Courting Mae West

The play "COURTING MAE WEST: Sex, Censorship & Secrets" is based on true events during the 1920s when actress MAE WEST was arrested and jailed in New York City for trying to stage two gay plays on Broadway. Maybe she broke the law - - but the LAW couldn't break HER!

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Location: New York, New York, United States

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Underneath the MAE Play


• • Title: Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship & Secrets
• • Author: LindaAnn Loschiavo
• • Skinny: A 90-minute play based on true events in the 1920s

• • Introduction • •

• • A serious-minded comedy, Courting Mae West is based on true events during the 1920s when Mae West was arrested, jailed, and tried in court for attempting to stage two gay plays on Broadway. A story of triumph, the action follows a comedienne — with 27 years of rotten reviews and setbacks behind her — who must face a legal ordeal and other woes before finding success.
• • This 90-minute play has had two public readings in Manhattan [7 February 2004 and 9 February 2005] and also the 15-minute opening scene, set in a speakeasy, was staged in a former speak during a Mae West Birthday Gala [17 August 2005]. A popular interest in the actress Mae West and in the dramatist LindaAnn Loschiavo resulted in several articles and other media attention. These tearsheets are available for inspection. Highlights from this media exposure are below.

• • Media Attention: TV, Cable-TV, Radio, Print, Online • •

PERIODICAL interest: Courting Mae West has been featured in print here:

* * "Mae Has Another Day in Court" - interview with dramatist Loschiavo
By: Ward Morehouse III [7 January 2004, The New York Sun]
* * "New Play Depicts N.Y. Prosecution of Mae West for Obscenity" – interview/ Loschiavo
By: Thomas Adcock [9 January 2004, The New York Law Journal; rpt in N.Y. Lawyer]
* * "9th Street Drama: Mae West's Night in Jefferson Court" - interview/ Loschiavo
By: Jerry Tallmer [28 January 2004, The Villager]
* * “Loschiavo Offers Comedic Glimpse of Mae West” - interview/ Loschiavo
BY: editorial staff [29 January 2004, Italian Tribune]
* * "Playwright Retells the Mae West Story" - interview/ Loschiavo
By: Abby Ranger [30 January 2004, Brooklyn Eagle]
* * We Hear . . . – item about Courting Mae West on PAGE SIX
BY: Richard Johnson [2 February 2004, New York Post]
* * "Playwright Examines Mae West's Legal Drama" - interview/ Loschiavo
By: Max Gross [6 February 2004, The Forward]
* * "Go West: Boro Park Native Conjures the Spirit of Mae West in New Play" - interview
By: Paulanne Simmons [7 February 2004, The Brooklyn Papers]
* * Time Out New York made Courting Mae West a PICK [This Week Feb 5-12, 2004 TONY]
* * “Mae’s Return Court Date” – pictures & coverage of cast party
By: editorial staff [18 February 2004, The Villager]
* * “Knick Knack” – pictures & coverage of Feb. 7, 2004 cast party
By: Gary Shapiro, The Knickerboker [19 February 2004, The New York Sun]
* * “Courting Mae West e una nuova commedia” - interview with dramatist Loschiavo
By: Tiziano Dossena [Primavera 2004, L’ IDEA Periodico]
* * “Courting Mae West: una commedia” - interview with dramatist Loschiavo
By: Mario Fratti [22 giugno 2004, Il Pensiero]
* * “Italian American Women Today: LindaAnn LoSchiavo” - interview with Loschiavo
By: Stella Grillo [September-October 2004, The Golden Lion]
* * brief editorial items on this play appeared in print during 2004 in The N.Y. Times, etc.
* * “New York City Italians Court Mae West” – on the impact of this play on New Yorkers
By: Matt Windman [mid-January 2005, Show Business Weekly]
* * “Mae West at the Jefferson Market Courthouse” – on the NYC history behind this play
By: LindaAnn Loschiavo [Winter edition, Greenwich Village Block Associations News]
* * “See Courting Mae West” – article on this play & its First Amendment issues
By: A.D. Amorosi [9 February 2005, New York Press]
* * “Courting Mae West and LindaAnn Loschiavo”
By: Laura Deni [20 February 2005, Broadway to Vegas — Weekly News]
* * “Censura y cultura, reflexiones itálicas — La escenógrafa ítalo-americana Linda Ann LoSchiavo pone en escena Courting Mae West ” – on the impact of this play + playwright
By: editorial staff [8 de febrero de 2005, N.I.P. Edicion en espanol]
* * “Censura e cultura, riflessioni italiche — In occasione della 'prima di "Courting Mae West. A staged reading", scritta dalla sceneggiatrice italo-americana LindaAnn LoSchiavo...” – on the impact of this play + playwright
By: editorial staff [N° 26 - Anno XII, 8 febbraio 2005, News Italia Press: Italici nel Mondo]
* * brief editorial items on this play appeared in print during 2005 in Time Out NY, etc.
* * “Haunted Mansion to Host a Ghostly Séance & Birthday Party for Mae West”
By: editorial staff [24 May 2005, The Book of Thoth]
* * “Come Up and See Mae . . .” – item about the play and the Mae West Birthday Gala
BY: Wendy Zarganis [August 2005, About]
* * “When West Meant Best” – article on the Mae West Gala 17 August 2005
By: David Noh, “In the Noh” [25 August 2005, Gay City News]
* * “La poetessa LindaAnn Loschiavo sta scrivendo” – article on the play + playwright
By: Mario Fratti [August 2005, America Oggi]
* * “What Goes Down” – article on the Mae West Gala + playwright
By: Jules Peimer [October 2005, 15 Minutes Magazine]
* * “Mae Fan on Discovery Mission” – article on the Mae West TV episode + playwright
By: Dawn Eden, “Blog On!” [29 January 2005, The New York Daily News]
* * “Vamps” – item on the Mae West TV episode + playwright
By: Ward Morehouse III, “Broadway After Dark” [5 February 2006, The Epoch News]
* * brief editorial items on this play appeared in print during 2006 in amNY, etc.

TV interest: Courting Mae West has been featured on cable television:

Media coverage [2004-2005] resulted in an invitation from The Biography Channel to LindaAnn Loschiavo, who taped a 60-minute program on Mae West for A&E (US) and The Living Channel (UK); broadcast on Jan. 31 + Feb. 4, 2006 in the USA, it will air throughout the UK shortly.

RADIO interest: Courting Mae West had broadcast exposure in 2004-2005 on these stations:

* * WBBR BLOOMBERG RADIO/TV – 18-minute interview with Loschiavo [aired: July 3, 2005]
* * WBAI – interview/ Loschiavo + scenes read by actors [“Arts Magazine” aired: March 8, 2005]
* * WBAI – host David Kenney played Mae West songs and suggested seeing the play [“Everything Old Is New Again” aired: January 2004]
* * WABC-radio and ABC-TV – “Courting Mae West” was one of 5 events suggested by ABC- TV’s Entertainment reporter [aired: weekend of February 6, 2004]
* * WQXR – host of “New York at Night” praised the play [aired: January 2004]

New York Public Library interest: Courting Mae West had a solo art exhibition [16 canvasses]
* * Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Avenue, NYC [exhibition: January 3-31, 2005]

• • The Courting Mae West team includes theatre industry veterans
* * Entertainment lawyer Donald Farber – bio online – is a seasoned pro who was involved with the longest running off-Broadway hit “The Fantasticks” [1960-2002] and many other successes onstage. Donald Farber has prepared a Private Placement Memo for investors. T. 212-524-5000
* * Business Manager Seth Goldstein, of The Splinter Group, is a theatrical manager for off- Broadway plays as well as a producer of “works of singular vision for the stage and screen.” Splinter Group Productions, LLC | 1501 Broadway, Suite 2102 | New York, NY 10036 | T. 212.354.8833 | F. 212.719.2315 |
* * Director and star: we are currently in discussion with agents, directors, and actresses with MAE WEST charisma.

• • • • Conclusion • • • •

* * Over 600 adults attended the two public readings of Courting Mae West.
* * Public awareness has resonated in the mainstream media [example: The New York Law Journal, BLOOMBERG RADIO, ABC-TV, The Biography Channel, etc.].
* * Facts indicate that Courting Mae West has an AUDIENCE and a POTENTIAL for future interest, i.e., more adults who want to come up and see Mae. FUNDING can make that happen.

• • • • Advance Acclaim • • • •

• • "Courting Mae West keeps a steady pace. Loschiavo does an exemplary job with this poignant play. It's powerfully brought together and that juicy leading man role made me wish I were decades younger." — Jerry Orbach, actor

• • "A creative history lesson on censorship during the Roaring 20s disguised as a comedy. I laughed and learned a lot." — Jerry Tallmer, founder, OBIE Awards

• • "I have seen sequences of Courting Mae West. I would call LindaAnn Loschiavo's script outstandingly on target. I have been a Broadway First Night media critic for 35 years and feel qualified to state that this comedy could be a huge hit — starting off-Broadway. The audience reaction was UNANIMOUSLY POSITIVE. I predict a long, profitable run." — Joe Franklin, radio personality, WBBR; former host of WOR-TV program "Joe Franklin's Memory Lane"

• • "Very sensual with hilarious dialogue dotted with double-entendres Mae West was famous for. Except Mae wrote NONE of these lines, which amazed me. This play written by Loschiavo sounds just like Mae. Bravissimo!" — Mario Fratti, winner, Tony Award and Drama Desk

• • "So successfully evokes the city and its people that the audience gets caught up in Mae's legal battles. A rich, well-told story." — Ward Morehouse III, drama critic and playwright

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• • Photo • Mae West & co-star Barry O'Neill on trial • April 1927 • Jefferson Market Court

Mae West.


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