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
If your idea of good Greek theater involves a tremendous bong rip, cracking a cold beer, and having a chance to win an intermission tequila shot with the actor of your choice, then Release the Kraken will knock your toga off. It's a very, very loose translation of the myth of Perseus (the son of Zeus who killed Medusa) in which gods in hilarious fake beards and goddesses playing with He-Man action figures debate the fate of mankind high atop Mt. Olympus. Down below, Percy (Dan Kurtz) must go on a hero's journey to the Underworld Mall to save his little copy store from the menace of the large and corporate Kraken Copy, managed by the riotously evil hunchback Calibos (a show-stealing Tavis Kammet). Release is theater's answer to Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, and if you didn't grow up in the '80s or aren't suitably intoxicated, most of the kitschy references (Wang Chung, Tron, Smurfs vs. Snorks) will fall amateurishly flat. Fortunately, Thunderbird Theatre Company sells engraved, liquor-filled shot glasses at intermission to combat this concern. The Scientology sequence, using only lines from Tom Cruise movies, and the final Star Wars-themed battle (complete with Princess Leia slave-girl outfit) are sure to amuse the geeky stoner in all of us but might just annoy the stone-cold sober.