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
"The W. Kamau Bell Curve" is the local comedian's new show, which is "designed to end racism in about an hour." Smart, stylish, and very much in the mold of politically outspoken comedians like Dave Chappelle and Margaret Cho, Bell's pissed off about recent celebrity racism. Explaining the show, he notes that something retro is invading pop culture, and it's not '80s night at the disco: It's blatant 1950s style namecalling. We don't really have to recite the embarrassing litany of race-hate by famous white people, do we? Bell says the show is inspired by them and "the next dumbass, uninformed celebrity who says something incredibly and unapologetically racist." We hate to prove him right, but it's Dog the Bounty Hunter, whose recent n-word laced phone conversation makes it clear he's about as egalitarian as Bull Connor. But Bell, who you may know from his apperances on Live 105 as half of the "Siskel & Negro" movie-reviewing combo, manages to make jokes out of the whole situation, while remaining completely furious. To facilitate ending racism, bring a friend of a different race to the show, and your friend gets in free. Funk/soul band Conjure opens.
Thu., Nov. 15, 8 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 13, 8 p.m.; Thu., Jan. 24, 8 p.m., 2007