this week's hottest events
Thao Nguyen x 2
Get a double dose of local folk rock favorite Thao Nguyen. She'll be sharing funny stories about big disappointments for CounterPULSE's Words First solo performance showcase. Then, on Friday, she'll be supporting Bay Area Girls Rock Camp in a performance with Mirah at an Oakland art auction.
When: Wed. 2/2 and Fri. 2/4
Where: CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission St. and Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland
SF Ballet Opening Night: Giselle
Mad love, betrayal, broken hearts—it doesn't get any more classic than this. A Romantic ballet at its finest, Giselle is a Romeo & Juliet of the dance variety. The story of love and loss opens the 2011 SF Ballet season. Get it on your calendar now.
When: Sat. 1/29 - Sun. 2/13
Where: War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave.
Free MLK Day Museum Admission
Honor the man who had a vision for this country with a day of free admission to area museums. The series of events includes a reenactment, a symbolic march, and programs around the theme "What is your dream?"
When: Mon. 1/17
Where: MoAD, 685 Mission St.; Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St.; YBCA, 701 Mission St.
Aziz Ansari's show at Punch Line tonight is sold out. Boo. Lucky for us, there's no shortage of equally cool comedy happening this week.
Comedy: SF Sketchfest
This year's Sketchfest has really pulled out all the stops for its 10th anniversary. The lineup is a laundry list of who's who in the comedy world, including Dan Aykroyd, Candice Bergen, Will Forte, Neil Patrick Harris, and more. Check out our preview blog here and get at least one of these events on your calendar now. Prices vary; Thursday, 1/13 - Saturday 2/5; Various Venues, sfsketchfest.com
Comedy: Cash Cab's Ben Bailey
You may not know him by name, but surely you know Ben Bailey's NYC cash cab. The trivia game that takes place on camera behind closed taxi doors turned many on to the Discovery channel and the show's now famous host will be cracking jokes and recounting tales from his storied yellow bus this week at Cobb's. Trivia nerd or not, this is quiz show stand-up you don't want to miss. $18-$21; Thursday, 1/6 - Sunday, 1/9; Cobb's Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., cobbscomedyclub.com
This Week's Hottest Events: Four Seasons Hot Chocolate, David Sedaris' Santaland Diaries, and Christmas Day Openings
Drink Break: Adult Hot Chocolate at Seasons Bar & Lounge
So you waited until the last minute to do all your Christmas shopping. You're stressed and you need a break after racing around Union Square stores. Your answer? Adult hot chocolate. Throughout the holidays, you can duck into the posh Seasons Bar & Lounge for a hot chocolate fix, with a twist. Spiked with vanilla, peppermint, or raspberry liquers and paired similarly flavored, housemade marshmallows, it's the perfect way to soothe those aching heels. Seasons Bar & Lounge, 757 Market St., fourseasons.com
Film + Music: Sir Arne's Treasure with Mountain Goats
Silent but deadly—this winning combo of Mauritz Stiller's classic silent film Sir Arne's Treasure and live score by Mountain Goats' John Darnielle should be on your to-do list this week. The haunting tale of murder, betrayal, and divine redemption is riveting enough without sound, but with Darnielle's poignant lyrics accompanying, the movie truly comes to life. $17-$22.50; Tuesday 12/14; Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., sffs.org
Music: Neil Young + Joanna Newsom
In case you missed our pre-Thanksgiving blog about UCSF's Neil Young and Joanna Newsom show, here's the scoop again. These two amazing performers will be playing a benefit show and we're only hoping they'll throw in some duets. Money raised goes to help build a new home in Mission Bay for the Benioff Children's Hospital, which is considered one of the best kid's facilities in the country. And did we mention the pre-show cocktail reception with General Colin Powell, a post-performance dessert reception, and an afterparty with beats by will.i.am? Enough said. $250+; Wednesday 12/8; Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium, 1111 California St., theconcertforucsfbch.com
Comedy: Mortified 5-Year Anniversary
Okay, nothing new here, but if you haven't seen Mortified yet or if it's been awhile, get your tickets to the 5-year anniversary show now. No excuses. Expect the craziest and best pieces from 2010, plus giveaways, contests, and the hard rock of house band Live Evil. It will be a night of the most embarrassing and cringe-worthy readings from teen journals, unanswered love letters and angst-written artifacts.