In San Francisco, you can get dinner and a show.
Indeed, you need not hitch a ride to Hollywood for glitzy shows, nor is it necessary to fly to New York for a quality evening at the theatre. The entertainment scene here in the Bay Area remains lush as ever and wide ranged. You can watch a side-splitting comedy show for only $5, or shell out a grand to see Hamilton. In fact, considering the fact that tickets for Hamilton literally cost $1,000, you might be considering other entertainment options for a night on the town.
From politically-charged film screenings to Mariah Carey, you’ll be able to find something within the bounds of your interests and wallet-size to keep your eyes peeled this summer. Scroll down and peruse our list of concerts, film screenings, plays, and more to make your July in San Francisco a bit more entertaining:
Cinema & Media
From Tehran to Tokyo, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ is screening an atypical concert-movies series that samples musical styles from around the world.
Global Sounds on Screen | Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,701 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA | Runs from July 6th through August 13th: times vary | $10
To celebrate the release of the new film Endless Poetry by 88-year-old Chilean-French director Alejandro Jodorowsky, Roxie will conjure 4 films from his surrealist filmography: El Topo, Fando y Lis, The Holy Mountain, and Santa Sangre.
Jodorowsky Retro | Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA | July 14th & 15th: times vary | $12
Former Vice President Al Gore will be making an appearance at the screening of his new film, An Inconvenient Sequel. Tickets are now only available via rush on account of high demand, so you’ll need to wait in line one hour before the screening for rush tickets or check the site for updates on additional ticket availability.
An Inconvenient Sequel | Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, San Francisco, CA | Monday, July 24th: 7:30PM | Tickets Available Only At Rush
BAMPFA is presenting a survey of films inspired by Sarah Weinman’s anthology Women Crime Writers. From Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train to Don’t Bother to Knock starring Marilyn Monroe, this survey applies a critical lens toward crime films inspired by women writers.
Band of Outsiders: Women Crime Writers | Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive, 2155 Center Street, Berkeley, CA | All month, runs through August 19th: times vary | $12
Concerts & Live Music
Mariah Carey and Lionel Richie are co-headlining in Oakland. Enough said.
Mariah Carey and Lionel Richie | Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland, CA | Friday, July 21st: 7PM | $35+
Jazz legend Tony Bennett and his daughter Antonia will croon and belt their way through jazz standards at Davies Symphony Hall.
Tony Bennett | Davies Symphony Hall,201 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA | Tuesday, July 18th: 8PM | $80+
The singer, dancer, and guitarist Bruno Mars is bringing his tour to San Jose. The many raving reviews indicate that this concert will not disappoint.
Bruno Mars | SAP Center, 525 West Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA | Thursday, July 20th: 8PM | $47+
Grammy and Tony award winner Jennifer Holliday, best known for her role as Effie in Broadway’s Dreamgirls, is returning to the Bay for the first time in over 4 years for a night of show-stopping vocals.
Jennifer Holliday | Marine’s Memorial Theater, 609 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA | Friday, July 21st: 8PM | $68+
Since 2010, Nightlife on Mars has brought together the best comedians from around the Bay Area and beyond to Murphy’s Pub for just $5.
Nightlife on Mars | Murphy’s Pub, 217 Kearny Street, San Francisco, CA | Every Saturday: 8PM | $5
BATS Improv presents their signature improvised theatre competition for their Summer series. Scored Olympic style, teams will be representing fictionally-fabulous countries and will go head-to-head in a battle to see who can improvise the best scenes, songs, and games.
Summer Games | BATS Improv, Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Boulevard, Building B, San Francisco, CA | Every Friday in July: 8PM | $17
Head to the acclaimed PianoFight for an amazing night of up-and-coming performers in improv and stand-up comedy. Happy hour at PianoFight runs from 5PM-6PM, so get there early if you’d like to pregame and dine before the show.
The Comedy Misfits An Improv and Stand-Up Comedy | PianoFight Main Stage, 144 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA | Thursday, July 27th: 7PM | $20
Theatre and Opera
In their 57th season, SF Mime troupe presents a musical satire that asks the question “How can a nation of immigrants declare war on immigration?” Watch the free show to get an answer.
SF Mime Troupe Presents: Walls | Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, McLaren Park, San Francisco, CA | Sunday, July 30th | Free
SFArtsED joins forces with the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Company to present the great American musical Ragtime, based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow.
Ragtime | Nourse Theater, 275 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA | Opens Sunday, July 23rd: 5PM | $35+
La Cage aux Folles is a Tony award winning musical about Georges, who manages a Saint-Tropez drag-show nightclub headlined by his longtime love and partner Albin. When Georges’ son, Jean-Michel, brings home his fiancée’s highly conservative parents to meet them, things get a little unpredictable. If you love the movie, or if you’ve never seen it before, then this is a must-see.
La Cage aux Folles | The San Francisco Playhouse, 450 Post, San Francisco, CA | Opens Wednesday, July 12th: 8PM | $30+
Lovesick is a comedic musical romp about modern dating and cats. While Serenity mines the internet looking for love, her cat does everything in his power to sabotage her romances.
Lovesick: The Cat Allergy Musical | Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA | Runs through July 22nd | $40
Celebrate the rich cultural diversity of the Bay Area through dance performances at the War Memorial Opera House. The San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival will feature performances by 24 Bay Area dance and music ensembles. A ranged offering, you’ll experience traditions from Brazil, Central Europe, China, Congo, Cuba, Hawaii, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Spain, Tahiti, West Africa, and Zimbabwe.
The 39th Annual SF Ethnic Dance Festival | War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness, San Francisco, CA | Runs through July 26th | $25-$45
This is the only performance the San Francisco Ballet will be doing in the Bay Area this summer–and it’s free. If you’ve missed their previous season, or don’t like shelling out loads of cash for a show, then this is your chance.
Stern Grove Festival: San Francisco Ballet | Sigmund Stern Grove, 19th Street and Sloat Boulevard, San Francisco, CA | Sunday, July 30th: 2PM | Free