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
You may measure your true 415 cred by the amount of times you've strolled into the diner that "never close[s]" (as the sign says), sidled up to the bar, ordered a drink, and received a shot of ouzo on the house — without blinking, looking sideways, or feeling the need to keep an open line to flee for the exit.
Through Sept. 2. Tickets are $30-90; call 512-7770 or visit www.shnsf.com.
This delightfully crass musical sendup of Sesame Street is like Melrose Place with Muppets. A run-down brownstone at the outer limits of New York City hosts an ensemble of conflicted people and puppets, including a monster who loves Internet porn (instead of cookies), a Bertlike character who's secretly in love with his Ernielike roommate, and former child actor Gary Coleman (who, in a peculiar casting choice, is played by a woman, Carla Renata). The story begins with Princeton (Robert McClure), a recent college grad, arriving on Avenue Q singing, "What do you do with a B.A. in English?" and evolves into something of a love story between Princeton and Kate Monster (Kelli Preston). But the plot is almost superfluous. The songs are what give this Tony Award-winning show its bite, with lyrics like "Everyone's a little bit racist/ All right, all right/ Bigotry has never been exclusively white." It takes some time to get used to the actors being onstage with their puppets (imagine Frank Oz standing next to Miss Piggy mouthing, "Kermie!"). Eventually, though, you come to appreciate their presence after all, the humans onstage can make funny facial expressions to further enhance the impact of the jokes. Anyone who grew up watching Sesame Street should enjoy this NC-17-rated version of the children's TV show. I mean, how could you not guffaw at the sight of two Muppets doing it doggy-style?