That gigantic Cirque du Soleil tent behind AT&T Park might be an international symbol for impressive acrobatics, but readers who prefer their circus a bit more local (and a lot more personal) should head to Mittens and Mistletoe: A Winter Circus Cabaret. Entering its fourth year now, Mittens is a delightful melange of holiday-themed circus and variety entertainment. It's produced by Sweet Can Productions, which was awarded “Best Circus Theater” in our annual Best of San Francisco edition. On stage this time around are aerial, clown, and hip-hop hula hoop antics from Sweet Can veterans Kerri Kresinski, Jamie Coventry, and Natasha Kaluza, as well as some brand new acts from members of local outfits like Circus Bella and The Vespertine Circus. Joan Mankin, of the legendary Pickle Family Circus, will host, resurrecting her character Queenie Moon for the occasion. Consume your Christmas circus in a big, loud tent, or a cozy theater with Mistletoe. It's your call.
Dec. 20-24, 2 & 4 p.m., 2013