Monday, April 27, 2015

Mae West: Daybreak Jailbreak

On Wednesday, 27 April 1927, shortly after daybreak, MAE WEST was released from her jail cell at the Women's Workhouse and wrote about the experience for Liberty Magazine.
• • "How I Was Jailed for Sex • •
• • "10 Days + $500 — The Experiences of a Broadway Star in Jail" • •
• • • • Mae West wrote:  The warden appeared to be sorry that I was leaving. He smiled wistfully. I thanked him for his kindness, and he said, "Come and see us again, sometime."
• • • • Mae West wrote: And I said, "Thanks, I will, but not via the Little Black Wagon."
• • • • Mae West wrote: He said, "Oh, I didn't mean that."
• • • • Mae West wrote:  I said, "Oh, I know, but I just wanted to make sure." The doors closed behind me. That's my story.
• • The week before, The N.Y. Daily News (one of her hometown papers) ran with this headline: "Common Nuisance Mae West Goes to Jail."
• • On Tuesday, 19 April 1927 Mae West had been sentenced to ten days in the Women's Workhouse (then located on Welfare Island) in the middle of the East River.
• • During the trial in March and early April — — presided over by Judge George Donnellan in General Sessions — — Mae West had argued in a written statement that her plays were a work of art. Her lawyers made a case that "Sex" was a morally instructive drama. Mae did not take the stand. At Jefferson Market Court, Justice Donnellan had suggested a guilty verdict would be fitting, before the jurors went off to deliberate. Six hours later, the verdict came in. At her sentencing, Mae West was fined $500 and given 10 days to repent at an off-shore detention center.  The Women's Workhouse on Welfare Island was self-described as a "place of quiet reformatory meditation for the vicious."
• • Warden Schleth shortened her sentence by two days for good behavior.
• • The play "Courting Mae West" dramatizes the trial, Mae's actions, and the melee in court when the guilty verdict is read aloud.
• • Liberty Magazine paid Mae $1,000 to document her experiences. [Some of her essay appears on the Mae West Blog.] Sorry that the female prisoners had nothing to read, Mae donated that $1,000 to the workhouse to establish a library for female inmates.
• • Released from the lock-up on April 27th, Mae told the reporters — — who were waiting for her like Stage Door Johnnies — — that she had enough material for several plays now. Criminal street cred served the playwright well when she sat down to write "Diamond Lil" about a woman with a thing for bling, whose motto is, "My career is diamonds."
• • On Thursday, 27 April 1911 • •
• • Ah, the Folies Bergere.  Vaudeville mogul Jesse L. Lasky had built his Parisian-style cafe and cabaret on a Louis XIII scale. Located at 206-214 West 46th Street [opened on 27 April 1911], it was in a prime position within kissing distance of two well-known Broadway theatres: the Globe and the Gaiety.
• •  Eighteen-year-old brunette Mae West got her first big break when she was cast in the legitimate show "A la Broadway" at New York's Folies Bergere Theatre. Ned Wayburn (Mae's former dancing teacher), who was staging this, pulled her in. The lavish revue premiered on 22 September 1911 — — and lasted for eight performances.
• • On Saturday, 27 April 1935 • •
• • Columnist Louella Parsons mused in the weekend edition of the Los Angeles Examiner on Saturday, 27 April 1935, that maybe this long-lost husband story was a publicity gimmick dreamed up by Paramount Pictures as they released "Goin' to Town" starring Mae West.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • By the way, Mae is now working on her new contract by the terms of which she gets $100,000 a picture.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Frank Wallace? Never heard of the guy!!"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Daily Illini mentioned Mae West.
• • "Hutchins Says He Is No Mae West Spouse" • •
• • CHICAGO, April 26 [AP] — — Dr. Robert Maynard Hutchins described himself today as neither a communist nor any one of Mae West's husbands. The University of Chicago president, addressed a law school assembly, lapsed into a bit of levity in replying to charges that radical influences obtained at his school. He asserted: Just as I am not any one of Mae West's husbands, neither am I helping the Russian communist government.  . . .
• • Source: wire service item rpt in Daily Illini; published on Saturday, 27 April 1935 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. The other day we entertained 1,430 visitors. We reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,100 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3165th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

Source: to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in May 1927

• • Feed — —
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