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Mae West

Vintage Photograph

1159508-1

$95.00$76 - Product is currently out of stock.

Mary Jane "Mae" West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980), American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades, vintage 7 x 9 press photograph of West's 'Pleasure Man' show being raided at the Biltmore theatre (West not actually pictured). Dated October 3, 1928.

'Pleasure Man' was a 1928 play by Mae West. As per tradition, it opened outside of Manhattan at the Bronx Opera House September 16 and then showed in Queens, New York at the Boulevard Theatre (Queens). Its Broadway debut was October 1, 1928 at the Biltmore Theatre. After the show, police arrested the entire cast of 56 after a performance at the Biltmore Theatre and they were charged with indecency. The events stirred the media and the Evening Post (New York) ran the headline "Mae West raid open crusade to purify stage; mayor Walker alleged sponsor of drive to purify Broadway." An injunction allowed for a matinee performance the next day, but even with some bits of the show cut out, it was raided again, this time during the performance, and the cast rearrested. 

The show was described as depicting backstage burlesque and one reviewer called it the "queerest show you've ever seen" and as having "all the Queens" in it. Another review noted the presence of "Harlembacchanales." A couple of favorable reviews found it entertaining, but most reviewers gave it rather scornful criticism including description of it as "filth" and "foul exhibitionism."

Front shows minor printer touch-up and cropping markings. Verso bears original date stamping, affixed snipe and press clipping. In good condition showing some signs of wear and handling.

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TAGS: New York City, Sex Symbols

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