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 Kinsey Sicks' first holiday show joins the campy ranks of The Hard Nut, Christmas With the Crawfords, and A Karen Carpenter Christmas, and it's a brilliant, raunchy gem. (For those virgins out there, the Kinsey Sicks, "America's Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet," formed 10 years ago in the Castro District and now tour extensively.) In this production, drag queens Winnie, Trampolina, Trixie, and Rachel prepare for their annual holiday party. Their guests are late, and that's the whole plot -- barely a hook on which to hang bad jokes and better storytelling songs. Hardly anything escapes their bitchy scrutiny: Jews for Jesus, Guatemalan babies, biracial gay couples, drunken office Christmas parties, cloning, gays in the military, and passive-aggressive relatives. The jokes range from clever to beyond the pale (one of the worst: "The Donner Party -- I had a ball there"); booing and hissing just encourages them. The songs are the real reason to see Oy Vey. Christmas songs, Jewish songs, and show tunes all get sparkling treatment and impressive harmonization. To talk about them too much would give away the fun, but highlights include "I Had a Little Facial, I Made It Out of Clay," Trixie's "Crystal Bells" (she's Whitney Houston), the really offensive "Feliz Navidad" (with explicit sexual language), and the "Macarena" revised as a Lithuanian Jewish folk dance. The troupe's characterizations are also colorful. Chris Dilley's Trampolina is like a deranged Charlotte in Sex and the City (OK, very deranged), while Irwin Keller's Winnie is the perfect obsessive-compulsive leader. Ben Schatz's Rachel is a stocky brute of a Jewish girl, both highly sexed and highly aggressive; Kevin Smith Kirkwood's Trixie looks innocent, but there's a naughty glint in her eye. The Kinsey Sicks mostly appeal to gays, drag queens, and divas and will offend anyone who doesn't have a sense of humor about religion; that said, if you love guilty pleasures and have a twisted funny bone, don't let this show pass you by.