Friday, April 10, 2020

Mae West: Exploring Sexuality

When there is a revival or a staged reading of a controversial MAE WEST play, people flock to the venue. This is Part 3 of 7 segments.
• • “Banned 1927 Mae West Play Gets a Reading at Vermont Pride Theater” • •
• • “The Drag: A Homosexual Comedy in Three Acts” • •
• • "The Drag” by Mae West is about exploring one's own sexuality • •
• • Dan Bolles wrote: "And then it all turns into a murder mystery," said Tess Holbrook, who directs the reading.  "The Drag is about exploring one's own sexuality," she continued. "It resonates today for the same reason it was banned in the 1920s: It was a celebration of these gay characters' sexuality." Holbrook added, "It's fun; it's a comedy. It's colorful and loud and unapologetic."
• • Dan Bolles wrote: Tess Holbrook believes that celebratory aspect of the play still appeals to audiences more than 90 years later because it's a welcome counterpoint to how modern films such as Brokeback Mountain and Carol have told the stories of gay characters. "Those are tragedies," she said. "The LGBTQ community hasn't really had a lot of just fun stories with characters that reflect them."
• • how sexual identities evolve • •  … 
• • This seven-part article by Dan Bolles will be continued on the next post.  
• • Source: Seven Days Vermont; published on Wednesday, 22 January 2020.
• • On Tuesday, 10 April 1928 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • The New York Times reported on "Diamond Lil" on Tuesday, 10 April 1928 on page 32. The review carried this headline and a sub-title: "'DIAMOND LIL' IS LURID AND OFTEN STIRRING" and "Mae West's Melodrama at the Royale Suffers from a Bad Third Act."
• • Opposite the coverage on page 33 was a small advertisement for the play at the Royale Theatre.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • While being interviewed for her role in “Myra Breckinridge,” Mae West asked a Hollywood newsman if he knew that she had once spent time in jail. He responded that he knew, and added that she was not an “ordinary prisoner.” Mae West responded, “I was never an ordinary anything.”
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "A man's kiss is his signature."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Playbill mentioned Mae West.
• • Provincetown Theater Postpones Staging of Mae West’s “The Drag• •
• • Andrew Gans wrote: Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Provincetown Theater has postponed its production of Mae West’s “The Drag,“ which was scheduled to kick off the 2020 season in Provincetown, Massachusetts, Thursday, 14 May 2020.
• • Andrew Gans wrote: The play, written under West's pseudonym Jane Mast, tells the tale of a closeted Park Avenue newlywed and his secret double-life with a pack of Greenwich Village drag queens and was shut down in 1927 for “corrupting the morals of youths.” …
• • Source: Playbill; published on Wednesday, 25 March 2020
• • 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 4,450th 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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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in 1928 • •
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