Pianist Sarah Cahill plays contemporary works in a recital at Hotel Rex presented by San Francisco Performances. (Courtesy Marianne La Rochelle)

May 4-5: Sarah Cahill, United Relay of America, You’re Gonna Cry, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Philip Zimbardo, Rooney, Big Data and You, New Century Chamber Orchestra, J.C. Smith Band

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4

Sarah Cahill: Described by the New York Times as “a sterling pianist and an intrepid illuminator of the classical avant-garde,” the musician performs works by Sofia Gubaidulina, Carl Nielsen, John Bull, François Couperin and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. [6:30 p.m, Hotel Rex, St., 562 Sutter St., S.F.]

United Relay of America: The triple-route, coast-to-coast nonstop running relay, a benefit for many charities, launches in The City. [6 p.m., JFK Drive, between Stowe Lake and Music Concourse drives, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

You’re Gonna Cry: In solidarity with hunger strikers, Paul S. Flores presents a pop-up performance of his one-man show (in which he plays many characters) that describes changes in the Mission brought on by the dot-com boom and bust, the real estate bubble, constant immigration and forced evictions. [2 p.m., Mission Police Station, 630 Valencia St., S.F.]

Viet Thanh Nguyen: The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Sympathizer” — whose new non-fiction volume is “Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War” — appears in conversation with Maxine Hong Kingston. [7 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

Philip Zimbardo: The psychologist, famous for his 1971 Stanford prison experiment, discusses his book “Man, Interrupted: Why Young Men Are Struggling & What We Can Do About It.” [5:15 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 555 Post St., S.F.]

Big Data and You: U.S. chief data scientist DJ Patil speaks about human-centered big data and its effect on everyday life in a Commonwealth Club presentation. [6:30 p.m., Marines’ Memorial Theater, 609 Sutter St., S.F.]

Rooney: Headed by Robert Schwartzman, the Los Angeles power pop, alt-rock band’s new single is “My Heart Beats 4 U.” [8 p.m., Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.]

New Century Chamber Orchestra: The ensemble performs Stravinsky’s ballet classic “Apollon musagète” and the premiere of the commission “Dance Suite” by composer Jennifer Higdon in a ticketed rehearsal open to the public. [10 a.m., Kanbar Performing Arts Center, 44 Page St., S.F.]

THURSDAY, MAY 5

The J.C. Smith Band: The award-winning South Bay-based, internationally touring vocalist and guitarist says, “My goal in life, to keep the blues alive, and take the message to the people.” [7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Biscuits & Blues, 401 Mason St., S.F.]

Taco Takedown: Local chefs Juan Martinez of Matador, Ismael Briceno Pacheco of Asiento, Bronson Macomber of Macadamia Events & Catering and Pierre Tumlin from Hog & Rocks compete for “most delicious taco” honors in honor of Cinco de Mayo. [5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Clift Hotel, 495 Geary St,, S.F.]

The Missing Generation: Sean Dorsey Dance opens an encore run of its award-winning dance-theater production based on oral history interviews with survivors from the early AIDS epidemic, compiled from a year traveling the U.S. and woven into a sound design featuring original music. [8 p.m.,, Z Space, 450 Florida St., S.F.]

Berkeley Symphony: Led by music director Joana Carneiro, the orchestra presents the West Coast premiere of Mark Grey’s “Frankenstein Symphony.” [8 p.m,, Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft Way at Dana Street, UC Berkeley campus]

The Boys from Oz: Landmark Musical Theatre stages the local premiere of the Tony Award-winning hit based on the life of Australian songwriter and performer Peter Allen. [8 p.m., Great Star Theater, 636 Jackson St., S.F.]

Helen & Edgar: Raconteur Edgar Oliver appears in his acclaimed one-man show — created in collaboration with the storytelling series The “Moth” — in which he describes his strange childhood in Savannah, Ga., and his mother’s struggle with madness. [8 p.m., Zellerbach Playhouse, Bancroft Way at Dana Street, UC Berkeley campus]

J. Espinosa: For Cinco de Mayo, the DJ presides over the “Next Level Thursday” open format music evening in the club’s the main room. [10 p.m., Temple, 540 Howard St., S.F.]

Oakland School for the Arts Spring Show: More than 100 student vocalists appear in “Identity: The Makings of Me,” billed as “a musical exploration of self-discovery.” [7 p.m., Fox Theater, 1807 Telegraph Ave., Oakland]

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