Jefferson Market Courthouse in New York

A Love Affair with a Landmark in Manhattan: An Arresting Drama in Greenwich Village. [Opinions expressed are the views of OLD JEFF unless attributed to other - - potentially less-reliable - - sources, i.e., newcomers who have not been around since 1832 on Sixth Avenue.]

Friday, November 08, 2013

Sin and Sex on Nov. 22nd

Mae West’s “Diamond Lil” to Have a Free Performance at Jefferson Market Library in Manhattan to Honor the Brooklyn Bombshell on Her Anniversary
Underworld Meets Underwear in this Bold, Bawdy Drama Set on the Bowery in 1895
Photo by Wayne Takenaka
• • New York, NY -- Written in 1928 by Mae West [17 August 1893 – 22 November 1980], the stage play “Diamond Lil” has laced itself into a position of public awareness once again thanks to a frisky adaptation by playwright LindaAnn Loschiavo. The original script, a voluptuous 3-hour affair stuffed with villains and sub-plots, has been tightened and trimmed to 85 minutes.  The cast size has been whittled down, from 34 players in 1928, to eight.
• • “Diamond Lil” is set in 1895 on the Bowery in Chinatown. Diamond-loving Lil, a chanteuse starring at Gus Jordan’s dance hall, becomes fixated on Captain Cummings, who seems to be the leader of a Bowery rescue mission and a clean-living decent man.  Diamond Lil falls in love with this handsome missionary, unaware that he is an undercover detective who is about to arrest her and her lover Gus Jordan, ending the criminal enterprise that has brought her to prominence and filled her jewelry box with diamonds.
• • People often ask:   If I’ve seen “She Done Him Wrong,” why should I see “Diamond Lil” onstage?
• • In 1932, under the watchful gaze of the censors, Paramount Pictures took a 3-hour play about the criminal underworld and sanitized it beyond recognition. The movie studio boiled it down to 66 minutes, turning the white slavery traffickers into counterfeiters, eliminating the sex and seduction scenes, and refining the “Lady Lou” character. On stage, Mae’s character Lil sashayed in corsets and revealing garments; in the movie, Lady Lou’s costumes carefully concealed her cleavage.  In her stage version, Mae offered vivid encounters between men and women with kissing, touching, man-handling, and an attempted rape. Fortunately, the adapted script by LindaAnn Loschiavo has all of the sex and none of the censorship.  And the actresses wear beautiful bustiers.
• • The public is invited (suitable for age 18 and over). Join us as we turn the iconic Greenwich Village library into Gus Jordan's lawless "Suicide Hall"!
• • The Cast: Starring Darlene Violette as Diamond Lil, Queen of the Bowery and also featuring Sidney Myer, Anthony DiCarlo, Joanna Bonaro, Juan Sebastian Cortes, Kimmy Foskett, Jim Gallagher, and others.
• • Watch a Video of "Diamond Lil" • •
• • http://youtu.be/xfbJHhw47OQ
• • Read a Review of "Diamond Lil"
• • L'Idea Magazine's editors had lots to say. Link: http://www.lideamagazine.com/usa-still-entertaining-mae-wests-diamond-lil-makes-new-fans-in-new-york-city/ The public is invited (suitable for age 18 and over). Join us as we turn the iconic NYC nightspot Don't Tell Mama into Gus Jordan's "Suicide Hall"!
• • Who, What, When, Where • •
• • Who: Actress Darlene Violette, Anthony DiCarlo, Joanna Bonaro, Juan Sebastian Cortes, Kimmy Foskett, Jim Gallagher, and TBA along with dramatist-journalist LindaAnn Loschiavo
• • What:  Mae West’s "Diamond Lil" — – an adaptation by LindaAnn Loschiavo 
• • When: 7:00 pm, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013
• • Where: Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY — – in the same chamber where Mae West [1893--1980] faced off with the magistrate in 1927
• • What Else: the popular Mae West Raffle
• • Fee: Free
• • RSVP: Jefferson Market Library, T 212-243-4334
• • Url: The Mae West Blog
• • Email: maewestdiamondlil@gmail.com
• • Subway: West Fourth St. station via A, C, D, E, F subway
• • Path: West Ninth St. station
— — — — — On-going performances of "Diamond Lil" — — — — —
• • Those who prefer night life will enjoy "Diamond Lil" starring actress Darlene Violette — — and the roisterous cast who brought the Bowery denizens and Suicide Hall’s ne’er-do-wells to life — — now onstage with performances at Don’t Tell Mama [343 W. 46th Street] on certain Sunday evenings from October 27 until November 24, 2013.
• • Reserve seats by phone: 212-757-0788; RSVP online: www.donttellmamanyc.com
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Come up sometime. I'm home every evening."
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • 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.

• • Source:http://jeffersonmarketcourthouseny.blogspot.com/atom.xml
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• • Photo:
Mae West • • in 1927; the return of "Diamond Lil" in 2013 • •


Jefferson Market.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Mae West: 6th Avenue Rendezvous

It seems MAE WEST can't stay away from 425 Sixth Avenue.
• • Legendary Actress Returns to the Scene of the Crime at Jefferson Market Library in Greenwich Village in New York City
• • "Courting Mae West" revives an arresting drama of 1927 and invites the public to be the jury at Mae West's censorship trial in Judge Donnellan's original courtroom
• • NEW YORK, NY — —  Join us on Saturday afternoon, November 23, 2013 when a house of history lifts its petticoats, permitting Mae West to face her fans and accusers during an extraordinary reenactment.
• • Jefferson Market Library is proud to present scenes from "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship and Secrets" -- --unlocking the same chamber where Mae West [1893-- 1980] faced off with the magistrate in 1927 when the space was used as Jefferson Market Police Court. (The structure that escaped the wrecking ball is now Jefferson Market Library.)  
• • 
Gripping trial scenes will be performed by a cast of professional actors led by Darlene Violette who portrays Mae West. Along with the staged drama, there will be a discussion "Mae West: Sex, Censorship, Prison, and Politics" by LindaAnn Loschiavo, a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, who was commissioned to write the cover story for the summer issue of The Dramatist.

• • "COURTING MAE WEST" by LindaAnn Loschiavo -- -- Based on true events, the stage play "Courting Mae West" explores how a vaudevillian with a dozen years of bad reviews and highly placed enemies in the media and the Mayor's Office climbed the ladder of success, wrong by wrong. This serious minded comedy has been seen in New York City at the Fresh Fruit Festival and, most recently, in Australia as part of Midsumma's Playing-in-the-Raw.
• •  Who, What, When, Where • •
• • WHO: Actress Darlene Violette and actors TBA with dramatist-journalist LindaAnn Loschiavo
• • WHAT:     Scenes from "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship and Secrets" and discussion of the era's homophobia and the political powers that lined up against Mae West and why.
• • WHEN:       2:00 pm, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013
• • WHERE:     Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY -- --in the same chamber where Mae West [1893-- 1980] faced off with the magistrate in 1927
• • WHAT ELSE:     the popular Mae West Raffle
• • FEE:                FREE
• • RSVP:    Jefferson Market Library, T 212-243-4334
• • URL:   http://MaeWest.blogspot.com
• • Email:   maewestdiamondlil@gmail.com
• • SUBWAY: West Fourth St. station via A, C, D, E, F subway
• • PATH: West Ninth St. station
Audience Response to "Diamond Lil" onstage at 343 W. 46th St.
— — — — — On-going performances of "Diamond Lil" — — — — —
• • Those who prefer night life will enjoy "Diamond Lil" starring actress Darlene Violette — — and the roisterous cast who brought the Bowery denizens and Suicide Hall’s ne’er-do-wells to life — — now onstage with performances at Don’t Tell Mama [343 W. 46th Street] on certain Sunday evenings from October 27 until November 24, 2013.
• • Reserve seats by phone: 212-757-0788; RSVP online: www.donttellmamanyc.com
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "You gotta fight in this world, my father told me, and keep on fightingI"
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • 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.

• • Source:http://jeffersonmarketcourthouseny.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google

• • Photo:
Mae West • • in 1927; the return of "Diamond Lil" in 2013 • •


Jefferson Market.

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Old Jeff Embraces Mae West in 2013

Hollywood's interest in a "picturization" of "Diamond Lil" by MAE WEST was discussed in the book "The Dame in the Kimono" by  Leonard J. Leff and Jerold L. Simmons (University Press of Kentucky, 2001).
• • Here's an excerpt from their chapter "Welcome Mae West!"
• • Leff and Simmons wrote: Audiences went crazy over "Diamond Lil." The play opened on Broadway in Spring 1928, toured well into summer 1929, and despite "vulgar dramatic situations" and "highly censorable dialogue won over Hollywood.  Universal production head "Junior" Laemmle needed some properties to balance his forthcoming release "All Quiet on the Western Front," and by January 1930, he had contacted the Studio Relations office about "Lil." When Jason Joy answered that no company could make an acceptable picture from "Lil," Universal countered that it might add Mae West to its writing staff.  Joy knew where the back door led and naturally "discouraged the idea."
• • Leff and Simmons wrote: Aware that more such queries about "Diamond Lil" were forthcoming, Will Hays triggered an existing mechanism to blunt them.  ...

• • See "Diamond Lil" This Autumn! •
• • By popular demand, actress Darlene Violette — — and the wonderful cast who brought the Bowery denizens and Suicide Hall’s ne’er-do-wells to life — — will return in “Diamond Lil” for several evening performances at Don’t Tell Mama [343 W. 46th Street] on these dates:
• • 7:00pm on Sunday September 15th and 22nd. 
• • 7:30pm on Sunday October 27th — Hallowe'en Party — come in 1890s costume!
• • 7:00pm on Sunday November 3rd — Gus Jordan for Sheriff — Pre-Election Mayhem.
• • 8:30pm on Sunday November 10th
• • 7:00pm on Sunday November 17th
• • 7:00pm on Sunday November 24th
• • Reserve seats by phone: 212-757-0788; RSVP online: www.donttellmamanyc.com
• • Closest MTA subway stations: 42nd St./ Times Sq. via A, C, E, 1, 2, 3
• • The public is invited (suitable for age 18 and over). Join us as we turn the iconic NYC nightspot Don't Tell Mama into Gus Jordan's "Suicide Hall"! 
• • The Cast: Starring Darlene Violette as Diamond Lil, Queen of the Bowery and also featuring Sidney Myer, Anthony DiCarlo, Joanna Bonaro, Gary Napoli, Juan Sebastian Cortes, Kimmy Foskett, Jim Gallagher and live music by Brian McInnis
• • Come up and see for yourself.
• • Read a Review of "Diamond Lil" • •
• • L'Idea Magazine's editors attended four times and had a lot to say. Here's the link: http://www.lideamagazine.com/usa-still-entertaining-mae-wests-diamond-lil-makes-new-fans-in-new-york-city/
• • Staying faithful to the gritty themes in the novel, LindaAnn Loschiavo trimmed the work to 85 minutes for a cast of eight.
• • Meet Mae West at Jefferson Market Court! • •
• • In 1927 Mae West sat sulking in the Police Court (425 Sixth Avenue) after her arrest.
• • To commemorate her passing, on Friday, 22 November 2013 and again on Saturday, 23 November 2013, two special events will be held in the Willa Cather Reading Room — — i.e., the same judicial chamber where Mae and her cast faced off with the Special Sessions magistrate 86 years ago. Don't miss it.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I sat around for 12 weeks drawing money and I never saw a script. This wasn't for me."
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • 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.

• • Source:http://jeffersonmarketcourthouseny.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google

• • Photo:
Mae West • • in 1927; the return of "Diamond Lil" in 2013 • •


Jefferson Market.

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mae West: Bowery Belle Returns

MAE WEST invites you to come up to see her at Jefferson Market Library later this year, in the same Police Court chamber where she faced off with the judge in 1927 and during the current month of August. There are three events and three different locations in Manhattan. 
• • Save the Dates: August 12th and August 17th and 18th • • 
• • What: three events timed to celebrate the 120th birthday of Mae West, born in Brooklyn, NY on August 17, 1893
• • On Monday, 12 August 2013 at the Hudson Sq Library • • 
• • One afternoon only! • •
• • When: Monday, August 12, 2013 from 4:00pm — 5:45pm [Seating from 3:45pm]
• • Where: Hudson Branch Library, 66 Leroy St., New York, NY 10014; NOT accessible to wheelchairs 
• • Who + What: "Diamond Lil" by Mae West as a Reader's Theatre Experience with words and period songs and live music — a unique, unforgettable presentation
• • Cast: Costumed in 1890s Bowery style, actress Darlene Violette and actor Sidney Myer present the 1932 novel "Diamond Lil" written by Mae West in Mae's words enhanced with period songs and live music by Brian McInnis.  At intervals, historian and playwright LindaAnn Loschiavo leads an "Armchair Tour" through the boisterous Bowery and Chinatown of the 1890s with rare vintage images you have never seen before. 
• • What else: The ever-popular Mae West Raffle. 
• • August 12th Admission and Raffle Tickets: FREE. 
• • RSVP:  Email  MaeWestDiamondLil (at) gmail  (dot) com
• • Closest MTA subway stations: Christopher St. or West Fourth St.; or the M7 bus. 
• • Closest PATH station: Christopher St. 
• • The public is invited (suitable for age 18 and over)
• • The library has a very spacious air-conditioned auditorium so tell your fun-loving friends about this!
• • All of the sex and none of the censorship . . . • • 
• • The novel "Diamond Lil" closely follows the 3-hour production Mae performed onstage from 1928 — 1951, and it is much more exciting than the family-friendly screen version. Playwright LindaAnn Loschiavo massaged Mae's classic opus into an 85-minute adaptation featuring all of the sex and none of the censorship. No intermission.   
• • The Cast: Starring Darlene Violette as Diamond Lil, Queen of the Bowery and also featuring Sidney Myer, Anthony DiCarlo, Joanna Bonaro, Gary Napoli, Juan Sebastian Cortes, Kimmy Foskett, Jim Gallagher and live music by Brian McInnis.
• • Two chances to see the show • •
• • There will be two stagings of "Diamond Lil" on August 17th and August 18th in NYC.
• • On Saturday, 17 August 2013 at 7:30pm on West 38th St. • •
• • One night only! • •
• • Where: John Strasberg Studios, 555 8th Avenue, Suite 2310, New York, NY 10018;  accessible to wheelchairs 
• • What: "Diamond Lil" by Mae West in a new adaptation for the stage by LindaAnn Loschiavo — and costumed in 1890s Bowery style
• • August 17th Mae West Raffle Tickets are free
• • August 17th  Admission: $10 — must be pre-paid!
• • RSVP: Advance sale tickets: you must email MaeWestDiamondLil (at) gmail (dot) com
• • Closest MTA subway stations: 42nd St./ Times Sq. via A, C, E, 1, 2, 3 
• • The public is invited (suitable for age 18 and over)
• • Updates: facebook.com/MaeWestDiamondLil
• • On Sunday, 18 August 2013 at 7:00pm on West 46th St. • • 
• • One night only! • •
• • Where: Don't Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street, NYC 10036; T. (212) 757-0788
• • What: "Diamond Lil" by Mae West in a new adaptation for the stage by LindaAnn Loschiavo — and costumed in 1890s Bowery style
• • August 18th Mae West Raffle Tickets are free
• • RSVP: August 18th  Admission:  $15.00 cover charge plus a two drink minimum
• • Reservations: www.donttellmamanyc.com
• • Closest MTA subway stations: 42nd St./ Times Sq. via A, C, E, 1, 2, 3 
• • The public is invited (suitable for age 18 and over). Join us as we turn the iconic NYC nightspot Don't Tell Mama into Gus Jordan's "Suicide Hall"!
• • Updates: facebook.com/MaeWestDiamondLil 
• • Plan Ahead • •
• •
On November 22nd and November 23rd 2013, there will be Mae West events at Jefferson Market Library, the former courthouse where Mae West's 1927 trial took place.

__ ___• • Source:http://jeffersonmarketcourthouseny.blogspot.com/atom.xml
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• • Photo:
Mae West • • in 1932 • •


Jefferson Market.

 

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Sherlock Gets Locked Up

MAE WEST was arrested on 9 February 1927 along with the cast of "Sex," the cast of "The Virgin Man," and the cast of "The Captive."• • Snooty Basil Rathbone, who died during the month of July on 21 July 1967 in New York, NY was cuffed and brought downtown to Jefferson Market Police Court along with Helen Menken and their co-stars. • • Born in South Africa on 13 June 1892, Basil Rathbone was one year older than Mae West but in his mind, he was worlds apart even though they were both starring on Broadway in 1927.• • During the 1920s, most of Basil Rathbone's work was in the legitimate theater. For many of his Broadway roles he portrayed a suave, sophisticated seducer of women quite a change from the legendary ascetic Baker Street detective he would play later in his career.• • Making a sensation at the Empire Theatre was a drama that had been highly regarded in Paris: "The Captive." Basil Rathbone was cast in the role of Jacques Virieu, a young man engaged to be married, only to discover that his fiancée [played by Helen Menken] is in love with someone else a woman. Since homosexuality was such a controversial topic during the Roaring Twenties, the entire cast was charged with offending public morals, and the play was closed right after the police raid.• • Basil Rathbone was very angry about the censorship of his work, but even more aggrieved that show people would start whispering that he was arrested and booked with Mae West.• • For years, Basil Rathbone and his wife made their home at 135 Central Park West. Mae lived in several westside locations, occasionally not far from Rathbone. But there is no record of their taking tea together to reminisce over their arrest on indecency charges in 1927.
• • The Empire Theatre • •
• • Built in 1893, the Empire Theatre had been situated at 1430 Broadway (between West 40th and West 41st) in Manhattan. An impressive playhouse, it seated about 1100. J.B. McElfatrick was the architect. Producer Charles Frohman had it built "uptown" at the suggestion of Al Hayman "Everything theatrical is moving uptown," he advised. Al Hayman took ownership after Frohman died on the Lusitania in 1915. In 1948, the Astor estate purchased the Empire Theatre and announced, in 1953, that it would be torn down to make way for an office tower. Waves of nostalgia spread through the theatre community, and performers gathered to celebrate the venue in a restrospective farewell performance. The bulldozers arrived in 1953 and an edifice was wrecked.• • Brush up those zippy Mae West lines right on Broadway — — Sunday afternoon August 16th — — and forge a-Mae-zing memories.• • Walking Tour: "Gaudy Girls on The Gay White Way: Mae West & Texas Guinan in the Theatre District"
• • When: 4:00 PM on Sunday — — 16 August 2008 — — rain or shine
• • Meet: Shubert Alley, 44th Street, West of Broadway, New York, NY 10036
• • Price: $10 [this walking tour lasts about 90 minutes]
• • Subway: N or R [BMT] train to West 42nd Street; 1 [IRT] train to Times Square
• • Attire: why not wear a Mae West-inspired hat?
• • Info: T. 212-614-9683 — — or post your RSVP or tour question here
• • Online: MaeWest.blogspot.com — — TexasGuinan.blogspot.com
• • Who: Playwright LindaAnn Loschiavo makes the tour educational and entertaining.
• • LindaAnn Loschiavo's history play "Courting Mae West" was onstage in July 2008 at the Fresh Fruit Festival. She is working on a biographical travel guide "Mae West's New York, 1899—1959" and will show some of her unusual theatre memorabilia and vintage photos during the tour and reveal secret addresses tied to Mae West that have not been disclosed before. These rare pictures show the area as it looked during the 1920s when Mae West and Texas Guinan had their name on several marquees.
• • Surprises: Prizes and other nice things are part of the fun
• • Members of the press may attend on August 16th as our guest. RSVP required.
• • • • Mae West Walking Tours You Might Have Enjoyed • • • •
• • 2006 TOUR: Our regular Mae-mavens will recall seeing the historical exhibition "Onstage Outlaws: Mae West and Texas Guinan in a Lawless Era,” which opened to the public after a Gala Roaring-20s theme Press Preview on Mae’s birthday 17 August 2006. And on Sunday afternoon 20 August 2006, more than two dozen beautiful people gathered on West Ninth Street to enjoy a special treat — — "Washington Square Women: Mae West and Texas Guinan in Greenwich Village" — — followed by a Jazz Era brunch served with champagne and the Cos-MAE-Politan cocktail, garnished with two strategically placed plump raspberries.
• • 2007 TOUR: On Friday evening 17 August 2007, a fascinating guided adventure — — "The Mae West Side Story" — — escorted numerous intrepid walk-abouts to three of Mae's former residences along with other sites linked to the Brooklyn bombshell.
• • 2008 TOUR: On Sunday afternoon 17 August 2008, the captivating Diamond Divas led a group of over two dozen Mae-mavens to several locations in Greenwich Village linked to her stage career, gay themes, courtroom woes, and the work of individuals she admired such as Lillian Russell, Tony Pastor, Texas Guinan, Eugene O'Neill, and Rae Bourbon. The 2008 walking tour — — "Mae West's Walk on the Wild Side" — — celebrated the 115th birthday of the Empress of Sex with an extravagant musical program, performed live by Met Opera soprano Marlena de la Mora and Sharon Weinman, which included these numbers: "Everything's Coming up Mae West"; "Mon Coeur S' Ouvre a Ta Voix"; "The Prisoner's Song"; "Frankie and Johnny"; "Come Down Ma Evening Star"; "I Could Have Danced All Night"; "Gentleman Jimmy"; and a grand finale taken from the score of "Diamond Lil."
• • Tour photos can be seen on the Mae West Blog.
• • For more details, do read the Mae West Blog and/ or post your email. [Your info will not be posted nor available so that miscreants and rascals can access it.]

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• • Photo:
Basil Rathbone with Helen Menken • • February 1927 • •


Jefferson Market.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Censorship & Mae West

Publishers Weekly offered a capsule review of a new title devoted to Mae West — — which also includes revealing first-person statements about her imprisonment.
• • Speaking about the author Charlotte Chandler's latest release, the critic wrote this: Chandler (Not the Girl Next Door: Joan Crawford) draws on her interviews with the 86-year-old Mae West, known for her “risqué brand of humor,” in this chatty memoir. West carefully constructed and guarded the image of her personality as a woman who enjoyed sex at a time when “skirts had to cover ankles.” She contended she was “never vulgar. The word for me was suggestive.”
• • West (1893–1980) craved the spotlight from a young age and had been a success in vaudeville, where she began to write her own material. Her screen legend perfected her sexually playful alter ego in such films as She Done Him Wrong, which contained her most quoted line: “Come up and see me sometime” [sic].
• • Chandler also includes Mae West's first-person account of her 10 days in jail — — when she was found guilty of producing an immoral Broadway show, her first full-length play, Sex. West remained a box-office draw into her 70s, appearing in the 1970 film Myra Breckinridge. Whether discussing her love life or advising on playwriting or beauty tips, Mae West was always entertaining. Photos. (Feb.)
• • Title reviewed: She Always Knew How: Mae West, a Personal Biography Charlotte Chandler. [NY: Simon & Schuster (336p) ISBN 978-1-4165-7909-0]
— — Source: — —
• • Article: PW's Nonfiction Reviews
• • Printed in: Publishers Weekly
www.publishersweekly.com
• • Printed on: 12 January 2009
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • "Courting Mae West" features intriguing scenes dramatizing Mae's arrest and trials.
• • Offered onstage July 19th22nd in New York City during the Annual Fresh Fruit Festival, "Courting Mae West" has been nominated for several awards. The black-tie awards gala will take place during April 2009 in Manhattan.
__ ___
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• • Photo:
Mae West • • February 1927 • •


Jefferson Market.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mae's back at court Aug. 17

MAE WEST and Fiorello LaGuardia have a curious connection.
• • In his column "A New Yorker at Large," Mark Barron shared insights about the Brooklyn bombshell and the ambitious politician Fiorello LaGuardia [11 December 1882 — 20 September 1947]. This installment of Barron's column was published on 28 January 1934.
• • Mark Barron wrote: New York — Mayor LaGuardia turned on the producers of risque shows, charging them with deliberately inviting police interference for the publicity it would bring.
• • Mark Barron noted: What is interesting in an ironic sort of way is the fact that it was an off-color show which led to the movement that by increase and addition eventually elected LaGuardia to his office. And, for that, some might say he owes thanks to Mae West.
• • Back in 1927, Miss West produced a play that brought a squadron of police censors tumbling about her with the turmoil of a Union Square red riot. As a result, Miss West was invited to spend a short vacation in the Welfare Island calaboose. [Mae's 1927 arrest and trial in Jefferson Market Court are dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West," which is based on true events during the Prohibition Era.]
• • Despite the avalanche of publicity, Mae was shocked, thinking that her attorney a Tammany district leader would be able to keep her this side of the steel bars.
• • A girl reporter was sent to interview Mae. In jail [i.e., Jefferson Jail then located on Sixth Avenue], the reporter had a conversation with a girl prisoner who charged she'd been "framed" because she would not pay a bribe to a detective on the vice squad.
• • The resultant story started the inquiry into the women's courts, and it was this inquiry that brought Judge Samuel Seabury into such high esteem in the public mind. And it was Seabury whose master minding helped put LaGuardia in the mayor's office.
• • On Sunday 17 August 2008, during the "Mae West's Walk on the Wild Side" walking tour, the group will visit the little flower and a number from "Fiorello!" will be sung live by a vivacious actress, a native New Yorker who has performed in many musicals.
__ ___
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• • Photo:
Mae West's raid • • February 1927 • •


Jefferson Market.

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