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
Llewelynn Fletcher's immersive sculptures beguile the senses. Sasha Petrenko's site-specific installations and performances strive to capture a dynamic, living planet. Austin Thomas hides heady themes in seemingly austere drawings, photos, and sculptures. She also cobbles together site-specific social spaces which she calls "perches," but which are obviously kick-ass treehouses, minus the trees. These and other artists are contributing super-sized works for "Just Passing Through: Sculptures and Installations" at the University of San Francisco's Rooftop Sculpture Terrace. "Just Passing Through" promises to challenge notions about how we inhabit or pass through space, or at least provide a lovely respite in a busy city.
"Just Passing Through: Sculptures and Installations" is open to the public 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and runs through Dec. 11 at Kalmanovitz Hall, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St., S.F. Free; 422-5178 or usfca.edu. More
Mondays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 11
Weird little marvels are the works of Ron Nagle, the ceramicist whose work has helped prove that a sculptor who works in clay can be a serious presence in the art world. Nagle has been making vessels and intimate-sized sculptures since the 1960s, when he was associated with the norm-busting California ceramics movement and studied with one of its prime forces, fellow abstract-expressionist Peter Voulkos. A species of one, Nagle has continued to create compelling and painstakingly crafted pieces that are elegant yet unsettling. His sculptures contain puckered surfaces, unusual textural juxtapositions, amorphous shapes, and a surreal look. His cups, some of which have been overglazed and repeatedly fired, appear to have come from a tea party on Mars. With diverse influeneces, including ceramicist Ken Price, abstractionist Cy Twombly, still-life painter Giorgio Morandi, and California cool-car culture, Nagle is a distinctive artist and a San Francisco spirit. To learn more, come hear his lecture at the San Francisco Art Institute — his first appearance there since his 1978 Adaline Kent Award exhibition.More
Theatre Rhinoceros, 2926 16th St.
(between Mission and South Van Ness),
Through April 12
Tickets are $16-25
Shocktoberfest!! director Russell Blackwood gives a nicely ghoulish, Grand Guignol treatment to this otherwise tedious post-Tarantino farce by Kate Bornstein. Strangers in Paradox tells the story of a transsexual named Angel moldering in an asylum who can magically dream or remember murders that happen outside her cell. Angel dreams about a violent pair of outlaw lesbians named Casey and the Kidd. The "Dyke-namic Duo" seduce unsuspecting men and haul them into their lair, or cave, or whatever it is, in order to torture and misuse and kill them in some horrible sexual way. Casey is a sadistic dyke in a modified leatherette motorcycle suit, very butch, who reads tarot cards to paying customers over the telephone. The Kidd is her femme girlfriend in a long, blond wig and candy-striped tights. Their adventures are told not only through Angel's memory but also through live feeds on a TV show, so disembodied voices sometimes squawk orders from an unseen control room. Even if you like this kind of tacky theater, the story of Casey and the Kidd comes off as a play that twisted 9-year-olds might improvise for their baby sitter after drinking too much Everclear. "I thought you were a voice in my head," says Angel at one point in the show. "No," says the Kidd. "Other way." Aha. From mind-blowing to boring is but a step.