BARTable This Weekend: Dec. 14-16
Winter and the holidays feel like they are in full swing. Of course we have some festive events to put on your radar this weekend, but we made sure to balance them out with some non-holiday entertainment. Before the year is over, go support local theater, jazz, community concerts and open mic events in the city and East Bay. We made it extra easy for you — all you have to do is hop on BART and do some light strolling (a good opportunity to admire some holiday decorations). We’re ready to help you close out 2018 with a bang!
Smuin’s “The Christmas Ballet” at Montgomery Street
The weather outside may be frightful, but The Christmas Ballet is oh-so-delightful. This Bay Area favorite returns to kick off the holidays in 2018 with two acts packed to the brim with the best of both worlds: flawless classical ballet and red-hot contemporary numbers. Friday kicks off the production’s opening weekend. Tickets range from $34-$91 and can be bought online. Deal alert! Get 25% off tickets for using the discount code BART25. Take BART to Montgomery Street and walk 5 minutes to YBCA.
Photo of a past Friday Night at OMCA, courtesy of OMCA’s Facebook page.
Friday Nights @ OMCA - Winter Fest at Lake Merritt
Celebrate diverse winter traditions reflected in the Bay Area, including Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa. Enjoy storytime with the Oakland Public Library, winter-themed activities, strolling carolers, and a special Balinese dance and music performance by Gamelan Sekar Jaya Ensemble. Create a candle to take home during the final Friday Nights @ OMCA for 2018. Admission is free. Take BART to Lake Merritt and walk 2 minutes to OMCA.
My Word Open Mic at North Berkeley
El Cerrito poet laureate Maw Shein Win and Benicia poet laureate Tom Stanton will be performing at “My Word Open Mic” night at Cafe Leila. The show will be hosted by Elaine C. Brown and Kelliane Parker. Come see this poetry group that’s all about uplifting, empowering and changing mindsets. Admission is free. Take BART to North Berkeley and walk 12 minutes to Cafe Leila.
Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center (Ends Jan. 6) at Embarcadero
Delighting families, couples and ice skating enthusiasts for over 26 years, the Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center opens each winter for nine magical, fun-filled weeks. Get ready to skate under the sun and stars along the beautiful waterfront at the largest outdoor rink in San Francisco. Tickets range from $7-$12. Take BART to Embarcadero and walk 4 minutes to Embarcadero Plaza.
Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square (Ends Jan. 21) at Powell Street
The Holiday Ice Rink will be open from 10am to 11:30pm with 90-minute skating sessions starting on every even hour (10am, noon, 2pm … you get the idea). Admission is $18 for adults and $13 for children (eight and under). There will be various themed evenings throughout the season, such as “Drag Queens on Ice” and a “Silent Skate Party.” Take BART to Powell Street and walk 7 minutes to Union Square.
Walnut Creek on Ice (Ends Jan. 21) at Walnut Creek
Walnut Creek on Ice returns for its 14th season, and is open Monday through Thursday noon to 8pm, Friday noon to 11pm, Saturday 11am to 11pm and Sunday 11am to 8pm. Admission is $12-$18. Take BART to Walnut Creek and catch County Connection Route 4, affectionately known to locals as the “Free Ride Trolley.” Yes, the trolley ride is free and drops you off right at the rink.
SF Ballet presents “Nutcracker” at Civic Center/UN Plaza
On Christmas Eve 1944, the audience at San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House experienced the American premiere of Nutcracker. An instant sensation, the ballet launched a national holiday tradition. This holiday season, join us as the lights dim, the music soars, snowflakes swirl, flowers dance, and a little girl dreams about a whole new world in a Nutcracker that is as unique as it is magical. Through Dec. 29 at the War Memorial Opera House.
Shen Yun returns to the Bay Area for its annual tour.
Shen Yun at Downtown Berkeley
This weekend is the last opportunity to catch a performance of Shen Yun, where the audience is invited to travel back to the magical world of ancient China. Dancers, colorful costumes, high-tech backdrops and a live orchestra have come together to illustrate 5,000 years of Chinese culture and create an inspiring and uplifting theatrical experience. Tickets range from $80-$220 and can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 10 minutes to Zellerbach Hall.
Photo courtesy of Center REP Theatre’s website.
Center REPertory Company presents "A Christmas Carol" at Walnut Creek
Brimming with music and dance, love and laughter, spectacular special effects and scary ghosts, it's no wonder the critics have called it "THE Christmas Carol to see in the Bay Area." Join the thousands who make this theatrical event a part of their annual holiday traditions. Tickets range from $32-$50 and can be bought online. Take BART to Walnut Creek and walk 10 minutes to Lesher Center for the Arts.
Queer Holiday Fair at 19th St./Oakland
The Queer Holiday Fair will span two weekends, and the first day will fall on Dec. 15. This Saturday, there will be items such as hand-restored vintage jewelry, locally-made body products, whimsical art, indigenous-made paintings, woven clothing and more. Admission is free. Take BART to 19th St. Oakland and walk 3 minutes to Qulture Collective.
Photo courtesy of SFCMP’s Facebook page.
SFCMP Free Community Concert at 16th St. Mission
The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP) offers Bay Area audiences world-class contemporary classical music performances, and it’s now celebrating its 47th season. Each year, SFCMP hosts community events that explore contemporary music in a festive atmosphere. Its event this year invites the audience to add their voices to the musical recitation of an ancient Confucian text. Guests will be able to enjoy singing, good vibes and sonic meditation. Admission is free and the event is family-friendly. Take BART to 16th St. Mission and walk 8 minutes to The Women’s Building.
California Revels’ “Christmas Revels” at Lake Merritt
This year’s Christmas Revels celebrates the ancient andalusians of Spain. Three individuals — a young Moorish woman, a Sephardic Jew, and an elderly Castilian — happen to meet, each armed with a mysterious clue that is guiding them on a quest. They learn how each culture celebrates the Sun, the Moon, and the stars in song, dance, poetry and story. All three come to realize that despite the things that make each of us different and unique, in the end, we all live under the same sky. Come experience the 33rd annual Christmas Revels, one of the Bay Area’s most treasured holiday traditions. Tickets range from $10-$65 and can be bought online. Take BART to Lake Merritt and walk 12 minutes to the Scottish Rite Theater.
Joey Alexander at Civic Center/UN Plaza
Jazz pianist Joey Alexander is only 15 years old, but possesses an expressive range and musical maturity that confounds the stereotypical definition of a jazz prodigy. The Bali-born Alexander has performed at the 2016 Grammy awards and the White House, has had a feature segment on 60 Minutes, and has appeared at a TED conference and on the Today show. He will be playing material from his 2017 Motéma release Eclipse and a few holiday tunes from his new EP A Joey Alexander Christmas, joined by guest saxophonist Chris Potter. The young star is championed by legends Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock and Wynton Marsalis. Tickets are $35-$95 and can be bought online. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 12 minutes to SFJAZZ.
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