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
Despite the right wing's renewed push for "family values," the perfect American family -- with happily married Mom and Dad and well-behaved little Dick and Jane -- never actually existed. If this is news to you (or if your mom really was June Cleaver), then Jon Klein's 1995 play, presented by Ambit Theater Company, will be a real eye-opener. Structured like a sitcom with short scenes, the work focuses on a decidedly typical white family with predictable problems: Daughter Christine (Riki Lindhome) acts out in school, Dad (Bob Lieberman) is having an affair, and Mom (Sondra Putnam) feels everything's her fault. For a piece that proposes to debunk the sitcom myth, the characters are frustratingly stereotypical. Dad's about as effective as Homer Simpson; his mistress and work partner Megan Lones (Angela Anderson) is portrayed as the trite single (and bisexual) female with a cat; and Mom is a neurotic mess who flirts with the school therapist (played the night I attended by the funny and subtle understudy Tom Juarez). What saves the play from banality are layers of unreality, as when Mom walks in on her husband and Megan just as Megan says, "Don't think about your wife." Or when Dr. Grey (Carol Flanagan), the physician for the family's hospitalized grandmother (whose "system is being threatened"), transforms into the grandmother to comfort Christine. Or when it appears the therapist is trying to give Christine a lobotomy with a power drill when he's really just sharpening a pencil. These ludicrous scenes make us question what is really happening onstage and work as "anti-sitcom" fodder, heightening those shows' ridiculous plot structure. Director Debbie Lynn Carriger made a smart choice in not changing the lighting for these scenes, which might have been heavy-handed. But these subversions become muddied by the sitcom ending, as we learn that Dad really does want the perfect family, and Mom decides not to blame herself anymore.
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.'"