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 don't often go out of our way for restrooms, but in the case of Macy's sixth-floor ladies room (sorry guys: you'll just have to make do with having everything else), all who pass through its doors will understand why it's worth the effort.
The Tenderloin was set to lose another irreplaceable when the Ha-Ra Club — a low-ceilinged dive of the slummiest reputation, long fallen into neglect, but nevertheless beloved for strong pours, idiosyncratic bartenders, and a long history — was taken over by the crew who run Ace's and Dobbs Ferry.
Scott Baker knows how actors pigeonhole the work of Samuel Beckett. “They see these serious situations and the elevated language,” he says, “and they think, ‘Oh, I must be serious.’ This is deadly. [Beckett’s] heroes were Buster Keaton and Laurel and Hardy.” Baker should know. His 23-year-old theater company, Performers Under Stress, was named after a Beckett line about pus (a reference so obscure that only one person in 23 years has grasped it without prompting). Sam I Am, the company’s first Beckett performance since 2008, weaves together many of the playwright’s short plays, including Come and Go, Rough for Radio I and II, and Not I, as well as some prose adapted for the stage. Baker, who directs and is also one of the 11 ensemble members, brings out the pieces’ “vaudevillian” elements by staging the piece as a processional; each scene takes place in its own discrete space in Bindlestiff Studios, and audiences move from place to place. “Since the language is so dense and mu-sical,” says Baker, “if you’re just sitting there, there’s a tendency to be lulled. We don’t allow that, ever.” Beckett’s humor, of course, isn’t light; themes common across these selections, says Baker, include “coming into adulthood, people not owning up to their responsibility, and torture.” But Baker offers one concession to audiences who are faint at heart: “There is an intermission, so we’re not torturing them that much.”
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: April 19. Continues through May 11, 2013