OLY ARTS is your leading guide to Thurston County entertainment. This newsletter features A Christmas Cactus, The Physician in Spite of Himself and the best local arts and culture for Dec. 1-7.
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Feeling Festive at OLY ARTS!

We had a wonderful time debuting our holiday print edition at Downtown for the Holidays last weekend. Christmas is just around the corner! What a wonderful time to enjoy festive and funny entertainment in Olympia theaters. Those are truly a gift that keeps on giving, season after memorable season.

Of course this whole county is bursting at the seams with live entertainment. That's why we recommend you give an ear to our comprehensive weekend preview podcast, which graces every Friday. It'll fill you in on Sister's Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi's Gold, PoetryMusic, One Starry Night, Jingle: A Christmas Celebration, the ongoing runs of The Stardust Christmas Enchantment and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and over a dozen other wonderful events premiering this first week of December.

This OLY ARTS newsletter is your cultural digest for Thurston County, December 1-7:

A Christmas Cactus
A Christmas Cactus

“Jake Marley was dead,” says director Kendra Malm, adding with a wink, “to begin with.” It’s a measure of the familiarity of Dickens’ 1843 novella A Christmas Carol that Malm can drop that allusion so casually. In A Christmas Cactus, the narrative’s a bit shadier—in a word, noir. “It’s a takeoff on Dickens and film noir,” Malm explains. In this present-day, comic mystery, “Marley was the private eye,” says Malm, “who sent up the escaped convict, who comes breaking into his successors’ office on Christmas Eve looking for vindication. The successor is Cactus O’Riley,” a redheaded private eye (Erin Quinn Valcho). The story gets twistier from there, but remains family-friendly.

When: 7:25 p.m. Thursdays – Saturdays, Dec. 2-17;
1:25 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 11 and 18

Where: Olympia Little Theatre,
1925 Miller Ave. NE, Olympia

How much: $9-$15

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The Physician in Spite of Himself

The Physician in Spite of Himself

Theater Artists Olympia (TAO) presents Molière’s 17th-century farce, as adapted by Philip Wickstrom and the TAO collective and set in Louisiana in the 1880s. Sganarelle (Robert McConkey) is a poor woodworker. Through a bizarre set of circumstances, he finds himself pretending to be a doctor and discovers he likes it. Director Pug Bujeaud says, Everywhere I turn there is more tragedy in the world...(I) needed to step back and ground myself. I simply wanted a break from the angst, from the anger, and to have some great fun...Physician in Spite of Himself is just that. It is funny, it is naughty, it lends itself to inclusion."

When: 8 p.m. Dec. 2-3, 9-11 and 15-17

Where: The Midnight Sun Performance Space,
113 Columbia St. N, Olympia

How much: $15

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Hari Kondabolu

Hari Kondabolu (With Elicia Sanchez)

Though his material frequently tackles weighty subjects, Hari Kondabolu makes laughing at serious topics seem effortless. "The things that hurt," he agrees: "That’s what’s always been interesting to me.” On his recent album, Mainstream American Comic, he makes even the toughest subjects hilarious and vibrant. Though born and raised in New York, Kondabolu has deep connections to the Pacific Northwest, having developed as a comic for years in Seattle. "The idea of having an audience that...lets you take risks, that’s a really big deal,” says Kondabolu. “I feel like Northwest audiences have always given me that.” Politically minded Olympians, meet your new favorite comedian.

When: 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2

Where: Capitol Theater,
206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia

How much: $8-$12

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Find your copy of OLY ARTS' holiday print edition at every local theater, Batdorf & Bronson, Bread Peddler, Olympia Farmers Market and many live-arts venues!

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