By Mae West
Author note: Lillian Schlissel (Editor)
Publish 12 months note: First released in 1997
Mae West was once, with no query, the most well-known and debatable figures of her period. She was once a tough-talking, wise-cracking vaudeville performer who made her method onto the Broadway degree after which into the hearts of the yankee public with a hugely noticeable Hollywood movie profession. not often, even if, do humans give some thought to Mae West as a author although she wrote 8 scripts for the degree and her personal discussion for plenty of of her films.
In Three performs via Mae West, Lillian Schlissel brings this underexplored a part of West's profession to the fore through supplying for the 1st time in e-book shape, 3 of the performs West wrote within the 1920s--Sex (1926), The Drag (1927) and Pleasure Man (1928). Schlissel's advent bargains perception to the lifestyles and early profession of this mythical level and reveal actress.
In her first starring function on Broadway, West performed Margy LaMont in Sex, which had 375 non-stop performances yet was once closed via the police after greater than a yr, whilst she used to be attempted and convicted of corrupting the morals of minor. Set in a Montreal brothel, the play confronts the difficulty of girls separated by means of classification and attitudes of sexuality. West's personality learns the painful lesson that girls aren't certain in sisterhood just because they've got either shared the betrayal of men.
In The Drag, which opened in Bridgeport, Connecticut, yet now not in big apple, West argued that, like sexuality in a lady, homosexuality had no category id. during this play West used the theatricality of the drag "queens" who had develop into her acquaintances and "sisters."
Pleasure Man is once more set on the planet of theatre, and is either a forerunner to La Cage aux Folles and a revenge fable during which a guy is castrated after seducing and impregnating an blameless lady. Pleasure Man had and a part performances within the urban ahead of it used to be closed by way of the police. whereas West received the felony correct to have her play played, its debatable nature marked the tip of her field workplace success.
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Extra resources for Three Plays by Mae West: Sex, The Drag and Pleasure Man
What are you trying to do? Scare someone? Just because you croaked a guy and got away with it MARGY don’t think I’m afraid of you. You know if I start talking, I can put a rope around that lily white neck of yours. You wouldn’t dare squawk on a fellow for that. Besides, I know you too well. You haven’t the heart Rocky to turn anyone up. If I thought you had, I’d finish you now. I won’t get any more for killing two than I will for killing one. Don’t be too sure about that. Now I’m going to give MARGY you a little inside information—I’m going to leave you the first chance I get.
32 By morning, West and Timony had contacted four different bail bond agencies and put up bail for the principals and the cast—fifty-nine people in all. The Pleasure Man had a Broadway “run” of one-and-a-half performances, hardly time to earn the avalanche of vitriolic reviews it received. ”34 The homophobia of reviewers was so great that few of them would even mention the “surgical mutilation” of the 38 seducer. ” I hate to admit this but I must acknowledge my shame—I enjoyed Pleasure Man. [The play] is full of a curious native wit and some rather keen observation” When the trial of The Pleasure Man was postponed, West took Diamond Lil on tour.
Gaugh, Willem de Kooning, Abbeville Press, New York, 1983, pp. 42, 48. Also Notes to Exhibit, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995. * ”Dirty charity“; a woman who plays at being a prostitute. S. 52 SEX A Comedy Drama (1926) THE CAST MARGY LaMont, a prostitute Captain Carter, an officer Rocky Waldron, a pimp Condez, host of the Cafe Port au Prince Manly a thug Curley, a pimp Dawson, an officer of the law Agnes, a prostitute Red, a prostitute Flossie, a prostitute Jones, a client CLARA STANTON, a wealthy woman JIMMY STANTON, her son Robert STANTON, her husband MARIE, the STANTONs’ French maid JENKINS, the STANTONs’ butler Policeman Lieutenant Gregg, an English First Man, Second Man, Waiter naval officer The action takes place in Montreal’s red light district; a cafe in Trinidad; and in a wealthy home outside New York City.