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
Seeing a Harold Pinter play is like being taken to a dinner party where you know no one except the person who brought you. Then that person leaves when youre not looking, and a dispute ensues between the other guests that has clearly been years in the making. You pick up clues about whats happening, but a lot goes unsaid and youre in no position to ask for clarification. Youre free to leave, but you stay. Eventually enough is revealed that you gain a vague knowledge, even if its something about humanity you wish you hadnt learned. Such is the case with The Homecoming. Teddy is a philosophy professor who has left London for the U.S. He returns to his childhood home after being gone for years, accompanied by his attractive wife Ruth. At home are his dad (Max, a retired butcher) and his Uncle Sam. Also present are his two brothers: Lenny, who may or may not be a pimp, and Joey, a boxer who demolishes things for a living. Can you see where this is going? You probably cant, because Ruth is far from innocent. She feeds the sexual tension as the men compete furiously for her affection and attention, contributing to an ending you wont see coming. Its no surprise that New Yorker critic John Lahr said seeing the play changed his life. Before, I thought theater was about the spoken, he wrote. [A]fter, I understood the eloquence of the unspoken.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: March 9. Continues through March 27, 2011