Check out our recommended destinations for San Francisco!Read more here!
AIN'T TOO PROUD – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS is the electrifying, new smash-hit Broadway musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and silky-smooth harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. Nominated for 12 Tony® Awards and the winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography, AIN'T TOO PROUD tells the thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal, as the group's personal and political conflicts threatened to tear them apart during a decade of civil unrest in America. Written by three-time Obie Award winner Dominique Morisseau, directed by two-time Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), and featuring the Tony-winning choreography of Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, On Your Feet!), the unforgettable story of this legendary quintet is set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and so many more.
Smuin’s fiercely festive The Christmas Ballet is a confection for everyone on your list. Your favorite choreography by Michael Smuin returns along with new delights from brilliant guest dancemakers. This year includes two world premieres and our signature showcase of classical and contemporary dances set to songs of the season. The San Francisco Chronicle declared our holiday, on-stage tradition to be a gift of “sheer joy . . . the finest toast to the season.” The two acts of The Christmas Ballet feature the best of both worlds: sublime classical ballet set to carols and red-hot contemporary works set to pop favorites. Don’t miss all the new treats we’ll unwrap this year composed of Smuin’s signature medley of ballet, contemporary, character, Broadway jazz, and tap. December 21 at YBCA, join us for our annual The Christmas Ballet LGBTQ+ Night as special guest star Lady Camden, the alter ego of Rex Wheeler, hosts the evening and steps into the red-hot heels of the iconic “Santa Baby” role for an unforgettable evening and after party to benefit Project Open Hand.
An archival version of Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet will be available as a virtual, on-demand viewing option from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. Do not miss the festive film version of Smuin’s The Christmas Ballet with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view Celia Fushille’s unforgettable performance in the role she created: the illimitable “Santa Baby.” The San Francisco Chronicle declared Smuin’s holiday on-stage gift, “sheer joy . . . the finest toast to the season.” The Christmas Ballet features the best of both worlds in two acts: sublime classical ballet set to carols and red-hot contemporary works set to pop favorites. Celebrate the holidays from the comfort of home or send the virtual performance as a gift to friends and family around the globe. Purchase unlimited virtual access to Smuin’s delightful medley of ballet, contemporary, character, Broadway jazz, and tap for $29.
Two visionary Tony Award® winners — playwright Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), director Matthew Warchus (Matilda) — offer a magical new interpretation of Charles Dickens’ timeless story. Winner of five Tony Awards, this New York Times Critic’s Pick welcomes theatergoers of all ages into an immersive experience that is brimming with Christmas spirit. Featuring dazzling staging, moving storytelling, and 12 cherished Christmas carols, including “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night,” and “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” this timely production will leave you “with a heart full of joy and light” (Entertainment Weekly).
A different time is evoked in this marvelously theatrical and winning show, a live broadcast of a The Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade from the Hotel Astor’s Algonquin Room on December 21, 1942. The spirit of that bygone era when the world was at war and pop music meant “Strike Up the Band” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (both are in this show) is accurately captured as the harassed producer copes with a drunk lead singer, the delivery boy who wants a chance in front of the mike, the second banana who dreams of singing a ballad, and the trumpet playing sound effects man who chooses a fighter plane over Glenn Miller.
A decidedly different Dickens Christmas Fair event this season, Drive Thru Dickens’ London is a taste of The Great Dickens Christmas Fair experienced from the comfort of your car. Enjoy street scenes and enchanting tableaux from ‘A Christmas Carol’, lively music, an enticing selection of hearty English foods, and handcrafted holiday gifts available for purchase as you drive through an outdoor version of the Fair’s Grand Concourse!
Brimming with wit, festive costumes, madcap characters and the perfect amount of holiday cheer, ODC/Dance returns to the stage and on-demand with the 35th anniversary of the beloved Bay Area holiday tradition, The Velveteen Rabbit, directed and choreographed by KT Nelson. Based on the beloved children’s classic book by Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit features captivating narration, a delightful musical score by Benjamin Britten, and larger-than-life storybook characters portrayed by the world-class dancers of ODC/Dance.
As the temperature drops and the nights get longer, join Pacific Edge Voices in celebrating the celestial beauty of the season. Experience J.S. Bach’s beloved Christmastime cantata BWV 191 Gloria in Excelsis Deo featuring a collection of the Bay Area’s finest chamber musicians, flanked by works reflecting the wisdom of the heavens from Stacey Gibbs, Jonathan Dove, Ēriks Ešenvalds, and many others, as well as a selection of cherished holiday carols. An aural and visual experience that will leave you echoing the words of poet Sara Teasdale, “And I know that I am honored to be witness of so much majesty.”
These performances are FREE and open to the public. No tickets or reservations required. Performances take place at 2040 Addison in Rendon Hall or 2087 Addison in Hardymon Hall, as noted on the schedule.
If you love to sing, you are welcome to join Circlesongs with Bobby McFerrin, hosted by David Worm & Motion, for a singing session full of joy-filled improvised music-making for singers of all levels of experience. Every Monday at noon for ninety minute at the wonderful Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. Bobby first developed Circlesongs in his now legendary solo a cappella performances, when he needed other voices to help manifest his musical ideas. He gave the audience parts to sing, layering harmonies and rhythms, using call and response, conducting and composing his spontaneous inventions. During his years of worldwide touring, he evolved a variety of vocal groups beginning in the ‘80’s with his Bay Area based group Voicestra. Bobby’s Circlesongs concerts celebrated all the kinds of music that would spontaneously emerge from anywhere in his stream-of-consciousness, like maybe from Americana or classical, R&B, gospel, folk, pop, rock, beatboxing—combined with any sound he could imagine. For Bobby, Circlesongs is not a concert or a performance… it is a service to create a singing space that is without words, genres or pre existing knowledge. There is a place in the circle for everyone. These sessions will be hosted by David Worm, an original member of both Bobby’s Voicestra and Gimme5, and a diversely gifted team of celebrated Bay Area singers. Including Bryan Dyer, Destani Wolf, Tammi Brown and others. Bobby has recently moved back to San Francisco from Philadelphia and is really excited to begin to create with these wonderful singers.
Musician. Entrepreneur. Philanthropist. Humanitarian. Damien Escobar bears many titles and puts no limits on what more he can achieve, making him one of the most prolific figures hailing from Jamaica, Queens. And if you had any doubt about the Emmy-award winning breakout violinist, his resume, which spans nearly two decades, humbly includes billboard chart-topping albums, sold out global tours, collaborations with music legends, and more — an inspirational success story that started with Escobar playing his violin on NYC subways. Proving his hustle, drive, passion and unquestionable talent, are the pillars that hold up his ever-expanding brand.Escobar’s life, like a rollercoaster, has been full of high highs and low lows. It was just 8 year ago that Escobar hit rock bottom — facing homelessness and battling depression. But he persevered and won the war by recommitting to his music and reclaiming his spot as one of the top violinists in the world— garnering millions of fans, selling out four national and international tours, and releasing two billboard chart-topping albums.
From playing Chicago’s jazz clubs in his teens to winning a GRAMMY before he was 30, Sharkey is one of the most interesting and exciting guitar talents today. After honing his chops as a session guitarist for some of the most legendary names in music, including D’Angelo (with whom he won the 2015 GRAMMY for Best R&B album Black Messiah), John Mayer, Patti LaBelle, Boyz II Men, Raphael Saadiq, and Keith Urban, Sharkey has created a name for himself as a solo artist. His highly anticipated debut album, Love.Life.Live, was released in September 2017 and earned him the iHeart Radio Artist of the Month award for his single, “It’s A Shame,” featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff. His sophomore album, “Love is the Key: The Cancerian Theme” was released in June 2019 to critical acclaim. Most recently, Isaiah collaborated with Common on the rapper’s last 2 albums (A Beautiful Revolution Part 1 and Part 2), touring as part of Common’s band and creating music with him for film and TV projects. The accolades from his colleagues are endless; his fanbase is widespread and dedicated. OSCAR winning rapper Common and his team started an artist collective called Stardust Kidz to showcase some of Common’s favorite artists, Sharkey being the first of the project. Singer-songwriter Brian McKnight said of Sharkey, “He sings, he plays, he writes. He’s one of the most talented musicians.” Still, you won’t find him on national magazine covers or “best of” lists – at least not yet – and he’s fine with that. “I never chased being a celebrity guitarist, because I’m too busy liking what I do,” he says. “It’s not about being in the limelight. If it comes, it comes, but I want to be whatever I need to be to contribute to music. That’s more important. If someone says, ‘Hey, man, there’s this guy around the corner that plays guitar, and I learned from him and he helped me along the way,’ I’m cool with that. If someone is impressed with my playing, that’s great, but my job is to affect people and love what I do.” Isaiah Sharkey takes center stage as he fuses together his background in rock, gospel, jazz, R&B, blues, and funk to create an original sound with an unmistakable dose of soul.