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 Little Tramp" is undoubtedly the stage name of some burlesque performer by now. But this New Year's Eve, the Goth cathedral screens three short films by the original proprietor of that sobriquet, Charlie Chaplin. Not only are you looking at The Cure (drunk goes to spa, creates havoc), The Immigrant (tempest-tossed arrives in U.S., creates havoc), and The Adventurer (con escapes from prison, saves lady and baby), but also at "Quintessential Chaplin," Dorothy Papadakos accompanies them. The church's huge Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ is the only magnificent beast of its kind west of Chicago, and Papadakos knows how to tickle it til it roars. Because it is what Charlie would do, and 'tis the season, bring a new hat, scarf, or sock, or a can of food to donate.
Thu., Dec. 31, 7 & 10 p.m., 2009