The opera, symphony, the San Francisco Ballet's The Nutcracker, and touring hit musicals are often sold out in advance. Tickets are usually available for other shows within a day of the performance.
The best guide to the arts is the Sunday "Datebook" section (www.sfgate.com/datebook) of the San Francisco Chronicle. The four-day entertainment supplement "96 Hours" (www.sfgate.com/96hours) is in the Thursday Chronicle. Also check out the city's free alternative weeklies, including SF Weekly (www.sfweekly.com) and the San Francisco Bay Guardian (www.sfbg.com).
Online, SF Station (www.sfstation.com) has a frequently updated arts and nightlife calendar. San Francisco Arts Monthly (www.sfarts.org), which is published at the end of the month, has arts features and events listings, plus a helpful "Visiting San Francisco?" section. For offbeat, emerging-artist performances, consult CounterPULSE (www.counterpulse.org).
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