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August 1: French dramedy and more S.F. events

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Who's in town

Jazz-rock drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, leading her trio, performs at the SFJAZZ Center. [7:30 p.m., 201 Franklin St., S.F.]


Shahzia Sikander: The Pakistani-American artist examines the “lost in translation” effect of mixing the ancient and the contemporary. [6:30 p.m., Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., S.F.]

New wood structures: Speakers discuss how new timber technology will influence future building codes and allow for taller wood buildings. [12:30 p.m., SPUR, 654 Mission St., S.F.]

Literary events

Andrew Sean Greer: The award-winning novelist talks about “The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells.” [7:30 p.m., Kepler's Books and Magazines, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park]

Alyssa Harad: The Texas-based author discusses “Coming to My Senses: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure, and an Unlikely Bride,” a memoir. [7 p.m., Green Apple Books, 506 Clement St., S.F.]

Poetry night: “Thursdays at Readers” series holds its weekly poetry reading. Jessica Loos and Robert Anbian are the featured poets tonight. [6:30 p.m., Building C, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F.]

C.W. Gortner: The historical-fiction writer discusses “The Queen's Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile.” [6 p.m., Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post St., S.F.; RSVP (required): (415) 393-0100]

At the colleges

Student musicians: The Summer Music West program presents a concert of music for strings, piano and winds featuring students ages 12 to 18. [3 p.m., San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak St., S.F.]

At the public library

Science for kids: Mad Science presents a program introducing children, ages 4 and up, to the principles of air and pressure. Attractions include a hot-air balloon. [2 p.m., Noe Valley Branch, 451 Jersey St., S.F.]

Great Teen Book Swap: Teens receive free books with the understanding that they will give the library a bookmark review by the end of the month. [3 to 5:30 p.m., Parkside Branch, 1200 Taraval St., S.F.]

Jewish cinema

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival presents the final day of its Castro Theatre portion. “Rue Mandar” (8:30 p.m.), a French dramedy, is the closing feature. [429 Castro St., S.F.; www.sfjff.org]

Local activities

Gallery exhibit: Artist Mary Robertson captures the color, light and feel of summer on the Russian River in “River Days,” an exhibit of recent paintings and drawings. [11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., George Krevsky Gallery, 77 Geary St., S.F.]

Indie pop: French Horn Rebellion, an indie-pop and dance-music act featuring brothers David and Robert Perlick-Molinari, performs at the Rickshaw Stop. [9:30 p.m., 155 Fell St., S.F.]

Asian comics: “Slanted Comedy,” a show featuring Asian comics, presents its latest edition. Josef Anolin, Yoshi, Walter Hong, Ron Josol and Joey Guila supply the humor. [8 p.m., Cobb's Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

Bluestem Brasserie: Chef Francis Hogan creates simply composed fare with local ingredients and a sustainability focus at this European-inspired American brasserie. Dishes include steaks made from grass-fed beef; house-made pastas; and seasonal salads. On Thursdays, look for “American Road Trip” dishes. Today's featured state is Maine. Lobster and wild blueberries are on the bill. [1 Yerba Buena Lane, S.F.; (415) 547-1111]


World music: Trumpeter and world-music artist Will Magid, presenting his Will Magid Trio, performs at the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. [12:30 p.m., Yerba Buena Gardens, 770 Mission St., S.F.]


The Book of Liz: Custom Made Theatre presents Amy and David Sedaris' comedy about the adventures of a squeamish nun who leaves her religious community and encounters strange people. [8 p.m., Gough Street Playhouse, 1622 Gough St., S.F.]


History exhibit: “A Place to Call Home: Two Centuries of California Living” focuses on house architecture of the past 200 years and beyond. [Noon to 4 p.m., Los Altos History Museum, 51 S. San Antonio Road, Los Altos]

Ongoing exhibition: “Honoring Steve Jobs” focuses on the late computer pioneer, showcasing an original 1988 NeXT computer, books, brochures and more. [10 a.m. to 4 p.m., San Mateo County History Museum, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City]

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