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
The island trend of Hawaiian-style poke, or raw fish/seafood dressed with a variety of sauces and fresh toppings, has been kicking around the West Coast mainland for a while, particularly in Los Angeles, where its lean protein-rich nature is a big hit with the diet and camera conscious.
Michelle Jasso used to perform opera in the traditional, grand way, but then, she says, “I got bored.” The way performers simply stand and sing, or as she puts it, “park ‘n bark,” neglecting movement and acting, makes the stories of operas “a little unbelievable.” Today, “bringing opera to a broader audience is pretty much my goal in life,” she says, and as part of that, she’s directing her first Goat Hall Productions show, Anywhere But Here — Strange Bedfellows: Mozart, Weill, and Menotti. The cabaret opera company, which was founded in 1997, has offered Jasso the chance to cast against type (so that a soprano need not be an ingénue) and add acting, choreography (by Brittany Blankenship), or, as Jasso puts it, “armography,” and some spoken text, which was written by the ensemble. The program includes pieces from The Magic Flute, The Threepenny Opera, and The Medium, as well as other lesser-known works, which Jasso, in further defiance of tradition, “chops up and merges” into a mash-up. Though the three composers “could not be any more different in terms of style,” Jasso says, the pieces she’s selected have a unifying theme: the desire to escape, “to find a new world, an alternate reality, a nirvana.” She expects the combination of works to be “polarizing,” but also to give the Bay Area opera world a healthy shake-up.
Sat., April 20, 8 p.m.; Sun., April 21, 8 p.m., 2013