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
New Conservatory Theatre Center, 25
Van Ness (at Market), S.F.
Through Jan. 4
Tickets are $18-28
This "contemporary Cinderella story" by Charles Busch about a gay electrologist who inherits $10 million from an older man under suspicious circumstances has all the elements of a New Conservatory show, including tackiness, camp comedy, and a bitchy catfight on an afternoon talk show. Christopher, the electrologist, lives in a gaudily overdecorated Greenwich Village flat with his social-climbing sister Polly. They have no money or prospects until a rich stranger named Mr. Rosenberg faints on the sidewalk outside. Christopher helps him, and soon finds himself not just heir to a portion of Rosenberg's millions, but also the enemy of Rosenberg's virago daughter, an ill-dressed Scarsdale bitch named Lenore. The script is silly and sprawling -- someone really needs to edit the final scene -- and in a preview performance not all the actors had their timing under control. But Patrick Michael Dukeman makes Christopher a sympathetic Cinderella, flitting around the apartment like an unpresuming chambermaid; he also does frighteningly good work channeling Rosenberg's meathead brother Sheldon and the hideous, chain-smoking former Mrs. Rosenberg. (The play is full of ghosts.) Adrienne Krug is also very funny as Lenore. It's not the strongest play by the man who brought you The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, but Dukeman holds its frayed ends together.