Holiday theater season starts NOW. My pick for "least annoying holiday production" (it's all relative, buddies) is Artist Rep's Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol, which opens tonight:

Literature’s favorite quirky inquisitor is infused with the spirit of a crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge in an unusual holiday show crafted by Seattle veteran playwright John Longenbaugh. After failed attempts by Dr. Watson to cheer Holmes into celebrating the holiday season, the unrepentant, ill-tempered detective is forced to deduce the facts and solve the most important mystery of his life — past, present and future.

As I hope to never again see a production of A Christmas Carol, I appreciate the twist—plus, one of my favorite local actors, Todd Van Voris, is playing Watson. Yesterday on Fresh Air, director Alexander Payne characterized a good actor as someone with the ability to make even terrible writing sound good—Van Voris is that kind of actor.

Also opening in the next few weeks: OBT's obligatory production of The Nutcracker; PCS' reprisals of A Christmas Story and The Santaland Diaries (delicate yawn); probably someone somewhere is producing A Tuna Christmas. Oh, and Imago has a show called Cats!, which is about... cats! (I think the exclamation point is a crucial part of that title.) It'll be like this, but all kitties:

Theater listings are over here, if you want more.