Issue:  Vol. 44 / No. 51 / 18 December 2014

Dance - Nutcracker: Sssh-weet!

The opening night of Nutcracker is, for lovers of classic dancing, as the opening Giants game is to San Francisco's baseball fans: it's the beginning of the season. And true to form, the fan turnout was huge. Though the weather outside was frightful, the Opera House seemed to be full; standees were thick, and during intermission, inside the ballet boutique, you could barely move.

It was a tremendous performance. Perhaps in homage to last week's torrential rains, San Francisco Ballet gave us a blizzard onstage to max out the record books. For the snowfall that ends Act I, the stagehands unleashed the biggest deluge I've seen in 20 years of attending these things. (read more)

Theatre - You'll love to hate
Bianca Del Rio

On December 19, master showman Marc Huestis will usher in the season of holiday cheer and goodwill when he brings RuPaul's Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio to the stage of the big, beautiful Castro Theatre. The show is called Rolodex of Hate, which may make for some entertaining if Scrooge-like comedy.

You may indeed call Del Rio a drag queen, but don't ever forget that she is actually a man in a dress. (read more)

Out There - Russian roulette

Out There spent several happy days last week immersed in reading Little Failure, the acclaimed memoir by author Gary Shteyngart (Random House) now out in a cute little paperback ($16). (read more)

Film - Art
appreciation hour

How does Christmas in London, a menu of over 2,400 world-class paintings, and time to ruminate over some of the art world's greatest treasures sound? (read more)

Out & About -
Seasonal spirit

You have to hand it to nature for giving us the gift we really need. (read more)

Theatre - Elfin charms

There's a scary moment in Elf the Musical, a show that is pretty much devoid of scary moments. (read more)

Television - Remembering iconic bisexual Sontag

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) lived a life immersed in the arts, in politics, and in intellectual thought. (read more)

Film -
An anti-charismatic life

The personal tragedy that befell gay martyr Alan Turing is recounted by director Morten Tyldum's dutiful but uninvolving biopic The Imitation Game. (read more)

Television - Only the best TV of 2014

It wasn't the gayest year on TV, but 2014 was still superb for good, better, best TV. (read more)

Music - Last-minute holiday CDs

Oy vey! Your holiday party is approaching, and the only music on hand are scratchy LPs of "Flight of the Bumblebee" and Sir John Gielgud reading Dante's Inferno in Croatian. (read more)

Music - Holiday
music buffet

One of Robin Williams' last films before his untimely 2014 passing, A Merry Friggin' Christmas might be saved by the possibility of a shirtless Joel McHale. (read more)

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