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
Nothing caps off a nice day at the beach like a mouthful of sand — especially if the grit in your teeth is the reward for the grit required to splay flat-out on your stomach, for the prize of a plastic disc in your hand, and all the glory that comes along with it.
As old Broadway shows are revived, new Broadway shows get spun from old movies so that new movies may be fashioned from ancient TV series. Its an iron law of the culture industry that turns out to be a pleasant surprise in the case of Get Smart, the late-60s sitcom retooled as a vehicle for Steve Carell. The most successful of the half-dozen spy shows that materialized in 1965, the original Get Smart was distinguished less by its absurdist attitude than by its catch phrases and casting. Stand-up comedian Don Adams drew on his nightclub William Powell impersonation to play Maxwell Smart, the dense, inept, officious Agent 86. No less deadpan or baroquely bumbling than the Adams original, Carells Smart is actually smarter. Hes also more lovably neurotica know-it-all intelligence analyst obsessed with his weight who dreams of becoming a real spy. As directed by Peter Segal, Get Smart redux is less a parody of a genre that had already passed into self-parody many moons before the TV show was in reruns, and more an all-purpose (and often quite funny) goofball action comedy in which ridiculous banter alternates with slapstick car chases and mid-air stunts. And though it acknowledges the post-9/11 world, Get Smart has no political subtext beyond a mild but persistent hostility toward the Bush administration.
June 20-July 10, 2008