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" • •
• •
• • Read a Review of "Diamond Lil"
• • L'Idea Magazine's editors had lots to say. Link: 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:
• • 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:
• • 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:
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• • Photo:
Mae West • • in 1927; the return of "Diamond Lil" in 2013 • •

Jefferson Market.

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