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
Opening with a close-up of the crow's feet around its subject's eyes and expanding to reveal her Botox-frozen upper lip, the documentary-portrait Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work celebrates Saint Joan the Resilient, Showbiz Survivor. Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg dogged the indomitable stand-up comic throughout the course of her 76th year -- a typically hectic period during which Rivers lurched from disappointment to triumph and back. For all the frenzied activity, Joan Rivers is less informative dish than infomercializing cliché. It may be a revelation to see an entire wall in Rivers's Louis XIVstyle apartment devoted to the card catalog in which she files all of her jokes. It's less illuminating to be told, repeatedly, that a performer craves attention. Nice to know that Joan is a real person (she comes across as a warm, unembarrassed egomaniac) but it's the character she invented and plays that makes her interesting. Stern and Sundberg don't provide much context, but they are not alone in their disinclination to ponder their subject's art; considering that Rivers is one of the few women capable of holding her own against the vicious shpritz meisters of the Friars Club, she remains remarkably un-theorized by culture critics. At one point, Joan's daughter, Melissa, addresses her rivalry with the entity she calls "The Career," as in her mother's. There's plenty of that in Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, but I wouldnt have minded a bit more of Joan Rivers: The Text.
July 23-29, 2010