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
Mashing up different world cuisines is usually a popular conceit for new quick-service eateries and food trucks to make a quick buck and gain Instagram fame, but Volta has shown how well global cross-pollination works on a refined plate without stretching for novelty or pretense in the process.
Euripides, like many ancient Greeks, regarded passionate love as a form of insanity. So he might not seem like the most fitting playwright around whom to center your Valentine’s Day date. But his Helen, which gets a staged reading tonight by SF Theater Pub, is perhaps the only play from the era that’s tender and sweet (as opposed to scatological or eviscerating). In the play, Menelaus learns that the woman he thought was his wife, Helen of Troy, is only a phantom. Now confronted with the real deal, can he accept her and rebuild their marriage? SF Theater Pub, whose motto is “Make it good, keep it casual, have a beer,” has been staging readings and full productions in the Nob Hill bar Cafe Royale since 2010. It casts professionals and amateurs in shows including Greek classics, original works, and modern-day works such as Jesus Christ Superstar. For director and co-founder Stuart Bousel, the company fills San Francisco’s need for “a common stomping ground for the theater community, a place where audience and actors can mix much more freely -- and all get drunk together.”
Tue., Feb. 14, 8 p.m., 2012