When Eugene O’Neill and Mae West weren’t being chastened by the purity police, they found time to enjoy the speakeasies, bookshops, restaurants, and theatres in Greenwich Village. Though the Brooklyn bombshell felt O’Neill’s plays were depressing, she attended performances with Texas Guinan. In 1922, “The Hairy Ape” inspired Mae to write a song: "Eugene O'Neill, You've Put a Curse on Broadway." As she rehearsed the number for “The Ginger Box Revue,” Mae's character was bellowing, Yank Smith-style, "She don me doit! Lemme up! I'll show her who's an ape!"
To celebrate Mae West's birthday in mid-August, there will be an illustrated talk: "Mae West in Bohemia — — Gin, Sin, Censorship, and Eugene O'Neill." Rare vintage images will show you the buildings and blocks around Washington Square as these two theatre people saw them. Sites will include the Village speakeasies where Eugene drank himself into oblivion and met the characters he would put in his plays; where Mae socialized and bent elbows with Texas Guinan, Walter Winchell, Jack Dempsey, and Barney Gallant; significant theatres; the court where Eugene and Mae battled against censorship; and off-beat addresses that made an impact.
The speaker LindaAnn Loschiavo is a Greenwich Village historian and dramatist; her plays include “Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship, and Secrets” and “Diamond Lil, Queen of the Bowery.”
— — — — — — Who, What, When, Where — — — — — — — —
• • What: Mae West in Bohemia — Gin, Sin, Censorship, and Eugene O'Neill: An Illustrated Talk
• • When: Wednesday, 13 August 2014 — — from 6:30 — 8:00pm
• • Where: Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10011 (at West 10th Street).
• • Extra: to celebrate the birthday of the Brooklyn bombshell Mae West, this event will conclude with light refreshments and a raffle. You could win a rare reprint by The New Yorker’s caricaturist Alfred Freuh or by a famous N.Y. Times illustrator.
• • Subway: IND line to West Fourth Street; PATH train to West 9th Street
• • Fee: FREE
• • Phone for publication:
• • Email for publication:
• • Website for all things Mae West: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com
• • Mae West said: "I got my own individual style. You know you can always tell Eugene O'Neill — — and you can always tell Mae West."