Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Mae West: Alleged Misconduct

It was January 1927 when MAE WEST was planning the out-of-town try-outs of her new gay play “The Drag.” What was going through her mind as she searched for a preview theatre in Connecticut and in New Jersey, helped design the banners, and wrote the controversial advertising copy?
• • It was advertised as "more sensational than 'White Cargo,' ‘Rain,’ and 'Sex’!" • •
• • According to The New York Times, Edwin [sic] Elsner of New York, stage director of "The Drag," which opened here last night [1 February 1927], and Miss Beverly West of New York, sister of Mae West, author of the play, were arrested at 5:30 o'clock this morning in Miss West's room at the Arcade Hotel and will be arraigned in the City Court on Wednesday on technical charges of breach of the peace.
• • The police allege misconduct, but both Elsner and Miss West deny there was any wrongdoing, explaining that they were in the room going over the events of the opening night and possible changes in the play.
• • Elsner, known for his work in staging "Within the Law," "Bought and Paid For," "Pygmalion," "Sex," and other plays, was released under bond of $250, as was Miss West, after spending several hours locked up at Police Headquarters following a ride from the hotel in the police patrol wagon. . . .
• • The arrest at the Arcade Hotel is dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West." Beverly's drunken antics and Mae's witty strategies are featured in Act I, Scene 2.
• • To be continued.
• • On Saturday, 17 January 1931 • •
• • The novel "Babe Gordon" by Mae West was given some snooty scrutiny in the Daily Princetonian (page 2), Volume 55, Number 171; book review published on Saturday, 17 January 1931.
• • The critic wrote: Well, anyway, for erotic description La West is pretty darned good .
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West has a chimp named Coffee who is fascinated by Bing Crosby’s Minute Maid cartoon commercials. Won’t leave the room when they’re on.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "A noted sculptor is doing my figure in marble, and says I'd have made a perfect stand-in for Venus. Flattering, of course. But maybe not. That dame was cold, and didn't have any arms."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A page one article was about Mae West.
• • “Mae West Thrills Court Crowd With Theft Story” • •
• • Associated Press wrote:  Mae West told the jury that she next saw Friedman last Thanksgiving night when two policemen brought him to her apartment, and ordered him to "tell Miss West what you've told us."
• • Associated Press wrote:  Defense counsel's objections, however, prevented Miss West from proceeding. Authorities say Friedman made a statement about the robbery after his arrest implicating Harry Voiler but later repudiated it. 
• • Associated Press wrote: Later Miss West was allowed to tell of her Thanksgiving meeting with Friedman. "He told me he was sorry he did it," she said, "and that had he known as much about me then as he did later he wouldn't have done it. He said: 'If I had the stones, Mae, I would give them back.' "He told me Harry Voiler planned it and that he himself had carried out the job, added Mae.   . . ..
• • Source:  Associated Press coverage; syndicated and published on Wednesday, 17 January 1934
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 13th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past thirteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,800 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started thirteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3877th 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.

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • entering court in January 1934

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