Monday, January 31, 2005

February 9, 2005 "Courting Mae West" 8:00 PM

Come Up and See Mae on February 9th at 8:00 pm.
A beautiful Rolls Royce is taking us to see MAE WEST.

WHERE: CUNY Graduate Center (365 Fifth Avenue, NYC 10016)
WHEN: on Wednesday February 9th, 2005
CROSS STREET: across the street from The Empire State Building.
WHAT: "Courting Mae West" -- an exciting play by LindaAnn Loschiavo -- is an entertaining way to learn about true events in NYC during the Roaring 20s.
WHO: Actress Allison Tilsen is the arresting MAE WEST and P.J. Sosko is the handsome, ambitious news man who is courting the blonde bombshell of Broadway.
RSVP: 212 817 8215
SAVE THE DATE: It's one night only so do not miss this free event.

Roaring 20s attire encouraged.

Come Up & See Mae on February 9, 2005 Posted by Hello

Friday, January 28, 2005

Mae West Play Includes Safe Sex - FREE

"Courting Mae West" Offers Safe Sex
— Actor P.J. Sosko Describes How to Extend Pleasure with a FREE Safe Sex Kit - —

(New York, NY) Hot on the heels of a news headline that "Unsafe Sex Burdens Health in U.S.," the cast of "Courting Mae West" made an announcement in Manhattan. On Wednesday February 9, 2005, individuals who attend the commemorative performance will receive a free Safe Sex Kit - - "Light Love" - -courtesy of Pjur Group USA.

Proshanky Auditorium at C.U.N.Y. Graduate Center [located at 365 Fifth Avenue, NYC 10016] has 396 seats and "hundreds of attendees will receive this gift," promised P.J. Sosko, who has the role of Mario "Shortie" De Angelis, the reporter who is "courting" the blonde bombshell of Broadway: Mae West.

The play by downtown dramatist LindaAnn Loschiavo is set in New YorkCity during 1926 - 1929, when the actress was arrested and jailed twice for obscenity.

Allison Tilsen, the buxom blonde who plays Mae West, described the freebies as the perfect present for this premiere. On Wednesday February 9, 1927, Mae West was arrested at Daly’s 63rd Street Theatre and her play "Sex" was shut down by the Police Department, said Tilsen. "Sex" wasn’t safe. The play was suggestive and raunchy and ahead of its time. "It’s an ideal opportunity to remind our audience that sex should be fun — as well as safe," added Tilsen, a heart-stopping beauty who walked down the aisle in September with a man she calls "lucky Jim."

P.J. Sosko, an actor who’s been seen onstage in New York City and Los Angeles, and who guest-starred recently in an episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," endorses healthy behavior.

"A bachelor must do three things alone," he said. "Be born, die, and satisfy — which means protecting your partner from unsavoury side-effects."

Sosko was referring to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that said: "The public health burden related to unsafe sexual activity is three times higher in the U.S. than in other developed nations."

In the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, the researchers revealed disturbing findings:
* * The majority of this public health burden falls on women - - 62 percent of behavior-related adverse health events.
* * Cervical cancer was the leading cause of sex-related mortality among women, followed by HIV.
* * Men suffered the majority of deaths (66 percent), primarily from HIV.

Come Up and See Mae on February 9th and, after the performance, you can extend your pleasure with a free Safe Sex Kit.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Mae West and limo Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Come Up and See Mae - February 9, 2005

Come Up and See MAE - Info Here!

"Courting Mae West" - a New MAE Play will be performed in NYC
"Courting Mae West" is a new play based on true events in the life of Mae West [1926 - 1929].
WHERE: C.U.N.Y. Graduate Center (365 Fifth Avenue, NYC 10016)
WHEN: Wednesday February 9, 2005 at 8:00 PM After-party follows at a nearby location. Want to be included on the Guest List? Attend the performance attired in 1920s fashions and you will be invited to join the group and the cast.
INFO: 212-817 -8215 or

Mae West: did you know. . .?

Where Mae Used to Live and Perform
Mae West rang in her banner New York year, 1928, with a one-night stand, hosting a nightclub, a la Texas Guinan, at Club Deauville - - then located at Park Avenue and East 59th Street [the night of December 31, 1927 - January 1, 1928].
Mae West had bought a townhouse for herself in the late 1920s - - at 266 West End Avenue - - just a few years before she moved to Hollywood. She lived there with her sister Beverly, whose Russian husband had divorced her over a scandal related to Mae's gay play "The Drag."
Incidentally, the Upper West Side [stretching roughly from West 61st to West 76th Street] is the single-most-star-studded area in Manhattan, according to the "Star Sleuth" Larry "Wolfe" Horwitz. Within this neighborhood is an area that Larry Horwitz has labeled a Star Walk: a ten-block strip along Central Park West that contains "the greatest concentration of movie stars and other celebrities anywhere in the world," according to him.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Mae West: Her statue on Hollywood Boulevard

Mae West trivia:
The "gateway" to Hollywood Boulevard at LaBrea features a 30-ft. high stainless steel gazebo designed by movie industry production designer, Catherine Hardwicke.
The four actresses that elegantly adorn this gateway are: Dolores del Rio, Anna May Wong, Mae West, and Dorothy Dandridge.
Look closely, because at the very top of the gazebo, above the neon Hollywood sign, you'll see a likeness of Marilyn Monroe.

Mae West: A Cougar?

On the Prowl: "Cougars" (Older Women) Hunt for "Cubs" (Younger Men)

Article By Josie Brown and Martin Brown

The stereotype of the old maid is so last millennium: according to a recent survey by the American Association of Retired Persons, almost one-third of unmarried women over the age of 40 are dating much younger men.

Actress Demi Moore, 41, is the most recent high-profile example of a "cougar" -- the new term for the older woman who is open to liaisons with younger men, or "cubs," ­ such as Demi's 25-year old boyfriend, Ashton Kutcher.

She is certainly not the first woman of a certain age who prefers robbing the cradle to rocking it: Mae West, Judy Garland and Liz Taylor all blazed that path. Today's other well-known cougars and cubs include Susan Sarandon (56) and Tim Robbins (44); Mary Tyler Moore (67) and Robert Levine (49); Joan Lunden (52) and Jeff Konigsberg (42); Julianne Moore (42) and Bart Freundlich (33); Daryl Hannah (42) and David Blaine (30); and Madonna (44) and Guy Ritchie (34) -- proof positive that love is priceless at any age.

Grounds for mutual attraction are many: the younger man can't help but be drawn to a woman who is more knowledgeable than needy. Like him, she is at a stage of life where personal pleasure now takes precedent over marriage and making babies.

As for cougars, they are looking for a partner whose drive for unencumbered fun and satisfying sex meets their own.

Can such a match have staying power? Certainly under the following

1. The emotional criteria of both partners stay in sync. If the need of one partner changes, and it is obvious that the other partner cannot or will not meet that need, it may mean a break in the romance. For example, most cubs "mature" to desire a relationship that can provide them children -- something their current paramour can no longer do, or for that matter may not want to do at her stage of life.

2. Both enjoy similar sexual appetites. Even in unions where the ages are equal or the woman is younger, a dearth of passion is a relationship killer. However, those couples whose levels of lust are on a par will benefit from that whenever other issues arise.

3. Both recognize the need to take the relationship a day at a time. While it would be wonderful if we could freeze ourselves in the present, the fact is that we cannot; life moves on, and may move the two halves of a couple in two different directions. An open mind and open heart to accepting change will certainly keep the relationship alive. Granted, you may not always be lovers, but you may stay friends for life.

© 2004 Josie Brown and Martin Brown/Relationship NewsWire. All rights reserved.

Mae West: February 9, 1940

Mae West trivia: February 9, 1940

"My Little Chickadee"
Release Date: February 9, 1940

Mae West - Flower Belle Lee

Mae West - Writer

Mae West: February 9, 1933

Mae West trivia: February 9th, 1933

Mae West and Cary Grant open in She Done Him Wrong

She Done Him Wrong, starring Mae West and Cary Grant, opened on February 9th in 1933. The movie featured Mae West as "one of the finest women who ever walked the streets." The racy film provoked demand for more conservative movie censorship.

On February 9, 1927 Mae West had been arrested and jailed in Manhattan on obscenity charges.

Mae West: February 9th, 1944

Mae West: February 9th, 1944

Mae West was arrested and jailed on Wednesday February 9, 1927. The headlines surrounding the court case made her famous. Is it a coincidence that many of Mae West's films were released on February 9th?

In the CAST - -
Fay Lawrence played by Mae West
Tony Ferris played by William Gaxton [et cetera]
Columbia production and release. Production began October 1943.

"The Heat's On" was released February 9, 1944

Friday, January 21, 2005

A Test on Mae West

Mae West Quiz

The answers appear after the last question, number 10.

1. Where was Mae West born?

a. Pittsburgh, PA
b. Clearwater, FL
c. Brooklyn, NY

2. She began her career where?

a. in burlesque
b. on radio
c. in movies

3. Miss West was jailed for 10 days for what?

a. reckless driving
b. obscenity
c. robbery

4. In Belle of the Nineties, what is her character's name?

a. Ruby Carter
b. Ruby Clinton
c. Betty Ford

5. Who does Mae West marry in My Little Chickadee?

a. W.C. Fields
b. Cary Grant
c. David Niven

6. What is her character's name in Go West Young Man?

a. Isabel Jewell
b. Alice Brady
c. Marvis Arden

7. In Myra Breckinridge, Mae made her comeback at what age?

a. 84
b. 65
c. 50

8. What is the title of Mae West's memoir?

a. Come Up and See Me Sometime
b. Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It
c. Peel Me a Grape

9. She Done Him Wrong is based on a play written by whom?

a. Mae West
b. Dorothy Parker
c. Lina Wertmuller

10. In Goin' to Town, what does Mae play?

a. a nun
b. a teacher
c. a saloon girl
- -
Answers: 1-c, 2-a, 3-b, 4-a, 5-a, 6-c, 7-a, 8-b, 9-a, 10-c

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Mae West: Obscene?

Was Mae West's stage entertainment "obscene"?
On Wednesday February 9th, 1927, Mae West was arrested and jailed in Manhattan for obscenity.
The word "obscene" is derived from the Latin "obscenus" [meaning "foul, repulsive, filthy"] which, in turn, is based on an ancient Greek dramatic notion that some acts were too terrible to be shown on stage, therefore, the audience learned of these actions from the Chorus, or from an actor who came running from backstage to inform the viewers that this horrendous murder, violence, catastrophe, or any another unspeakable action had taken place.
In that context, "obscene" meant "backstage" or "offstage" or "behind the scenes."
In other words, an "obscene" or a forbidden sight was not dramatized on the stage. The audience merely HEARD about it.
There is more to come on this subject and actress Mae West, so check back . .

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Mae West: Disorder in the Court in 1927

Mae West and Jefferson Market Courthouse during the 1920s

In the 1920s, the first step towards bringing a play to Broadway was an obligatory stop at the NYC Police Department. In 1926, before Mae West's play "Sex" could be staged at Edward Elsner's Westside playhouse -- Daly's 63rd Street Theatre -- the manuscript had to be approved by a special Police Department Play Jury. [Since 268 plays were produced on Broadway in 1927, squeezed into 70+ theatres, imagine how busy this kept New York City's Play Juries, and think of how much income City Hall raked in from this lucrative licensing arrangement.]

Once approved, the text for "Sex" was given a license. Only then could a drama or a comedy be taken forward -- and was it ever!
Mae West [1893-1980], who starred as a prostitute in the production, managed to arouse so much interest in her performance in "Sex" that, even though it was dismissed and disparaged by drama critics, her show was a big box office bonanza. In the opening act of "Sex," set in a Montreal brothel, Mae played a song on the piano: "Honey, Let Yo' Drawers Hang Low." In the cabaret scene, she sang two Harlem favorites: "Sweet Man" and "Shake that Thing." Muscle-mamboing Mae also did a sensual belly dance to the "St. Louis Blues."
In early April 1926, out-of-town previews had begun in Stamford, Connecticut, then "Sex" went on to Waterbury and then New London, a town on Long Island Sound. Financial backing was supplied by the Morals Production Company, a group of investors organized by Mae's lawyer and lover Jim Timony. Backers included Matilda West, Mae's mother, and the gangster Owney Madden, who also owned the Cotton Club.
On April 26, 1926, after those Connecticut try-outs, "Sex" opened on Broadway.
Mae West was the draw -- not the play. Nevertheless, the public poured in.
By its third week, "Sex" was raking in $10,000 a week.
In its seventh week, "Sex" hit the $16,500 mark, then leveled off at a steady $8,000.
[In contast, the blockbuster "Broadway" pulled in $31,000 in a single week during 1926.]
A steady line of limousines had been pulling up to Daly's entrance. Certain socialites returned to see "Sex" again and again.
This interested the District Attorney, who convened a volunteer Play Jury that included one woman, one physician, two Brooklynites, and eight men from Manhattan, and asked them to review the manuscripts of four crowd-pleasing plays once again. In June 1926, this new Play Jury cleared "Sex" of any suspicion of indecency by a vote of 8 to 4.
Ask yourself this:
Why would a play like "Sex," which passed the scrutiny of the Play Jury TWICE [in March and again in June 1926], be raided by the police after ten months of enormous attendance and great publicity -- on Wednesday February 9th, 1927?
There are two reasons:
* * * New York Mayor Jimmy Walker was a great fan of Miss West and did not interfere when he heard that the actress was in the midst of planning to stage "The Drag," a play with a homosexual theme that was selecting actors after auditions in gay bars; and

* * * Forty-one weeks into a sellout run, Walker happened to be out of town and the acting Hizzoner, holier-than-thou Joseph V. McKee, decided to send in the cops. Because of "holy Joe" getting her arrested, and brought to Jefferson Market's Police Court, Mae West wound up spending the night of February 9th in Jefferson Market Jail.
After a trial in the Jefferson Market Courthouse during February and March 1927, Mae West wound up convicted of "corrupting the morals of youth." She was sentenced to ten days in the Women's Workhouse on Welfare Island.
"I expect it will be the making of me," she told reporters, and it was: it made her a household name.
But "The Drag" died in Mae's dreams and did not open. Via fines, an expensive court battle, and dreadful jail cells, the censors and politicians made their point: there would be no gays on Broadway.
The play "Courting Mae West" by Greenwich Village dramatist LindaAnn Loschiavo, set in NYC during 1926 - 1929, explores Mae West's legal woes. Using fictional elements, the text is anchored by true events and has three characters who are based on real people: actress Mae West; Mr. Isidore, a news seller on Sixth Avenue and West 9th Street; and Sara Starr, based on the Greenwich Village flapper Starr Faithfull, whose death inspired John O'Hara's novel "Butterfield 8" and a dozen other books.
The project began as a way to keep the Jefferson Market Courthouse's history alive in an entertaining way, so that people could understand more about its significance. And more folks are hearing about it since The New York Law Journal and a dozen other publications have already written about the play. In January 2005, The Jefferson Market Library devoted a month-long art exhibition to sixteen panels that depicted scenes from "Courting Mae West" drawn from archival photos from 1927.
The playwright hopes to find investors who will help propel "Courting Mae West" towards Broadway. To spread the word, there will be a free staged reading at 8 PM on Wednesday February 9, 2005 at CUNY Graduate Center. [Details are online:]
Mae West had, Colette noted in 1938, an impudent, solitary presence like Chaplin's. Truman Capote once wryly described her curves as "the Big Ben of hour-glass figures," and in the 1920s, when she was starring in her own plays on Broadway, George Jean Nathan wrote that she was "the Statue of Libido." Playfully suggesting that she was less notorious than institutional, Salvador Dali painted a portrait of her face in which the features are pieces of furniture.
Mae West still stands alone. Though Mae West wrote her own plays and the dialogue for five Paramount Pictures films, no other actress has written her own dialogue ever. No other actress is quite so quotable nor are there gas pumps, a bend in a road, and a flotation device named for any other actress. You can't escape Mae West. Admit it. You might as well come up and see Mae in "Courting Mae West" while you can enjoy it without paying admission.

- -
Native New Yorker LindaAnn Loschiavo is a journalist and dramatist as well as a member of the West 9th Street Block Association. In January, The Villager did an article about how she discovered four P.A.T.H. exits for the West 9th Street station that Port Authority had "forgotten." Read it online:

Friday, January 07, 2005

Come Up & See Mae

New York, NY: January 2005 will be the month of MAE. Move over, Martha Stewart, Danny Pelosi, and Scott Peterson, and make room for a colorful newly resurrected courtroom drama based on bigotry, censorship, social injustice, and City Hall's rabid fear of homosexuality during the mayoralty of Jimmy Walker.

The New York Public Library [Jefferson Market branch: 425 Sixth Avenue at West 9th St.] has invited Long Island artist Michael Di Motta to exhibit sixteen large-format panels drawn from a unique illustrated version of the play "Courting Mae West" by dramatist LindaAnn Loschiavo, a work that depicts the arrest, incarceration, and courtroom woes of actress Mae West, legal actions that took place in Manhattan during the late 1920s.

On February 9, 1927, Mae West and a cast of 54 (actors and musicians) were arrested and taken to Night Court, then located at Jefferson Market Courthouse, now a landmark and in use as a local library for Greenwich Villagers.

Loschiavo's staged version, which will be offered at 8pm on Wednesday February 9, 2005 at CUNY Graduate Center (365 Fifth Avenue, NYC 10016), is distinctly different from the illustrated version, which the native New Yorker conceived as an entertaining American history lesson narrated by a blackbird from Harlem. Set against the imposing backdrop of Jefferson Market Court, with its 19th century interiors and spider web ironwork, the evil-doers Bigotry, Censorship, and Hidden Agenda plot against Mae West. In actuality, the news media rescued Mae West in 1927. In this illustrated version, however, help appears in the guise of a caped Super-hero: the First Amendment, his constitutional capability and muscles materializing from DiMotta's pen.

"Courting Mae West" is Michael Di Motta's first solo show in Manhattan. Viewing will run from January 3rd - 30th, 2005 on the 2nd floor during the building's regular hours. There is no admission fee.

On January 17th, at a Roaring 20s-themed press kick-off in a former speakeasy, Prairie Miller, the hostess of "Arts Magazine" [aired on WBAI-FM Radio] will interview Michael Di Motta as well as playwright LindaAnn Loschiavo and actress Allison Tilsen, who has the starring role of Mae West. Chef Stephen Lyle will serve a 1920s menu and cocktails.

A free copy of the illustrated narrative written by Loschiavo and illustrated by DiMotta will be available on January 17th. Your editorial coverage is invited.

Come up and see Mae - during the month of January at the Jefferson Market branch and also onstage at CUNY Graduate Center [365 Fifth Avenue, NYC] at 8:00 PM on Feb. 9th, 2005. Discovering lost chapters of New York City history from 1927-29 has never been so stimulating.

MEDIA: Phone number: 212-243-4334 [NYPL, Jefferson Mkt branch]

# # #

Mae West: Sexy or "Fat"?

Fate Impacts on the Fat Theme
~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~

Who are you calling a "Fat Actress"?
Coming on the heels of the documentary "Super Size Me" about a man who grew fat and sick after living only on McDonald's fast food for amonth, and just weeks before a new play by Nell LaBute called "Fat Pig" about a man who is ridiculed by his friends for dating a "generously proportioned" woman, Eve Ensler may have tapped into a trend.

"There are often times when you come up with something that's in the air," Ensler says, blaming the "tyranny of capitalism" for encouraging the obsession with having a "good body" as a means to sell products.

"The Good Body" opened recently on Broadway. It has been faulted by some critics as returning to well-worn themes, but in a way that raises laughs. "Many, many women have issues with their bodies. I don't think it's something that's gone away and it's something that's actually escalated," Ensler said in an interview, noting that the U.S. beauty industry is worth tens of billions of dollars.
~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~ ( Q ) ~

Monday, January 03, 2005

Mae in the Mirror, mirror. . .

Excerpt from a 1970 book: Latins Are Still Lousy Lovers by Helen Lawrenson

In a section titled "Mirror, Mirror, on the Ceiling: How'm I doin'?" (a reprint of an interview with Mae West) on page 55, there is a quote from Mae West's memoir: Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It.

Her book is plummy with descriptions of love affairs, couched in prose that can only be her own. Of one lover she says, "He had bedroom eyes, the body of a duelist, and the charm of a French ambassador," and describes their first encounter: "We had no time for the usual romantic preliminaries... I said, 'You know?' He said, 'Oh, yes.' I said 'L'amour.'" And so to bed.

At the height of her career, Mae West was the second highest salaried person in the USA (behind William Randolph Hearst), the star of countless films, plays and shows, and perhaps the sex symbol of the time, therefore, such words should not be scoffed at. . . .


This excerpt is from this book: Latins Are Still Lousy Lovers by Helen Lawrenson [London: Robert Hale & Co., 1970]

Saturday, January 01, 2005

MAE in January

Featured on ABC Channel 7 News
Around Town -
Mon January 3
"Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship & Secrets!"
On February 9, 1927, at this same location (the library used to be a courthouse), actress and playwright Mae West was arrested and incarcerated. Learn her story — and that of New York in the '20s — at this "illustrated version" of LindaAnn Loschiavo's play Courting Mae West, with Michael DiMotta's panel sketches drawn from archival photos.

Channel 7 Online
- Happy New Year from Mae West in New York -
NAMC Worldwide Newsroom
New Age Media Concepts - Dec 24, 2004
... made him the obvious choice to ... reading of the play “Courting Mae West” at 8 ...