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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Monday, July 02, 2012

Mae West In Love: Event

It was August 1913 when MAE WEST was nearing her 20th birthday.
• • On Monday, 4 August 1913 Mae West opened for Evelyn Nesbit, who gave ballroom dancing lessons to an adoring audience at Hammerstein's Victoria on 42nd Street. Overshadowed by the notorious Nesbit, Mae's good work was unappreciated that evening.
• • But Mae would soon encounter an Italian gentleman who immediately appreciated her beauty, sex appeal, and talent, who swept her off her feet, and who suggested they tour together.  Her passionate relationship with Guido Deiro [1886 — 1950] affected Mae so thoroughly, she was afraid to tell her parents.  When she wrote her memoir in 1959, she avoided mentioning his name.
• • "Mae West's Secret Italian Husband" • •
• • When they met in Detroit in August 1913, the 26-year-old was a vaudeville headliner, an accordionist and a composer who recorded for the Columbia label, a star who often earned $600 a week.  Mae was a hopeful 19-year-old, a singing comedienne, who opened for larger acts.  They fell in love, married, and developed a vaudeville routine together. 
• • On Thursday, 16 August 2012 you will learn the untold story of Guido Deiro, born in Salto Canavese, Italy, and Mae West, born in Brooklyn, NY, who became his second wife and, eventually, a star on Broadway and in Hollywood motion pictures.  Come and hear the music Guido Deiro composed for the Broadway show "Kismet" and some of the other pieces that delighted Mae and his vaudeville audience.  Clips of Guido Deiro performing in 1928 on the piano-accordion will also be shown.
• • The speaker on August 16th is LindaAnn Loschiavo, a dramatist, journalist, and long-time columnist for L'IDEA Magazine.  LindaAnn Loschiavo's stage play "Courting Mae West" was recently seen in Melbourne, Australia in January 2012.  Her writing appears in "Anti-Italianism: Essays on a Prejudice" (NY: Macmillan, 2011), in her column for L'IDEA Magazine, and elsewhere.  Her new book "Flirting with the Fire Gods: Writing with an Italian Accent" will be out soon. 
• • This musical event concludes with an exciting raffle and light refreshments to celebrate the birthday of Mae West (17 August 1893). 
• • • • WHEN: 6:30 pm on Thursday, 16 August 2012
• • • • WHERE: Italian American Museum: 155 Mulberry Street (at Grand St.), New York, NY 10013
• • • • Suggested donation of $10 per person helps support the museum
• • • • RSVP:  T. (212) 965-9000
• • • • Subway: B or D to Grand Street station; N, Q, J, Z to Canal Street station
• • • • Website:
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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.

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• • Photo: Mae West
• • 1913 • •
Mae West.

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