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

Jefferson Market.

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