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
Making the less-traditional transition from brick-and-mortar to mobile pop-up, A16 is finally offering its hearty Monday meatballs and signature wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas without the inconvenience of needing to book a table.
The operative word here is "verbatim": The Word for Word theater company performs short stories that way. In this case, the company takes on every single letter of Sonny's Blues, by the great American writer James Baldwin. To the uninitiated, the setup may sound odd, as if it would be awkward to hear actors finish sentences with "he said." But the company is as powerfully talented on the boards as it is madly in love with every single word of its chosen material, and the effect is shockingly good. Sonny's Blues is a story about two brothers in Harlem in the 1950s, one of whom is a jazz pianist music is a big part of bouncing this story off the page. For that, director Margo Hall has an ace in her pocket: Bandleader Marcus Shelby composed an original score. He performs portions of it live only once, after the show on Feb. 15 (chickadees, take your jazz man to that on the day after Valentine's Day and you can have anything you want for the rest of the year), but the blues, jazz, gospel, and more take the play to great heights every time.
Feb. 5-March 8, 8 p.m., 2008