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
This year, Disney announced plans to revive the magical, majestical, supercali- fragilistical title character of Mary Poppins. We can’t find too much fault with the choice of Emily Blunt in the starring role, and we are pleased that this won’t be a “reimagining” of P.L. Travers’ original tale. (Travers wrote many more adventures for her English governess, so there’s plenty of material to draw upon.) Still, even if the composers are Hairspray’s Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and they have elicited the support of at least half of the Sherman Brothers who wrote “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” we have a difficult time imagining a movie that can compete in our child brain with the five-time Oscar winner. Granted, Dick Van Dyke’s cockney accent left a lot to be desired, and maybe the movie does take its own sweet time getting started — to say nothing of those interminable penguins — but we’ve done some internal editing, leaving nothing but a sweet aftertaste that, during this month’s “Wine Down with a Movie,” might be accompanied by free tipples of Domaine Chan- don.More
The U.S. immigration department disappointed Bay Area performing arts lovers last year when visa issues forced San Franciscos Brava Theater Center to cancel the local premiere of an unprecedented American-Afghan theater collaboration. Happily, things have turned around since then. Having just appeared at the San Francisco International Arts Festival, New York's Bond Street Theatre and Afghanistan's Exile Theatre present their critically acclaimed play, Beyond the Mirror, at the Fury Factory theater festival this week, providing local audiences with not one but three opportunities to experience the haunting production exploring years of occupation and war in Afghanistan. During this years biennial, two-and-a-half-week-long festival, 17 theater ensembles and six dance theater companies from locales as far-flung as Liverpool, England, and Portland, Oregon, present their work. Further highlights include a play about queer Latinos living in Los Angeles during the Reagan era by the SoCal performance trio Butchlalis de Panochtitlan; a drama concerning the impact of a train crash on three individuals lives from the UKs Fools Proof Theatre Company; and a dark comedy dealing with a modern-day plague by the Brooklyn collective Under the Table. In addition to presenting full-scale productions, Fury Factory also features workshop presentations of the latest work by local favorites, including the Deborah Slater Dance Theatre and Just Theater.
June 9-27, 7 p.m., 2009