You are not necessarily afflicted with garlic in your soul or termites in your smile just because you find some Christmas joyfulness a little syrupy. You don't need to be a Grinch or a Scrooge to yearn for a little hot sauce drizzled on top of the sugary heap of holiday cheer that is about to cascade upon us one and all.
Yes, you could get a quickie stab of yuletide botox to politely greet the merry Christmas carolers who may accost you with holiday harmonies and Christian merriment. But perhaps there is a better way...
For you, dear misfit toys, we've got just the (theater) ticket:
Nothing says San Francisco Christmas like four world-class drag queens performing episodes from The Golden Girls TV show live & on stage. The 7th Annual All Drag Xmas Exdrag-a-ganza known as The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes show stars Heklina, Cookie Dough, Pollo Del Mar and Matthew Martin as the feisty retirees from Miami. Last year, the Golden Girls sold out its run at the Victoria Theater. This year, the show will be performed 16 times through December 30. Several performances feature celebrity guest stars, including Marga Gomez and Sister Roma ("The Most Photographed Nun In The World"). The show runs December 6-30, 2012 at The Victoria Theatre in SF. For more information, visit trannyshack.com.
For little kids, big kids and bad old kids, SF Sketchfest is presenting a full day of holiday programming -- from the G- to the R- rated -- at the Castro Theatre. The first ever 'Twas the Night Before Sketchfest is a day-long quadruple feature unspooling December 22. On the top of the bill is a screening of the Bad Santa director's cut starring Billy Bob Thornton. Special guests include director Terry Zwigoff and actors Lauren Graham and Tony Cox. Zwigoff is promising to show some previously unseen footage and behind-the-scenes material before the film screens.
The evening also includes "Bad Holiday" Storytelling presented by the Porchlight Storytelling Series, with Joshua Grannell (AKA Peaches Christ) among the readers telling true-life stories about bad holiday experiences.
Earlier in the day, kid-safe, parent-approved movie fare includes a 35th Anniversary screening of the Jim Henson classic Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas along with the holiday episode The Bells of Fraggle Rock. Dave Goelz (a legendary Henson puppeteer who plays Gonzo, among others) will be on hand for a discussion and Q&A.
'Twas the Night Before Sketchfest will also screen Elf (celebrating its 10th anniversary) and the Bill Murray comedy Scrooged, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, which includes a Q&A with Bobcat Goldthwait, who plays Eliot in the film. Those who stay up for the post-PG-13 festivities should know that they are encouraged to dress up in their "baddest" holiday/Santa gear. For more information, visit sfsketchfest.com.
Another place to dress up for the festivities is the Dance-Along Nutcracker, an audience-participation Christmas ballyhoo presented by the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band (SFLGFB). Each year Dance-Along loosely interprets Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite with a campy stage show interspersed with audience dancing. This year, Dance-Along Nutcracker Goes Hollywood, which means that audience dancers might find themselves stepping on Marilyn Monroe's toes or having a run in with Cecil B. DeRat. On Saturday evening, December 8, the 2012 Red Carpet Premiere Gala is grown-ups only with martinis and big band music. Performances are Dec 8-9, 2012 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. For more information, visit sflgfb.townalive.com.
Meanwhile, First Person Singular stages SCHMALTZ! The Genius Of Barry Manilow, a holiday sing-along celebrating the genius of Barry Manilow. The one-night-only event is December 18, 2012 at Ashby Stage in Berkeley. For more information, visit shotgunplayers.org.
Which may make you think, what's in it for the Jews? Comedian Lisa Geduldig is once again making sure that that your post-Hanukkah needs are met and your inconveniently timed vacation isn't a complete bust. Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, Jewish comedy performed in a Chinese restaurant, has become a Christmastime tradition in San Francisco -- this year marking the event's 20th anniversary.
Having accomplished its mission to provide a sense of community for wandering Jews on Christmas eve, the Kung Pao comedy show now runs 4 days (December 22-25) in the hopes that maybe some gentiles will be persuaded to drop by? This year's headliner is Judy Gold, last seen in San Francisco with her show, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, for which she received a 2006 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance. Her new show, The Judy Show -- My Life As A Sitcom, recently completed a successful run in New York.
Kung Pao Kosher Comedy started its life as a one night event, but lo – what was meant to last just one night has turned into eight shows. It is indeed a miracle.
Funding for KQED Arts is provided by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Support is also provided by Yogen and Peggy Dalal, Diane B. Wilsey, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Helen Sarah Steyer, the William and Gretchen Kimball Fund, and the members of KQED