Art / Theater / Concerts, San Francisco
If you want a good night of theater, check out the A.C.T.
Dress Code: No need to dress up unless you want to. Some people get really in to it and dress really nicely. I go after work and am usually in jeans and a nice top. Its fine, nobody judges what you are wearing, you won't feel out of place.
My most favorite concert venue in San Francisco is The Fillmore. The reason is because every concert I have ever been to there, the musician is always in awe that they are performing there and it makes for an awesome performance. The Fillmore has SO MUCH history, some greats have taken the stage there (Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead just to name 2) and every artist has their own story of why the place is significant or memorable to them. You can feel the history when you are standing there enjoying the show.
The place isn't big so it has a very intimate feel. You get a good view of the stage and the performers from anywhere you are. If you are in town and someone you enjoy or even just like it performing, definitely check them out at The Fillmore. If you are in the city, buy your tickets at The Fillmore box office then you don't have to pay all of the service fees and such.
Dress Code: It is a mostly standing show so I would definitely wear comfortable shoes. It can get really warm inside as the concert goes on so be sure to have layers. Also women, don't bring awkward purses that you wear on your shoulder or your arm. People get really close in concerts and it is annoying to have to stand next to someone who constantly puts their purse in to you. I am a woman and I typically wear a purse that hangs over my shoulder in front of me so that it doesn't get in the way of other people enjoying the concert.
At first glance Beach Blanket Babylon looked a bit like a tourist trap but so many locals recommended it I thought there had to be something to it. Yeah, it campy and kitschy but it's still a lot of fun, the material has been kept fresh over it's 35 year history with updates to include current events. The show's plot, if you can call it that, is Snow White's global search for her Prince Charming but it's just a device to have funny songs, poke fun at the current celebrities and politicians and bring on those outrageous hats. The performers are top notch
Shows do sell out especially on the weekends but the website has a tally of the number of tickets left in each section so you know if you have a little more time to ponder which day you want to go. All but the most expensive tickets are first come, first serve, presumably so they can sell more drinks to you, we got there an hour early and there was already a long line to get in but we were seated almost near the front of our section.
I only saw discounted tickets one place to purchase before we left and that was for very specific dates at Gold Star but I also noticed that they have them at Tix Bay Area if you are willing to take a chance that they might be sold out. We only had one night we could see it so we purchased in advance.
Dress Code: Dress ranged from nice jeans to jackets/ties and dresses, no real dress code
Half price show tickets can be purchased at Union Square. Tickets for theater, dance, and music are available at a discount. The discount is primarily for same-day shows that will likely not be sold out. These do include some quality theatrical productions. Naturally the producers would prefer to sell a discounted seat than to leave one vacant.
The tickets are available at a booth in Union Square. It is located on the northwest portion of the square closest to Post and Powell Streets. This is extremely convenient to visitors staying at a Union Square hotel or simply spending an afternoon in the Union Square District who are looking for something to do in the evening.
Discounts are not available for every show as many sell out in advance. But if you are in town and would like to see a show, check out what is available at the half price ticket booth. You might encounter a significant savings.
After dinner, head to the Castro Theatre in the Castro District. Not only is this a theatre, it is a California historic landmark. Come and admire the Art Deco and Moorish style.
In addition to old classic films, the theatre hosts wonderful Special Events.
For a current list of shows, festivals and entertainment, go here:
Slim's is an excellent live music venue that attracts the best of the super-regional bands (not big enough for huge venues, but acclaimed enough to travel the country). Excellent open floor plan with great views, nice stage height, and a robust selection of drinks. Ticket prices are excellent, drinks normal for the city.
Dress Code: None. Look rock n' roll
For over 30 years BBB has played at Club Fugazi in San Francisco. A musical spoof that continually changes with the times, and current events. You will laugh from the moment you sit down. Be prepared for the unexpected, and the hats that keep getting bigger and bigger.
Reservations a must!
Dress Code: Dressy casual
Teatro Zinzanni is a great night out. A extravaganza in Moulin Rouge style with , cabaret, circus acts, an opera singer, dancing, dinner, a live band, and comedy all skillfully wrapped in to one. I have been to Teatro Zinzanni three times. They change the act so it is fun to go more than once. My advice is to go with a group of friends and be in a playful mood. Raise your hand if they ask for a volunteer! Your friends will remember it for the rest of their lives. My brother juggled and bounced a plucked chicken on his forehead.
Dress Code: Moulin Rouge inspired!
The Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall building is located near City Hall and makes a good photo, although I haven't been to a performance here yet. Check out the websited for a schedule of events, ticket prices and a seat map.
Dress Code: Dress up!
The Warfield and The Fillmore are great places to see a show. The smaller venue allows you to get that up close and personal feeling, unlike concerts seen in stadiums.
If you haven't purchased tickets in advance, don't worry, you can usually buy them at the box office on the day of the show or from the many scalpers on the street the night of the show.
Dress Code: No dress code indicated. Be comfortable and have fun!
Now in it's 23rd year of sold-out performances, Beach Blanket Babylon is an internationally acclaimed San Francisco institution. It continually evolves in its hilarious parodies of popular icons, updating its spoofs and adding new characters, songs and send-ups throughout the year.
Step into the private jewel box of the Contessa (Joan Baez was guest starring when we were there) and guests become her "jewels". Such is the unique handcrafted "antique spiegeltent" that houses the wild, crazy and fun night of dinner and theater. The audience becomes part of the show and each course of the meal is served by the talented performers. You won't be disappointed.
Dress Code: Attire ranges from casual chic to very dressy. Some guests even dress in period costume for fun.
The 4 course meal is served over a three hour span. The fixed price menu is $99 on Sunday and weekdays and $125 on Friday and Saturday. A $10 per person service charge is added, as well as any beverages or alcohol purchased.
Lou's Blues Pub. The photo is me, my buddy Paul Smith, and Daniel Castro. He is one of the best blues guitarists I have ever heard.
Live Blues music. Cold beer. Good looking women. What the heck else could a guy want?
Dress Code: Please. Dress code! We don't need no stinking dress code!
San Francisco Opera
The San Francisco Opera is one of the most prestigious places in the United States to develop a love for The Opera. This opera house was founded in 1881 by Gaetano Merola and has been one of San Francisco's mother bear spots ever since.
Dress Code: Very Dressy
First Thursdays, sponsored by the San Francisco Art Dealers Association (SFADA).
From 5pm to 8pm, the first Thursday evening of each month.
Dress Code: Black-clad or casual.