Best Shows To See This Fall On A Budget In San Francisco

August 5, 2013 5:00 AM
No one wants to choose between having fun and being practical, even on a limited budget. Fortunately, going to a live performance doesn’t have to be pricey. San Francisco has theater and live shows that fit every budget. Choose from one or more of these options for upcoming shows this fall in San Francisco, with tickets for each performance available for $20 or less.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
700 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 227-4797

Dates: August 16-18, 2013
Price: $15-$59For many musical lovers, operetta equals Gilbert and Sullivan. The masters of musical theater composed 14 operettas, all of which have been performed countless times around the world. One of these is “Iolanthe,” a quirky story of a group of fairies that find themselves in conflict with the House of Lords in late-19th century London. The Lamplighters Music Theatre group has been performing musical theater for over 60 years, and is one of the longest-running theater groups in the Bay Area. “Iolanthe” is the first performance of its 61st season, being performed in Walnut Creek, Livermore, Mountain View and here in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Old First Concerts
Old First Presbyterian Church
1751 Sacramento St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 474-1608
www.oldfirstconcerts.orgDates: Click here
Price: $14-17

Classical concerts can be very expensive, but not the Old First series of concerts held at the First Presbyterian Church of San Francisco. These intimate classical concerts are held in a historic church with a Steinway piano. In the August 16 performance, Robert Howard on cello and Jeffrey LaDeur, piano, bring a series of classical works as part of the Old First Concerts. They will be performing works from Schumann, Ginastera, Beethoven and Chopin.

Big City Improv
Shelton Theater
533 Sutter St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(510) 595-5597
www.bigcityimprov.comDates: Every Friday
Price: $10

Over the last few years, improv has become more popular as a performance form and more familiar to audiences from TV and comedy shows. The team at Big City Improv has been doing improvisational performances since 2000, and moved to San Francisco from Oakland several years ago. Its weekly Friday night performances of improv comedy are enjoyed by many audiences.

 Best Directors In The Local Theater Scene On The Peninsula

Gold Rush! The Un-Scripted Barbary Coast Musical
Shelton Theater
533 Sutter St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 322-8738
www.un-scripted.comDates; Now through Aug. 25, 2013
Price: $10-$20

Be entertained with this musical, a comedic look at the bold history of one of San Francisco’s most notorious neighborhoods, the Barbary Coast. There will be gold miners and criminals, a prostitute or two and perhaps a sailor being “Shanghaied.” Colorful characters and mysterious happenings will abound. The Un-Scripted Theater Company specializes in improvisational theater, a combination of improv and traditional play techniques. It was voted Best Theater Company in the 2008 SF Bay Guardian.

Audium 9
Audium Sound Theater
1616 Bush St.
San Francisco, CA 94131
(415) 771-1616

Dates: Every Friday and Satrurday
Price: $20

Audium is a one-of-a-kind sound experience designed by composer Stan Shaff and sound engineer Doug McEacher. This unique sound theatre was custom-built to allow listeners to experience ‘sound sculptures’ that move, pulse and seem to have a life of their own. The exploration of sound spaces in Audium has been explored since the 1960s, with the custom theatre opening in 1975. The current show, Audium 9, opened in 2008. Stan Shaff gave a lecture on Audium and his sound composition work to the California Academy of Sciences in 2011.

Best Budget Cultural Events In San Francisco

Laura Tarwater-Scharp is a freelance writer, editor and historian. Originally from the Midwest, she has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for over a decade. Her work can be found at

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