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January 19, 2016

Arts & Culture Events in Union Square

Best known as San Francisco’s premier shopping district, Union Square also offers visitors unique opportunities to engage with performing arts, live music and prestigious art galleries.  

Satchmo at The Waldorf
When: Through Feb. 7, 2016
Where: A.C.T.'s Geary Theater, 415 Geary Street
Hours: 2 p.m. matinee performance; 8 p.m. evening performance  
What: This richly imagined autobiographical one-man show features a collision between two jazz titans, Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, who are both magnetically channeled by America's "greatest classical actor" (New Yorker) John Douglas Thompson. This acclaimed off-Broadway hit, by theater critic Terry Teachout, details Armstrong’s meteoric rise, as well as his fateful relationships with his manager and with Davis. A tale of ambition, artistry, and overreach set just four months before Armstrong’s death in 1971, Satchmo at the Waldorf offers viewers a complex, unforgettable glimpse into the heart and soul of one of history’s most iconic jazz legends.
Neighborhood: Union Square  
Visitor Tip: Tickets required, so plan ahead | Near NFL Experience

Bessie, Billie, and Nina: Celebrating the Queens of Swing
Jan. 30, 2016
Where: Feinstein’s at The Nikko
Hours: Doors open 5:30 p.m. | Show 7:30 p.m.
What: Join the Tiffany Austin Quintet in celebrating Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Nina Simone with “Bessie, Billie and Nina: Celebrating the Queens of Swing.” Vocalist Tiffany Austin is one of the fastest rising jazz stars in Northern California. Her refreshingly original style, described as precise, intelligent and soulful, with arrangements varying from classic swing to contemporary R&B has attracted the attention of innovative Bay Area bandleaders including bassist Marcus Shelby and tenor saxophonist Howard Wiley.
Neighborhood: Union Square  
Visitor Tip: Tickets required, so plan ahead | Near NFL Experience

Nightlife Entertainment at the Starlight Room
When: Ongoing
Where: Starlight Room, 450 Powell Street   
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 5 p.m. - 12 a.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5 p.m. - 2 a.m.; Sunday-Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., shows at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
What: The Starlight story began almost a century ago, when the Sir Francis Drake hotel opened in 1928, among the stars and the cable cars of Union Square. Fully restored to her original glamour in 2011, this Grande Dame of San Francisco nightlife still offers the same timeless 360-degree city views, along with a cocktail menu that pays homage to the past but is nonetheless distinctly modern. From Top 40 to EDM and Hip-Hop, resident DJs keep the energy swinging six nights a week with a full schedule of events, including a weekly Sunday’s A Drag brunch.
Neighborhood: Union Square  
Visitor Tip: Tickets required, so plan ahead | Near NFL Experience

SFADA First Thursday Art
Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016
Where: Various Locations
Hours: 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
What: The San Francisco Art Dealers Association (SFADA) invites visitors to join them for “First Thursday,” a downtown tradition since 1993. On every first Thursday of the month, many of our member galleries remain open to welcome visitors after normal working hours, most until 7:30 p.m. or later.  
Neighborhood: Various
Visitor Tip: This event is free | Near NFL Experience

Free Walking Tours of San Francisco
When: Daily
Where: San Francisco City Guide Tours, Various Locations  
Hours: Vary by tour
What: San Francisco City Guides are made up of local volunteers who love the city, its history, lore and legends...and they are ready to share it all with you. These free (donations welcome), regularly scheduled tours are open to the public but NOT open to parties of eight or more (except with prior reservation).
Neighborhood: Various
Visitor Tip: This event is free | Near NFL Experience

Looking for more cultural art event options?
SFArts.org features 250 cultural arts events programmed during the Super Bowl 50 celebration week, searchable by date, genre, or neighborhood. This robust resource delivers arts highlights and feature articles that are easily accessible via your mobile devices.


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