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
The world of drag is filled with impressively resourceful solutions to flawed circumstances, which is why some of the finest entertainment in town happens on top of a slab of plywood that somebody fastened over the pool table at Cocktailgate. Presented by prolific performer and former Miss Trannyshack Suppositori Spelling, the weekly drag show duly reflects the eclectic musical tastes of its hostess. Themes run the gamut from Goldfrapp, Tori Amos, Marilyn Manson, David Bowie, and the forthcoming "Fauxchella" to fashion shows and other ad hoc evenings of outfit-changing madness (one night called "Wide Stance" focused on numbers incorporating the most ridiculous political sex scandals of the year). Numbers spill from the pool table into the crowd, onto the bar, and occasionally into the street (once, briefly, for a wonderfully unhinged performance of "La Vie en Rose"). This Sunday, the Cocktailgate crew unveils Alison Wonderbra, a drag musical (or dragsical, as Suppositori likes to call it) that includes excerpts of dialogue and songs from the 1976, triple-X rated musical version of Alice in Wonderland. The cast features Suppositori as Alison Wonderbra, drag legend Glamamore as Cheshire Hip Cat, and assorted members of Suppositori's drag house, the International House of Panic.
Sundays, 9 p.m. Starts: April 6. Continues through April 27, 2008