Best Tourist Circus That's Worth it for Locals - 2013
Beach Blanket Babylon
It's kinda expensive, the seating is tightly packed, and you have to wait in line for an hour or more to get in — so why don't more San Francisco locals appreciate the wonder that is Beach Blanket Babylon? Part of it must be the musical comedy show's reputation as a must-do for visitors. But the same could be said of Blue Bottle Coffee — and Beach Blanket Babylon is way more memorable. Perhaps San Franciscans fear that a comedy show that so delights tourists couldn't possibly satisfy their urbane tastes. But they are wrong. Beach Blanket Babylon, the longest-running musical revue in America, is witty and clever and so funny that it hurts your jaw muscles. It makes you proud to live here, proud that an institution that could so easily rest on its laurels instead keeps its punchlines sharp and its pop-culture references thrillingly up-to-the-minute. Ostensibly a tale about Snow White looking for love in the big, wide world, Beach Blanket Babylon is really a running series of gags about the absurdities of modern life, albeit one with lots of weird, huge hats. Which, come to think of it, is just one more thing S.F.'s offbeat residents should appreciate.