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
The women behind the variety show Monday Night ForePlays embrace the absurd. Among other sketch oddities, theyve dressed up people as the bottles in an alcoholics liquor cabinet making the next act, stand-up comedian Rachel McDowell, gleefully tell the audience that seeing a man dressed as a bottle of Jim Beam was about the sexiest thing Ive seen all night! Theyve had Dora the Explorer visit the Tenderloin and converse with a tranny hooker and a homeless man. Theyve staged Clitoris: The Musical. But on a serious note, these women part of the fierce, scrappy, and growing theater company PianoFight have grown comedically and theatrically since late 2009, when they began writing, producing, and acting in a new show every few months. Their latest is called Spring EGGstravaganza. In it, producer Kate Jones says, they reinterpret (and set to music) a 17th-century poem about hymen restoration. Theres a group discussion on how to ease the monthly pain of manstration. A Craigslist rideshare goes horribly awry. (As they do.) And a popular energy drink gets a huge boost and becomes potentially lethal. Filling the spaces between sketches are musical acts the Whiskey Richards and Hanna Rifkin. Stand-up accompaniment includes Natasha Muse, Chris Burns, and Mary Van Note.
Mon., April 18, 8 p.m., 2011