Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Mae West: Neighbors

During the expensive and disruptive "Pleasure Man" courtroom trial in 1930, MAE WEST could not find work. Her brother John supported both of his sisters for a time; the three siblings were living in a rather grand midtown building. They took up lodgings there shortly after their mother died on 26 January 1930. It was important to maintain a serious air of respectability when Mae was under siege and spending every nickel to avoid another jail term. One telling detail is that the West household is the only one enumerated in the 1930 Census at that address that has no servants in residence, however, they did have a number of fancy neighbors in February 1930 — — such as this musician.
• • Jascha Heifetz was a Jewish violin virtuoso born in Lithuania in the month of February — — on 2 February 1901.
• • In 1917, 16-year-old Heifetz was elected as an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national fraternity for men in music, by the fraternity's Alpha chapter at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.
• • Jascha Heifetz remained in the USA, becoming an American citizen in 1925.
• • Jascha Heifetz was married in 1928 to the silent motion picture actress Florence Vidor, ex-wife of King Vidor, whose seven year old daughter, Suzanne, Jascha Heifetz adopted. The couple had two more children, Josefa (born 1930) and Robert (1932 — 2001) before divorcing in 1945. Heifetz died on 10 December 1987.
• • • John DiDonna's Dangerous Plays Series • • •
• • According to John DiDonna, who just directed a reading of Mae West's play "The Drag" in Orlando, Florida last weekend: THE DANGEROUS PLAYS SERIES is a series of readings, workshops, and productions that Empty Spaces will be exploring. These plays do not "shock" for shock value, but are works that ask questions that challenge political, social, sexual, religious, or philosophical mores. They do not necessarily reflect the personal opinions of those involved, or the producers. The mission is "Giving Breath to Dissenting Voices" - the unasked question is the only one that offers no value. The Dangerous Play Series is privately funded.
• • John DiDonna told us: During the talkback after "The Drag," I had mentioned the play "Courting Mae West."
• • • Words of Mae West come to life in “The Drag • • •
• • Florida Columnist Dawnn Behrens writes: Originally written in 1926 the words of Mae West come to life in “The Drag” tonight [Jan. 30th] at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center (Studio B) . Directors Michael Wanzie, John DiDonna and their group received permission from the estate of the late Mae West to present the show. It will be present tonight as the last night of an exclusive 2 night performance as part of their “Dangerous Plays Series – Giving breath to dissenting voices” series. . . .
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Article: "Words of Mae West Come to Life"
• • BYLINE: Dawnn Behrens | Orlando Entertainment Examiner
• • Published on: 30 January 2011
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• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • with her siblings at the 1930 trial • •
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Mae West.

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