SF Ballet – Hansuke Yamamoto in Tomasson’s Nutcracker. (© Erik Tomasson)

Say “So Long!” to 2021 by doing something you love. Whether it’s a Broadway revival (“I Could Have Danced All Night”) or a ballet classic (“Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”), the good news this holiday season is that it’s IRL, not on Zoom.

NOVEMBER 

Artist Judy Chicago (photo: Gary Sexton)

Through Jan. 9, 2022 
de Young Museum | Judy Chicago: A Retrospective
Called “groundbreaking” by the museum’s director, this exhibition of 125 works is the first retrospective of the pioneering feminist’s work. It spans a period from the Californian Light and Space Movement in the 1960s to modern day. deyoung.famsf.org/exhibitions/judy-chicago

Through January 17, 2022
SFMOMA | Joan Mitchell
A world premiere co-organized with the Baltimore Museum of Art presents a comprehensive retrospective featuring over 80 distinguished works from this 20th century master of abstract expressionism. sfmoma.org/exhibition/joan-mitchell

Patrick Kelly, women’s ensembles 1986 and 1988 (image: courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Through April 24, 2022
de Young Museum | Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love
Seventy-nine fully accessorized ensembles by the 20th century Black fashion designer. The theme highlights the designer’s fun, heart-shaped embellishments, including a corset made from his signature buttons and a “banana” skirt. deyoung.famsf.org/exhibitions/patrick-kelly

My Fair Lady (photo credit: Joan Marcus)

2 – 28
Orpheum Theatre | My Fair Lady
Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins are here in Lerner and Loewe’s classic musical. Broadway SF brings The Lincoln Center Theater Production to town on its national tour. Myfairladyontour.com

5 – 7
The Purple Urchin Fest

In an effort to aid under-the-waves kelp forests, Mendocino hosts the first U.S. urchin festival dedicated to these delicious, spiky, invasive creatures. Featured chefs include Matthew Kammerer at the Harbor House and Jason Azevedo at Little River Inn. urchinfest.com

13
National Kidney Foundation | 33rd Annual Authors Luncheon
Dedicated to transforming kidney care and improving the lives of millions through education, advocacy, and research, this year’s event is virtual. Pulitzer Prize and best-selling authors, special appearances by Michael Krasny and Gail Tsukiyama. kidney.org/events/social-event/san-francisco-authors-luncheon

GLIDE Event- Bobby McFerrin (credit_Petra Hajska)

18
GLIDE Annual Holiday Jam: Still We Rise
Musical guests are 10-time Grammy winner Bobby McFerrin, three-time Grammy winner Fantastic Negrito, and the uplifting GLIDE Ensemble and Change Band. Renel Brooks-Moon is emcee for the in-person and online benefit honoring co-founder, the late Janice Mirikitani. Masonic Auditorium. glide.org/holidayjam2021

Così Fan Tutte (Erhard Rom and Constance Hoffman)

Nov. 21 – Dec. 3
San Francisco Opera | Così Fan Tutte
Five performances of the new production of director Michael Cavanagh’s trilogy weaving together the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte. Sung in Italian with English supertitles. sfopera.com/on-stage/cosi-fan-tutte

A Christmas Carol (photo: Joan Marcus)

Nov. 16 – Dec. 26
Golden Gate Theatre | A Christmas  Carol
Prepare to meet a brand new Ebenezer Scrooge in this West End / Broadway adaptation. It’s a gloriously festive reimagining of Charles Dickens’ timeless holiday classic that includes 12 well-loved carols. achristmascarolbroadway.com

DECEMBER

10 – 11
Chase Center | Trevor Noah
“Back to Abnormal” World Tour hits the stage for two nights when the prolific and wildly successful comic and talk show host spins current events with deep, wry insights that seem to go well beyond his 37 years. chasecenter.com/events/trevor-noah-20211210    

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson’s Nutcracker. (© Erik Tomasson)

10 – 30
San Francisco Ballet | Nutcracker
Set at a Christmas Eve party in 1915 San Francisco, Nutcracker tells the story of Clara. Given a magical nutcracker doll that comes to life in her dreams, adventures ensue. Brilliant choreography by Helgi Tomasson and a beloved score by Tchaikovsky—a much anticipated favorite for all ages. sfballet.org/productions/nutcracker

The San Francisco Opera Chorus with Chorus Director Ian Robertson (left) and Assistant Chorus Master Fabrizio Corona (right). (Photo: Matthew Washburn)

11 – 12
San Francisco Opera Chorus in Concert Celebrating Ian Robertson

After a career of 30 years and 300 productions, Robertson leads a farewell performance, featuring an array of classics from Mozart, Puccini, and Verdi, as well as contemporary songs by Florence Beatrice Price, Joan Szymko, and Kate Rusby. sfopera.com/on-stage/san-francisco-opera-chorus-concert 

11 – 12 and 18 – 19
Grace Cathedral | A Cathedral Christmas
Ring in the season with a holiday tradition. Grace Cathedral’s Choir of Men and Boys, in a performance of classic carols and sacred masterpieces with orchestra and organ. gracecathedral.org/calendar-events

10 – 11
San Francisco Symphony | Handel’s Messiah
Hear glorious majesty of the 100 harmonized voices Grammy Award-winning SF Symphony Chorus and world-class soloists. The celebrated holiday masterpiece is one of the best-loved musical works of all time. sfsymphony.org/Buy-Tickets/2021-22/Handel-s-Messiah

14 – 16 and 18
San Francisco Symphony | Film With Live Orchestra
Christmas favorites are on the big screen at Davies Symphony Hall again. “Love Actually” is performed on the first two evenings; “Home Alone” is the 16th with a matinee on the 18th. sfsymphony.org/calendar  

Chanticleer (photo credit: Lisa Kohler)

17 – 18
St. Ignatius Church | A Chanticleer Christmas
From the candlelit chant procession to the triumphant gospel conclusion, this all-men’s “orchestra” of the finest a cappella voices offer joy and transcendence through beautifully sung music through the centuries. Additional performances in Berkeley, Oakland, Palo Alto, Petaluma, Sacramento, Santa Clara and Carmel. chanticleer.org/a-chanticleer-christmas 

17 and 19
Chase Center | Metallica
“Forty Years of Metallica” marks the milestone in their hometown of San Francisco. “…Almost 2,000 live shows across seven continents, mind-blowing successes and crazy off-road adventures.” Time flies and tickets are likely to fly as well. metallica.com/events/2021-12-19-san-francisco-california.html 

24
Castro Theatre | San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus
On Christmas Eve, 250+ voices return to the historic stage for the first time in over two years for the annual extravaganza, “Holigays Are Here…Again!” Season 44 of SFGMC has additional concerts on Dec. 10–11 and 18–19 in San Francisco, Berkeley, and Rohnert Park. sfgmc.org/season-44 

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