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
Identifying with a character, which is what you're supposed to do, is easy sometimes. In the ever-popular Rebel Without a Cause, James Dean's character delivers the ever-popular scream at his parents: You're tearing me apart! But sometimes identifying with a character is more complicated -- in this country, it's usually hard for white people to identify with anyone else. In Coser y Cantar, a one-act play written in 1981 by playwright Dolores Prida, though, it's easy; Prida is known for using humor to get people on the same page. In the play, a Cuban immigrant in New York City struggles with who she is, who she's believed to be, and the difference: The two characters are called She and Ella -- you're tearing her apart. The cast features Erika Pérez, Claudia Rosa, Karina Arrambide, Saday Osorio, and Cynthia Renta; they and director Tania Llambelis have changed little about the original production, noting that the struggle such a woman faces hasn't changed much. You can identify.
March 17-19, 8 p.m., 2011