A Free Exhibition on Two Film Icons Salutes the Shady Side

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Jailed or jeweled, hand-clapped or handcuffed -- you get a true behind-the-scenes view.

Who said American history had to be pretty? During the Jazz Era, two of the most glamorous actresses -- Mae West and Texas Guinan -- were frequently photographed at premieres as well as inside police precincts, paddy wagons, courtrooms, and prison cells. Whether they were bejeweled or being jailed, Mae West and Texas Guinan were preserved on camera. Though many books have been published on both women, the striking images in this special collection have not appeared since 1935.

Steve Rossi, who performed onstage during the 1950s in the “Mae West Revue” (and who later teamed up with funnyman Marty Allen as Allen & Rossi), was astonished by the collection. “These candids and illustrations are quite revealing,” he said. Steve Rossi plans to be at the Gala PRESS PREVIEW taking place in New York City on August 17, 2006. Gala giftbags will be given to celebrities, the news media, and VIPs who attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Sunny-side-up surprises are also in store. Though Texas Guinan (1884-1933) is remembered as a speakeasy hostess, in fact, she starred in over two dozen silent films and had leading roles in musicals at the Manhattan Opera House, Keith and Proctor's Fifth Avenue Theatre, Winter Garden, Shubert Theatre, and The Hippodrome. And though Mae West (1893-1980) is immortalized as an icon of the silver screen, she performed live in vaudeville for 27 years, and on the mainstem circuit -- at Keith and Proctor's Fifth Avenue Theatre, Winter Garden, Shubert Theatre, Hammerstein's Victoria, Folies Bergere, Century Roof, Casino Theatre, Royale Theatre, the Polo Grounds, etc. -- BEFORE Hollywood beckoned in 1932.

New Yorkers can feast on these rare archival images at Village Restaurant (62 West Ninth Street, NYC) during a free exhibition in August. “Onstage Outlaws: Mae West and Texas Guinan in a Lawless Era” opens to the public after a Gala Roaring-20s theme Press Preview on Mae’s birthday August 17, 2006. There is no charge to view this historic installation.

Mae West and Texas Guinan had secret passions that will be revealed during a walking tour on Sunday August 20th followed by brunch at Village Restaurant. Fee [tour + brunch] will be $25. Brunch guests can enjoy the free exhibition with or without the tour. Info: 212-505-3355.

The Annual Mae West Gala always takes place in a venue that the actress had frequented. Media inquiries welcome. Images: maewest.blogspot.com -- texasguinan.blogspot.com

COURTING MAE WEST, LLC, based in Manhattan, is an off-Broadway producing outfit whose mission is to increase opportunities for women and female-driven plays.


Sponsorship Coordinator:

Conrad Bradford


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