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6 festive events to check out during Christmas weekend

Written by
Ivy McNally

Jason Brock's 5th Annual Holiday Show

If you’ve spent any time lingering around the Bay Area’s cabarets, jazz clubs and piano bars, you might already have had the luck of catching this X Factor finalist perform live. Here, the talented vocalist Jason Brock performs a song book’s worth of holiday classics with special guest Paula West and pianist Dee Spencer. Make it a new holiday tradition.      


For more than 14 years, the players of The African-American Shakespeare Company have brought the classic fairy tale, Cinderella, to the stage in this vividly sparkly production. A long-time family favorite that tells the story of our indefatigable heroine and her very special shoe, the cartoon version will never seem the same after seeing this stellar performance. Stay after the show for a special photo-op with the (spoiler alert) royal couple.


It's a Wonderful Life

Frank Capra's 1946 tale of a family man learning to look at his life in a whole new light at Christmas time—thanks to the creative perspective of an angel trying to earn his wings—is no less relevant today than it was when it first came out. The movie can be found on TV all month long, but the ideal way to view the Jimmy Stewart classic in in the age-appropriate Castro Theatre. 

Christmas Evil

Following in the footsteps of Halloween and Friday the 13th, 1980’s Christmas Evil is the perfect antidote to the season’s habitual doses of family-friendly schlock (slasher schlock though it might be). Yes, John Waters’ favorite Christmas movie is about a guy in a Santa suit who kills people, but the complex reasons behind the oddly sympathetic slasher’s violent spree mark the film as something weirdly special.     


Celebrate Christmas Eve eve with fun-loving mayhem from punk-funk-ska-metal fusionists Fishbone, whose gonzo energy hasn't flagged a bit since its mid-’80s breakthrough. Like your family fighting over the best route to the mall, this band has seen plenty of internal strife; unlike your family, much of the band’s discord was captured in a 2010 documentary. But its current tour reunites four of six founding members, so we anticipate extra energy from the always-wired frontman Angelo Moore & Co.      

Brian Setzer Orchestra's 14th Annual Christmas Rocks!

Christmas Eve needn’t be a silent night when you let visions of rockabillies dance through your head. For 14 years, The Brian Setzer Orchestra has taken its unique spin on holiday hits out on tour, along with frontman Setzer’s 80’s classics like "Rock This Town" and "Stray Cat Strut." An evening with the Grammy award-winning swing maestro is the perfect excuse to build a glossy bouffant and slip into some red velvet and holiday plaid before wearing pajamas all the next day.

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