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
George Bernard Shaw's 90-minute "trifle" about Napoleon is a fitting swan song for Barbara Oliver in her late career as founding artistic director of the Aurora Theatre. The Aurora has been a local source for great Shaw for over a decade; a few years ago Oliver even tackled the three-hour Saint Joan. The Man of Destiny shows Napoleon as a young general, cooling his heels in an Italian inn during his 1796 assault on Austria to "liberate" it from the Habsburgs. A nameless Strange Lady intercepts a stash of top-secret letters from Paris that includes bad news for Napoleon from his wife, Josephine. The spectacle of a would-be emperor of Europe chasing a woman around a table in the courtyard of a provincial inn makes for rich comedy, even if T. Edward Webster lacks the chutzpah to play Napoleon to the hilt. Stacy Ross has an infectiously fun time as the Lady, trying to maintain both composure and control over the insistent Corsican. Jeffrey Bihr does nice work as the narrator in the opening scene, delivering a trimmed version of Shaw's introduction (not technically part of the dialogue, but useful); he's also a funny innkeeper. But Craig Neibaur is too cartoonish as the bumbling lieutenant abused by Napoleon, and chemistry between Napoleon and the Lady is, in general, missing. The play comes off as a Punch cartoon more than fully fleshed Shaw -- witty as hell but very dry.
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.'"