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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Friday, June 27, 2008

A powerful Peg Rourke

In the first scene of "Courting Mae West" — — set in the speakeasy where MAE WEST became acquainted with drag queens that inspired "The Drag" — — MAE WEST rails against hypocrisy.
• • Hypocrites in City Hall and the "purity police" were, Mae felt, double dealers who overlooked their own sins even as they tried to chase "dirt plays" off the boards.
• • Landlady Peg Rourke (one of the play's fictional characters) runs a boarding house on West Ninth Street where her daughter is an unpaid maid, and where one lodger is the journalist who is "courting" Mae West. Peg has discounted the reporter's rent, which arouses Mae's suspicions. "Discounts start with reasons," says Mae. "Is she taking it out in trade?"
• • News man Mario "Shortie" De Angelis insists Peg Rourke is "a pious prude."
• • Portraying the complex landlady with a dark past is Gloria M. Buccino.
• • Gloria Buccino is a retired police sergeant. Having retired from law enforcement, Gloria decided to pursue her passion — — acting. "I always knew I wanted to act," she said. "It just took me a while to focus on it." Over the years, while "on the job," she studied at Susan Grace Cohen Studio, West Baron Studio, Acting Management. In 2006, now retired, she began studying with Howard Meyer at HM Acting Studio, a division of Axial Theatre [in Westchester, New York]. In 2007 Miss Buccino was seen in these HM Acting Workshop Productions: Girl Talk and Into the Deep. She is a member of The Axial Theatre Company, and was recently accepted into The Actor's Project NYC. Gloria is a member of AFTRA.
• • Slipping into Peg Rourke's Irish brogue was an interesting flashback for Gloria Buccino, who has come in contact with many an Irishman while in uniform.
• • A versatile thespian, Gloria Buccino also takes the role on the Prison Matron and Matilda West, Mae's beloved mother. As Mrs. Matilda West, the actress will deliver the poignant lines that (Marsha Norman predicted) will be talked about during Intermission.
"COURTING MAE WEST" opens at 6 o'clock on Saturday night July 19, 2008 at the Algonquin Theatre [East 24th Street and Park Avenue South].
• •
"COURTING MAE WEST" — — showtimes
• • July 19th, 2008 — — 6:00 PM
• • July 20th, 2008 — — 2:00 PM matinee
• • July 21st, 2008 — — 6:00 PM
• • July 22nd, 2008 — — 9:00 PM
• • Tickets to "COURTING MAE WEST" are $18 per adult.
• • sells the tickets — —
• • Questions? Phone 212-779-3051.
• • The play is 95 minutes.

• • Get ready to come up and see Mae West, Texas Guinan, and the gang onstage in mid-July 2008.

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• • Photo: Mae West cast
• • actress Gloria M. Buccino • •

Mae West.

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