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by Jill Loeffler •
Updated: May 10, 2023
The Bay Area theater calendar includes performances in San Francisco, the North Bay, San Jose, Oakland, and more. You will find a variety of options from large Broadway productions to wonderful shows at smaller local theaters.
Below you will find a schedule of top performances for each region within the greater Bay Area, as well as details on where to find more productions and how to get the best tickets.
Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.
You will find dozens of shows in San Francisco every week. This is where you will find most of the big Broadway productions such as Wicked, Hamilton, and The Book of Mormon.
If you want to see a full list of shows, click here for a detailed theater calendar for San Francisco.
Tickets to upcoming productions in San Francisco.
Another city with a popular Bay Area theater calendar is San Jose, just over an hour south of SF. Here you'll find several musicals, Broadway hits, and smaller shows throughout the year. All shows are at the Center for the Performing Arts at 255 Almaden Boulevard in San Jose.
Below are some of the top shows on the San Jose theater calendar for this season.
Dates: 5/12 - 5/14
This beloved show is celebrating 25 years of performing its Grammy-winning score on stage. Be prepared to be mesmerized by the power of Irish and international dance, with completely new and colorful staging and costumes.
The energy of the dancers and musicians is incredibly passionate and can easily sweep you up into its magic.
Dates: 5/16 - 5/21
John Adams, and others, decide that they no longer want to live under the rule of the British empire. Adams tries to get the Continental Congress to declare independence so this country can have freedom and allow for freedom to ring.
We all know the ending, but now you can know the beginning and more. This show runs for 2 hours and 20 minutes with one intermission. It is recommended for ages 10 years old and over.
Dates: 8/1 – 8/6
This musical is a stage adaptation of the 1988 Tim Burton film of the same name. The story follows the ghost of a teenage boy named Beetlejuice, who is trying to haunt the home of his former girlfriend, Lydia Deetz.
However, Beetlejuice finds himself competing with the Maitlands, the current occupants of the house, as well as with Lydia's new boyfriend, Adam. The musical features songs written by Eddie Perfect, with a book by Scott Brown and Anthony King.
The show made its Broadway debut in 2019 and has been nominated for numerous Tony Awards.
Dates: 8/29 – 9/3
Tina – The Tina Turner Musical is a musical based on the life of the singer Tina Turner. The musical follows Tina's journey from her humble beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee to her meteoric rise to fame as one of the world's most iconic performers.
Along the way, the musical showcases some of Tina's most famous hits, including "River Deep – Mountain High," "Proud Mary," and "What's Love Got to Do with It." The musical also captures the highs and lows of Tina's personal life, from her abusive marriage to Ike Turner to her triumphant comeback in the 1980s.
Ultimately, The Tina – The Tina Turner Musical is a celebration of a true legend and her incredible story of strength and resilience.
Dates: 9/26 – 10/1
Since 2019, this Broadway musical that demonstrates how one song can change one's fate has won eight Tony Awards and has swept audiences by storm with its haunting love story.
The play intertwines two Greek myths, that of King Hades and his wife Persephone, and that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice. With haunting melodies and captivating performance, this is a tale that features the struggles between nature and industry, faith and doubt, and love and fear.
Dates: 10/17 – 10/22
A classic and timeless story, this is one of the longest running Broadway musicals in history and has captured hearts all over the world for decades. However, the staging for this version has been brilliantly reimagined for today's audience.
In this story that takes place in 19th century France, a resilient and good-natured peasant is released from prison after serving 19 years for stealing bread. He breaks parole and gets swept into a revolution.
The score includes the songs “I Dreamed a Dream,” “Bring Him Home,” “On My Own,” and many more.
Dates: 10/31 – 11/5
Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations has had audiences across the country grooving in their seats and has been nominated for 12 Tony Awards.
It follows the success story of the R&B and soul vocal group of five that rose to stardom from their humble beginnings in Detroit. It's a story that involves loyalty and betrayal, brotherhood, and decades of civil unrest that threatened to tear them apart.
The fantastic score features many of the group's hits, including "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" (of course), "My Girl," "Papa was a Rolling Stone," and more.
Dates: 11/28 – 12/3
This popular holiday musical based on Dr. Seuss's classic children's book is great fun for the whole family. Narrated by Max the Dog, it takes you along for the ride on the Grinch's misadventures as he tries to steal Christmas away from the yuletide-loving Who family.
This 2018 production captures the colorful and whimsical qualities of the setting of Whoville and reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.
Dates: 12/12 – 12/17
Who doesn't love a good wedding? Especially one where family secrets are revealed. In the beloved musical Mamma Mia! you'll journey to the sunny Greek isles where a bride-to-be searches her mother's past to discover the father she's never met.
You'll follow a mother, a daughter, and three possible fathers on their story told through to the hit songs of ABBA. It's a feel-good Broadway sensation that has captured audiences' hearts for nearly 25 years and will make you want to get up and dance.
Dates: 2/23 – 2/25 (2024)
With six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy, and show-stopping songs that draw you into the glitz and glamour of the 1920s nightclub scene, Chicago is the longest running musical in Broadway history.
Over the decades, audiences have never ceased to be enthralled by the flashy female protagonists who are based on stories of real-life vaudevillian homicides. One lawyer is representing both Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, who vie for the spotlight with their respective murder trials.
The catchy songs that made this musical famous include "All That Jazz," "We Both Reached for the Gun," and "When You're Good to Mama."
Dates: 3/19 – 3/24 (2024)
This hit musical comes directly from Broadway from an outstanding group of creators, including comedian Tina Fey, who wrote it, and Casey Nicholaw, who directed The Book of Mormon.
Follow Cady Heron as she navigates the wild world of the mean girl hierarchy in her new school in suburban Illinois. While Regina George ruthlessly leads the pack of bullies, Cady learns that it's not so easy to dethrone the queen bee and that there will be consequences to pay.
Get ready for a night of laughter with this hilarious new musical that sheds light on the nutty world of female cruelty.
Dates: 6/25 – 6/30 (2024)
If you enjoyed the classic story of Peter Pan, you'll be charmed by the stage version which has been newly adapted to bring the forever-youngster's adventures to life with a fantastic score and wonderful costumes.
With a little bit of pixie dust, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell lead the Darling children to discover the magic of childhood and you'll be right along for the ride.
Enjoy the timeless songs of this childhood favorite, including "I'm Flying," "I Won't Grow Up," and "Neverland."
Dates: 8/21 – 9/1 (2024)
Disney's Frozen captured the hearts of families all over the globe with its famously un-romantic princess plot and Oscar-winning original songs like "Let It Go"... but this Broadway version is a treat unto itself.
The score has been expanded with a dozen new numbers written by the film's songwriters. The Tony-winning production team has created an experience that critics rave about as moving and magical.
Come enjoy your favorite characters—Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Sven—on stage in a spectacular musical theater experience.
The Bay Area theater calendar for the East Bay includes performances in Berkeley, Oakland, El Cerrito, and other cities. Many of these shows are an easy to get to on BART public transportation. Here are the top upcoming shows.
In addition to San Jose, the Peninsula and other South Bay cities also offer great theater performances.
You will also find a full Bay Area theater calendar at stages all around the North Bay. This region hosts many smaller and first-time productions. The theaters are often more intimate, giving you the chance to get up close to the stage. In addition, you will find some larger outdoor productions each summer.
The 6th Street Playhouse is a renovated 107-year-old Del Monte cannery located in historic Railroad Square in Santa Rosa. The square now operates as a quaint little shopping area where you can grab coffee, dinner, or a glass of wine before or after the play.
This playhouse is home to two North Bay theater companies, which present everything from dramas to popular musicals to children's shows, from August through May.
Cinnabar Theater was created by San Francisco Opera singer Marvin Klebe in 1970, when he and his family decided to transform a two-room schoolhouse in Petaluma into a lovely community space for performance and creative collaboration.
You can catch North Bay theater performances--from Tony Award-winning musicals to contemporary plays--from September through June, as well as concerts and performances by Cinnabar's Young Rep group. Most shows are only performed on weekends.
Ross is a very small town just west of San Rafael. There, in the 1930s, Beth Lloyd and a group of women founded the Ross Valley Players theater company as a way to cope with the Depression, later transforming an old rundown barn into theater it is today.
Throughout the year, the Ross Valley Players offer six plays, plus one full-length production of an original, provocative piece by a Bay Area playwright. Their work is diverse and aims to not only entertain, but to enliven the human spirit. Each new season starts in September and you can catch performances through August. Most shows are only performed on weekends.
Are you looking for additional events in San Francisco and the Bay Area? Click the links below for a full calendar of events for each month.
Opera: The SF Opera is another popular performing arts option. They have two seasons each year, one during the fall months and the other during the summer from June to July. They produce many classic operas, including Madame Butterfly, La Boheme, and Carmen. Click here for this season's SF Opera shows.
Ballet: The SF Ballet was the first company to perform the Nutcracker in the US, and they continue to delight audiences during their annual performances of this Christmas classic. They also offer a full season of shows from January to May. Click here for details on seeing this year's Nutcracker performances or one of their regular season shows.
Symphony: The SF Symphony performs throughout the year. Each month, they offer around a dozen shows. You will find classical performances, as well as nights when they play scores from a specific movie. Some of their other shows feature well known singers and conductors. Click here for a full schedule of SF Symphony shows this year.
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