Friday, January 31, 2020

Mae West: Tabloid Celebrity

In case you missed a fascinating review of a book analyzing MAE WEST, here it is. This is Part 3 of 6 parts.
• • “Mae West, Diamond in the Rough” • •
• • Sex” was short on art and long on comically lurid brothel scenes • •
• • Gerald Weales wrote: After years of minimal success in vaudeville, in tacky road companies, in burlesque (although she always claimed she never played burlesque), Mae West retreated — — or advanced — — to the last refuge of the open mind and the open kimono: Broadway.
• • Gerald Weales wrote: In 1926, on the assumption that what the legit needed was a taste of life in the raw, she wrote and starred in "Sex," a comedy melodrama about a Montreal prostitute that was short on art and long on comically lurid brothel scenes. Dismissed by the critics but helped by the publicity of a police raid, "Sex" became a success and Mae West a tabloid celebrity.
• • The Drag” showed the seamier side of NYC’s gay subculture • • . . . 
• • This book review by Gerald Weales will be continued on the next post.
• • Source: The Washington Post; published on Thursday, 11 January 1996.
• • On Monday, 31 January 1927 in Bridgeport • •
• • Despite the public's curiosity about the controversial vaudevillian Mae West, and her latest play "The Drag," Jim Timony could only manage to secure half a week at Poli's Park, which was then in use as a burlesque house in Bridgeport.
• • It was a dreary and wintery Monday on 31 January 1927 when the Morals Production Company hoisted a banner over the trolley cars criss-crossing Main Street. Pedestrians were intrigued by this saucy announcement: "'The Drag' by the author of SEX — — more sensational than Rain or The Captive!" It was Mae West’s intention to give gay characters a voice and a spotlight. The police were lying in wait for her.
• • These true events are dramatized in Act I, Scene 2 of the stage play "Courting Mae West" by LindaAnn LoSchiavo. Why not bring this astonishing 95-page play to your theatre?
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Renaming of Mae West's "It Ain't No Sin" as "The Belle of New Orleans" drew protests today from civic and political bodies here.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "The curve is the loveliest distance between two points."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Motion Picture Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • Hunt Still On • •
• • Hollywood, July 12. — Paramount is still facing the title bugaboo on the Mae West film, having been unable to clear "Belle of New Orleans," which happens to have been tacked on to a play of a decade ago.  . . .
• • Source: Motion Picture Daily; published on Friday, 13 July 1934
• • The evolution of 2 Mae West plays that keep her memory alive • •
• • A discussion with Mae West playwright LindaAnn LoSchiavo — —
• •
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 15th anniversary • • 
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past fifteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 4,400 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fifteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4,400th 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:
• • Be sure to bookmark or follow The Mae West Blog
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • "The Drag" is raided and makes headlines in 1927 • •
• • Feed — —

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