Friday, September 09, 2016

Mae West: Jersey City Sex

MAE WEST was arrested in Jersey City, New Jersey during a performance of "Sex."
• • Carmela Karnoutsos wrote:  After Frank E. Henderson sold the Majestic Theatre in 1925, it became part of the vaudeville and burlesque circuit. Among the performers were Mae West (arrested on stage at the theater while performing her play "Sex"), Al Jolson, W.C. Fields, George Burns, Groucho Marx, Fanny Brice, and George M. Cohan.
• • Carmela Karnoutsos explained:  With the theater located across the street from City Hall, Mayor Frank Hague, who did not approve of the "immoral shows," affected his own censorship of entertainment at the theater. He shut down the production of "Laffin Thru" and had police arrest Mae West on stage during a performance of her play "Sex."  . . .
• • N.B.:  The Majestic Theatre [275 Grove St. in Jersey City, NJ]  is on the National Register of Historic Places.
• • Source:  Article  "Jersey City: Past and Present"  [undated]
• • "Sex" by Mae West returns September 29 - October 2, 2016 • •
• • To kick off the 2016/2017 Residency with FRIGID @Horse Trade in NYC's East Village, The Dirty Blondes will present a staged reading of Mae West's play "Sex."
• • "Sex," about a sharp-witted prostitute looking for true love, was initially shut down in 1927 during its Broadway run, and its writer and lead actress Mae West was jailed for "lewdness and corrupting the youth." 
• • Each evening will feature a talk back with a special guest to explore just how extreme the play was for its time, and how it's still relevant today. [We will announce the guest speakers closer to the time.] Under Saint Marks is on Saint Marks Place, east of First Avenue.
• • On Sunday, 9 September 1934 • •
• • "Me and My Past" was reprinted in Delaware Star on Sunday, 9 September 1934.  Among other matters, Mae West discusses ("How Her Famous Gait Was Born with Ed Wynn and Frank Tinney") the development of her slow, studied, slouchy strut while appearing on Broadway in "Sometime" with Ed Wynn, a comedian who moved very quickly across the stage.
• • On Friday, 9 September 1927 in Variety • •
• • Variety was not impressed with Mae West's harmonica playing in "The Wicked Age."  They were not amused by "Satisfied" nor the other songs she thought up like "My Baby's Kisses."  But the most startling element was her racy, tummy-tossing physicality.  Variety reprimanded her in their review: "Miss West is getting away at $3.85 with something the [burlesque] wheels don't dare at $1.65." [Variety's issue was dated for Friday, 9 September 1927.]
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • During a trip to the Rockies, Mae West told Central City reporters this: "I brought sex out of the back room. I gave it a shove with personality. I can order a cup of coffee on the stage, and the censors will be on my neck!"
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  ”I'm here to make talkies. I hope the film can take the temperature."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An Australia reporter mentioned Mae West.
• • From Down Under, reporter Amy Harris writes: Once considered the ultimate status symbol in the 1930s and owned by the likes of Mae West, Al Capone, and Howard Hughes, the Duesenbergs were reportedly sourced from an American auto museum and shipped to Australia for the four-month "Great Gatsby" shoot.  . . .
• • Source:  Article: "The car's the star but Leo will be a great Gatsby" written by Amy Harris for The Daily Telegraph [Australia]; posted on Friday, 26 August 2011 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 12th anniversary • •
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past twelve years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,500 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started twelve years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 3527th 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:


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1927

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