People at their best in 'Come From Away,' Tituss Burgess & Men's Chorus, local booksellers' day: your weekend list

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Company of Come From Away.

Come From Away

On Sept. 11, 2001, tiny, out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere Gander, Newfoundland suddenly found itself hosting thousands of people stranded mid-route as their planes were diverted from U.S. airspace.

Thirty-eight planes landed, delivering passengers from all over the world. And what these passengers found in Gander were hosts so gracious, donations poured in and in the ensuing years, folks would return to Gander to keep saying, Thanks.

Maybe it’s because there’s been so much ugliness in the world of late, but I found myself overwhelmed by this production, recalibrated even. This show reminds us that even during our worst times, human beings are capable of showing extraordinary generosity. The acting, the staging, the breadth of real-life characters on stage are each powerful in their own right. And did I mention the story has been woven into a Celtic rock musical? One of the best shows from any  genre that I have ever seen.

If you go: Come From Away, Seattle Rep, now through Dec. 13 (Tickets start at $22)—F.D.

Tituss Burgess and the Seattle Men’s Chorus

Few press releases ever elicit an OMG, OMG! But the one announcing Tituss Burgess would be guest starring with the Seattle Men’s Chorus? Thank you, Baby Jesus and the Universe, because Tituss Burgess with the Men’s Chorus is like panettone bread pudding served with rum-laced egg nog. You don’t actually need both but the combination makes you as happy as Rudolph getting kissed by Clarice. Burgess is most famous for playing the Emmy-nominated character Titus Andromedon in the Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The Men’s Chorus is wildly popular for being a holiday staple and for putting on shows that are theatrical, funny and also quite moving. The Chorus’s holiday schedule includes performances in Seattle, Everett and Tacoma between Nov. 28 and Dec. 21. A full schedule is available here.

Burgess will be performing at only the first two Seattle concerts.

If you go: Tituss Burgess Sings With The Seattle Men’s Chorus, Nov. 28 and 29, Benaroya Hall ($25-$78)—F.D.

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Tituss Burgess

* The Bizarre Bazaar

The holidays cometh! Get your shopping done before December madness hits AND support local artists and crafters by heading to The Bizarre Bazaar. Blown glass jewelry, pottery, paintings –some of it mystical, much of it beautiful and all of it locally and lovingly made. Meander to music from DJs Dane Garfield Wilson and Jimini Kickit in Sole Repair.

If you go: Sole Repair, 1001 E. Pike St., Sunday 11/29 from 1-6 p.m., Free.—N.C.

* Seattle Sheraton’s Gingerbread Village

 Will Princess Leia’s braided buns be crafted out of brown M&Ms? Will R2D2 be made out of marshmallows? And how do you capture Chewbacca’s scruff? Star Wars is the theme for this year’s gingerbread houses that are gooey, finely detailed and fabulous marvels. May the force prevent you from wanting to reach out and eat a Jedi warrior.

If you go: Gingerbread Village, Seattle Sheraton, Through Jan 3 (Free)—F.D.

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Some of the creations featured in this year’s Star Wars-inspired Gingerbread Village.

* Waitsgiving

Cover band The Bleeding Romeos bring the rough-edged poetry of Tom Waits to the stage for an evening called Waitsgiving, which seems just right. Expect to hear some of your favorites as well as “a few sleepers that were pulled from way down in the hole.” The band does justice to Waits’ breadth of instrumentation and has a gravelly vocalist that balances the macabre with heart, properly telling the stories of the lost for which Waits has become famous.

If you go: The Royal Room, Saturday 11/28 at 8 p.m., No cover, Donations encouraged—N.C.

* Indies First

After the big box madness that has become Black Friday is the totally lovable celebration of Small Business Saturday. Saturday also acts as Indies First, a day to show your love for local booksellers and meet authors as they talk to you about books at the counter of your local bookstore. Sherman Alexie, the mastermind behind the event, will be at Elliott Bay offering book recommendations, Book Larder will be hosting a bunch of local cookbook authors (including Renee Erickson), and there will be a YA panel and sci-fi panel at University Bookstore. Don’t forget about Ravenna Third Place, Phinney Books, and Ada’s Technical Books, among others, and make this holiday one where you give the gift of books (I’m pretty excited to give my sisters an adult coloring book and Humans of New York: Stories).

If you go: Bookstores around town, Saturday 11/28, Free—N.C.

*Items $15 or less


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