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
The most clichéd things you can possibly associate with San Francisco are the Golden Gate Bridge and fog over the bay, but looking out at the bridge in a thick fog from Kirby Cove, with the skyline of the city peeking through, is just as magical as it is stupidly clichéd. Although you have to make your way to the Marin Headlands to experience this view, the Kirby Cove campgrounds are well worth the adventure into that home base of the anti-vaccination movement, just for their gorgeous view of the city.
Circus Proboscis' Not the More Lovely: A Circus Sideshow is performance art in the old-fashioned, Yoko Ono sense of the word. It's the sort of show in which the expressions "black tea" and "Heimlich maneuver" coexist unremarkably in the same sentence; the performers spend much of the time squatting, sticking out their tongues, and rolling their eyes as if they were gargoyles; and everything feels like a scene out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Loosely based on a little-known version of the Pandora's box myth in which the eponymous box, as the program notes explain, contains "all the good and evil blended together in one consummate whole forming the irrepressible force of nature," the production combines physical theater, slow-burning live indie rock music, and sublimely grotesque hand-drawn animation into a strange audiovisual stew. Some of you might wish that Pandora had kept this particular box shut and thrown away the key. But whether they're spitting water at one another, fluttering like hummingbirds in vintage-style chiffon dresses, or having conversations about cheesecake in pseudo-British accents, these vaudevillians throw themselves into their carnival as if the future of humanity depended upon it.