May 19: The Cave Singers and other SF events

Who’s in town

Singer, songwriter, pianist and storytelling showman Ben Folds joins the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus to perform hits from his career as a solo artist and front man for the alt-pop group Ben Folds Five. [7:30 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]


Dave Jones: California’s insurance commissioner provides an inside look into the process of health-care reform in California, and shares his aspirations and concerns. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Outdoor exposure: Speakers discuss the merits of experiential outdoor play and learning for all children. Orion Magazine, publisher of “Leave No Child Inside,” hosts the talk. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Thomas M. Countryman: The assistant U.S. secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation discusses his bureau’s efforts to keep global security threats in check. [7 p.m., World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter St., S.F.]

Political roundtable: The discussion features a panel of political journalists commenting on current events, plus an audience discussion and a news quiz. [Noon, Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

B.D. Wong: The actor, in conversation with American Conservatory Theater’s Carey Perloff, discusses his career, growing up in San Francisco and his upcoming ACT debut. [7:30 p.m., ACT’s Geary Theater, 415 Geary St., S.F.]

Literary events

Alysia Abbott: The Massachusetts-based writer talks about “Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father.” [7:30 p.m., Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., S.F.]

Radical women: Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (“Outlaw Woman”) and Breanne Fahs (“Valerie Solanas”) talk about their books . [7 p.m., Modern Times Bookstore, 2919 24th St., S.F.]

At the colleges

John L’Heureux: The poet and fiction author reads from his latest novel, “The Medici Boy.” [6:30 p.m., Levinthal Hall, Stanford Humanities Center, 424 Santa Teresa St., Stanford University, Stanford]

At the library

Senior and disability help: Representatives from the Aging and Disability Resource Center visit the library to provide referrals and form-completion help to seniors and people with disabilities. [2 to 5 p.m., Richmond Branch, 351 Ninth Ave., S.F.]

Job Seekers Lab: Computers are available for creating or updating your resume, applying for jobs and searching online for jobs. Bring a flash drive. [11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Main Library, Computer Training Center, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Folk-rock band

The Cave Singers perform at the Rickshaw Stop. The Pacific Northwest folk-rock band is promoting its latest album, “Naomi.” [8 p.m., Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.]

Local activities

Music gala: Community Music Center’s Spring Gala, benefiting CMC’s scholarship program, features performances, food and an auction. Pianist Jon Nakamatsu headlines the evening. [6:30 p.m., SFJAZZ Center, 201 Franklin St., S.F.]

Chamber music: Earplay presents a concert of modern and contemporary chamber music. The program includes world-premiere compositions by John MacCallum and Reynold Tharp. [6:45 p.m., ODC Theater, 3153 17th St., S.F.]

Comedy show: Comics Kaseem Bentley and Casey Ley appear in “Some People Like Us,” their show of stand-up comedy, storytelling and impromptu disagreements. [8 p.m., Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

Twenty Five Lusk: Chef Matthew Dolan creates new American cuisine, and a Chef’s Daily Special ($15) — a rotating lunch menu — is now available on weekdays. Today, and every Monday, braised pork shank is on the bill. [25 Lusk St., S.F.; (415) 495-5875]

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