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
Mozzeria, newcomers to the Outside Lands lineup, will bring their 25-foot trolley, a restored mobile San Francisco cable car with a wood-fired oven, to Bluxome Street Winery for a Pinot, Pizza and Funk party. Local funk favorite Tortoise and the Pimps will perform while guests enjoy a special menu of Neapolitan pizzas and wine pairings! A ticket includes entry, one personal pizza and two glasses of wine; tickets are $40 per person. Limited tickets will be available at the door for $45.More
The queer group Gay Shame was the bane of DPW workers everywhere this past year, using "wheatpaste" (wheat + water = irritatingly hard-to-remove glue concoction) to post flyers targeting everyone from astroturfing pro-development group SFBARF to its capitalist benefactor, Yelp founder Jeremy Stoppelman (lest ye forget his epic response to now-fired Yelp staffer Talia Jane's Medium post complaining about the cost of living in SF: "Move to Phoenix!").
New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25 Van Ness (between Oak and Fell), S.F.
Through Aug. 19. Tickets are $25-30; call 861-8972 or visit www.nctcsf.org.
I have been reminded that it doesn't matter if you're gay or straight, if you're young or old, or if there's a fancy set or a bare stage an amazing love story transcends it all. The Big Voice: God or Merman? proves this point nicely. After a successful off-Broadway run, Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchin bring their small and truly moving autobiographical show to the New Conservatory Theatre. Billed as a "musical comedy in two lives," the first act charts their journeys separately until they eventually meet and fall in love on a cruise ship. Brochu employs his broad flamboyant charisma to describe growing up close to the Broadway lights, finding himself caught between being the next pope or a stage queen. He's large and joyously irreverent, and he even comes out in Pope pajamas singing Ethel Merman. It's a wonderful juxtaposition with the quieter and thinner Schalchin, who often sits behind his keyboard softly singing original ballads detailing his uncomfortable youth growing up in Arkansas as a Baptist. They have an Abbot & Costello chemistry that only gets better when the shock and anger of AIDS darkens their relationship. After the show the two actors retire to the lobby and offer hugs and handshakes to audience members a completely fitting gesture after spending a fun and intimate two hours together.