime seating and the opportunity to meet the artists after the show.

A complete list of shows for the remainder of the season is available at Tickets are available over the phone at (425) 893-9900 or at the KPC Box Office, open from 12-6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday until curtain on show days (hours are subject to change seasonally). The Box Office is located at 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland.

Seattle International Comedy Competition Finals

Begins at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23; tickets $27.

Comedy Underground returns to KPC just in time to offer comedy relief from Black Friday shopping! Hundreds of comedians audition each year from around the country to compete; only thirty-two are chosen.  This final round of competition at KPC will feature 5 of the best comedians selected from previous qualifying rounds. May contain adult material. For information, visit

The Four Freshmen

Begins at 8 p.m. Nov. 24; tickets $35 ($75 – VIP)

Formed at Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music in Indianapolis in 1948, The Four Freshmen are a ground-breaking vocal group who influenced The Hi-Lo’s, The Beach Boys, Manhattan Transfer and countless other close-harmony ensembles in the 50’s and 60’s. The great Stan Kenton paved the way for them to record for Capitol records in 1950. The singers accompany themselves on guitar, bass, drums and trumpet, earning them six Grammy nominations. For information, visit

Christine Lavin & Uncle Bonsai

Begins at 8 p.m. Dec. 1; tickets $32

Singer, songwriter, entertainer Christine Lavin and folk-pop trio Uncle Bonsai deliver this year’s only Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, New Year’s concert with a grain of salt and a lot of laughter. With the spotlight on fresh, new holiday-themed songs along with those from their own repertoires Christine and Uncle Bonsai deliver an exuberant concert of songs you’ll never hear in an elevator. Joining Christine and Uncle Bonsai are classical guitarist Hilary Field and singer-songwriter Larry Murante. For information, visit or

Gabriel Kahane & Rob Moose with Elizabeth and the Catapult

Begins at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6; tickets $18

Eclectic CAN be cohesive! Singer, multi-instrumentalist and composer, Gabriel Kahane comes to KPC to play work from his latest album Where are the Arms - a suite of 11 smart songs that weave in, out and between pop, rock and classical, covering a broad range of emotions.

Having collaborated and performed with the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Loudon Wainwright III, and former Nickel Creekfront-man Chris Thile, Kahane will be joined by frequent collaborator Rob Moose (Bon Iver, Beth Orton, The National). Brooklyn-based Elizabeth and the Catapult opens. For information, visit

Meshell Ndegeocello: A Dedication to Nina Simone

Begins at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13; tickets $30

While Nina Simone is no longer here to pass the torch, Meshell Ndegeocello’s latest album “Pour Une Ame Souvraine” (For a Sovereign Soul) clearly nominates her as Simone’s heir apparent. This work is not just a tribute but a transformation.

Produced by Meshell and guitar player Chris Bruce, this album is a labor of love, a reflection of Meshell’s awe, affection, and gratitude for the pioneering work of a woman who refused to be owned by genre, industry, or expectation. The live performance of this seminal work is one you will be proud to witness.

A bass player above all else, Meshell brings her signature warmth and groove to everything she does and has appeared alongside the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Alanis Morrisette, James Blood Ulmer, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Tony Allen, John Medeski, Billy Preston, and Chaka Khan. As for her own bass-playing influences, she credits Sting, Jaco Pastorius, Family Man Barrett, and Stevie Wonder. Meshell was the first woman to be featured on the cover of Bass Player magazine and remains one of few women who writes music and leads the band. For information, visit

KPC’s Old-Time Holiday Show

Shows begin at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14-16; tickets $18-$30

Get your tickets early to KPC’s annual sell-out variety show. It’s a true holiday classic featuring comedians, clowns, jugglers, singers, live music, choirs, specialty acts and surprise guest artists. It’s the Ed Sullivan show meets Prairie Home Companion – with some Cirque de Soleil tossed on top. It’s a perfect dose of entertainment for visiting friends and family of all ages.

Nanda: The Jacket – Christmas “Kung Faux”

Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 21-22; tickets $20-$35 (VIP $65)

Teeming with juggling, acrobatics and high-energy fight sequences, “The Jacket” redefines the modern ninja with a deft combination of comedy and absurd pop-culture references making for an entirely original work of fast-paced, eye-popping theatre.

The show blasts flippantly into a ridiculous world of martial arts folly and adventure, and then at the drop of a hat, or a timely juggling club, will suddenly become a circus-slapstick throwback to classic vaudeville or a pantomimed espionage-action flick parody. This panoply of stylistic influences is propelled by a sweeping story, replete with ancient mystics, kung-faux robots, lasers, and a myriad of other oddities borrowed from motion picture miscellany.

The result is an irreverent spectacle-laden homage to the intrepid achievements of popular culture, with a wink and smile at the old days of Marx Brothers-style wit and Charlie Chaplin’s physical comedy. Nanda gang will be putting a holiday-themed Kung-Faux spin for this special December performance! For information, visit


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