If you’ve never seen the San Francisco Symphony perform one of its brilliant collaborations, you’re missing out on one of the city’s great musical pleasures. Our renowned orchestra unites with a diverse palette of artists, bringing songs to wondrous new heights. This month, you have two chances to catch one of these excellent collab performances during the Summer and the Symphony series.

Hello, Gorgeous! Cheyenne Jackson Goes to the Movies 

(July 24–25)

Last year, Broadway and television star and LGBT activist Cheyenne Jackson played Tony in SFS’s sold-out concerts for West Side Story. Music from those performances was released last month as an album that debuted at the top of the Billboard classical chart. This year, Jackson (best known for his roles on 30 Rock and Glee) returns to perform songs from such iconic films as Moulin Rouge!, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Goldfinger with the SFS (led by conductor Edwin Outwater) and special guests Faith Prince (Guys and Dolls) and Courtney Act (RuPaul’s Drag Race).

Melissa Etheridge Plays Her Greatest Hits 

(July 30–31

Celebrating a career that has included 14 albums, two Grammy Awards and an Oscar, Melissa Etheridge will come together with the SFS to perform highlights from her extensive catalog. Led by conductor Sean O’Loughlin, the performances will include songs from her most recent album as well as such enduring hits as “Come to My Window” and “I’m the Only One.” 

There are a lot more reasons to visit the SFS this season. The vibe at Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall is more laid back in the summer, the hall is decked out in bright colors, and concertgoers can enjoy specialty cocktails, a photo booth, and preshow music.

For example, swing act the Martini Brothers will perform in the lobby before the Cheyenne Jackson concerts, and the bar will be serving up two limited-edition drinks: Casablanca (Tanqueray gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, and fresh orange juice) and Funny Girl (Ketel One Vodka, Campari, sweet vermouth, and orange peel). And at the Melissa Etheridge shows, you can sip on an Awakening (Bulleit Bourbon, fresh lemon juice, fresh orange juice, simple syrup, and sparkling wine) and a Touch and Go (sparkling wine, bitters, sugar, and lemon twist).

As an extra incentive, tickets to these Summer and the Symphony concerts range from just $15 to $60, so you can treat yourself to a big night out for a fraction of the regular cost. And you know you’re worth it.

Top photo of Courtney Act by Magnus Hastings