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
Pulitzer prize-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley dedicated this play, his first, to "everyone in the Bronx who punched me or kissed me, and to everyone whom I punched or kissed." Onstage there are only two characters and a simple set (two tables, a pitcher of beer, and some pretzels), but there's plenty of drinking, strangling, and screwing. That's probably why Danny has been a perennial favorite these last 20 years for young, hungry actors with angsty passion and no budget. In this DIY production, Sara Gozalo and Aidan O'Shea admirably serve as producers, scenery movers, and actors playing two dysfunctional and lonely nutters who meet in the dark corner of a New York dive bar. They talk a mile a minute, trying to fill up the big empty, while draining the pitcher of beer and loudly confessing disturbing secrets and then they start choking each other, leaving us to wonder, "Where the hell is the bartender?" It's a slow warm-up to figure out the realities in which these characters live. But once they get to the bedroom, the actors especially O'Shea, creating a performance somewhere between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Willem Dafoe break out of the cliches and settle into an honest naturalism, bringing believability to Shanley's sometimes bizarro dialogue (such as this gem: "Your mouth is like a flower and your nose is saying hello").