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
Kids theater: Not for everyone. Not for anyone without kids, usually. There are exceptions we just saw the magnificent production of Ragtime at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, and it made Glee sound plastic and Auto-Tuned, but it reminded us that the TV show doesnt overstate the reality of teen (and younger!) talent. Thus we were stoked to hear of Bossy Dudes and Rainbow Moods, a series of staged readings in which fifth graders write short plays, and professional actors act em out. The kids are from Starr King Elementary, and in case you forgot, fifth graders are 10 years old. There may be loose teeth in the house. The plays are inspired by the kids visits to the museum, and subjects include piano practice, dragons, and a narrative no adult would dare attempt, but one that may well be deathlessly archetypal: imaginary friends becoming real.
Fri., May 20, 7 p.m., 2011