The SF Must List: What to Do in San Francisco May 2017

It’s not gonna be May. It is May.

Now that you’ve brushed the winter blues off your shoulders, it’s time to plunge into the joyous spirit that is May in San Francisco.

If you’ve been reclusive for the past season and have missed out on cool events around town, then it’s time you staged a comeback by attending at least one of the entertainment events in San Francisco, whether you’re into movies, musicals, or sports.

The best time to go out and about is literally now because San Francisco has a palpable undercurrent of excitement in anticipation for the Summer of Love. But why anticipate, when you can celebrate already?

Go forth and make the most out of our fruitful city. There are outdoor movies, drag queen comedy shows, and hella concerts–so there’s something out there just for you.

Here is an attentively-curated round-up of the all the highlights in San Francisco’s entertainment scene:

Cinema & Media


In connection with the city-wide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the Museum of the African Diaspora is hosting a 6 part film series exploring the influence of Black culture on the counter culture movement. This is sure to be one of the most fascinating installations of the Summer of Love, as well as one of the best film events this month in San Francisco.
Love City Picture Show: 6 Part Film Series | Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA | Wednesdays: May 3rd-June 7th at 6:30PM-9PM | $10 General Admission

Princess Mononoke, a 1997 Japanese epic historical fantasy anime film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, will screen in crisp DCP at the super cool New People Cinema in Japantown. The film is set in the late Muromachi period (circa 1336 to 1573), following the young Emishi prince Ashitaka’s involvement in a struggle between the gods of a forest and the humans who consume its resources. The term “Mononoke” is a Japanese word for a spirit or monster.
Princess Mononoke | New People Cinema, 1746 Post Street, San Francisco, CA | Saturday: May 6th at 7:30PM | $15

An outdoor screening of Moana will be held in the Presidio, sponsored by Supervisor Mark Farrell.  Food trucks will be serving the goods at 5:30PM and the movie will start playing at 8PM. Bring a blanket!
Outdoor Movie Night: Moana | Civil War Parade Ground, Main Post, Graham Street, San Francisco, CA | Friday: May 19th at 8PM | Free 

The Birds. Photo:
The Birds, shot in SF and Bodega Bay. Photo:

If you have yet to watch an Alfred Hitchcock film in the Castro Theatre, then you’re in luck for a primo cinema experience. The Birds, shot in San Francisco and the nearby Bodega Bay, will be screening at the Castro Theatre on May 21st. For another gruesome yet campy film, Grey Gardens will screen on the 24th. In celebration of Harvey Milk’s birthday, there will be multiple screenings of the Times of Harvey Milk on May 22nd.
The Birds | Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, San Francisco,CA| Sunday: May 21st, see calendar for showtimes | $12 ($9 for matinee) 

Live Music

The Chainsmokers, known for radio hits Paris and Closer, will have 2 performances at the Bill Graham.
The Chainsmokers | Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, 99 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA | May 5th & 6th: 8PM | $85

1, 2, 3, 4, Feist will sing at the Fillmore. Tickets are selling fast for her 3 night engagement.
Feist | The Fillmore, 1805 Gear Boulevard, San Francisco, CA |  May 9th – 10th: 8PM

Photo: u2start, Flickr, Creative Commons
Bono, of U2. Photo: u2start, Flickr, Creative Commons

This is bonafide, guys. Bono will be there, you too? U2 concert at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
U2 | Levis Stadium, 4900 Marie P. DeBartolo Way, Santa Clara, CA | May 17th: 6:30PM

Kick off your Memorial Day weekend with a legendary performance. Mr. Chrissy Teigen, AKA John Legend, will be performing in Berkeley. Good luck finding tickets.
John Legend | Greek Theatre, 2001 Gayley Road, Berkeley, CA | May 27th & 28th: 7PM | Sold out (get creative)


In case you missed Coachella. Headlined by Rebelution, this is a weekend-long music extravaganza featuring reggae-rock-folk-hip hop music and art.
California Roots Music & Arts Festival | Monterey County Fair & Event Center, 2005 Fairgrounds Road, Monterey, CA | May 26th-28th: 9AM – 11AM

Once dubbed “the Jay-Z of the south” by Pharrell Williams, T.I. and a lineup of friends will be performing in the City.
T.I. Hustle Gang Tour | Mezzanine, 444 Jessie Street, San Fransisco, CA | May 30th: 9PM


Daniel Tosh, of television’s Tosh.0, will be hosting and performing a comedy show San Jose State University.
Tosh.Show | Event Center at SJSU, 290 S. 7th Street, San Jose, CA | May 6th: 7:30PM

Funnyman Gabriel Iglesias has two stadium shows in the Bay. He’ll be performing in Oakland on May 12th at the Oracle, and will head southwest to the SAP Center in San Jose the following night.
Gabriel Iglesias: Fluffymania | Oakland Oracle Arena & San Jose SAP Center | May 12th-13th: 7:30PM

Maz Jobrani. Photo:
Maz Jobrani. Photo:

Maz Jobrani, who is set to speak at UC Berkeley’s commencement ceremony this May, has four shows at San Francisco’s Cobb’s Comedy Club. His earlier shows (7:30PM and 7PM on Friday and Saturday, respectively) welcome 13 year olds with parental supervision. His late night shows (9:45PM and 9:15PM on Friday and Saturday, respectively) will pass the threshold of PG-13.
Maz Jobrani | Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA | May 12th-13th: times vary

Politically incorrect humor will be served this evening. A lineup of the country’s favorite comedic drag queens will perform a ridiculous show, starring Coco Peru, Lady Bunny, Bob, and San Francisco icons Heklina and Peaches.
Drag Queens of Comedy | Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA | May 27th at 6PM and 10PM


Roman Holiday, the Musical. Photo:
Roman Holiday, the Musical. Photo:

An on-stage musical adaptation of the Audrey Hepburn flick, a runaway princess and a dashing reporter go on holiday. Opening night is May 23rd.
Roman Holiday: the Musical | SHN Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor Street, San Francisco | May 23rd-June 18th

Based on the Mahabharata, a newly crowned king meditates on the cost of battle.
Battlefield | A.C.T. Geary Theatre, 415 Geary Street, San Francisco | runs through May 21st


The first performance of the SF Opera’s highly-anticipated new show Rigoletto, opens on the last day of the month.

Rigoletto | War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA | Opening night is May 31st at 7:30PM, runs through July 1st


A Streetcar Named Desire. Photo: The Scottish Ballet
A Streetcar Named Desire. Photo: The Scottish Ballet

The Scottish ballet brings its award-winning USA tour to UC Berkeley, performing its take on Tennessee William’s renowned play, A Streetcar Named Desire.
The Scottish Ballet: A Streetcar Named Desire | Cal Performances, 101 Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley, CA| May 10th-12th: 8PM

The spring season for Alonzo King LINES Ballet explores the power of lost languages, with the soundscape of recorded songs and poetry of indigenous communities.
Alonzo King LINES Ballet | Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theatre, 700 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA| May 7th-14th: check site for showtimes

From May 5th through June 3rd, the Smuin Ballet will be premiering new work inspired by the Summer of Love anniversary celebration.  In addition to the San Francisco shows, there will be performances in Walnut Creek, Carmel, and Mountain View, so be sure to check online to find what works for you.
Smuin Ballet, Dance Series 02 | Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theatre, 700 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA | May 19th-28th

Back by popular demand, Boys Bite Back brings a powerful evening that explores the complexities of gender through dance. The SF Chronicle calls it “trailblazing.”
Boys Bite Back | Z Space,  450 Florida Street, San Francisco, CA |May 12th-13th: times vary, check online


The Giants' fifth and final game in the 2014 National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals before advancing to the 2014 World Series. Photo: Kyle Legg,
The Giants’ fifth and final game in the 2014 National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals before advancing to the 2014 World Series. Photo: Kyle Legg,

San Francisco Giants home games at AT&T Park:
May 11th-14th: Cincinnati Reds. May 15th-17th: LA Dodgers. May 26th-28th: Atlanta Braves. May 29th-30th: Washington Nationals. 

Oakland A’s home games at Oakland Coliseum:
May 5th-7th: Detroit Tigers. May 8th-10th: Anaheim Angels. May 18th-21st: Boston Red Sox. May 23rd-24th: Miami Marlins.

San Jose Earthquakes home games at Avaya Stadium:
May 6th: Portland Timbers. May 17th: Orlando City. May 27th: LA Galaxy.

San Francisco Deltas home games at Kezar Stadium:
May 19th: Jacksonville Armada.

San Jose Sharks home games SAP Center:
May 7th-12th: Nashville Predators. May 19th-25th: St. Louis Blues.

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