Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Mae West: Strong Compulsion

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 7.
• • "Brutal! Vulgar! Dirty! Mae West and the gay comedy that shocked 1920s America" • •
• • Mae West's strong compulsion • •   
• • Polly Stenham  wrote:  "The Drag" is about a very specific subsection of the LGBT community, with its focus on upper-middle-class, white, cisgendered men. In her autobiography, West talks about what compelled her to write it and her other plays that “brought down the howl of the too pious”. She describes feeling “a strong compulsion to put down a realistic drama of the tragic waste of a way of life that was spreading into modern society, at a time when any mention of it was met by ordinary people with a state of shocked horror.”
• • According to Polly Stenham:  Things have undeniably moved on but, despite all this progress, we still haven’t fully attained equality in the UK. I find it patronising that gay marriage has only been a thing for a few years.
• • . . . that's what Mae West was • •   . . .
• • This was Part 7.  Part 8 (the finale) continues tomorrow.
• • Source: "Brutal! Vulgar! Dirty! ..." by Polly Stenham for The Guardian [U.K.]; published on Wednesday, 5 July 2017.
• • On Friday, 29 August 1947 • •
• • "Mae West for Own Play in London" • •
• • The News in Adelaide reprinted a London article that said Mae West, who turned down £2,000 a week to play here before the war, is packing her bags to come to England.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • In his modest role as an 1890s bartender, James C. Morton had appeared with Mae in "Every Day's a Holiday" [released in the USA on 18 December 1937].
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Good sex is like good bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A California publication mentioned Mae West.
• • L.A. Times reporter Dennis Hunt wrote:  In case we forget, comic actress Mae West, who was born 100 years ago, was trying to do the same thing in the early 1930s, but in a severely sexually restrictive era. 
• • Dennis Hunt explained: Since nudity and swearing were forbidden in those days, Miss West had to work with innuendo — — so she became a master of the sexually suggestive one-liner. It's fun to watch her old movies with the notion that she was always trying to outwit the hard-nosed censors.  . . .
• • Source: Review: "Mae West at Her Best" written by reporter Dennis Hunt in The Los Angeles Times; published on Sunday, 29 August 1993
• • 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 3776th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1932

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