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
Shakespeare -- who has the time? Unless you paid good money to study the Bard in college (excellent use of resources!), it's a pretty good bet that characters like Hamlet, Romeo, King Lear, and others are mashed together in your mind into some great, mixed-up production that only you can understand. Same with Roger Rees! The longtime member of the Royal Shakespeare Company slices up the greatest soliloquies (and greatest productions disasters) into a breathtaking one-man show. This is about as close to a YouTube mash-up of the playwright's output as you'll ever get.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: July 18. Continues through Aug. 9, 2008