The holidays are here! And among the many marvelous traditions in this magical season is a trip to the theater. Settle into The Nutcracker Ballet you remember from your childhood, or start a new tradition with a visit to a drag version of the Golden Girls’s Christmas episodes. Either way, the curtain is calling.
A Christmas Carol
415 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
One of the Bay Area’s favorite holiday traditions returns to the famed American Conservatory Theater with a sparkling, music-infused production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Featuring mean ol’ Scrooge, adorable Tiny Tim, those deliciously spooky Christmas ghosts, and a multigenerational cast of dozens, A Christmas Carol is a celebration of goodwill that you’ll never forget. Playing now through December 24th, 2pm and 7pm.
Beach Blanket Babylon
678 Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevard
San Francisco CA 94133
Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon, the longest running musical revue in theatre history, is a zany musical spoof of pop culture with extravagant costumes and outrageously huge hats. Wildly popular since 1974, Beach Blanket Babylon is an internationally acclaimed San Francisco institution. The Beach Blanket Babylon Holiday Show runs now through New Year’s Eve, and features much of the hilarious off-season show, with a 20-minute holiday tag at the end. Historic Club Fugazzi is decked for the holidays, and the Sunday matinees are fun and family friendly. Tuesday-Saturday shows are 21+.
San Francisco Ballet
War Memorial Opera House
301 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA
The first ballet company to bring the Nutcracker tradition to America, San Francisco Ballet’s awe-inspiring production is like no other. Set in San Francisco during the 1915 World’s Fair, Clara’s dreamlike journey is an ode to the City’s historical grandeur – all amidst colorful, larger than life scenery, over 200 dazzling costumed characters, and of course Tchaikovsky’s beautiful score performed live by the world-class San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.
San Jose Ballet
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
255 Almaden Blvd.
San Jose, CA 95113
You don’t have to head into San Francisco to experience a world-class “Nutcracker.” Dennis Nahat’s treasured holiday classic returns from an extended run December 11-26 at San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. This triumphant tale of Maria and her beloved nutcracker will delight audiences, young and old alike: and downtown San Jose’s holiday decorations, Outdoor Ice Rink and ‘Christmas In The Park’ display provide the perfect backdrop for a fun-filled family outing. The theatre itself is a wonderful of surprises, replete with lavish lobby decorations, a boutique of ballet and holiday treasures, choirs singing carols, the ‘Pocket Lady’ passing out free toys, and characters from the show posing for photos with patrons.
Matinee Discount (recorded music): $16-$60
The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes1310 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Golden Girls Christmas Episodes
Nothing says the holidays like The Golden Girls and drag queens. you’ve been missing out. The Mission’s CounterPULSE is once again home to The Golden Girls Christmas Episodes, actual holiday episodes of the TV classic performed verbatim by San Francisco’s favorite drag performers. The 4-person drag queen cast (including the divine Pollo Del Mar and Heklina) at each performance: “Twas The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Marinara.” Very special guest for the holiday episodes is Go-Go’s songwriter and guitarist Jane Wiedlin portraying Sophia’s sister Angela. The show runs Thursday through Saturday, through December 23rd.
Under the Big White Top
4th St. & China Basin St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
While not technically a holiday show, Cavalia is as magical as flying reindeer and toys that come to life, a breath-taking display that’s sure to mesmerize children and adults alike. For the first time on stage, the equestrian arts are infused with unprecedented magic and emotion in Cavalia, an innovative multimedia extravaganza. The show pays homage to the poignant history and fascinating bond between human beings and horses, which can sound a bit confusing, but results in an unexpected, haunting show. Blending dramatic visual effects, live music, dance, and acrobatics with the bold presence of over sixty magnificent horses, Cavalia raises the bar for spectacular enterntainment in the 21st century.