Sex (play)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
American erotica

Sex is a 1926 play, written by, and starring, Mae West. It was very popular for about a year before the New York Police Department raided West and her company, charging them with obscenity, despite the fact that 325,000 people had watched it, including members of the police department and their wives, judges of the criminal courts, and seven members of the district attorney’s staff.

West was sentenced to 10 days in jail, getting out two days early for good behavior. The resulting publicity increased her national renown.

Background

Her first starring role on Broadway was in a play she titled Sex, which she also wrote, produced, and directed. Though critics hated the show, ticket sales were good. The notorious production did not go over well with city officials and the theater was raided with West arrested along with the cast.

She was prosecuted on morals charges and, on April 19, 1927, was sentenced to ten days for "corrupting the morals of youth". While incarcerated on Welfare Island (now known as Roosevelt Island), she dined with the warden and his wife and told reporters that she wore her silk underpants while serving time. She served eight days with two days off for good behavior. Media attention about the case enhanced her career.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sex (play)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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