November arts, music and events calendar

November is here for you to remember. Don’t let Thanksgiving be the only event to steal the show this month! There are plenty of BARTable festivities to check out, such as Dia de los Muertos celebrations, Cirque du Soleil performances and an epic rock opera. Start getting in the holiday spirit and visit all the ice skating rinks opening this month (including a cool new rink in the city with a 400-foot skating track). Gather your loved ones for some November fun!

Luna Mexicana (Nov. 2) at 19 St./Oakland

Oakland will have its own Dia de los Muertos celebration, right at Paramount Theatre. The family-friendly performance will feature spirited dancing, live music, colorful costumes and a festive atmosphere. This year’s program will include the world premiere of Viva la Vida!, a new ballet celebrating Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo. Check out the theater lobby prior to the performance to visit ofrendas (created by local artists), shop at the Luna Mexicana boutique and enjoy Mexican refreshments. Take BART to 19th St./Oakland and walk 2 minutes to the theater.

Photo courtesy of Civic Center Commons.

First Sundays (Nov. 4) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

The Civic Center Commons has hosted its weekend block party series on every first Sunday since August, and the last one of the season will be held on Nov. 4. Visitors can enjoy food, recreational activities, an open-air bazaar and more. Off the Grid will curate a selection of street foods and Bonneville San Francisco KMVQ 99.7 FM will provide the tunes. The open-air bazaar will feature one-of-a-kind goods created by local SF Etsy artisans, and there will be an area for arts and crafts. On Nov. 4 there will be free roller-skating with Church of 8 Wheels, DIY pom-pom keychain making, giant scrabble, a lego station and more. Admission is free. The event is from 11am to 3pm and will be located on Fulton Street between the Asian Art Museum and San Francisco Main Public Library. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 5 minutes to the Fulton Street.

Dia de los Muertos (Nov. 4) at Fruitvale

Over 80,000 people flock annually to the Dia de Los Muertos festival in Fruitvale. It’s a free, outdoor event that has live music, family-friendly games, rides and activities, traditional Latin American artisans and altar artistic installations. There will also be Ballet Folklorico and Aztec dancers. The festival was inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress by Congresswoman Barbara Lee as a “local legacy.” Take BART to Fruitvale and walk towards the festival, which will be on International Boulevard, between Fruitvale and 40th avenues.

The Cat in the Hat/ El Gato Ensombrerado (Ends Nov. 4) at Downtown Berkeley

The Cat in the Hat's outrageous antics and Dr. Seuss's wondrous rhymes are being brought to life in both English and Spanish at The Osher Studio. Guests can expect to see a brother, a sister, a much put-upon goldfish, some Things and tons of clowning around in this new production of Seuss’s classic tale. Recommended for ages 3 to 12. Tickets range from $17-$28 and can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 2 minutes to Bay Area Children's Theatre Osher Studio.

Oakland Art Murmur (Nov. 5) at various Oakland BART stations

Oakland Art Murmur (OAM) is a nonprofit that has connected thousands of artists to over a million visitors through its various local programs. Two of its most famous programs are the “First Friday Art Walk” and “Saturday Stroll.” First Friday Art Walks are held every first Friday of the month, so in September it will fall on Nov. 2. OAM Galleries across Oakland are open from 6 to 9pm, rain or shine. For Saturday Stroll, OAM member galleries are collectively open from 1 to 5pm every Saturday. During Saturday Stroll many galleries hold artists talks, receptions, film screenings and more. You can find OAM’s list of venues here. Admission to both events are free.

Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center (Nov. 5-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.

Photo courtesy of Resonate Agency.

Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square (Nov. 7-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.

Everything is Illuminated (Nov. 9-Dec. 9) at Downtown Berkeley

“Everything is Illuminated” tells the story of a young Jewish-American writer who embarks on a trip to Ukraine, in hopes to find the woman who he believes saved his grandfather from the Nazis — and to also find a town the Nazis wiped off the map. Guiding Jonathan on his tour are a pair of flamboyant Ukrainians, a grandfather and grandson and a dog named Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. Along the way, they collide with increasingly surreal characters that merge the past and present. Come witness their adventure and see what Broadway World calls “riveting...masterful...the journey and the payoff are huge.” Tickets can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 2 minutes to Aurora Theatre.

Walnut Creek on Ice (Nov. 9-Jan. 21) at Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek on Ice returns for its 14th season on Nov. 9, and is open Monday through Thursday noon to 8pm, Friday noon to 11pm, Saturday 11am to 11pm and Sunday 11am to 8pm. 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.

Photo courtesy of Bay Area Musicals’ Facebook page.

Crazy for You (Nov. 10-Dec. 6) at Powell Street

"Crazy for You" — winner of the Tony and Olivier awards for Best Musical — has wowed audiences on Broadway, the West End and around the world, reclaiming Gershwin songs into a book musical. Bay Area Musicals is providing an intimate version of the large scale musical, featuring the original Tony-winning choreography of Susan Stroman. See the zany rich-boy-meets-hometown-girl romantic comedy come to life on stage. Tickets range from $20-$100 and can be bought online. Take BART to Powell Street and walk 12 minutes to Alcazar Theatre.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Christmas Show (Nov. 10-Jan. 6) at Powell Street

Give your young ones the holiday treat they deserve by taking them to a Christmas show at Bay Area Children’s Theatre. This one will include colorful giant puppets in a new production inspired by Eric Carle’s beloved stories, including Dream Show, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Recommended for ages 3 to 8. Tickets range from $65-$85 and can be bought online. Take BART to Powell Street and walk 9 minutes to the Children’s Creativity Museum.

Women Laughing Alone with Salad (Ends Nov. 11) at Ashby

An internet meme of women laughing alone with salad is the inspiration behind Sheila Callahan’s play, which explores gender stereotypes, relationships and sexism, with a healthy side of humor and mixed greens. This raw, feminist comedy will break all the rules of our image-obsessed culture — and everyone is about to get tossed. Tickets range from $7-$40. Take BART to Ashby and walk 4 minutes to The Ashby Stage.

Photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil “Volta” (Nov. 15-Feb. 3) at Embarcadero

Those that love the thrill around extreme sports will love Cirque du Soleil’s VOLTA. Never-before-seen Big Top acrobatics will be paired with a stirring melodic score and set in a visually striking world. There will also be performances involving ballet, rope skipping and BMX biking. VOLTA is centered around self-discovery and unveiling your personal powers. Tickets range from $54-$290 and can be bought online. Take BART to Embarcadero and walk, bike, or take a MUNI or rideshare to AT&T Park.

Building Lightning Ceremony (Nov. 16) at Embarcadero

To celebrate the official start of the holiday season in San Francisco, visit the Embarcadero Center’s Building Lighting Ceremony. Four iconic buildings will be lit with 17,000 holiday lights, there will be a fireworks show in the sky, and Disney on Ice will provide entertainment. Festivities start at 4pm with a family fun carnival, followed by the lighting ceremony at 6pm. Admission is free. Take BART to Embarcadero and walk 4 minutes to the Embarcadero Center.

Wonderland: Alice’s Rock and Roll Adventure (Nov. 17-Feb. 10) at Downtown Berkeley

Lewis Carroll’s characters from his beloved tales will be coming to life in this lively rock and roll performance. Bring your family and tumble into Wonderland, where everything will get “curiouser and curiouser” as Alice questions who she is and what her destiny will be. Recommended for ages 5 to 12. Tickets range from $17-$28 and can be bought online. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 2 minutes to the BACT Berkeley Center, The Osher Studio.


Image courtesy of Resonate Agency.

Winter Park at Civic Center (Nov. 20-Jan. 6) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

The Winter Park is the first attraction of its kind in the Bay Area. Located in the historic Civic Center Plaza, there will both an ice rink and 400-foot skating track, letting guests weave through a lighted tree forest. The park will also feature special events such as a holiday tree lighting ceremony, curling lessons and iHeart Wednesday dance parties. Tickets range from $15-$20 and can be bought online. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 4 minutes to Civic Center Plaza.

San Francisco Auto Show (Nov. 21-25) at Montgomery Street

The San Francisco International Auto Show is coming back for its 61st year, and it’ll feature hundreds of 2018 vehicles from the world’s major manufacturers. The show is the largest auto exhibition in Northern California, and this year’s event will feature test drive opportunities from several manufacturers, alternative fuel vehicles, exotic sports cars, the Academy of Art University Classic Car collection and more. Tickets are $10 and can be bought online. Take BART to Montgomery Street and walk 8 minutes to Moscone Center.

Bringing his Gypsy Jazz to the Bay Area, the dazzling French guitarist and violinist Dorado Schmitt is back headlining at SFJAZZ.  Joined by a cast of fiercely swinging compatriats, Schmitt's son, Amati and others who represent the future of the Gypsy tradition, go prepared to fall in love with the genre.  Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 9 minutes west to SFJAZZ Miner Auditorium on Franklin Street.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) has inspired generations of fans to rediscover the multi-dimensional art form of the rock opera. They have sold more than 10 million albums, and Billboard magazine named them as one of the top touring artists of the past decade. The band has put more than $20 million into their production, and has played to over 100 million people in over 80 cities — selling more than $280 million worth of tickets and giving $11 million to charity. Catch the group as they stop in Oakland for their winter tour. Take BART to Coliseum and walk 10 minutes to Oracle Arena.

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