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
Clive Chafer's semihomeless Theatrefirst company turns the elegant patio room of the Berkeley City Club (where Aurora Theatre once played) into a laundry-and-shoebox-cluttered squat for a biting drama about homelessness and displacement in post-apartheid South Africa. Mooi Street Moves shows a white farm boy, Henry, returning to an apartment his brother used to rent, but finding in his place a dreadlocked, cheerful, and deeply unhelpful African named Stix. This suburban neighborhood of Johannesburg has been abandoned by middle-class Afrikaners and overtaken by Africans in a sudden sort of white flight, mainly because of inadequate civil rights legislation in the aftermath of apartheid (according to director Clive Chafer's useful notes). Stix survives as a thieving middleman; he fills the squat with boxes of TVs, shoes, and toasters for resale. Henry himself is homeless, so to live with Stix and earn money he learns the patter and moves of a street hustler -- "Mooi Street moves." Paul Slabolepszy is one of South Africa's leading playwrights, and under Chafer's crisp direction, not to mention pitch-perfect acting by David Skillman (as Stix) and Joseph Foss (as Henry), his brief, slightly contrived pas de deux comes on bright and strong. Chafer has made a local career of mounting fine, neglected plays about race from every corner of the former British Empire -- India, Israel, South Africa, even England itself -- and Mooi Street is one of his most highly polished.