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 Tripping on the Tipping Point, Human Nature, a musical comedy theater troupe from northern California, is currently underway on its second production finding the humor in climate change, in song. "What?" you scream from your tree. "Climate change isn't funny!" The members of Human Nature beg to differ (in song). They have the reports, they have the hard data, they have a wasted Gaia slurring her words and stumbling across the stage, and they have, unbelievably, the stamp of approval (guffaws, in this case) from the United Nations International Conference on Climate Change, in Durban, South Africa, where Tripping premiered. "The show was a great hit," says Human Nature's official site, "especially for Zulu audiences." One thing is for sure: Human Nature does not shy away from a challenge. It's first musical comedy, Queen Salmon: A Biologically Explicit Musical Comedy for People of Several Species, was -- quoting from the site -- "an attempt to deal with polarization of rural resource-based communities over issues of salmon and timber harvest." We love everything about that sentence. The next show, What's Funny About Climate Change?, toured from 2003 to 2005, and inspired this wonderful quote from a climate scientist at Stanford: "It also playfully addresses some of the attitudes that make this problem so hard to get past the political censors who keep overstating uncertainty and understating the many actions that can cost-effectively reduce the problem." What? Love it!
Thursdays-Saturdays. Starts: Sept. 6. Continues through Sept. 28, 2012