Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mae West: Rosebud

The play "Courting Mae West" opens in one of the drag cabarets in the Village that MAE WEST used to visit. In Act I, Scene 1, Mae waves to a cigarette girl in drag known as Rosebud. Mae explains to her date, "I just cast Rosebud over there in 'The Drag'. . . ."
• • In 1923, Arthur C. Budd was 21 years old and residing at 25 West 52nd Street. Known as “Rosebud,” Arthur C. Budd worked as a female impersonator in “The Lady in Ermine” at The Century Theater.
• • A New York Times article published on 5 February 1923 — — “Village Raid Nets 4 Women and 9 Men: Detectives Thought They Had Five Females, but Misjudged One Person by Clothing” — — paints a picture of the Greenwich Village circles Rosebud traveled in.
• • The police continue to pay special attention to Greenwich Village, according to The N.Y. Times. Every tearoom and cabaret in the village was visited yesterday morning by Deputy Inspector Joseph A. Howard and Captain Edward J. Dempsey of the Charles Street Station, and a party of ten detectives.
• • Detectives Joseph Massie and Dewey Hughes of the Special Service Squad were at the Black Parrot Tea Shoppe Hobo-Hemia, 46 Charles Street, to witness what they had been informed would be a “circus.” They arrested what they thought were five women and eight men. It developed later, however, that one of the “women” was a man, Harry Bernhammer, 21 years old, living at 36 Hackensack Avenue, West Hoboken, N.J. He is familiarly known in the Village as “Ruby,” according to the police. The charge against him is disorderly conduct for giving what the police termed an indecent dance.
• • The other prisoners, all of whom were bailed out at the station house, were Lucy Smith, 22 years old, of 46 Charles Street, and Patricia Rogers, 24 years old, of 16 Charles Street, alleged proprietors of the establishment, charged with violating the Mullan-Gage law; . . . Arthur C. Budd, 21 years old, of 25 West Fifty-second Street; . . . Paul Warring, 21 years old, of 75 West Seventy-second Street; . . . . The real name of the Smith woman, according to the police, is Vera Black, and the real name of the Rogers woman is Nan Paddock.
• • Arthur C. Budd, according to the police, is known as “Rosebud,” and claimed when arrested that he is a female impersonator in “The Lady in Ermine” at The Century Theater.
• • Paul Warring, the police say, is pianist at the Black Parrot and was formerly employed at a Broadway cabaret. . . . Reilly is accused of doing “a suggestive dance.”
• • The detectives allege that before the raid early yesterday morning they bought eight drinks of whiskey at $1 a drink.
• • The “circus” did not actually take place, the detectives said, for just before the time for it to begin Patricia Rogers stepped out on the floor and announced: “There are two policemen here and I am afraid to put on the circus."
• • The joyful soiree at the Black Parrot Tea Shoppe Hobo-Hemia [46 Charles Street, New York, NY 10014] ended rather abruptly with a paddy wagon conveying the arrested individuals to Jefferson Market Police Court on Sixth Avenue on 5 February 1923.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
Jefferson Market Police Court • •

Mae West.

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