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
We were recently surprised to learn that, while print and e-book publishing lan- guishes, audiobooks do better and better with every passing year. (Downloads in 2015 were up 38 percent over 2014.) We like to imagine that it’s the allure of the well-trained dramaturge that makes emotional connections while leaving some- thing to the listener’s imagination — not background noise for long commutes. In such a case, there can be no finer pleasure than a staged reading by longtime favorites Word for Word, a company that has brought countless short stories from page to stage, including “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, “The Fall River Axe Murders” by Angela Carter, “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe, and “The Bunch- grass Edge of the World” by Annie Proulx. During “Off the Page,” devotees help the company massage prose into parts, and sometimes, as was the case with Al- ice Munro’s work, choose the next story for production. Tonight, the actors ap- proach short fiction from Jamie Quatro’s highly lauded IWanttoShowYou More, which explores faith, (in)fidelity, and family along the border between Georgia and Tennessee.More
A storytelling night with Carnie Asada, Profundity, Coco Buttah, Mahlae Balenciaga, Greg der Ananian, and Fauxnique, celebrates Shark Week with accounts of dangerous, deadly, and treacherous creatures.More
Be there when Cara Black discusses her new book: Murder on the Quai. Aimee Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris's preeminent medical school. But Aimee's world is crumbling: her boyfriend is leaving her, her father leaves for Berlin for a mysterious errand and asks Aimee to look after his detective agency. She begins to investigate a murder. A book sale by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library follows the event.More
Before unthinkably poor politics and preparation let a storm break its levees and tar its shores, before television made it a landfill for unsolicited pity, New Orleans was an incomparable den of iniquity. In pre-Katrina mythology, the city was a place of back-alleys and brassy jazz, a hub of sweltering heat and sexual savoir faire. It was tits on toast. It is of note that Woody Allen has long been living out loud — working to thrust New Orleans and its definitive jazz back into the gutter where it belongs. The auteur's longstanding love of jazz is no secret. He borrowed his stage name from clarinetist Woody Herman, opened his valentine to New York (Manhattan) with flourishes of Gershwin, and, notably, laid down tracks for 1973 dystopian flick, Sleeper. But gone are the days of Allen's overzealous and awkward musical peacocking. The clarinetist finds contentment in the simple cycle of performance and self-crucifixion. Woody Allen & His New Orleans Jazz Band embark on their first multicity tour of California, breaking from a regular gig at New York's Carlyle Hotel. Notable among the lineup is Jerry Zigmont, a trombonist who has played and toured with Allen and the band for a decade and who has 30 years experience in New Orleans style. Tonight's concert is a nostalgic jaunt down early 20th-century NOLA, promising improvisation from a repertoire of 1,200 songs. The grit of New Orleans may have finally been baptized by a cultural force majeure, but for two stolen hours we're allowed to forget our politeness and revel in sleazy sanctity of The Big Easy.
Wed., Dec. 28, 8 p.m., 2011