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!

My Photo
Location: New York, New York, United States

native New Yorker

Monday, February 02, 2009

Mae West on February 2nd

It was February 2nd when Variety Magazine wrote about MAE WEST's arrest as well as the production of "The Drag" that had been screened for a private audience and a few critics. Variety tsk-tsked in dismay noting that "often the audience laughs when it should weep."
• • 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.


Add to Google

• • Photo: Mae West
• • 1927 news • •

Mae West.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Mae West: In New York City

MAE WEST leads the parade of screen gems when Film Forum rolls out the red carpet this coming Friday in Manhattan.
• • This new series — — "Breadlines and Champagne" — — is focused on Depression movies, pre-Code classics, screwball comedies, and the socially conscious plots that worked their way to the silver screen. There will be Prohibition Era treats such as the Tuesday special which is being billed as "Bank Nites."
• • Programmed by Bruce Goldstein, and featuring all 35mm prints, this is the best news since bathtub gin was perfected.
• • The opening night stars Mae West and Cary Grant, in a screenplay written by the Brooklyn bombshell and inspired by her awe of Bostock's lions in Coney Island, which she enjoyed as a child. Those trips to Dreamland with her father created Mae's desire to be a lion tamer — — and in "I'm No Angel" Tira will get her chance to enter the big cage and eyeball the king of beasts.
• • Here is what some critics have said about "I'm No Angel."
• • • • "Mae West was the sensation of 1933. A total delight to watch." — Andrew Bergman
• • • • "Going to help redistribute a nice chunk of the nation's coin. Mae West is today the biggest conversation-provoker, free space grabber and all-around box office bet in the country." — Variety (1933)
• • • • "Arguably West's best film, certainly one of her funniest." — Pauline Kael
• • "There weren't that many films that dealt directly with the Depression," says Bruce Goldstein, repertory director at Manhattan's Film Forum. "But you got a feeling of the desperation — — the lower-class rooms, the spartan look of things. There's an almost palpable atmosphere."
• • "Breadlines and Champagne," Goldstein's upcoming retrospective at the Forum, offers New Yorkers the thrill of enjoying 50 Depression-era movies in new prints. Friday's opening night showcases Mae West's "I'm No Angel," and a 1933 admission price of 35 cents.
• • Why weren't there more of these classics? "Cycles come and go," says Goldstein. "I think people were tired of those Depression-era movies, and the studios wanted to make more escapist entertainment. And after the Production Code came in (in 1934) everything got sanitized — — there were certain kinds of characters and certain kinds of stories you just couldn't do anymore."
• • For the complete schedule, stop by Film Forum.
• • Every Tuesday movie-goers will enjoy the revival of an old-time tradition of giveaways so prepare for some good old-fashion fun.
• • "Breadlines and Champagne" runs from Friday February 6th through March 5 at the Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, New York, NY 10014. Info is available by phoning 212-727-8110 — — or by visiting online.


Add to Google

• • Photo: Mae West
• • 1933 • •

Mae West.

Labels: , , , , , , ,