Show Me Yours is a weekly column in which Senior Arts Editor Chloe Veltman shares her picks for the Bay Area's best bets in the performing arts.
The holidays are now officially upon us. The halls have been duly decked and our gay apparel donned. But why stop there? Bay Area performing arts organizations are here to make the season even more colorful and vibrant. Here are some suggestions to make this Christmas and New Year particularly memorable.
Now through Sunday, Dec. 27: Sweet Can Productions presents Mittens and Mistletoe: A Winter Circus Cabaret at Dance Mission Theater, San Francisco. If you find Cirque du Soleil productions expensive and exhausting, then Sweet Can Productions’ intimate cabaret style circus is perfect for you. The Bay Area-based company presents its annual holiday show for the sixth year running. It’s a combination of awe-inspiring slack rope, aerial hoop, hula hoop and juggling acts, together with live music by New Orleans harp player Luke Brechtelsbauer, and comedy. And new for 2015 is the late night, adults-only show.
Now through Sunday, Jan. 3: Potted Potter at Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco. Ever since three guys in baggy shirts and ill-fitting codpieces started performing their heavily edited version of all of Shakespeare’s plays -- The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) -- at Renaissance fairs in California in 1981, audiences have been splitting their britches over a variety of cleverly-edited hatchet jobs on great works of poetry and prose. One of the most successful recent forays into the genre is Potted Potter, a bold attempt by actors Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner to condense all seven of J.K. Rowling’s famous books about a boy magician into a single night’s entertainment. The fun-loving spoof is aimed at audiences of all ages and features hummable songs, madcap costume changes and plenty of Hogwarts magic.
Now through Saturday, Jan. 23: Date Night at Pet Emergency at The Marsh, Berkeley. “We discovered adopting a dog combines the worst aspects of Internet dating and buying a house,” says Lisa Rothman in her comic solo show about living through the opposite of domestic bliss. That doesn’t stop Rothman and her husband Kevin from introducing two canines and two children into their household in the space of less than three years. And just when life couldn’t possibly get more hectic, it does: the Rothmans find themselves spending what should be a romantic evening dealing with a dog who OD’d. Staged by David Ford, one of the the most masterful solo show directors around, this wry look at family life provides the perfect antidote to the usual saccharine theatrical fare that abounds at holiday time.
Thursday, Dec. 31: New Year's Eve Comedy Fiesta: Latino Power Edition! at Brava Theater Center, San Francisco. Where would we be without Marga Gomez? The comedian and actress has been helping Bay Area audiences confront their blind spots via-a-vis Latinos, lesbians and Latino lesbians for decades, her criticism always laced with a dollop of unabashed self-scrutiny. Gomez muscles her way into the New Year at Brava Theater Center in the heart of The Mission with a crew of powerful Latino comics headlined by Punchline and Cobb’s regular Lydia Popovich. The lineup includes LA-based Chicana LGBT comedian Monica Palacios, and locals Chris Storin, Baruch Porras-Hernandez and Betty Pazmiño. Oh, and the fun continues into the wee small hours of 2016 with a dance party.
Saturday, Dec. 26 - Sunday, Jan. 3: The Big Year-End Kiss-Off Comedy Show XXIII, at various venues around the Bay Area. Between terrorist attacks, environmental calamities, and economic woes, 2015 hasn’t exactly been bursting with sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. But sometimes laughter is the best antidote in tough times, and comedian Will Durst and his friends aim to inject a little lightheartedness into New Year’s Eve as a way to cheerfully boot the year gone by out the door. The PG-13-rated show features six comics performing in nine cities around the Bay and tackles some of the 2015’s most lurid news stories from the Hillary Clinton email scandal to Pope Francis’s meeting with the controversial Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis in the wake of her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.