Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Mae West: Outsider Mae

MAE WEST staged "The Drag" in 1927 but her gay play was shut down by the authorities before it could reach the lights of Broadway. A British theatre director decided to dust it off and present it to an English audience this summer.
• • Polly Stenham wrote this article. This is Part 8, the conclusion.
• • "Brutal! Vulgar! Dirty! Mae West and the gay comedy that shocked 1920s America" • •
• • . . . that's what Mae West was • •   . . .
• • Polly Stenham wrote:  It’s a human right to be able to get married. It’s so important to keep the Pride celebration going, keep it visible. I’m looking forward to the day when there will be married gay grandparents.
• • Polly Stenham added: Outsiders always appeal to me and that’s what Mae West was." playwright and director Polly Stenham.
• • Note:   British playwright and director Polly Stenham directed a rehearsed reading of "The Drag" by Mae West earlier this summer on 10 July as part of Queer Theatre, 6-10 July, a season at the National Theatre, London, to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.
• • Source: "Brutal! Vulgar! Dirty! ..." by Polly Stenham for The Guardian [U.K.]; published on Wednesday, 5 July 2017.
• • This was Part 8.  We hope you enjoyed all eight segments.
• • Source: "Brutal! Vulgar! Dirty! ..." by Polly Stenham for The Guardian [U.K.]; published on Wednesday, 5 July 2017.
• • On Sunday, 30 August 1931 • •
• • When Mae West brought her play "The Constant Sinner" to Atlantic City for a try-out in August 1931, the crowds lined up for tickets.
• • Noted The New York Times: "With two rows of standees and chairs in the aisles for extra celebrants, last Monday night saw Mae West run through her latest daisy chain, 'The Constant Sinner,' at the Apollo Theatre in Atlantic City. . ."  The Times' man on the aisle described this play as "underworld material," leading us to assume that this sheltered individual rarely ventured above the wilds of West 59th Street.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West told a courtroom bulging with spectators that no woman could be expected to remember the order of 300 lovers.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I sat around for 12 weeks drawing money and I never saw a script. This wasn't for me."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Canadian publication mentioned Mae West.
• • George Anthony wrote: In "Sextette" Mae plays a Hollywood superstar — — move over, Barbra and Liza — — who marries an English lord and has her six former husbands turn up at the wedding. And despite gloomy box-office predictions from Hollywood crepe-hangers, Mae West herself has no doubts that she has written and starred in a hit.
• • "All my pictures have made big money," she says matter-of-factly, a bit surprised that the question could even come up. "I wouldn't do it if it weren't right for me."
• • Source: Interview in Ottawa Journal (Ottawa, Canada); published on Tuesday, 30 August  1977
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 13th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past eleven years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,700 blog posts. Wow!   
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started thirteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3777th 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:


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• • Mae West • in 1978

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