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
The Geary Theater, 415 Geary (between Mason and Taylor), S.F.
Through March 24
Tickets are $15-54
Germany was bombing London to bits when British playwright Noël Coward wrote Blithe Spirit in 1941. The play was meant to evoke laughter from its war-worn audience -- and it did, running successfully for five years straight. Over the last six decades, the satiric drawing room comedy has aged well; it's still deliciously light fare and incredibly funny. High-society snob Charles Condomine and his second wife, Ruth, invite the local kooky medium to their home to hold a séance. But they're skeptics and have invited her only for selfish purposes (Charles is writing a new novel that involves a fortuneteller type and wants to use Madame Arcanti merely for research). The séance works better than expected, however, and Charles' first wife, Elvira (who died seven years prior from a heart attack brought on by a BBC musical program), returns from the dead in an ectoplasmic manifestation. She proceeds to sabotage his marriage -- and his life. A spoof on ghosts, rich folk, and cucumber sandwiches, Blithe Spirit is a delightful demonstration of wit, immaculately constructed and served up as a volley of smart, bitchy one-liners. Gregory Wallace is quick-minded and bitingly comical as the self-indulgent Charles, who declares himself an "astral bigamist" when Elvira (a feisty René Augesen) comes back from the grave; Shona Tucker is an appropriately uptight and exasperated Ruth. Director Charles Randolph-Wright sets a swift pace for the script's clever wordplay but goes overboard with some goofy stage business. For example, the maid's speed-freakish hyperactive tendencies are admirably slapstick at first but soon get old, and the eclectic, middle-aged hippie chick Madame Arcanti takes the physical comedy a tad too far, practicing half-assed yoga poses as she prepares to conjure spirits. Despite these quibbles, ACT handles the production exceptionally well. But it's Coward's sharp tongue that gives the play juice and keeps it so smartly silly.
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.'"