Your Drama Talk & Drinks Holiday Guide

Here at DT&D we feel like every season is a good season to see theater. But the holiday season, with the relative cold, rain and staycation days, is perfect for getting into some cozy theaters. Katie & Brittany suggest some local shows that you might want to check out. Here’s their report:

[file photo by me]

From gin & tonicah Hanukkah fetes, to ugly sweater parties, to awkward office eggnog-a-thons, your calendar may already be booked through 2015. But for those of you who are looking for a theater fix, or to find a family friendly outing while people are in town, we didn’t want to leave you hanging. Although we normally don’t recommend shows without prior viewing, with holiday parties and cold and flu season upon us, we just didn’t have time to see everything. But that’s no reason for you to miss out. So without further ado, here’s our round-up of what caught our eye this holiday season that we didn’t get to see.

Looking for laughs?

A Merry Forking Christmas
PianoFight’s brand-spanking-new-Kickstarter-funded venue is opening this week! The first show to pop the champagne on its main stage is A Merry Forking Christmas, their reliably funny choose-your-own-adventure holiday sketch show. Go check out PianoFight’s new digs, try their new bar, and forget about your holiday stress. From the mouths of marketers:

The Holidays are the most magical time of the year, unless you’re stuck in the mall on Christmas Eve. PianoFight’s A Merry FORKING! Christmas chronicles the final hours of the Christmas shopping frenzy through the eyes of a pot-dealing Santa and his cookie-stand partner in crime, a mall security guard on his last legs, a bride-to-be deserted by her would-be fiancé, and a bored mortician who’s got nothing to do until people get back to the business of dying once the holidays have ended. The fates of these five characters and whether Christmas can be saved for each is left up to the audience who will vote at crucial forks in the plot to determine the final outcome. This December, with 362,880 possible paths through the show, saving Christmas is up to you. Get your tickets here.

Looking for a FABULOUS spin on holiday classics?

Golden Girls Live: The Christmas Episodes
We went to Golden Girls last year, and it was one of our favorite Drama Talk & Drink reviews to date. The show returns to the Victoria Theater again this year with new episodes, but the same sass. Although many of the shows are already sold-out, you should try and snag tickets to this show if you can. From the mouths of marketers:

Dorothy, Sophia, Blanche and Rose return to the stage to spread a little holiday cheer, as only the Golden Girls can, with new sets and episodes for 2014. Full of heart and sass, four of San Francisco’s top drag performers bring the ladies of NBC’s The Golden Girls to uproarious life, recreating holiday episodes from the show’s run on television. Prepare yourself for Blanche’s sexy antics, Sophia’s cutting wit, Dorothy’s consternation, Rose’s endearing stupidity and lots of beefy shoulder pads. No matter the season, nothing warms your heart — or keeps you laughing — like the Golden Girls. Get your tickets here.

Looking for a family tradition?

A Christmas Carol or Nutcracker
In many families theater going comes but once a year, and often it’s to see one of these classic holiday shows. ACT’s A Christmas Carol is here for all your ghostly Christmas needs, and the San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker promises anthropomorphized dancing rats and sugar plums. What more could you need to make your holidays complete? Both shows run through the end of December, but because they’re a holiday-must for many, these shows tend to sell out quickly. Get your tickets fast. From the mouths of marketers:

A Christmas Carol: Featuring a lively cast of dozens, gorgeous costumes, and those deliciously spooky ghosts, the Bay Area’s favorite holiday tradition returns with a sparkling, music-infused production of A Christmas Carol. Bring your family, bring your friends, and check your “humbugs” at the door! Get your tickets here.

Nutcracker: San Francisco Ballet’s sparkling production of Nutcracker, set here in our own “City by the Bay,” has introduced audiences of all ages to the magnificent world of ballet. This holiday season, experience the beauty and athleticism of SF Ballet’s international cast of world-class dancers in Nutcracker, a San Francisco tradition since 1944. Get your tickets here.

Looking to reflect on the year?

Our Town
If you haven’t seen a show by Shotgun Players out at the Ashby Stage in Berkeley you need to. They’re a fearless company, doing some great work “determined to create bold, relevant, affordable theatre…” If you’ve never seen Thorton WIlder’s classic play Our Town you need to, because everyone needs to reflect on the transience of human life, especially around the New Year. From the mouths of marketers:

Wilder graduated from Berkeley High in 1915, and Shotgun is proud to bring this classic to The Ashby Stage. Even if you think you know Our Town, we guarantee that you’ll experience something new – after all, no one breaks down the classics like we do. With live music throughout, we will find the heartbeat of every line, every word. “That’s what it was to be alive…To be always at the mercy of one self-centered passion, or another.” Get your tickets here.

Looking for a gift?

SF Sketchfest Tickets!
If you’re stumped on what to get the person who has everything, consider giving the gift of live theater this year. There’s lots of great theater on the horizon for 2015, but one easy bet for fun is the 14th Annual SF Sketchfest: The San Francisco Comedy Festival (January 22- February 8). Tickets just went on sale this week, and popular shows are already filling up. With big names like John Hodgeman, Kristen Schaal, Maya Rudolph and even Bill Nye the Science Guy, you’re bound to find something hilarious. From the mouths of marketers:

Audiences have overwhelmingly responded to SF Sketchfest’s diverse programming which has featured performers from every major North American television comedy smash of the last 25 years including Saturday Night Live, The Kids in the Hall, Mr. Show, Arrested Development, The Upright Citizens Brigade, The State, Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Strangers With Candy, The Simpsons, The Daily Show and more. SF Sketchfest offers its audiences the rare opportunity to see their favorite performers in intimate live performances and discussions. Get your tickets here.

We can’t review all these shows, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. Let us know in the comments if you see any of these shows and liked them! Stay tuned for one final Drama Talk & Drinks before we call it quits for 2014.

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