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
As the title suggests, Lee Blessing's riveting drama takes place in two rooms, undecorated except for the artistry of the four performers. Blindfolded in Beirut, Michael Wells (Jay Martin) is an American professor taken hostage, forced to endure solitude in darkness in the first room while he relates memories and letters to his wife aloud in monologues rife with imagery and mental anguish. A world apart, the second room is empty of furniture but also filled with frustration and longing. In the stark confines of what we understand to be Michael's old study, his wife, Lanie (Mary McGloin), focuses on her husband and considers what drastic or passive measures she might take to bring him home. Lanie's meditations are repeatedly interrupted by Ellen (A.J. Davenport), the government official assigned to address Lanie's pleas for government action, and Walker (Daveed Diggs), a seemingly sympathetic journalist. These three assertive characters debate the delicate retrieval of a nonmilitary prisoner of war. Each possesses a selfish motive for his or her involvement, rendering the dialogue intense and engaging. Tensions play out beautifully in the understated portrayals by Diggs and McGloin, both of whom depict intelligence and emotional maturity as Walker and Lanie make desperate decisions. That Two Rooms, penned in 1988, is still so relevant speaks to its strength -- and to the persistence of flawed U.S. foreign policies. Custom Made has produced a play that is simultaneously pertinent and worthwhile.
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.'"