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
Adam Bock's funny new play is broken into five parts, or "flights," like a Russian ballet -- Narrative, Vision, Mad Scene, Conclusion, and A Little Dance -- but most of the action takes place during the Narrative section, which is pretty Mad, and tells the story of a family disintegrating after the mother dies. The husband (and father) believes her soul has entered a little wren, and builds an aviary to protect it. When the wren dies, he goes, too, and his daughter wants to replace the aviary with a Church of the Fifth Day. (God created birds on the fifth day of Creation.) The church idea causes a family crisis, and the crisis drives the play. Bock's dialogue is spare and suggestive, but it's never quite clear what he's suggesting; he seems more interested in his bird-soul motif than in any of his characters. The four flights after Narrative also feel tacked-on, unnecessary. Still, the formal problems don't prevent Alexis Lezin from giving a manic performance as the church-founding daughter, Olivia, or Kevin Karrick from portraying a hilarious professional hockey player who likes bake sales and ballet. A scene with four of the characters at a ballet (Swan Lake) is also brilliant. Bock's first play, Swimming in the Shallows, had a successful local debut in 1999, and Five Flights has all of that play's formal inventiveness but not quite as much of its charm.