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
Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia
(between 15th and 16th streets), S.F.
Through Nov. 10
Tickets are $9-15
John Steppling has a reputation in L.A. as an edgy experimental playwright, but his newest script -- being world-premiered at Intersection for the Arts -- has no edge at all. As in Contagion, the last play he premiered at Intersection, characters talk past each other in oblique, almost riddling lines, and as I wrote about Contagion at the time, "This is not a new so much as a boring way to write a script." Still, this Campo Santo co-production brings a lot of talent onstage, especially Alexis Lezin, who plays Marie, the wife of a man who's in a mysterious coma. She breeds roses. She's also bloodied her hand by punching through a leaded, stained-glass window, rendered onstage for some reason as a heavy panel of glass brick. Her speeches are witty and clear, but we never learn why her husband Gerald (Michael E. Lacy) is in a coma, or why two detectives (Paul Santiago and Michael Cheng) keep interviewing her. The result is a frustratingly undramatic play, with lots of promise but no heat. Hector Correa has directed patiently, Marcus Shelby has written a cool and understated jazz score, and I could watch Nora El-Samahy (playing two characters here) for hours, no matter what she has to say. But it adds up to a lot of wheel-spinning.
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.'"