Mae West: MidSumma in Melbourne
• • Australia's trendy L.O.T.L. Magazine said: "Those in the mood for some titillating theatre should consider 'Courting Mae West,' part of Midsumma's Playing in the Raw season."
• • She broke the law — — but the law didn't break her! • •
• • Based on true events during the Prohibition Era — — from December 1926 until December 1932 — — the play follows a pre-Hollywood Mae West, age 33, as she socializes in the drag cabaret where she had cast "The Drag" (in Act I, Scene 1), a daring production she plans to bring to Broadway. Unfortunately, she gets arrested and jailed instead (Act 1, Scene 3). Censorship, courtroom battles, bankruptcy, and other crises will dog her footsteps, forcing the Brooklyn bombshell to climb the ladder of success wrong by wrong. Finally, a Paramount Pictures star at 39 years old, Mae gets to bring her box-office blockbuster "Diamond Lil" to the silver screen on her own terms by the end of 1932.
• • Veteran actress Marie-Therese Byrne will portray the 33-year-old Broadway star — — and outspoken Jefferson Jail inmate. Her bio notes that Bryne's vast experience stretches across decades and includes theatre, opera, film, and television. A consummate performer with a powerful presence, she has thrilled audiences in productions as versatile as Five Minute Call, The Secret Garden, Dimboola, Seven Little Australians, The Sound of Music and Summer of the Saw. Her stunning voice has seen her work with the Victorian State Opera on Joan of Arc, Aida and Carmen along with The Merry Widow and Di Fledermaus. On screen she appeared in the Aussie films The Castle, and Evil Angels along with appearances on Blue Heelers, Neighbours, Sons and Daughters, Phoenix, Prisoner, Australia's Most Wanted and Flying Doctors.
• • The various men, judges, attorneys, news dealers, directors, and drag queens in Mae West's life will be brought to life by the actors Paolo LoLicata, Marc Opitz, and Joshua Hackett.
• • WHAT: "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship & Secrets" by US playwright and Mae West authority LindaAnn Loschiavo
• • WHEN: Saturday, 28 January 2012 — — from 2.00pm — 4:30pm
• • WHERE: Midsumma Playing-In-The-Raw at The Chapel [Melbourne, Australia]
• • VENUE: Chapel Off Chapel, in the City of Stonnington, has earned, both nationally and internationally, an excellent reputation as a progressive arts and entertainment venue.
• • Restrictions: R18
• • Special thanks to Robert Chuter for selecting "Courting Mae West" for Midsumma Playing-In-The-Raw's series.
• • Tell them you heard about it on The Courting Mae West Blog.
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• • The legal battles fought by Mae West and Jim Timony are dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship, and Secrets," set during the Prohibition Era. Watch a scene on YouTube.
Courting Mae West
• • Photo: Mae West • • Mae West in 1926 • •