Courtesy photoMusical memories: R&B singer-songwriter Valerie Simpson opens a six-night gig – a hit-filled

Courtesy photoMusical memories: R&B singer-songwriter Valerie Simpson opens a six-night gig – a hit-filled

R&B singer-songwriter Valerie Simpson opens a six-night gig at the Rrazz Room

Who’s in town

Naturalist and author Terry Tempest Williams appears in an onstage conversation. City Arts and Lectures presents the evening. [8 p.m., Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]


Steve Coll: The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist discusses the power, influence and maneuvers of the ExxonMobil corporation. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Donald Stadtner: The Myanmar scholar gives a talk titled “Power and Piety in Burma’s New Political Landscape.” [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Paul Giroux: The construction engineer discusses the building of the Golden Gate Bridge, an achievement that many thought was impossible. [7:30 p.m., Jewish Community Center, 3200 California St., S.F.]

Decorative arts: The Fine Arts Museums’ American Decorative Arts Forum hosts a talk about Baroque buildings and furniture in 18th-century eastern Virginia. [8 p.m., de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Literary events

Mark Sundeen: The nonfiction author talks about “The Man Who Quit Money.” Daniel Suelo, the subject of his book, joins him. [6 p.m., Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, S.F.]

‘Amsterdam Stories’: Translator Damion Searls and author Peter Orner discuss and read from the work of Dutch story writer Nescio (1882–1961). [7 p.m., City Lights Bookstore, 261 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

‘Ferlinghetti / Ferlinghetti’: The evening features Peter Coyote reading poetry by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, plus a screening of filmmaker Christopher Felver’s “Ferlinghetti.” [7 p.m., Meridian Gallery, 535 Powell St., S.F.]

Claire Ptak: The cookbook author and former Chez Panisse pastry chef talks about “LEON Baking and Desserts.” [6 p.m., Omnivore Books on Food, 3885a Cesar Chavez St., S.F.]

At the colleges

Card making: Workshop participants can make a Mother’s Day card. [11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Millberry Union Event and Meeting Center, UC San Francisco,  500 Parnassus Ave., S.F.]

At the public library

Harry Hay tribute: Friends and community leaders discuss the life and work of LGBT rights champion Harry Hay. Joey Cain, curator of the library exhibit on Hay, also speaks. [6 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Elder care: Eldercare Services’ Jean Tokarek discusses what adult children can do when aging parents show signs of memory loss. [6:30 p.m., West Portal Branch, 190 Lenox Way, S.F.]

Local activities

Musical memories: R&B singer-songwriter Valerie Simpson opens a six-night gig – a hit-filled, loving tribute to her late husband and musical partner Nick Ashford. [8 p.m., Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St., S.F.]

Blast from Britain:
British alternative-rock singer-songwriter Carina Round performs at Café Du Nord. “Tigermending” is her new album. [9:30 p.m., 2170 Market St., S.F.]

Summer arts: Summer of Art at United Nations Plaza launches “What’s on Stage?,” a series that previews dance and theater shows. Dancers from the Garage are among those appearing today. [Noon, Seventh and Market streets, S.F.]

Art show: The United States of Asian America Festival presents “The Future Is Now,” an exhibit of work by contemporary Asian-American artists. [Noon to 7 p.m., Somarts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St., S.F.]

Dining out

Cafe de la Presse: Entrees include roasted chicken au jus and boeuf Bourguignon. The tarte provencale is recommended today. Also look for the escargots with garlic-parsley butter. [352 Grant Ave., S.F.; (415) 398-2680]


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