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
We were recently surprised to learn that, while print and e-book publishing lan- guishes, audiobooks do better and better with every passing year. (Downloads in 2015 were up 38 percent over 2014.) We like to imagine that it’s the allure of the well-trained dramaturge that makes emotional connections while leaving some- thing to the listener’s imagination — not background noise for long commutes. In such a case, there can be no finer pleasure than a staged reading by longtime favorites Word for Word, a company that has brought countless short stories from page to stage, including “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, “The Fall River Axe Murders” by Angela Carter, “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe, and “The Bunch- grass Edge of the World” by Annie Proulx. During “Off the Page,” devotees help the company massage prose into parts, and sometimes, as was the case with Al- ice Munro’s work, choose the next story for production. Tonight, the actors ap- proach short fiction from Jamie Quatro’s highly lauded IWanttoShowYou More, which explores faith, (in)fidelity, and family along the border between Georgia and Tennessee.More
A storytelling night with Carnie Asada, Profundity, Coco Buttah, Mahlae Balenciaga, Greg der Ananian, and Fauxnique, celebrates Shark Week with accounts of dangerous, deadly, and treacherous creatures.More
Be there when Cara Black discusses her new book: Murder on the Quai. Aimee Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris's preeminent medical school. But Aimee's world is crumbling: her boyfriend is leaving her, her father leaves for Berlin for a mysterious errand and asks Aimee to look after his detective agency. She begins to investigate a murder. A book sale by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library follows the event.More
Quick: Name a place in SOMA where you can find a pingpong table (besides the Twitter offices, that is). You probably wouldn't expect the answer to be a museum, but the atrium of this one is equipped with regulation tables and equipment available for checkout, free to anyone who wants to play. It's part of "The Ping Pong Project," an installation that celebrates post-World War I Jewish table tennis greats such as Austrian Richard Bergmann (famous for playing dressed to the nines in snazzy suits) and Polish legend Alojzy Ehrlich. Ehrlich is known for a single exchange he won during the 1936 World Games that lasted more than two hours before his opponent's arm finally gave out and his fame later kept him out of the gas chamber at Auschwitz when the Nazi guards recognized him. Authors Roger Bennett and Eli Horowitz tell stories like these and lots more in their presentation at Everything You Know Is Pong. Drawing from their recent book of the same name in which they explore the far-reaching influence of table tennis, Bennett and Horowitz share slides detailing the secret history of Jews and pingpong. After the talk, the lobby's tables are open for business, giving visitors a chance to show off their backspin pushes and drop shots against some of the Bay Area's star players. It's your chance to resurrect the moves you learned years ago in your uncle's basement.
Thu., April 14, 7 p.m., 2011