Mae West on February 2nd
• • Pole-vaulted out of the ghetto of the clubby entertainment section, Mae West suddenly became notoriously noteworthy in national news headlines on 2 February 1927.
• • On Tuesday February 1st at 5:30 AM, the Brooklyn bombshell was arrested along with her sister and the director Edward Elsner in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
• • According to The New York Times, Edwin [sic] Elsner of New York, stage director of "The Drag," which opened here last night, and Miss Beverly West of New York, sister of Mae West, author of the play, were arrested at 5:30 o'clock this morning in Miss West's room at the Arcade Hotel and will be arraigned in the City Court on Wednesday on technical charges of breach of the peace.
• • The police allege misconduct, but both Elsner and Miss West deny there was any wrongdoing, explaining that they were in the room going over the events of the opening night and possible changes in the play.
• • Elsner, known for his work in staging "Within the Law," "Bought and Paid For," "Pygmalion," "Sex," and other plays, was released under bond of $250, as was Miss West, after spending several hours locked up at Police Headquarters following a ride from the hotel in the police patrol wagon. . . .
• • The arrest at the Arcade Hotel is dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West." Beverly's drunken antics and Mae's strategies are featured in Act I, Scene 2. Watch a portion of this scene on YouTube.
• • The "scene of the crime" is still in business: Arcade Hotel — 1001 Main St, Bridgeport, CT 06604; Tel (203) 333-9376.
• • "Courting Mae West" has been nominated for several awards. Get ready to come up and see Mae wearing laurels during April 2009 at the official award ceremony in Manhattan. Join us there.
Courting Mae West
• • Photo: Mae West • • 1927 news • •