“Kinky Boots,” the award-winning musical by Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein, is onstage at the Golden Gate Theatre. (Courtesy Matthew Murphy)

May 11-12: Kinky Boots, Willie Brown, Ari Shaffir, Ann Packer, Julia Markus, Paul Douglass, Chris Anderson, Local Poets Series

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11

Kinky Boots: The national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical about a straight shoe factory heir who joins forces with a drag queen opens an 11-day San Francisco run. [8 p.m., Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor St., S.F.]

Willie Brown: The former San Francisco mayor gives his annual lecture on national and regional political trends. [6:30 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 555 Post St., S.F.]

Chris Anderson-How to Speak the TED Way: The curator of TED talks shares his opinion about what makes a speech great. [7 p.m., Cubberley Theater, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto]

Ari Shaffir: The comic, who started “This Is Not Happening,” a web series featuring comedians telling true life stories. kicks off a four-night standup gig. [8 p.m., Punch Line, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies: The film captures the band’s previously unreleased concert, the opening of a 1989 tour at Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. [7 p.m., AMC Van Ness 14, 1000 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Ann Packer: The author of the best-selling “The Dive From Clausen’s Pier” is promoting her new book “The Children’s Crusade.” [7 p.m., Belmont Library, 1110 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont]

Julia Markus, Paul Douglass: The literature professors discuss their biographies: Markus’ “Lady Byron and Her Daughters” is about the poet and mathematician who supported two extraordinary children; Douglass’ “Lady Caroline Lamb” provides the first unbiased treatment of the woman, among Lord Byron’s many lovers, who has been portrayed as a self-destructive nymphomaniac. [7 p.m., Books Inc., 301 Castro St., Mountain View]

From Where I Stand: The exhibit, which examines the exploitive colonial history of the mineral rush of the 19th century in Africa, opens with a commissioned mixed-media performance work by Otbong Nkanga. [7:30 p.m., Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, 2155 Center St., Berkeley]


THURSDAY, MAY 12

Local Poets Series: Barbara Jane Reyes, Robin Tremblay-McGaw and Eleni Stecopoulos read from their most recently published books. [6 p.m., S.F. Public Library, lower level, 100 Larkin St., S.F]

ARTICIN Group Show: A Bay Area collective of seven artists working in acrylics, oils, pens and inks, zines and books and high-end handmade jewelry, opens a show with a reception. [6 to 10 p.m., Terroir Gallery, 1114 Folsom St., S.F.]

RoxCine: The Roxie Theater’s new programming offering year-round Spanish-language cinema opens with the double bill of Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s breakthrough films “Y Tu Mamá También” and “Amores Perros.” [7 p.m., 3117 16th St., S.F.]

S.F. Art Institute Graduate Exhibition: Dozens of graduating students from the venerable art school contribute to the large-scale gallery show of contemporary installations, painting, sound, video, sculpture, photography, printmaking, performance, and more. [11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F.]

Foreign Cinema: The eatery reopens its Laszlo Bar, with an updated interior, a new bar menu, a film-inspired cocktail list, and a revitalized emphasis on local the DJ programming. [5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., 2526 Mission St., S.F.]

Tom Papa: The comedian, host of TV’s “Marriage Ref” and star of his own NBC series “Come to Papa,” opens a three-night stand-up engagement. [8 p.m., Cobb’s Comedy Club, 915 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

Painting the Modern Garden-Monet to Matisse: The film focuses on an exhibit presented by the Cleveland Museum of Art and London’s Royal Academy, which illustrates how famed artists used the modern garden to explore radical new ideas. [7 p.m., Century 9 S.F. Centre, 845 Market St., S.F.; Century 20 Daly Cityk, 1901 Junipero Serra Blvd.,Daly City]

Sea Heroes-Extreme Edition: Environmental activists Peter Wilcox (captain of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior, which was bombed by French agents in 1985), along with Liz Taylor and Stiv Wilson, share sea stories about risk taking and confronting power. [6:30 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 555 Post St., S.F.]

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