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The Music and Whimsy of San Francisco

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Whether you’re into the chaotic bar scene, mellow speak-easy vibes, classical music, artistic dance performances, the opera or symphony, DF-infused dance beats, intimate live ensembles, piano bars, or anything in between, you’ll find something to fit your musical temperament in San Francisco.

For example, in Union Square Harry Denton’s Starlight Room  is a splashy yet sophisticated upscale cocktail and entertainment bar, while Latin vibes, World music and a menu ranging from traditional Bolivian dishes to raw-living organic (and 100% gluten free) are the focus at Peña Pachamama  Downtown.

In the Castro, El Rio  bills itself as “a LGBTQ+ space who is welcoming to all good people,” the Madrone Art Bar in the Western Addition offers an all-encompassing artistic experience highlighted by live music, DJs, films, spoken word and dance performances and oodles of art, and the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall in the Civic Center is home to the San Francisco Symphony, Chamber, Organ and other artistic musical performances.

One of San Francisco’s quintessential entertainment spots and a must-experience when in town is Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon in North Beach. I have heard some people blow off seeing it because they think it is a drag show. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

Presented cabaret-style with guests arriving in everything from shorts and sandals to formal wear, Beach Blanket Babylon—premiering in 1974—is recognized as the world’s longest running musical revue, and has been experienced by nearly six million people including professional athletes, A-List movie stars, international royalty and others from around the world.

This non-stop, highly entertaining, musical spoof is known for its unique, yet typically San Francisco spin on pop culture through amazing musical numbers, extravagant costumes, outrageous headdresses and great theatrical dancing.

 

Contributing to its popularity and longevity is the show’s continual evolution, keeping it fresh, relevant and cutting edge, which really speaks to its international audience.

With the exception of a few quips that may sail over the heads of those not familiar with San Francisco or California politics, the show is immensely enjoyable and again, a San Francisco “must-experience!” 

Written by Lysa Allman-Baldwin

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