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 island trend of Hawaiian-style poke, or raw fish/seafood dressed with a variety of sauces and fresh toppings, has been kicking around the West Coast mainland for a while, particularly in Los Angeles, where its lean protein-rich nature is a big hit with the diet and camera conscious.
Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant (at
Through June 30 (Wednesdays
Tickets are $10-12
Putting prose onstage is never easy, but this co-production between Opening Night Productions and Women in Time is an admirable undertaking. A one-woman show starring the dynamic Valerie de Jose, Not for the Wide World stages three short stories by important female writers of the 20th century in a brief, 75-minute evening of theater. In "Sentiment" by Dorothy Parker, an upscale New Yorker of the 1930s finds herself in a taxicab, mooning pathetically over love lost; as she strokes her offensive-looking fox stole and weeps in agony, she also takes moments here and there to jot down thoughts about her self-obsessed and often comical condition, finding refuge in her self-proclaimed profundity. ("Sorrow is tranquillity remembered in emotion," she muses with pride.) The second story, Katherine Mansfield's "The Lady's Maid," is about a lonely maid in London's 1930s who gave up her one opportunity for marriage out of a sense of loyalty and obligation to her old, feeble mistress. Eudora Welty's "Why I Live at the P.O." is the final piece, and the liveliest, following the story of a young Southern woman in the 1940s who, plagued by the return of her unbearable sister, was driven out of their family's home and into the local post office, where she has since taken up residence. WIT's Sacha Reich deftly stages the three stories, and the talented de Jose is a crackerjack storyteller, effectively swapping costumes, personas, and accents throughout the evening. Despite all of its theatrical merit, the show still can't help having a literary feel; but the intimate space at the Berkeley City Club, along with the evening's overall succinctness, suits the literary gesture well.