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 immortal moment came decades ago: a long-suffering fan already, at 8 years old, slumped against a rail at the ballpark for what could be the last time, defeated on the field and off of it, where the Giants were planning to possibly decamp from Candlestick Park to Florida.
Nob Hill Theatre, the all-genders-welcome male strip club, is holding it down on Bush Street, and after several decades of D, it's still S.F.'s only place to see full-frontal guys up close, seven nights a week (for $20).
Meryl Streep is arguably Americas greatest living musical-theater actress. Anyone who saw the two-time Oscar winner shamelessly mug and prance through the mindless movie musical Mamma Mia! earlier this year might call me certifiable, but those who caught her Mother Courage in Central Park two years ago would probably agree. John Walters new documentary, Theater of War, has many virtues, but, most importantly, it preserves bits of that performance for posterity. Walter uses the Publics production not just as a backstage docudrama, but rather as a jumping-off point for a meditation on Brecht, performance, Marxism, and war. Walters clear inspiration for Theatre of War, subtitled Five Acts About Bertolt Brecht, is Errol Morriss Fog of War: Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara, which Walter emulates not just in name but also in structure and Robert Millers ominous, minimalist, Philip Glasslike score. The problem is that while Morriss film revolved around one man, Walters doc cant decide whether it wants to be about Brecht, Streep, or Mother Courage herself. What it says about all these subjects (especially in a sequence devoted to Brechts second wife, Helene Weigel, the first actress to play Mother Courage) is usually interesting and elegantly presented, but what ultimately stands out is Streeps performance of Brechts Song of the Great Capitulation. Few actors can act while they sing as effortlessly as Streep, and these minutes (which Walter shows as one long take) are almost powerful enough to carry an entire feature doc by themselvesand wipe the horrors of Mamma Mia! from memory.
Starts: April 3. Daily, 2009