Meet Champagne Til
• • Here they are in April 1927, as Mae leaves the women's workhouse, the female prison on Welfare Island.
• • Champagne Til makes her appearance in the serious-minded comedy "Courting Mae West" — — based on true events during the Prohibition Era when Mae West was arrested and jailed — — and this exciting full-length play opens at the Algonquin Theatre (123 East 24th Street, NYC) on Saturday 19 July 2008. Louis Lopardi will direct the seven-person cast.
• • Dedicating her autobiography, "Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It," Mae West wrote: "In loving memory of my mother, without whom I might have been somebody else."
• • Emily Wortis Leider writes: "Matilda [West] herself, a soft-spoken native of Bavaria whose stunning hourglass figure reminded people of the ripe and rounded opulence of reigning New York beauty, actress Lillian Russell, had married after a brief stint modeling corsets — — a scant seven years after her arrival in America. She had once harbored hopes for a stage career of her own, but her respectable merchant family, kin to proprietors of a New York brewery renowned for its lager, forbade it. They probably had also discouraged her forays into the corset-modeling profession, which she glamorized with a French word, modiste. ..."
• • Leider's book "Becoming Mae West" is a well-researched and engrossing biography.
• • In January 1930, Mae purchased a marble mausoleum for her beloved late mother in Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.
• • In 1980, Mae was interred there with the members of the West family.
• • "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
• • Photo: Mae West • • 1927 • •