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 old movie house out in the glamorous avenues is 81, which is the new middle age, in case you hadn't heard. To celebrate the Balboa Birthday Bash, its programmers screen The Black Pirate, a 1926 swashbuckler featuring Douglas Fairbanks in the sauciest little shortie jumpsuit you ever saw. After that kind of fun "for the whole family," Kitten on the Keys takes the stage for a (presumably clean) vaudeville turn, and magician James Hamilton does his thing. We're sure it's all perfectly G-rated! Plus the movie gets the full old-
fashioned treatment with live musical accompaniment by Frederick Hodges, and it doesn't get much more wholesome than that. Happy birthday to the lovely, well-cared-for theater! And seriously, rip the gaming device out of the kids' cold, dead fingers and have fun like the original film poster says: "Yo! Ho! All ye from 7 to 70, renew your youth and be a pirate bold!"
Wed., Feb. 27, 7 p.m., 2008