August 29: Circus feats and more SF events

Check out Bring Your Own Queer

Check out Bring Your Own Queer

Who's in town

British indie-rock singer-songwriter Scout Niblett performs at Café Du Nord. [8 p.m., 2170 Market St., S.F.]

Lectures

Bay Bridge: Speakers discuss the $6.5 billion price tag of the Bay Bridge project and how the current construction compares with the original building of the bridge. [12:30 p.m., SPUR, 654 Mission St., S.F.]

Mary Ellen Hannibal: The science writer (“The Spine of the Continent”) addresses the development of the science dealing with healing life-support systems — nature. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Literary events

Robin Chapman: The television journalist discusses “California Apricots: The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley.” [7 p.m., Books Inc., 301 Castro St., Mountain View]

Patricia Polacco: The children's-book author and illustrator presents “The Blessing Cup.” [5 p.m., Kepler's Books and Magazines, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park]

Poetry night: “Thursdays at Readers” series holds its weekly poetry reading. Justice Morrighan and Jorge Molina are the featured poets today. [6:30 p.m., Building C, Fort Mason Center, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F.]

At the colleges

Anil Kashyap: The economist compares Japan's recovery from a national financial crisis in 1998 to the experience of the United States and Europe since 2008. [5 p.m., Fromm Hall, Room 110, USF, 2130 Fulton St., S.F.]

Stage play: Theater Arts Department presents “Why We Have a Body” by Claire Chafee. Characters include a lesbian P.I. who stalks philandering men. [8 p.m., Studio Theatre, Creative Arts Building, SFSU, 1600 Holloway Ave., S.F.]

At the public library

Donia Bijan: The chef-turned-author discusses “Maman's Homesick Pie: A Persian Heart in an American Kitchen.” [7 p.m., Palo Alto Children's Library, 1276 Harriet St., Palo Alto]

Online job searching: The class covers how to use social media to get job interviews and get your résumé into the right hands. [6 p.m., Latino/Hispanic Room B, Main Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Circus time

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's “Built to Amaze!” — with unicycling basketball players, the youngest female human cannonball, high-wire artists, tigers, elephants, clowns and more — opens its five-day San Francisco-area engagement. [7:30 p.m., Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Ave., Daly City]

Local activities

Brand new day: Comedian Russell Brand brings his “Messiah Complex” world tour to San Francisco. [8 p.m., Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon St., S.F.]

Free laughs: Nightlife on Mars — a comedy troupe with Ryan Cronin, Adam McLaughlin, Casey Grim, Red Scott and Jeff Reitman — hosts guests Cailin Gill, Imran G, Jason Mack and Adrian McNair this week. [8:30 p.m., Murphy's Pub, 217 Kearny St., S.F.]

Concert film: “Morrissey 25: Live,” featuring the Smiths' elusive frontman in performance at Hollywood High School in Los Angeles in March, screens. [7 p.m., Balboa Theatre, 3630 Balboa St., S.F.]

The Slanted Door: Chef-owner Charles Phan serves modern Vietnamese cuisine. The steamed banana-leaf tapioca dumplings, with shiitake mushrooms, pork, and dried shrimp, are a recommended appetizer today. For an entree, look for the wood-oven-roasted boneless Niman Ranch short ribs, with Madras curry, Thumbelina carrots, summer squash, and eggplant. [1 Ferry Building, No. 3, S.F.; (415) 861-8032]

Music

Hip hop: The southern hip-hop group Goodie Mob performs a show to promote its new album, “Age Against the Machine.” [8 p.m., Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.]

Summer jazz: Mo'Fone, a locally based jazz and funk group, performs at Stanford Shopping Center as part of SFJAZZ's “Summer Sessions” series. [6 p.m., 180 El Camino Real, Palo Alto]

Party

Hot and cold: NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences presents “Fire and Ice NightLife,” an evening featuring fiery performances, firefly and ice-beetle specimens, snow cones and more. [6 to 10 p.m., 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Theater

Family secrets: TheatreWorks presents “Other Desert Cities,” Jon Robin Baitz's stage dramedy about a politically divided family and a tell-all memoir. [8 p.m., Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View]

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