From Grammy, Emmy and Academy Award-winning Steve Martin and Grammy Award-winning Edie Brickell comes Bright Star, the five-time Tony-nominated new musical that The New York Times called "a shining achievement." Directed by Tony winner Walter Bobbie and inspired by a real event, this original musical tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and '40s. Propelled by Carmen Cusack, whose role as Alice earned her a Tony Award nomination, along with an ensemble of onstage musicians and dancers, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies and powerfully moving performances. Bright Star -- as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful -- is "a gorgeous anthem to optimism" (Variety). Score your tickets today at the Curran in San Francisco.
A.C.T.'s acclaimed, music-infused adaptation of Dickens' beloved tale returns in a sumptuous production that's become one of the Bay Area's favorite holiday traditions. A large, lively cast tells the story of lonely old miser Ebenezer Scrooge, a bah-humbuggy sort who's shown a second chance by four ghosts who visit him one spooky and sleepless Christmas Eve. A classic story of redemption and forgiveness, A Christmas Carol captures the true spirit and magic of the holiday season, especially in this imaginative version written by A.C.T.'s own artistic director Carey Perloff and alumnus Paul Walsh.
A Bay Area holiday family tradition, the California Revels are back with their 32st annual Christmas show at the Scottish Rite Theater in Oakland -- where this year's theme matches the gorgeous setting. A Scottish Celebration of the Solstice celebrates the shortest day of the year with plenty of high-kicking, kilt-wearing excitement, from traditional court dancing, ballads and reels to fascinating folk tales. Get your Outlander on with the Abbots Bromley Antler Dance and plenty of pipes and fiddles. As always, the local chorus of adults, teens and kids add to the plaid-filled fun, along with performances by regular favorites and newcomers as well.
A Bay Area holiday favorite, Mark Morris Dance Group's The Hard Nut is back at Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall for the first time in five years with its retro-modern take on the beloved Nutcracker, complete with gender-bending snowflakes, twinkle-toed G.I. Joes and a wacky family holiday party featuring a Soul Train-style dance line. It's been called a "sublime marriage of wit, music, and movement" by the San Francisco Chronicle, not to mention "as gleefully irreverent as it is visually poetic and musically sensitive" by Dance Magazine. Plus, Tchaikovsky's ever-brilliant score is performed live by members of the Berkeley Symphony and the Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir.
See the Mountain Winery get a merry makeover when Winter Wonderland brings flurries of fun to nearly every corner of the majestic Saratoga spot. Bundle up in your best holiday attire and hit the rink for ice skating to a different musical theme each night -- from '90s hits to movie soundtracks to Motown. The ongoing schedule includes a tree lighting, pictures with Santa, holiday arts and crafts stations, wine tasting and more. Plus, while you're having your frosty fun, you can also do some good. Donate canned food items when you arrive and Second Harvest Food Bank will make sure they're delivered to someone in need.
Friday, December 15, 2017 / Various TimesSaturday, December 16, 2017 / Various TimesSunday, December 17, 2017 / Various TimesMonday, December 18, 2017 / Various TimesTuesday, December 19, 2017 / Various TimesWednesday, December 20, 2017 / Various TimesThursday, December 21, 2017 / Various TimesFriday, December 22, 2017 / Various Times
Sugarplums won't be the only dancing visions you dream of this holiday season after you see Smuin Contemporary American Ballet's The Christmas Ballet. Snow-kissed dancers clad all in white glide onstage, pirouetting in graceful ballets, before a little funk enters the picture, and they tap out staccato rhythms and swing to jazz, revving up into a fun-filled second half. That's when the red-costumed dancers take over, letting loose with a collection of fresh, fantastical numbers, inspired by great tunes like "White Christmas," "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and the perennial favorite "Santa Baby." This Bay Area nontraditional holiday tradition at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater will enchant and delight and is sure to make for sweet dreams that'll sweep you into the New Year.
You've seen the classic movie on TV every holiday season for years, now see the musical version that was nominated for three Tony Awards in its 2013 Broadway run. 9 year-old Ralphie has his heart set on the holy grail of Christmas gifts in the 1940s: an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle. But first, he'll have to navigate a maniacal department store Santa, the infamous leg lamp, a triple-dog-dare to lick a frozen flagpole, the terrifying bully Farkus, the bunny suit and much more. Featuring everything from gentle ballads to show-stopping ensemble numbers like "Ralphie to the Rescue!" "A Major Award," "Sticky Situation" and "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!", A Christmas Story: The Musical lends a magnificent score to the famous, heartfelt holiday tale at San Francisco Playhouse.
A lot of holiday concerts out there will put you in the spirit of the season, but if you want a little soul with your holiday music, then you need this concert from the San Francisco Symphony. Conductor Charles Floyd will lead the orchestra and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir in a feel-good program of gospel, soul and jazz faves that'll have you on your feet. With their soaring harmonies, the choir has performed and recorded with the likes of The Blind Boys of Alabama, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, Linda Ronstadt and MC Hammer. There will also be some special guest vocalists dropping by to spread the cheer at Davies Symphony Hall.
Sail under the Golden Gate Bridge and along the San Francisco Bay's historic waterfront on Blue & Gold Fleet's Bay Cruise Adventure. This fully narrated one-hour tour features information and history on city landmarks and plenty of opportunities for taking pictures of the unobstructed views of the San Francisco skyline. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available, so you can experience the sights and sounds from out on deck or take it all in from the warmth and comfort of an interior seat -- either experience makes for a truly great San Francisco adventure.
Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017 / Various TimesWednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 / Various TimesThursday, Dec. 14, 2017 / Various TimesFriday, Dec. 15, 2017 / Various TimesSaturday, Dec. 16, 2017 / Various TimesSunday, Dec. 17, 2017 / Various TimesMonday, Dec. 18, 2017 / Various TimesTuesday, Dec. 19, 2017 / Various Times
Long before The Amazing Race hit TV screens, master of adventure and steampunk founding father Jules Verne dreamt up the original madcap globetrotting race: Around the World in 80 Days. Packed with stampeding elephants, raging typhoons and runaway trains, this action-packed tale comes alive onstage, as five actors play dozens of characters in a race against time and treachery. With his faithful valet at his side, gentleman adventurer Phileas Fogg sets out from Victorian London and into a world bursting with danger, romance and comic surprises. Bring your family, buckle up and get ready for a trip like no other at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto.
The San Jose Center for the Performing Arts welcomes the Ballet Stars of Moscow Company for this magnificent production of The Nutcracker, featuring Tchaikovsky's unforgettable music performed by Symphony Silicon Valley. Experience the magical Christmas night adventures of young Clara, who dreams that her beloved toy nutcracker has come to life. Together they defeat the wicked Mouse King in an epic battle, then journey through an icy forest where snowflakes whirl to the enchanting Kingdom of Sweets, where visions of sugar plums dance and entertain in this Christmas classic.
Christmas looks a whole lot different when your hairy man legs are being compressed by red and white striped tights. David Sedaris' The Santaland Diaries first made waves as a story read on-air on NPR in 1992. The bestselling humor writer's hilarious account of one excruciating holiday season working as a Macy's Christmas elf has since become a one-man production that is, in its own right, a holiday tradition. This one-man show cycles through 50 characters, from stressed out sales clerks to screaming kids. For those who like a little spice with their Christmas sugar, this tale of mass marketing, drunk Santas and the general insanity that takes hold during the holidays is a sardonic and unpredictable wild ride filled with sarcasm. Sedaris' words mercilessly cut through the Christmas spirit to point out the craziness humans inflict on themselves and others during the holidays. See The Santaland Diaries at The Lohman Theatre in Los Altos Hills near San Jose.
From commenting on the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal for SNL's Weekend Update to covering the history of the world in the hit Broadway show Long Story Short -- directed by Jerry Seinfeld, no less -- and way beyond, Colin Quinn has skewered just about every sacred cow with his sharply honed wit, which he'll no doubt wield with hilarious precision in his sixth and latest solo show, One in Every Crowd. Not only are Seinfeld and stars like Amy Schumer big fans, but Quinn was named one of Comedy Central's 100 greatest stand-up comics of all time. Don't miss his only Bay Area appearance at A.C.T.'s Strand Theater.
This Pulitzer Prize-winning classic of the American stage is at turns funny and horrific and thought by many to be Sam Shepard's masterpiece. In Fool for Love, Mae is hiding out at an old motel in the Mojave Desert. Eddie, her old flame and childhood friend, shows up and threatens to metaphorically and literally drag her back into the life from which she's fled. Their battle plays out in front of a stranger, and as they trade barbs, heartbreak and painful revelations, they take themselves and the audience on an unforgettable journey that demonstrates what happens when love and attraction cross the line to obsession. Take in all the gritty greatness of Fool for Love at the Stage in San Jose.
The anticipation is reaching a fevered pitch for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, and so is the heated rivalry between the U.S. and Canadian women's hockey teams. Despite losing to the U.S. in the first ever gold-medal match in '98, the Canucks have skated away with the top prize in four consecutive Olympics -- so you know the Americans are gonna be fired up this time around. Get a preview of the upcoming battle for Olympic hardware at the SAP Center in San Jose, as the two squads take the ice as part of The Time Is Now exhibition tour.
Acclaimed a cappella ensemble Chanticleer brings their annual Christmas program to San Francisco's St. Ignatius Church. The 12-member male chorus, beloved in the Bay Area and beyond, brings the season's power and mystery, warmth and intimacy to capacity audiences in beautifully decorated churches, cathedrals, and missions throughout the country. Follow the journey of the wise men, across the ages and the world. The pilgrims are a motley group of shepherds and onlookers -- Welsh, Huron, Indian, English, Americans of all origins -- reveling in the wonder, joy, and peace that the Christmas story brings. Candle-lit Gregorian chant gives way to music by Morales, Gonzalez, Victoria, Poulenc, Sweelinck and traditional carols, gospel and spirituals in A Chanticleer Christmas.
Once again offering less-than-traditional holiday fare, Mountain View's Pear Theatre celebrates the season with a satire, written and directed by James Kopp. In The Millionth Production of A Christmas Carol, a small theater in Northern California fears closing its doors after mounting costly shows with poor sales. Hoping to appeal to a larger audience, the artistic director puts up Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol. With signature humor from the writer of such productions as Geeks vs. Zombies and Super Villain!!, The Millionth Production also gives serious consideration to the compromises between art for art's sake and art that pays.
An enticing lineup of musicians, an intimate atmosphere and a premium selection of beer, wine and small plates add up to the perfect place to see some jazz in the heart of Silicon Valley. Café Pink House has all these elements in spades, not to mention two stages across which local and national jazz and blues artists play four nights a week. Enjoy some of the sweetest grooves in Saratoga, along with a selection of desserts for purchase at this inviting neighborhood club.
Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 / 7:30pm (Bridget Marie Band)Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017 / 7:30pm (Tony Glausi Group)Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 / 7:30pm (Caleb Murray And The Blue Horizon)Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 / 7:30pm (Jason Keiser & Michael Carter Duo)
This is your chance to, quite literally, hang out with the coolest cats in town. San Jose's The Dancing Cat is a creative space for people, and sometimes adoptable cats are able to get in on the human interaction. The space provides a living room-like ambiance where anywhere between seven and 11 lucky cats can wander and play in a cage-free environment. Visitors go there to meet friends, read, study or simply lounge with adoptable cats under a ceiling of colorful paper lanterns. Whether you're looking to adopt or just like to soak up the cool cat vibe and maybe scratch behind a few furry ears, this is one hour of your time that won't be wasted.
You'll be saying Hello Gorgeous! when Rebecca Clark takes the stage in the Barbra Streisand Holiday Show. In this one-woman tribute show, Clark embodies the iconic performer as she sings her greatest hits and holiday favorites, interspersed with comedic dialogue and fun crowd interaction. You'll hear songs from Funny Girl, A Star Is Born and Yentl, plus "The Christmas Song," "Evergreen," "The Way We Were," "Second Hand Rose," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," "Memories" and more. Why settle for any old holiday show when you can let one of our greatest performers (or at least the next best thing!) get you in the holiday spirit during this musical tribute at Montgomery Theater in San Jose.
Tchaikovsky's ballet masterpiece The Nutcracker gets a fresh hip-hop remix as Peninsula Ballet Theatre brings the holiday favorite into the distant future. In this delightful re-imagination, Clara celebrates the holidays with her friends at her Victorian Scotland home. When she falls into a deep sleep, she is transported to the enchanted realm of Hip Hop Land, where she encounters a mysterious wizard and the Sugar Plum Tribe. Pirouettes are replaced with popping, and Tchaikovsky's iconic score gets a modern mashup in this innovative spin. Featuring all-star dancers from The Tribe and Poise'n, The Hip Hop Nutcracker makes its way to The Fox Theatre in Redwood City.
One of the most acclaimed versions of Tchaikovsky's holiday classic, Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker returns to North America on its 25th anniversary tour. Almost 40 renowned dancers bring to life the timeless story of young Masha (Clara), who receives the gift of a nutcracker one Christmas and dreams that night of a grand adventure with her Nutcracker Prince. Filled with larger-than-life puppets and nesting dolls, handmade Victorian-style costumes, and sets created by La La Land designer Carl Sprague, this perennial favorite is sure to sweep up the whole family in the Christmas spirit. Don't miss Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker at Cupertino's Flint Center for the Performing Arts.
It's a hard-knock life out there. Nobody knows that better than everyone's favorite orphan: Annie. But this little redhead never gives up, and her optimism leads the way to a happy ending. Let Annie inspire you this holiday season, 'cause no matter what happens, the sun will come up tomorrow, and this feel-good musical will lift your spirits and give you life. Join Foster City's Hillbarn Theatre, the adorable Annie and her even more adorable dog for a show filled with great songs (like "Tomorrow," "It's the Hard Knock Life" and "Easy Street"), memorable characters and a story that will melt your heart.
A Bay Area tradition for more than 44 years, Peninsula Ballet's sumptuous production of The Nutcracker returns to Redwood City's historic Fox Theatre with its signature sleighful of holiday magic. Known for Carlos Carvajal's beautiful choreography, this spectacular version of the Yuletide favorite features Tchaikovsky's unforgettable score and enchanting special effects, as it tells the story of a young girl who receives a nutcracker soldier as a gift and has a magical dream that her toy comes to life. Together they experience a grand adventure that takes them through an epic battle with the Rat King, through the beautiful Snow Forest to the Sugar Plum Fairy's magical Land of Sweets.
Similar to Whose Line Is It Anyway?, this fast-paced short-form improv show plays a series of improvised games and scenes based on audience suggestions. Laugh Track City is a great opportunity for the cast and audience alike to have a fun and hilarious time at Made Up Theatre.
Enjoy an evening of holiday music and celebrate the season of giving with Italian tenor Pasquale Esposito. Bianco Natale delivers a collection of holiday favorites, opera and American, Italian and Spanish standards to the Bayside Performing Arts Center. This San Mateo performance benefits the Notable Music and Arts Organization.
It's December of 1942, and New York's little radio-station-that-could will air its final broadcast of the holiday-themed Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade. The 1940s Radio Hour is a timeless musical full of classic tunes, swinging dance numbers, five-part harmony and holiday cheer. Including enchanting songs like "Ain't She Sweet," "Blue Moon," "You Go to My Head" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," The 1940s Radio Hour is like a time capsule of fond Christmas memories. Fall in love with the charming and nostalgic tale when the Los Altos Stage Company presents The 1940s Radio Hour at the Bus Barn Theater.
Northside Theatre Company presents its 35th annual production of the holiday classic A Christmas Carol with innovative style at the Olinder Theatre in San Jose. Hailed as "the best Christmas Carol in the Bay Area" by Mercury News, Northside's production features impeccable staging and high-end production values. This stage adaptation of the Dickens classic captures all the power, humor and warmth that this ageless tale has to offer. This is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a lonely miser, who, through the help of spirits and visions from his past, present and future, finds a second chance to become a loving, generous and kind human being.
A young Jewish girl gets cast as Jesus in her school's Christmas pageant in Coney Island Christmas, a seasonal story for people of all ages and faiths by Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies. Weaving together nostalgia, music and merriment, the play picks up many decades later, criss-crossing through time as Shirley Abramowitz recounts this memorable bit of autobiography -- as well as her immigrant parents' astonished reactions -- to her great-granddaughter. Don't miss this timeless and universal tale of what it means to be an American during the holidays as it plays at the Coastal Repertory Theatre in the Oakland area.
How in the Dickens does Kellan Baker do it? Play all 34 characters in A Christmas Carol, that is. Stage adaptations of Charles Dickens' Christmas classic usually delight and charm, but rarely do they leave audiences flat-out floored. And yet, amazement might be the most appropriate reaction to this tour de force turn from veteran performer Baker. With only props for company, he recreates the teeming world of Victorian London in a production that touches on tragedy, pathos, humor and fun. Experience an old favorite in an entirely new way during Scrooge: One Christmas Carol at San Jose's Montgomery Theater.
Craig Shoemaker has been named Comedian of the Year by the American Comedy Awards and the top comic on XM Radio. Shoemaker's material spans everything from married life to being a new father to his former status as the "Lovemaster." He's also known for his hilarious impressions and character voices. He's recorded two comedy CDs and has appeared on more than 100 TV shows, including two Comedy Central specials and Daditude, his 2012 stand-up special for Showtime. A veteran actor, he's been seen on TV's Parks and Recreation and in the movies Safe House and Scream 2, as well as his own film The Lovemaster, in which he starred opposite George Wendt. He was the host of VH1's My Generation, and has been a panelist on Hollywood Squares.
The jam band known as Big Head Todd & the Monsters -- or BHTM as their dedicated fans call them -- have been touring with their signature blues-rock sound since their late-'80s debut, making waves with hits likes "Bittersweet" and "Broken Hearted Savior" off their platinum-selling '93 album Sister Sweetly. They've since followed up with 2014's Black Beehive and this year's New World Arisin'. Now they're coming to The Warfield in San Francisco, and they're bringing Nashville-based psychedelic soul/modern rockers Simo with them for a concert that's sure to blow your mind.
Improv is comedy without a net, where daredevil performers depend not only on the audience for suggestions, but also on their fellow performers for support and Lady Luck for inspiration. Done right, it's not just hilarious -- it's astonishing. The American Improv Theatre (AIT) Players do it right. Come laugh and marvel as the Players spin entire scenes from suggestions. The show begins with some silly, quick-moving improv games (Think Whose Line Is It Anyway?). Then the Players raise the stakes with longer, more connected scenes so good they seem scripted. But they're not: Everything that happens at Black Cat Licorice Theater is discovered in the moment.
Each month, Fremont's Made Up Theatre hosts Genre Play, a fully improvised "movie" based on an audience-suggested title. Each performance is unique, whether it's a nail-biter of a thriller, a sentimental coming-of-age chronicle, an exuberant musical or the twisted plot of a mystery. You decide which direction each night's story will take.
Marvel at Made Up Theatre's crack quintet of comedians as they improvise an entire movie on the spot at their club in Fremont. Whatever you and your fellow audience members can dream up, 5 Play can handle. The genre of the movie is determined each night when a big wheel is spun by an audience member -- could it be you? From a nice romance or musical comedy to a rootin' tootin' western or big-budget action flick, this talented troupe has got it covered. In fact, they've won a number of awards, including the prestigious-sounding 2015 International Society of Humor Studies Conference prize for Best Improv Performance, and they've also appeared at the San Francisco, Sacto, Orange County and Sonoma County comedy festivals. These shows are free to the public, but purchasing in advance guarantees seating.
Get in the holiday spirit with an evening of family-friendly yuletide favorites at the West Bay Community Band Holiday Concert. Comprised of over 40 members from throughout the San Francisco peninsula, the West Bay Community Band ushers in the holiday season with a selection of beloved songs at Mills High School Theater in Millbrae.
Celebrate the holidays with new single friends who appreciate fine wines! Admission includes three free tastes, plus appetizers to cleanse the palate. With the success of Bonny Doon's wines at the tasting party in Marin, now singles south of the Golden Gate Bridge get the chance to savor these great wines. The event is co-sponsored by The Society of Single Professionals, the world's largest non-profit singles organization. Dress to impress and have a great time at Davenport's Bonny Doon Vineyard, along the beautiful California coast.
With his penchant for personal interaction with the audience, no two Phil Hanley shows are ever the same. The Canadian comic got his first big break at Montreal's Just For Laughs Festival in 2008. His performance there brought him international acclaim, and his jokes were recognized in the Montreal Gazette's annual Best Jokes of the Festival list. More recently, Hanley was named one of the Five Comics Creating a Buzz by The Hollywood Reporter, and rewarded with his own featured segment on the The Tonight Show.
The nonprofit live theater company Dragon Theatre produces shows that are uncommon, intimate and accessible to its audiences, artists and community. With an emphasis on empathy and boldness, their works illuminate deeper facets of the human condition. Dragon Late Nights stays open on select Friday nights in Redwood City to showcase up-and-coming local talents with unique performances, from song and dance to storytelling, that you won't see anywhere else.