(Uninvited guests? Dragons? What? Martin Freeman begins the journey of a lifetime in “The Hobbit”/Warner Bros.)
Something a little lighthearted might fit the bill this week — uplifting music by Duke Ellington, maybe, or a nontraditional Christmas comedy, or even inspiration to get fit in the new year by walking Seattle’s public stairways (no, we didn’t say you have to tackle all 507 of them. Start small!).
Martin Freeman steps into Bilbo Baggins’ hairy feet in the first of Peter Jackson’s three-part adaptation of the Tolkien classic. Andy Serkis reprises his “LOTR” role as the centuries-old, ring-possessed little sneak Gollum, and Ian McKellen is again the stately wizard Gandalf the Grey. Read Seattle Times book editor Mary Ann Gwinn’s review here.
‘CMA Country Christmas’
Have you had your fill of holiday music yet? If not, you might want to head over to ABC for this special hosted by Jennifer Nettles and featuring performances by Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Martina McBride and Colbie Caillat. 9 p.m. Thursday (repeated 8 p.m. Saturday) on ABC.
‘Christmas in Washington’
For the second year Conan O’Brien hosts this holiday special from D.C. Scheduled performers include Diana Ross, Megan Hilty, Demi Lovato and Chris Mann. 8 p.m. Friday on TNT.
The pastry chef from Barking Frog restaurant in Woodinville shares recipes and tips on how to make such decadent desserts as eggnog white chocolate cremeux and Pop Rocks chocolate truffles. It’s from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Fireside Cellars inside Willows Lodge, 14580 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville.
Novo Fogo Cachaça
Tavern Law hosts a night of Novo Fogo Cachaça cocktails from 7-10 p.m. on Thursday, when patrons can knock back a cocktail made from this popular Brazil-based spirit for under $10. 1406 12th Ave. Seattle.
< Wild Waves Holiday with Lights
Wild Waves’ holiday activities — light displays, rides, holiday shows, Toyland activities for ages 12 and younger, including Santa visits — continue through Dec. 23; 6-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 6-10 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 20 and Dec. 23, 26-27, 30-31, Wild Waves and Enchanted Village, 36201 Enchanted Parkway S., Federal Way; $12.99-$14.99, parking $5-$10.
Duke Ellington Sacred Concert
Earshot Jazz’s annual celebration of the beautiful, uplifting and swinging sacred music composed by the great jazz-band leader Duke Ellington in the last years of his life. Played by the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra and the Northwest Chamber Chorus, with guest vocalists Everett Greene and Nichol Eskridge. 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $15-$34. Tickets here.
Don Tiki’s Hot Lava Show
We’ve all got that friend who escapes to Hawaii during December, bragging all the way. Let a little tropical warmth into your own life with Honolulu-based Don Tiki and his musicians, vocalists and dancers, bringing songs like “Whatever Lola Wants,” “Jungle Jollyday” and “Xmas Bla Bla Cha Cha” to Seattle. 7:30 p.m. Monday, Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; $19-$100.
‘Seattle Stairway Walks’
You, too, can get fit by walking Seattle’s 507 public stairways! Hear all about it when authors Jake and Cathy Jaramillo present a slideshow of material from their new book “Seattle Stairway Walks: An Up-and-Down Guide to City Neighborhoods.” 7 p.m., Tuesday, Wide World Books & Maps, 4411 Wallingford Ave. North, Seattle; free.
This holiday comedy (by Rosenstock Productions) traces the steps of Goldberg, Frankenstein and Murray, of the Wisemen Law Firm, hired by Joseph to find Jesus’ real father. Through Saturday, ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle; 20-$25.
‘Wonderland: Shaking up Reality’
What if you could be the star of your own snow globe? Give it a try in the “Wonderland” installation in the Olson Kundig Architects’ Pioneer Square storefront, put on by Reel Grrls. “Wonderland” is a human-scale snow globe set that lets you climb inside and try on costumes, pick out miniature scenes and act for the camera. The installation is open select days and times through Dec. 30; times this week are 5-8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 406 Occidental Avenue S., Seattle; free.
This group exhibition, Prographica‘s second annual figurative show, features paintings, drawings and photographs by such artists as Marsha Burns, Jordon Wolfson, Ed Musante, Phillip Levine and Kim Frohsin. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays through Jan. 26, 3419 E. Denny Way, Seattle.