Saturday, April 30, 2005

Mae West: "Sex" Sold Out April 26, 1926

Mae West: "Sex" Sold Out at its Premiere on April 26, 1926

April 26, 1926 "Sex." It's a comedy. Mae West plays a Canadian woman with no time for those mountees; it's the British navy for her. It runs through one season, but the following it is raided as immoral. The cast is arrested and West, who also co-produced, is sentenced to 10 days in jail and is fined $500. When West is released from prison after only eight days, she memorably tells the press, "It's the first time I ever got anything for good behavior." A well-received off-off-Broadway revival in 2000 proved that the show still had laughs and a unique social point of view.

This text originally appeared here:
Theatre History: APRIL 26
By Anne Bradley and Ernio Hernandez
PLAYBILL on 26 Apr 2005

Mae West Slept Here: 4121 Wilshire Boulevard

Mae West Slept Here: Los Altos Apartments at 4121 Wilshire Blvd.

Hollywood stars once lit up the residential roster at the Los Altos Apartments at 4121 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles.

Today the photos of famous residents like Bette Davis, Mae West, Douglas Fairbanks, and Clara Bow still adorn the leasing office.

Built in the Spanish Colonial–esque style, the Los Altos was one of the first co-op apartments, then went bankrupt during the Great Depression and fell into disrepair for decades afterward. The housing group Neighborhood Effort rescued the complex from demolition in 1993 even though it was so unlivable there were gaping holes that continued from the fifth floor down to the lobby. But the restorers obtained National Historic Site status for the building by hunting down original parts and design details, including doorknobs, trim, floor tiles and colors. Today, the Los Altos is considered a magnificent structure boasting very low turnover and a waiting list of 300. . . .

Many of L.A.’s apartment buildings have played a leading role in Hollywood culture. . . .

This brief excerpt was taken from this article:
Hollywood Lived Here
The semi-glorious and sometimes gory history of Hollywood apartment living
APR. 29 - MAY 5, 2005
L.A. Weekly

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Mae West: A Seance to Arouse Mae

Wake the Dead: A Seance to Arouse Mae West

On Mae's birthday Wednesday August 17th, a seance will be held in New York City to arouse Mae from the dead and bring her back to us. Stay tuned for updates.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Mae West on April 19, 1927

On this day, 19 April in 1927, actress MAE WEST was jailed for her performance in Sex, the Broadway play she wrote, directed, and starred in. She served ten days in prison, and jail time seemed to have done her good—it didn't make her change her act, but it did bring her national notoriety—and helped make her one of Hollywood's most memorable, and quotable, stars. She said: "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."

Though Mae West was sentenced to 10 days, she actually only served 8 days. The actress received "time off for good behavior."

The play "COURTING MAE WEST" refers to that shortened jail sentence:

MAE WEST: First time I was glad that a little thing didn't stretch out longer.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Mae West on April 9, 1928

Broadway was abuzz on April 9, 1928.

On that date Mae West opened her new play "Diamond Lil" at the Royale Theatre.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Mae West: Exposing Her Ethnic Roots

Native New Yorker Mae West was born in Brooklyn on August 17, 1893 on, declared Mae years later, a cool night during a hot month.

If you've ever researched the New York City census, it's interesting to examine the past of Mae's maternal line and Mae's paternal line. Each family was living in Manhattan for several years before moving to Brooklyn [the borough where "Battling Jack" West settled with his lovely young bride Tillie]. These census entries document an interesting pattern of lies about national origin, levels of education, and even English language proficiency. Small wonder that little Mary Jane West learned -- early on -- to embroider fancy tales about her family and descendents.

"What was the ethnic background of Mae West?" is a question often asked.

You'll find the startling truth in Act I, Scene 2 of "Courting Mae West" [a play based on true events] when Mae argues with her drunken sister Beverly right before they are arrested in Bridgeport, Connecticut in early February 1927.