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
Linda McKlean's punchy, eccentric drama about three childhood Scottish friends in a London flat takes a while to come to a boil. At first Kenny, who rents the flat, carries the play along with his obsessive affection for Hoover vacuum cleaners and his generally uptight insistence on cleanliness and control. "You are what you discard," he says, with bugged eyes and a rubbery, earnest face. (Kevin Kelleher plays him hilariously.) If you are what you discard, you must -- meticulously -- clean up after yourself. The reason for Kenny's odd uptightness becomes clear after Frank (Adam Chipkin) turns up to inform Kenny that his mother is dying. Kenny has no feelings for his mother; in fact he has almost no feelings at all, and he'd prefer to leave most of his childhood neatly in the past. It seems he harbors an awful secret having to do with Frank. So does Clare (Laura Hope), a blond woman nearing 40 who dated Frank as a teenager. Frank is a high-strung, physical man: He wears leather jackets and has no time for Kenny's uptight games. When talk turns to fatherhood and babies, he pushes both Kenny and Clare for their secrets, and things get very messy indeed.