What’s Happening in Hayes Valley

San Francisco Ballet: Let’s Dance | 301 Van Ness Avenue

Don’t just let you children have visions of sugarplums dance in their head, let them pirouette and chassé as Sugar Plum Fairy—and all of the characters from the Nutcracker—themselves! As a fall preview to the San Francisco Ballet’s favorite holiday dance tradition. During this interactive workshop, parents and children learn about the choreography, music, costumes, and history of  Tchaikovsky’s masterpieces. Did you know that the first time the Nutcracker was performed in America was at the SF Ballet?


Pink Martini at SFJazz | 201 Franklin Street

You’ve heard their playful tunes everywhere, from the lobbies of four-star hotels to movies and television. This fall, Portland-based orchestra Pink Martini brings their menthol-cool musical stylings to the SFJazz Center. “Soulful,” “sophisticated,” and “sexy” are apt descriptors for this cultish band, which combines world music, classical compositions, jazz, and pop. This is their album launch party and kick-off for Pink Martini’s world tour too, so expect to dance and sing along to music with an international flair.


In Conversation” at the Nourse Theater | 275 Hayes Street

The fall series at City Arts & Lectures, which reopened the Nourse Theater in 2013, places the best and brightest from the worlds of art, science, and culture in dialogue. On November 17, Marina Abramovic, perhaps the world’s most famous performance artist, discusses culture with the Bulgarian-born, Brooklyn-based blogger Maria Popova. Trevor Noah, the newly minted host of the Daily Show, stops by to chat with SF business leader Laurene Powell Jobs on November 21. Joel Cohen, Frances McDormand, and a concert by Darlene Love are all on the schedule as well.


San Francisco Opera | 301 Van Ness Avenue

Grab your opera glasses and head to the War Memorial Opera House to see some of the world’s greatest operas performed this fall. Verdi’s masterpiece about an Ethiopian princess kidnapped by an Egyptian soldier, Aida, gets a modern update with sets designed by LA-based graffiti artist RETNA. The visuals are likely to mix innovation and antiquity, as RETNA takes inspiration from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.