Monday, April 06, 2009

Mae West: April 1927

April was the cruelest month for MAE WEST in 1927.
• • On 5 April 1927 at Jefferson Market Court [on Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village], the jury returned with a guilty verdict. As she left the courtroom, followed by reporters, photographers, and a mob of well-wishers, Mae told them, "You've got to fight in this world!" She added, "You've got to fight to get there — — and fight to stay there."
• • On 19 April 1927, actress Mae West was sentenced for her performance in "Sex," the Broadway play she wrote, cast, and starred in. She was given ten days in prison and the jail time seems to have done her good — — from a publicity standpoint. As she left the courtroom, followed by reporters, friends, fans, and gawkers, Mae predicted, "I expect this will be the making of me!"
• • Though Mae West was sentenced to 10 days, she actually only served 8 days. The actress received "time off for good behavior."
• • Here is the cast of "Courting Mae West" acting out the chaos inside that Greenwich Village courtroom on 5 April 1927. The scintillating Yvonne Sayers, who portrays Mae West, is in the center of the frame, supported by Eric Eastman who plays her co-star and co-defendant, Barry O'Neill.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • The serious-minded comedy "Courting Mae West" by Greenwich Village playwright LindaAnn Loschiavo, set during 1926 1932, explores Mae West's legal woes surrounding "The Drag" and "Sex." Scenes in Act I dramatize Mae's interactions with her drag queen cast, the police raid on 9 February 1927, and the tense aftermath at Jefferson Market Police Court.
• • Using fictional elements, the text is anchored by true events and has several characters who are based on real people: actress Mae West; Beverly West; Jim Timony; Texas Guinan; 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.
• • "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship, and Secrets" has attracted the attention of a theatre owner and Is now seeking a co-producer.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • Courting Mae West, ACT I finale • •
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