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March 10, 2017
Creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda (far right) and members of the original Broadway cast of Hamilton. Courtesy SHN.

The Great Shows Other Than "Hamilton" That You Can See in San Francisco

You might have heard that a little Broadway show called Hamilton is kicking off its revolutionary national tour right here in San Francisco (now through Aug. 5). It seems only right; after New York, few cities have as vibrant and historic a theater scene as San Francisco. So don't despair if you're among those who can't be in the room where it happens. Check out any one of these stellar productions playing in San Francisco for a guaranteed great night at the theater. And don’t forget the always topical Beach Blanket Babylon which for more than 40 years has been taking on the famous and infamous. Recent additions to the characters in the show include Donald and Melania Trump, Vladimir Putin and Kellyanne Conway.


John at A.C.T. Strand Theater
An off-Broadway sensation by Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Baker, John tells the story of a couple whose vacation to Gettysburg, PA winds up exposing more of their personal history than that of the legendary battlefields. It's an intimate story perfect for the space at the Strand. Now through April 23.

Everything That's Beautiful at New Conservatory Theater
Another world premiere at New Conservatory Theater, Everything That's Beautiful is the story of a couple who move across the country to give their child a better life. At least, that's the reason they give their friends and neighbors. Find out what's really going on in this timely and tender new work. Now through April 23.

Noises Off at San Francisco Playhouse
This wild, wacky backstage farce about a theater troupe that just can't seem to avoid disaster is a laugh-a-minute riot. Full of pranks, pratfalls, and slamming doors, Noises Off is not just fun to watch; it's impressive. As they say: dying is easy, but comedy is hard. Now through May 13.

Needles and Opium at A.C.T. Geary Theater
This "hyper-theatrical" work tells the parallel stories of musician Miles Davis and filmmaker Jean Cocteau as they search for inspiration in Paris and New York. Directed by visionary Robert Lepage, Needles and Opium has to be seen to be believed. Now through April 23.


The Encounter at The Curran
This immersive, one-man show tells the story of National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre as he navigates the dark and dangerous Amazon rain forest. A daring production that aims to make its audience as much a part of the story as its star, The Encounter promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience. April 25 - May 7.

Battlefield at A.C.T. Geary Theater
A.C.T. is fortunate to welcome yet another living legend this season: director Peter Brook. With Battlefield, Mr. Brook retells the story of the classic Indian epic, The Mahabharata. A timely tale about leadership, war and ambition, Battlefield will be a can't-miss theatrical event. April 26 - May 21.


Monsoon Wedding at Berkeley Rep
Film director Mira Nair adapts her own beloved story for the stage in this world premiere musical. The tale of an arranged marriage, the families involved, and their complicated histories will be a universally appealing experience. May 5 - June 25.

Sordid Lives at New Conservatory Theater
This hilarious cult classic arrives just ahead of San Francisco Pride in its first full production ever in the City by the Bay. (What took so long?) When the matriarch of a dysfunctional Texas family dies, her surviving relatives threaten to turn her funeral into a spectacle the likes of which their tiny town has never seen. May 12 - June 11.

Roman Holiday at SHN Golden Gate Theater
Some of Broadway's biggest hits have had their out-of-town try-out here in San Francisco (Wicked, anyone?). Now's your chance to see the next musical blockbuster before it bows on Broadway. Based on the classic Audrey Hepburn film, Roman Holiday has it all: love, adventure, and great music by Cole Porter. May 23 - June 18.

The Roommate at San Francisco Playhouse
Sharon is a no-nonsense Iowa gal. Robyn is a free-thinking New Yorker. What could these two have in common or teach each other? This Bay Area premiere production explores the power of friendship and second chances. May 23 - July 1.


Warplay at New Conservatory Theater
Warplay's source material is one of the oldest pieces of Western literature: Homer's The Iliad, specifically the relationship between legendary hero Achilles and his best friend Patroclus. Funny, poetic, and radical, Warplay reimagines a classic in a bold new way. June 2 - July 2.

You Mean to Do Me Harm at San Francisco Playhouse
An innocuous comment during a dinner party gets under the skin of two couples, leading to growing complications in their relationships. Playwright Christopher Chen is a homegrown talent: born and raised in San Francisco, with degrees from both U.C. Berkeley and San Francisco State University. June 6 - July 1.

A Night with Janis Joplin at A.C.T. Geary Theater
Even San Francisco's theater scene will be getting into the groove of the Summer of Love this year. A.C.T. will close out their landmark 50th season with A Night with Janis Joplin, the Broadway hit that gave audiences the chance to relive the experience of seeing the legendary Joplin in concert. June 7 - July 2.

An Octoroon at Berkeley Rep
The West Coast premiere of this sly, subversive adaptation of a 19th century melodrama was the talk of New York. Now it's debuting at the esteemed Berkeley Rep in a production that promises to make audiences laugh and think. June 23 - July 23.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at SHN Golden Theater
Straight from London's National Theater by way of Broadway, The Curious Incident... is the acclaimed theatrical production based on the best-selling novel by Mark Haddon. A thrilling mystery that both excites and inspires audiences, the show broke box office records on both sides of the Atlantic. Can they go for a trifecta on the Pacific coast? June 27 - July 23.


La Cage Aux Folles at San Francisco Playhouse
Who would have ever thought, way back at its 1983 Broadway debut, that La Cage would become one of the most beloved and revived shows of all time? The uproarious musical comedy is about a gay couple who try to "play it straight" for their son's conservative future in-laws. You might know it better as The Birdcage, starring San Francisco's own late, great Robin Williams. Aug. 15 - Sept. 8.


Zenith at San Francisco Playhouse
This world premiere work by Kirsten Greenridge pulls no punches in its exploration of violence, the media, and our innate humanity. It's familiar territory from Greenridge, whose plays have tackled race, class, and the underrepresented in our society. Aug. 15 - Sept. 8.

Looking for other performing arts experiences in San Francisco? There's no shortage of them. Explore more of our city's expansive arts and culture community.

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