While they often presented themselves as bodybuilders’ publications, their chuckle-prompting titles — Torso, Adonis, Honcho, Mandate — didn’t lie. Gay men’s magazines of decades past were bought by gay men who wanted to look at the erotic illustrations of well- built male bodies therein. Because any- one known to possess such material in the homophobic 1950s and 1960s could experience serious consequences, men hid the magazines under their mat- tresses. These illustrations have now inspired a traveling exhibition, Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall. Curated by notable erotic artist Robert W. Richards and orig- inating at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the popular show contains 24 original illustrations that ap- peared in gay magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It also looks at how gay men, forced into the closet during those decades, used these pictures to explore their sexuality intimately. It additionally serves as a showcase for the artists in- volved. On view are works by two dozen top artists of the times, including Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), and David Martin.More
The island trend of Hawaiian-style poke, or raw fish/seafood dressed with a variety of sauces and fresh toppings, has been kicking around the West Coast mainland for a while, particularly in Los Angeles, where its lean protein-rich nature is a big hit with the diet and camera conscious.
A Christmas Carol has been a yearly tradition at ACT for over a quarter-century, and the cast is always so huge I'm inclined to rename it The ACT Young Conservatory Full-Employment Project, but that title sucks for a number of reasons. What the show amounts to, aside from a crowd-pleasing bit of holiday cheer, is a training ground for actors. The story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his Christmas Eve haunting by the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future is so familiar to the families who see it that there seems to be no need for suspense. Craig Slaight's directing wanders from one splendid but useless dance number to another, with patches of milky acting in between. Steven Anthony-Jones, I imagine, makes a powerful Scrooge, but on the night I went Rhonnie Washington stood in. He did well enough, but the large comic presence was lacking -- and A Christmas Carol would be limp without its large comic presences. Brian Keith Russell's big and blustery Fezziwig is one pillar of the show; Robert Ernst's terrifying performance as Marley's Ghost, dragging his chains from a doorway pouring with mist, might be another if Ernst played it every night. (He was standing in for Washington.) After 26 years, A Christmas Carol is a huge, clanking contraption, like an old calliope at a county fair -- amusing for a while but showing its age.