Great Entertainment in San Francisco

By Damon Lewis sanfranciscoentertainmentSan Francisco is many things to many different people. To some, the city is a personification of personal freedom and a home for expression and liberation. For others, San Francisco is a wide-open realm of career opportunities from the banking to the hospitality industries. And for others still, it is a personal playground of the performing arts, and entertainment in San Francisco is something that is taken as seriously as others’ careers. The industry of entertainment in San Francisco spans from opera to television, and The City has graced the silver screen in dozens of movies throughout history. And for the nearly one million residents who live here, everyone seeks to find entertainment in San Francisco from one venue or another. For live entertainment in San Francisco, there are few things that hold the same reputation as the famous Beach Blanket Babylon. This is quintessential for entertainment in San Francisco, and the show has been running strong since 1974. Beach Blanket Babylon is a modern-day vaudeville act full of performers in outrageous costumes having fun with what we understand as current popular culture. Beach Blanket Babylon is a San Francisco tradition that evolved from creator Steve Silver’s “Rent a Freak” service where party guests rented themselves out as an absorbing cast of characters. The show has been performed at the four hundred seat Club Fugazi at 678 Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevard (Green Street) to a generally sold-out crowd since it’s inception. This delegate of entertainment in San Francisco is currently the longest running revue in American history, and it shows no signs of letting up any time in the near future. This outstanding show of extraordinarily talented actors is what is known in San Francisco as a “counter-culture phenomenon.” Tickets to the show can be very hard to come across, and sometimes the best place to score seats to this show and any other entertainment in San Francisco show is through the website, where not only might you find outstanding tickets, but also tickets can be found at half price here. When visiting San Francisco, or while living here, at least one showing of Beach Blanket Babylon must account for one night out for entertainment in San Francisco. Another raw act that takes a wicked wink at San Francisco Past, Present and Future is the wildly popular SF Follies, created by the wildly heralded John Bisceglie and gearing up for its’ second tour de force. SF Follies is to entertainment in San Francisco as earthquakes are to The East Bay, in a sense that they both shake the foundation of The Bay Area and tend to leave behind a good deal of controversies. SF Follies, located in the heart of North Beach at 885 Bush Street, is a live act similar to Beach Blanket Babylon and then it stops abruptly at that . For a night of entertainment in San Francisco come join SF Follies poking fun at the cities’ popular sea lions, earthquakes, attractions, personalities, events, and neighborhoods all to the tune of a nearly naked gold miner. Critics rave that “Bisceglie’s  SF Follies is as unique and zany as the whole damned city itself; any anyone living in San Francisco long enough knows that is not the easiest feat to pull off. For a night of entertainment in San Francisco, Biscegli sorts through three hundred years of San Francisco secret history, secret scandals and urban folklore all in roughly a ninety-minute revue. Since it’s inception, SF Follies has garnered much attention as possibly the finest place to enjoy entertainment in San Francisco of this caliber. And again, there is no need to stress about finding tickets to the newest San Francisco concoction of neo-vaudeville acts, the above website basically eliminates the middle man and leave you and your date for the evening some time to catch a quick bite before the show at Daffodil restaurant, located at 665 Bush Street, just down the block from the SF Follies venue. I recommend the croquettes; batter dipped with bacon, Jalapeno, Cheddar and Avocado dish as well as the Endive s with Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese with Blood orange and Fried Shallots. Served with a Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette. With a full stomach and a smile, you will be ready to experience why SF Follies is widely regarded as the premier events for entertainment in San Francisco. Along the lines of the previously mentioned modes of entertainment in San Francisco exists one event that seems to have strayed from the beaten path of the other two. Teatro Zinzanni signs can be seen spread throughout San Francisco filled with faces similar to that you might have found traveling the Mid-Western America or even Eastern England closer to a hundred years ago, when “carnies” ran the traveling “freak shows” Located at Pier 29, The Embarcadero at Battery, Teartro Zinzanni is one of the easier places to find great entertainment in San Francisco. As far as entertainment in San Francisco is concerned, Teatro Zinzanni really “takes the cake” so to speak. Zinzanni, as it is want to be known  by we locals, is a celebration of food, whimsy and drama; part musical theatre and part comedy show. The 3-hour event offers an amazing five-course meal to partake in while watching acts similar to the famous cirque du soleil. The venue is open Wednesday through Sunday with ticket prices including the price of dinner. It is, for lack of a better description, a show for those who can’t be bothered going to a show and also going out for dinner. Not to short-change the meals as they are great, but could take away from the enjoyment of the bewitching evening of European Cabaret and Cirque that is ZinZanni’s bread and butter. And to miss the Divas and madmen just for a second might compromise the spectacle and sensuality set in the nightclub of your dreams. These three revues are not all that exists for entertainment in San Francisco by a long shot, and there is always something new to test you palate against somewhere in The City. The American Conservatory Theatre located at 415 Geary Street, located in Union Square, is a Tony award winning theatre that made it’s San Francisco debut in 1967. This location is the city’s’ premier resident theatre group and arguably one of our Nation’s’ best It is widely considered to be one of America’s finest performance sites and is registered as a national historic landmark. This theatre has hosted some of acting greatest names and continues to tutor the well known and up and comings on the ways of “the force.” It is both a theatre company and an acting school and hosts such notable alumni as Denzel Washington, Annete Benning, Danny Glover, Benjamin Bratt, Carlos Bernard and Winona Ryder among many others. Since opening over 40 years ago, the A.C.T. as it is know has had a combined audience of over seven million patrons. There are several other great things in the realm of entertainment in San Francisco no matter who you are and what your individual tastes are. From the free Opera in the Park, which is brought to the public at no cost thanks to the generous contributions of The San Francisco Chronicle all the way down to the wildly popular, and Worldwide acclaimed San Francisco International Film Festival held every year. These are merely a few of the chosen, and any decent spot of time spent in looking for entertainment in San Francisco is almost guaranteed to yield more than you could possibly take in.