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
Written in 2003, but taking place in post-Emancipation Pittsburgh in 1904, the ninth in August Wilson's 10-play cycle examines freedom in a patchwork of touching stories. The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright has created intriguing characters whose lives overlap in extraordinary ways. Aunt Ester, a mystical 285-year-old, lives with a handyman named Eli and a laundress named Black Mary, both loyal caregivers and friends. An urgent knock at the door reveals Citizen, a young man in desperate search of Aunt Ester's cleansing powers and sage advice. He's invited to stay at their home, where he helps Eli build a wall, learns of town news from friendly passers-by Solly and Selig, crosses Caesar (the local constable), and eventually travels to the City of Bones to confront his past and undergo a spiritual transformation. Michael Carnahan's exquisite set is a fitting backdrop for the interplay between history and spirituality. The interior of Aunt Ester's house at 1839 Wylie Ave. features beautiful wood, a dramatically steep staircase, ornately textured walls, and lace curtains draped over stained-glass windows. The entire space of the theater brims with lively story and riveting performance. Michele Shay (as Aunt Ester) and Roslyn Ruff (as Black Mary) deliver particularly powerful realizations of Wilson's women. Gem is a must-see -- or, in my case, a must-see-twice.