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Arts & Entertainment

This weekend: Ugly sweaters, Son of Paper, a ‘Matrix’ marathon and more

The holidays are here and we haven’t even made a wish list for ourselves—let alone figure out what we’ll be getting our loved ones.

But for those of you who have already checked everyone off your list, you’ll probably be looking for something to do this weekend while the rest of us are triple-masked and elbow-to-elbow with all the other procrastinators at the Stonestown Galleria.


Anyway, here are a handful of local shows, community events and an ugly sweater pub crawl for your consideration. Consider it our gift to you.

The Woman in Black 

1127 Market Street
Now Playing @ The Strand Theater

This spooky three-person show, a rendition of a 1980s ghost story, is a New York Times critic’s choice and winner of Best Play Revival of 2020 from the Off Broadway Alliance Awards. Tickets are going fast.

Talking to Strangers

3036 24th Street
Friday, Dec. 17 @ Medicine for Nightmares 

Presented by Write Now! SF, the “Talking to Strangers” event will feature readings from the collective’s latest series of the same name. A multicultural cohort of writers, including Write Now! SF founder Shizue Seigel, will share their poems and prose. Afterward, they’ll open the mic to attendees, so bring your own writing if you’re feeling bold.

'Always' by Son of Paper

Son of Paper

57 Wentworth Place
Saturday, Dec. 18 @ Lion’s Den

When local culture and music journalist Alan Chazaro stans a Bay Area rapper, you pay attention. Kyle Shin, who goes by Son of Paper, is set to perform this Saturday alongside four other local rappers and singers. It’s the first show of his Gaeul Tour for his new album Always Autumn. The venue, the Lion’s Den, is one of the only live music spots to open in the United States’ oldest Chinese American neighborhood. Missing this Chinatown show would be an enormous mistake for anyone who loves the city’s new crop of hip-hop talent. Plus, it’s free. 

Benny Sings 

628 Divisadero
Saturday, Dec. 18 @ The Independent

The quirky, melodic style of Tim van Berkestijn is tough to put into words. Better known by his stage name, Benny Sings, Berkestijn dropped his latest album, Music, in April—though he has been a hipster favorite since his 2019 Stones Throw debut, City Pop. He’ll be joined by 25-year-old Grammy-Nominated R&B and hip-hop artist Rae Khalil.

Ugly is beautiful this holiday season. | Getty Images

Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl 

1233 Polk Street
Saturday, Dec. 18 @ Mayes Oyster House

SantaCon is fun, but after a few too many eggnogs, it’s easy to lose track of your crew in the sea of red suits and white beards. Expanding the color palette and throwing some sequins into the mix should help you keep tabs on everyone in your party as you jingle all the way through a series of local watering holes. Grab a wrist band and hang the first bough of holly at Mayes Oyster House before heading to other local bars like McTeagues Saloon and El Lopo.

Holiday Tea Tasting

1691 14th Street
Saturday, Dec. 18 @ Millay 

Kitty-corner to local grocer Andronico’s and across the street from St. Anne School is one of the coolest, most unique tea shops in San Francisco. The folks at Tekuno are partnering with their pastry-making friends at Grand Opening and headed to sake bar Millay to create the intersection of all three: a three course tea and pastry tasting. Tickets are available for one to four people at $40 a head.

Nice ’n Naughty

161 Erie Street
Saturday, Dec. 18 @ Public Works

Six DJs will be blasting Public Works’ loft space for six hours. Like the drag show at El Rio, this hoedown is for charity, too. Headlining the gig is DJ Sharon Buck who just last week was tearing it up in Oakland. Further down the bill you’ll find more local talent, such as DJ Deckard of the Space Cowboys posse. Drink lots of water and wear ridiculous outfits.

Yves & Per Sia. | Photo by Tim Rodriguez.

An Evening with Yves & Per Sia

3158 Mission Street
Sunday, Dec. 19 @ El Rio

Local queens Per Sia and Yves are here to bridge flair and care. This drag show doubles as a toy drive and will feature plenty of high profile cameos. Mr. David Glamamore will be in attendance, and rumor has it Miss Gay San Francisco, Mary Vice, will come a-knocking, too. Grab a drink, cheer as loud as you can, and bring something to leave with the SF Firefighters’ Toy Drive on the way out.

Sara Matthiesen

3036 24th Street
Sunday, Dec. 19 @ Medicine for Nightmares 

With women’s reproductive rights in the crosshairs of conservative activists and politicians, writers like Sara Matthiesen play a crucial role in clearly articulating the argument for safe and legal access to abortion. An academic and activist, Matthiesen’s newest book Reproduction Reconceived looks at how Roe v. Wade was a watershed moment that gave a new kind of agency to American women. She will be joined by Katrina Kimport, the author of No Real Choice: How Culture and Politics Matter for Reproductive Autonomy

Matrix Trilogy Marathon 

3092 16th Street
Sunday, Dec. 19 @ Manny’s

This weekend the fourth installment of The Matrix will debut in San Francisco’s iconic Castro Theater. If you aren’t on the list, chances are you aren’t going to be. That’s OK. Most of us probably need a refresher course anyway. Get caught up at Manny’s all day binge of the first three Matrix flicks.