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
An inconspicuous doorway off Valencia Street leads to a treasure trove of zines and 10,000-plus hours of sound and video recordings from the 1960s to the 1990s, all charting the progressive history of the Bay and its effect on global radical movements.
Through July 15 at the New Conservatory Theater Center, 25 Van Ness (at Market), S.F. Admission is $13-22; call 861-8972.
Harvey Fierstein's script, though no longer fresh, has a genuine emotional appeal. Director Ed Decker and the New Conservatory Theater Center manage to capture a surprising amount of Fierstein's sensibility, mostly thanks to Paul Tena's performance; he almost effortlessly embodies Fierstein's thinly disguised stand-in Arnold. In Act 1, removing his drag makeup, talking and gesturing energetically, his face reveals Arnold's history of heartbreak even as he cracks wise, though he has a tendency to rush through the verbal torrents Arnold unleashes as his defense against sorrow. This doesn't serve the production well in the second act, when Arnold, his ex Ed (Bill Allen), Ed's current wife Laurel (Melissa Kolaks), and Arnold's new boyfriend (Kyle Kannenberg) are involved in a sexual rondelle during a weekend in the country. Kannenberg can be appealing in these scenes, but he's more often cloying in a role that already suffers from acute darlingness. As Laurel, Kolaks can't quite manage the contradictions of this woman unsure of and yet titillated by her husband's bisexuality. And Allen twists his face into unnatural grimaces, breaks up his sentences with pointless, breathy exhalations, and employs the same falsely earnest tone throughout the play. But in the final, Neil Simon-esque act, Tena's scenes with Martha Stookey as his mother find substance beneath the glib quips and bons mots. Simon Trumble's easygoing charm as Arnold's adopted son also helps out. Still, Fierstein's jokes come from the characters, and the ending, while hopeful, isn't pat. Though Stookey's accent is too studied and her costumes too patrician for Arnold's Brooklyn mama, you believe in her history with Arnold, despite their dissimilar looks. Stookey and Tena give Arnold's struggles to invent a family a true pathos.
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.'"