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
Thai chef Kasem "Pop" Saengsawang owns several solid restaurants in San Francisco, including the breakfast-centric Sweet Maple and the Asian fusion spot Kitchen Story, but his newest project Farmhouse Kitchen is the one to miss at your peril.
Julia Morgan Theater, 2640 College (at
Through Sept. 16
This collaboration between Word for Word and the Shotgun Players to stage four stories from Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio has the slow, suspiring feel of a Midwestern town on the verge of industrialism: a Shaker-simple set, a sense of cool nights and distant trains, occasional singing, and the hissing of disapproving citizens. Director Delia MacDougall does a nice job of working these elements -- and certain passages of Anderson's prose -- into a deliberate musical tread. Not a word of "A Man of Ideas," "Paper Pills," "Surrender," or "Hands" has been edited (supposedly), but MacDougall does let her actors repeat lines for choral effect more often than Word for Word usually does. The effect is not at all bad. Sometimes (as in "Hands") the staging amounts to little more than a charmingly rendered tableau vivant, but the powerful centerpiece here is "Surrender," about a farm girl trying to find her way in town. Beth Donohue plays the coarse and eager Louise Bentley, opposite the prim and snobbish Hardy sisters (JoAnne Winter, Jeri Lynn Cohen), with a deeply felt tone of naive heartbreak and surprise. When watching one of the sisters neck with her boyfriend "[brings] to the country girl a knowledge of men and women," Donohue looks hilariously round-eyed and frightened. Louise's marriage, later, to the shy but abrupt John Hardy (Patrick Dooley) may be the saddest and funniest scene in the show. Dooley works against his own nature to play Hardy, and the stretch is more interesting than his easy, straightforward performance elsewhere as George Willard, the garrulous Anderson stand-in. Clive Worsley, David Cramer, and Adrian Elfenbaum also do excellent work; the project overall has a way of reducing Anderson's preciousness and bringing out his sense of humor.