Sex, Mae West's notorious 1926 comedy, will run again in New York at the Living Room in the Gershwin Hotel Dec. 9-19 and Jan. 6-16. Elyse Singer (Love in the Void) directs.
The comic rise of Margy LaMont, a working-class prostitute who hides her past to keep the man she loves, Sex ran for more than a year before the police raided the original production, hauling West away on obscenity charges. She served eight days on Welfare Island. The raid was said to have been set up to prevent the opening of West's second play, The Drag, which featured a transvestite ball. The prison time didn't stop her; she went on to write six more plays, including Pleasure Man and Diamond Lil and became one of the biggest stars of the 1930s.
Carolyn Baeumler stars as LaMont, the role originally created by West. Baemuler, a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, workshopped Bright Light, Big City as Sally and has appeared in New York at HERE, Dixon Place, the Cherry Lane Theatre and at Joe's Pub in The Erotica Project. Her co-star, Nina Hellman (Agnes), most recently performed in a different Sex, this one subtitled a.k.a. Weiners and Boobs, in Los Angeles.
Tickets are $12 and available by calling (212) 439-8122. The Gershwin Hotel is at 7 East 27th Street between 5th and Madison. The Hourglass Group is on the web at http://www.hourglassgroup.org.
-- By Christine Ehren