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
With neighborhood institutions like the 21 Club closing to make way for yuppie cocktail bars, Brown Jug remains an oasis — and one that takes full advantage of the state's operating hours window, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
The actors in Last Planet Theatre's latest offering spend the first half of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's stunning character study of a woman torn apart by desire for another woman shedding tears of laughter, and the second half shedding tears of despair. Performed with a delicacy and precision that give the play an almost mystical feel, Tears tells the story of an affluent, Cologne-based fashion designer and divorcee who falls in love with (and tries to possess) an unrefined yet captivating ingénue. John Wilkins' sensitive direction draws out the emotional language of Fassbinder's play: In the same way that the jewellike set is divided between Petra's opulent, warm apartment and the barren, snowy landscape outside, so does Petra (the brilliantly louche Kathryn Wood) swing from joy to depression in a single swoop. Fassbinder might be better known as a filmmaker -- of German postwar classics like The Marriage of Maria Braun -- than as a playwright, but this intricate production demonstrates his innate understanding of the stage.