Blues stalwart J.C. Smith and his band play two shows at Biscuits and Blues on Jan. 18. (Courtesy photo)

Jan. 17-19: When We Were Young and Unafraid, SPCA Pop Up, Zinfandel Experience, Rob Reich, JC Smith Band, Elton John, Infamous Stringdusters, Vajra Voices & Kitka, Sonny and the Sunsets, Lewis Black, Jacquees, Shakespeare in Love

THURSDAY, JAN. 17

When We Were Young and Unafraid: Custom Made Theatre Co. performs a preview of its local premiere of Sarah Treem’s 1970s-set drama about a woman who houses victims of domestic violence in her bed-and-breakfast [8 p.m., Custom Made Theatre, 533 Sutter St., S.F.]

SPCA Pop Up: The San Francisco SPCA opens a one-month run of a center it calls an “enchanted world” where adorable animals are waiting to be adopted. [11 a.m. to 7 p.m., One Embarcadero Center, S.F.]

Zinfandel Experience: The three-day gathering devoted entirely to zinfandel opens with an exclusive VIP dining event at One Market Pavilion. [6:30 to 9 p.m., 1 Market St., S.F.]

Rob Reich:
Appearing in conversation with Larry Kramer, the Stanford political science and philosophy scholar speaks about his book “Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better.” [7:30 p.m., Kepler’s, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park]

Keeping The Dream: The evening of “MLK, Poetry, Open Mic and Free Beer” dedicated to the work of Martin Luther King Jr. features poets Melissa Jones, Paul Corman Roberts, Nancy James and Joanna Anabo, music by Michael Also and beverages. [7 p.m., California Institute of Integral Studies, 1453 Mission St., S.F.]

They Come to Us Without a Word: Conceptual artist Joan Jonas’ installation, which integrates video, drawings, sound, objects and performance in five galleries, opens a run that continues through March 10. [Noon to 8 p.m., Gallery 308, Building A, Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd., S.F.]

FRIDAY, JAN. 18

J.C. Smith Band: The South Bay blues vocalist-guitarist and his group of seasoned players perform with the single goal of “keeping the blues alive.” [7:30 and 10 p.m., Biscuits and Blues, 401 Mason St., S.F.]

Elton John: The piano-pop icon plays a sold-out date on his final tour, which he’s calling “Farewell Yellow Brick Road.” [8 p.m., Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland]

The Infamous Stringdusters: The New York Times says the 13-year-old Grammy-winning band isn’t leaving bluegrass behind, but is “stretching it from within.” [8 p.m., Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.]

Kat Edmonson: One critic said that the singer-songwriter — whose new album is called “Old Fashioned Gal” — is “creating a new Great American Songbook.” [8:30 p.m., SF JAZZ, 201 Franklin St., S.F.]

Dawes: The Southern California band, which opened for Jeff Lynne in 2018, plays “smooth and ingratiating California folk-rock that never bothers to hide its big, beating, bleeding heart.” [8 p.m., Fox, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland]

Vajra Voices & Kitka with Shira Kammen and Theresa Wong: On the eve of the 2019 Women’s March, the female vocalists and instrumentalists appear in a special event to perform “medieval and modern songs on the divine feminine.” [7:30 p.m., Grace Cathedral, 1110 California St., S.F.]

Sonny & The Sunsets: Led by Sonny Smith, the San Francisco band’s newest recording “Mood Baby Moods,” produced by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, repurposes “early ‘80s funk and new wave with rap beats and collages from both sides of the ocean”; Dick Stusso, The Gonks open. [9 p.m., Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.]

Andrea McArdle and Donna McKechnie
: The musical theater stars open a two-night engagement of the cabaret act celebrating beloved composers Stephen Sondheim and Marvin Hamlisch. [8 p.m., Feinstein’s at the Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F.]

hackedepicciotto: The eclectic German-based duo features Alexander Hacke, a founding member of Einstürzende Neubauten, and Danielle de Picciotto, a co-initiator of the Love Parade, creating “beautiful, existentialistic, acoustic soundscapes” using unusual instruments. [8:15 p.m., Lost Church, 65 Capp St., S.F.]

Medea’s Farewell Play Tour: Tamela Mann, David Mann and Cassi Davis Patton star in the final stage show centered around Tyler Perry’s beloved mouthy, gray-haired senior citizen; the production runs through the weekend in the East Bay. [8 p.m., Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland]

San Francisco Contemporary Music Players: In “Auto-Tuning Ives,” California composer Ted Hearne speaks at the performance of his work, “‘The Cage’ Variations.” [4:30 p.m. (talk); 7:30 p.m. (concert), Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak St., S.F.]

Agouti
: The San Francisco psych rock band that surfaced after songwriter-producer Carmen Caruso returned from a trip to Costa Rica’s cloud forests opens for The Love Dimension. [9 p.m., Thee Parkside, 17th St., S.F.]

Eyes of Mississippi: Director Ellen Ann Fentress discusses and screens her film about Bill Minor, a journalist who called out racism and government dishonesty in a column during the Southern Civil Rights Movement. [6:30 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Center, 1187 Franklin St., S.F.]

An Excavation-Select Works by Suzy Kellems Dominik: Among the works on display in the show, which opens with a reception, is a monumental soft-sculpture installation “Invisible” with five surrealistic totems of the nude female form measuring over 11 feet tall. [6 p.m., Laundry, 3359 26th St., S.F.]

The Revolutionists: Dragon Theatre opens its production of Lauren Gunderson’s comedy about four women who lived boldly in France during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. [8 p.m., 2120 Broadway, Redwood City]

Porn & Puppets: Organizers call the show “a pornucopia of provocative performances and patron participation.” [8 p.m., Little Boxes Theater, 1661 Tennessee St., S.F.]

Winner: The popular Korean boy band — with Jinwoo, Seunghoon, Mino and Seungyoon — is on its “Everywhere” tour. [8 p.m., Masonic, 1111 California St., S.F.]

Southern Blues Harp Blowout
: Harmonica greats Mark Hummel, Bobby Rush, Kenny Neal, James Harman, Jumpin’ Johnny Sansone, Golden State Lone Star with Anson Funderburgh appear. [8 p.m., Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley]

SATURDAY, JAN. 19

Lewis Black: The comedian — more of “a pissed-off optimist than a mean-spirited curmudgeon” — is on his The Joke’s On Us Tour. [8 p.m., Masonic, 1111 California St., S.F.]

Jacquees: The Atlanta singer billing himself as “king of R&B…of his generation,” also known for his “insane jewelry collection,” brings his headlining 4275 Tour to town. [9 p.m., August Hall, 420 Mason St., S.F.]

Shakespeare in Love: Palo Alto Players open a three-week run of the Peninsula premiere of Lee Hall’s stage adaptation of Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman’s 1998 Oscar-winning film. [8 p.m., Lucie Stern Theater, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto]

The Lego Movie 2-The Second Part Mini-Room: Visitors can snap a photo with Emmet and his pal Planty during the pop up promoting the new movie, which is slated to open in February. [10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Westfield San Francisco Centre, 845 Market St., S.F.]

Juice: The Boston-based, seven-piece band “distills rock, R&B and hip-hop into a signature sound with a distinct kick of electric violin, rich harmonies, honest lyrics and festival-worthy choruses.” [8 p.m., Hotel Utah, 500 Fourth St., S.F.]

Howlin Rain: The Oakland blues rockers, with the new LP “The Alligator Bride,” headline a show with guests Garcia Peoples and Scott Law & Ross James’ Cosmic Twang. [9 p.m., Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.]

The Revolution: Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman, Bobby Z, BrownMark and Dr. Fink — most commonly known as the versatile band behind Prince — merge funk, rock n’ roll, rhythm and blues, pop and psychedelia. [8 p.m., UC Theatre, 2036 University Ave., Berkeley]

Dragon in the Drop-Off Lane: Lisa Rothman’s solo comedy looks at parenting, particularly the differences between gritty East Bay living and the fairy tale realm of Marin. [5 p.m., Marsh, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley]

Hands-On Harley-Davidson: The new traveling exhibit is “for little easy riders and their families” who want to explore a replica motorcycle dealership, design test runs in an engineering lab and learn about America’s “iconic” motorcycles. [10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Bay Area Discovery Museum, 557 McReynolds Road, Sausalito]

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