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
Some people don't like to go to sketch comedy because they're scared. Are they scared sketch comedy is going to kick their ass? Partially. But mostly they're scared they're going to be bored out of their seats and into a ruined night. To these people we say: Live a little, losers! And then: How about a best-of night? There's nothing more risk-free than a best-of night, and here's one that won't go sour: Expiration Date: Still Good, by the female-driven group Monday Night ForePlays, which has been planting its flag on that most horrible weekday since 2009. Still, suppose you're a pain in the ass who wants to squeeze the show a little before you buy. Fine: One sketch is about Dora the Explorer in the Tenderloin talking to a tranny and a homeless guy. Is that enough? Quality guaranteed. There's also a bit about "manstration," financial advice from a pop group, and something about Clover's rejected milk cows. If you have one honest funny bone in your scared, lifeless body, ForePlays will find it -- by sending Dora in. And then it will let musicians Claire Plumb and Ellisa Hammersla soothe you, and local comedians Alison Stevenson and Claire O'Kane beat you up a little.
Thu., July 12, 8 p.m.; Thu., July 19, 8 p.m., 2012