West 9th & Mae West
• • Act I, Scene 1 is set in a former drag cabaret, which is now Village Restaurant [62 West 9th].
• • In Act I, Mae West's gay play "The Drag" gets her locked up in Jefferson Market Jail, and led to an obscenity trial held at Jefferson Market Police Court (on Sixth Avenue and West 9th) in 1927.
• • Though Village resident Starr Faithfull inspired John O'Hara's novel "Butterfield 8," the seductive flapper did not live on the Upper East Side — — but with her parents at 35 West 9th.
• • Mr. Isidore, the news dealer at the Ninth Street Tubes Station, was the last one in Manhattan to see 25-year-old Starr Faithfull alive. [Her inquest tied up Jefferson Market Court for over 6 months and mesmerized the news media.] In Act II, Mr. Isidore argues with the newsstand owner about reporting what he knows.
• • An infamous West 9th manhole — — used by rum-runners during the Prohibition Era — — pops up in Act I, Scene 4.
• • And the West 9th Street boarding house, where much of the action is set, really did house famous writers during the 1920s such as S.J. Perelman.
• • Vintage West 9th Street photos are online: MaeWest.blogspot.com and CourtingMaeWest.blogspot.com
• • The play dramatizes a portion of Jefferson Market Court's fascinating cultural history.
• • "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship, and Secrets" — — based on true events when Mae West was tried at the Jefferson Market Police Court on Sixth Avenue — — will be onstage at the Algonquin Theatre [123 East 24th Street, New York, NY 10010] July 19th — 22nd, 2008.
• • Get ready to come up and see Mae onstage in mid-July 2008.
Courting Mae West
• • Artwork: detail from the comic book version of "Courting Mae West" • • Mae West is locked up in Jefferson Market Jail • • 9 February 1927 • •