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
Once famous throughout the league as a haven for misfits and rejects looking to resurrect their careers, the Raiders have for the last decade or more made an art from out of epically wrong personnel decisions.
Like almost every great novel in 19th-century France, Emile Zola's Thérèse Raquin was a succèss de scandale. It tells the story of a dark-minded young woman, Thérèse, trapped in a stupid bourgeois marriage, who conspires with her lover, Laurent, to kill her annoying husband. They do it by pushing him into the Seine, so it looks like an accident. The resulting events reflect as badly on the French bourgeoisie as they do on Laurent and Thérèse, and one outraged critic called the novel "a quagmire of slime and blood." It sold like hot cakes. Tom Ross directs a brilliant revival of Zola's own adaptation at the Aurora Theatre. The talented Stephanie Gularte plays a beautiful, haunted Thérèse; Mark Elliot Wilson is a potent (though sometimes stilted) Laurent; and Joy Carlin is masterful as Mme. Raquin, the mother of the murder victim, who learns the truth and immediately suffers a heart attack. Jonathan Rhys Williams as the annoying husband and Stephen Pawley as an equally fussy older man provide fine comic relief. The only mystery about this show is how the invented plot ever gave Zola his reputation for naturalism. Somehow, he led the movement away from melodrama and romanticism into the more clinical 20th century with this psychological thriller of heaving-breasted Victorian women, suicides-by-potion, and even a ghost in the hall.