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
Playwright, director, and actor Ian Walker doesn’t make theater that only makes the audience think. “You go to theater,” he says, “and you see something that opens your eyes, but you still need a way to act upon these feelings in a broader or more political level.” His The Lullaby Tree, a Second Wind Theatre production co-directed by Misha Wyatt, is geared toward spurring its audience to action as well. The play follows multiple stories and takes place in multiple worlds. Tim (Walker), an idealistic law-yer, and Callie (Evangeline Reilly) are trying to prove the danger of genetically modified organisms, but, Walker says, “You get the sense that [Tim] is more interested in saving [Callie]” than in saving food. Meanwhile, a boy (Samuel Berston) tries to find his mother (Reilly) in “the realm of legend.” In between, a patch of corn sprouts up in a formerly drowned town — the term for an abandoned town on which a reservoir is created. Walker, who by day works as an environmental health educator for the gov-ernment, seeks to “reveal the folly of our efforts to twist the environment into what we think it should be.” But he doesn’t stop there. “We’ve peppering our blog and our Twitter with background on GMOs,” he says. Second Wind also provides more background at the theater, including, one night, a talkback with Pamm Larry and others behind the last election’s Prop 37.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: April 12. Continues through May 4, 2013