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
Tucked away in the basement of a Tokyo office building, in a drab corridor attached to a subway station, the restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro seats only a handful, boasts three Michelin stars, and is presided over by renowned 85-year-old sushi chef Jiro Ono. For tens of thousands of yen, you can get a taste of the craft he has been tirelessly honing since the age of 10. This is, of course, a calculus apt to explode the mind of even the most casual gourmand, and the foodie set is well taken care of in director David Gelb's portrait, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which includes the effusions of a Japanese food critic, dutifully nods to the overfishing problem, and presents, with no small amount of pomp, the outlandishly photogenic omakase. Happily, the main focus is on the labor, not just its fruits. Gelb documents many of Jiro's unorthodox methods in the kitchen—no family secrets here; just processes so cost-inefficient few would dare to replicate them. Significant screen time goes as well to Jiro's relationship with his sons: Yoshikazu, the oldest, is in line to take the reins at his father's original glorified-supply-room location, while the younger Takashi has opened a separate (more apparently laid-back) branch in Roppongi Hills. The best scenes, though, are windows onto the other professional associations the exacting (but far from humorless) shokunin has cultivated over the years—with "antiestablishment" fish and rice dealers, and with his kitchen staff, whose grueling apprenticeship begins with the painful preparation of hot towels. Gelb might flit around a bit too much, but his appealing documentary always comes back to its subject's determination (sometimes overbearing) to leave the most meaningful possible legacy to his family and his craft.
March 23-29, 2012