The Nutcracker, Christian Frederickson


When Pacific Northwest Ballet directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell announced that they had snagged famed children's artist Maurice Sendak to design a new production of the holiday perennial, the general response was, "Why didn't anyone think of this sooner?" Sendak's brilliant combination of whimsy and menace underlines the transgressive aspects of the story, with rebellious children and unsettling experiences, but surrounds it with a beautiful rococo frame, keeping it—and us—safe from harm. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., 206-292-ARTS. $19-96. Opens Fri. Dec. 3. Various dates and times. Ends Tues. Dec. 28. SANDRA KURTZ

Christian Frederickson

In 25 years of steady concert-going, I can't say I've ever heard a solo viola recital. Here's a chance to hear this distinctive voice unencumbered by the rest of the orchestra, allowed to play something other than fill-in harmony notes and waltz afterbeats. The program is two suites by Bach and Max Reger. A couple seasons ago, cellist Matt Haimovitz brought Bach to the Tractor Tavern; I'm thrilled by this trend of serious solo classical performances in unconventional and intimate venues. On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 206-217-9888. $7-$12. 8 p.m. Wed. Dec. 1. GAVIN BORCHERT

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