The Soiled Dove Returns to Oakland With a Sexy Circus Spectacle

For the many transplants populating the Bay Area, it’s difficult to determine exactly when you can call yourself a San Francisco resident. In reality, the litmus test is simple: have you ever attended a local event best described as a “kinda weird, but cool circus-thing?” If so, congratulations: you’ve made it. If not, The Soiled Dove is here to give you your Bay Area bona fides.

Masterminded by the Vau de Vire Society—those are the same folks who produce the Edwardian Ball in San Francisco and Los Angeles—The Soiled Dove is circus-infused dinner theatre set in a reincarnation of Barbary Coast’s red light district. The performance is a combination of music, aerial acts, contortion, and clowning, orchestrated with grown-ups in mind. Think of it as the Bay Area’s answer to Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation of the Moulin Rouge.

This year, the show is based in downtown Oakland, under a 12,000 sq. ft. circus tent. (No need to worry about searching for the right address in the dark; it’s impossible to miss.) The 21 and up event has a VIP option that comes complete with a four-course dinner catered by Work of Art for $137, or you can by circus-only tickets for $59. (Drinks are a la carte, at the Soiled Dove Saloon, which is excellent.) Audience members are encouraged to dress up in “Victorian, Edwardian, 49er, Harlots, Crimps or one’s most stylish period couture,” but costumes are not required.

The spectacle continues Friday and Saturday evenings through November 17. Tickets are available for all remaining shows, but don’t wait until the last minute to purchase yours.