Things to do in San Francisco

Bay Area Theater Guide

Theater Events


When it comes to theater, New York and Los Angeles are hard to beat. New York’s Broadway district is famous worldwide for its impressive list of shows, many of which are some of the most difficult event tickets to get. Because of the draw of Hollywood, Los Angeles attracts hordes of actors to the area, each hoping to get that pivotal role, which will make them a star. Because of this, the Southern California city has a huge variety of theater shows of all kinds.

However, the good news is that there are plenty of other cities that offer an amazing number of high quality shows, so you can see top-notch performances in your own backyard. Cities like Boston, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco are all known for their booming theaters and amazing shows all year long.

The San Francisco theater scene offers a combination of iconic shows like Phantom of the Opera, Hamilton & The Book of Mormon, recent off-broadway hits and unique local shows that you can only see in the City by the Bay. San Francisco was also home to the longest running musical review in history, Beach Blanket Babylon, which unfortunately closed in 2019 after 45 years of amazing shows. The show began its long run at iconic North Beach bar, Savoy Tivoli, back in 1974 before moving to its permanent home at Club Fugazi.

With dozens of great options, there is no shortage of great theater events to see every month of the year. For bigger shows, especially off-Broadway traveling shows, The Orpheum Theater and Golden Gate Theater bring the best of the best to San Francisco. These theaters have also served as the debut for some shows before they officially launch in New York City. Musicals such as Wicked, American Idiot and Mama Mia all got their start in San Francisco. Both of these amazing theaters have been around since the 1920s and have been hosting musicals, comedy, performances and more for 100 years.

Besides the big name shows, you can find a great selection of unique shows at some of the smaller theaters in San Francisco. Some popular spots include San Francisco Playhouse, Boxcar Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre Center, Exit Theatre, Magic Theatre and more.


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