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
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.
Wayne Harris' terrific new one-man show at the Marsh deals with three characters on and around a Pullman car in the 1940s, who each tell fragments of a story about a lean and beautiful young woman named Jessie Blue Ribbons. John Henry, a grave and slightly ill-tempered porter, Tyrone Little, a jolly foul-mouthed pimp, and the Elder, an 85-year-old retired rail worker, "bo'n and raised in slav'ry," as he says, all circle their topic like slow-hunting hawks, talking about this and that in their vivid and distinctive ways, until you realize -- about three-quarters of the way in -- that you're listening to a lurid, Faulkner-esque tragedy in three voices. Sometimes the story moves too slowly, and you wish for less talk and a little more action, but the characters are engaging. "You want a story, it's gonna be nothin' but ol' train stories and lies," says John Henry to his silent listener (either a younger man on the Pullman staff or the audience). He goes on about the legendary John Henry, the rail worker who won a race against a steam drill; Tyrone Little talks like a half-drunk, New Orleans-sophisticated lout at a poker game; and the Elder is a disarming old man with an intense and nostalgic blues singer's voice. They build an elusive, fractured impression of Jessie Blue Ribbons and the young man she falls in love with, and their triple frame for the story -- the voice of conscience and responsibility, the voice of desire, the voice of history -- makes her tragedy not just racial, but human.