When the ancient Polynesians invented surfing, they often used a paddle to help them navigate. Fast-forward a few millennia, and Stand-Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, finds itself trendy again. Part of its increasing popularity is that standing upright allows surfers to spot waves more easily and thus catch more of them, multiplying the fun factor. Paddling back to the wave becomes less of a strain as well. The ability to cruise along on flat inland water, surveying the sights, is another advantage. Finally, its a good core workout. If youre sold on the idea, schedule an intro SUP lesson, free with board and paddle rental, and you may find yourself riding the waves like a Polynesian king.More
In the past 30 years, light artists have reimagined an art form that has always had the ability to turn the night sky, or a simple window, into luminescence. Last fall, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts turned its southern glass wall into a parade of sound-sensing lights, Lightswarm, that changes with the movements of nearby people and things. Future Cities Lab, the San Francisco design company behind Lightswarm, has originated another notable light sculpture. Located by the YBCA's steps at 701 Mission, Murmur Wall will light up in arresting ways as it incorporates local trending search engine results and social media postings. Onlookers can offer their own contributions, which will feed into the Murmur Wall's data stream and light up the sculpture. What's trending in San Francisco? If you're walking by the YBCA, you can see firsthand — at least through light patterns that reflect the city's volatile internet habits.
Murmur Wall debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. and continues through May 31, 2017, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F. Free; 415-978-2700 or ybca.org. More
At Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason St., S.F. Presented by Off Broadway West Theatre Company. Through July 28. Tickets are $30. Call 800-838-3006 or visit www.offbroadwaywest.org.
Tennessee Williams' script is just as heartwrenching and provocative, sexy and sweaty in 2007 as it was for its debut in 1947. The character-driven drama is about a faded Southern belle, Blanche DuBois, who goes to live with her baby sister, Stella, and Stella's "brute" husband, Stanley Kowalski. To this day, the 60-year-old play remains a scene-work staple at most Stanislavsky Method acting programs. Being cast in A Streetcar Named Desire should be an American stage actor's wet dream. Kamran Alexander shows real acting chops in this production; his Stanley is boorish and vulnerable, hot and frightening. Tara Donoghue (Stella) takes a character that could be a throwaway with the wrong actress, and gives her strength. She and Kamran steal the show with their electric chemistry. Barbara Michelson-Harder's Blanche, by comparison, just doesn't get there. It could have been a directing choice, but her character seems fake indicating rather than allowing herself to become the vulnerable, trampled, and delicate woman that is Blanche DuBois. The director of Streetcar must play the role of teacher to coax and inspire the cast to fully commit to playing parts originated by the likes of Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy, and in this production Richard Harder succeeds on most counts. Unfortunately, Harder diverges from Williams' script at the pinnacle moment of the play, when Blanche smashes a bottle and goes for Stanley's face. The sound of that bottle cracking is Blanche cracking, and this version didn't break it at all. Yet overall, this production is a worthy tribute to an American masterpiece. Nara Dahlbacka
Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'.
Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"