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
Through April 30 at the Magic Theater, Fort Mason Center, Building D, Marina & Buchanan, S.F. Admission is $25-30; call 441-8822
Barry Gifford's new play puts him squarely in the school of writers who believe a story is good if Nothing Happens. This piece of semi-autobiography about a road trip has been carved from an upcoming novel and may also be filmed. (Gifford likes road trips; he co-wrote both Lost Highway and Wild at Heart.) I mean, why not? If you have nothing to say, but several avenues to say it through, why shouldn't you make as much money as possible? In play form, Wyoming is a soft-colored reminiscence of a mother, Kitty (Anne Darragh), and her kid, Roy (Alex Brightman), driving through America in the '50s. Kitty has just left Roy's dad behind in Chicago. She's affectionate, youngish, vain, and in denial about one or more aspects of her past. Roy keeps asking questions: When will we see Dad again? Why did you break up? Who's this guy we're going to see in Mississippi? Can we go to the reptile farm? They never arrive anywhere, though -- especially not Wyoming -- and after the first 60 minutes of this 90-minute show you're ready to shoot out their tires. Brightman is nimble and unaffected as Roy, Darragh does charming but uneven work as Kitty; the characters are strong and well defined. But Gifford forgot to make it entertaining.