Mae West Fans Get Ready for West Fest, August 17-29

You remember MarxFest (2014), our festival celebrating the Marx Brothers. You remember Fields Fest (2016) our festival celebrating W.C. Fields. Well, as every comedy fan knows, everything goes in threes, so gird up your girdle for West Fest, a festival of Mae West movie screenings, talks, tours, parties and other events to take place August 17-29. Not only is it Mae’s 125th birthday, but it’s the latest Year of the Woman (nothing official, but just google the phrase, you’ll see, and that’s good enough for us). West Fest committee chair Michele Gouveia, the Madcap Heiress herself spearheads our incredible menu of activities which launches just over a month from now. Don’t miss these events, Westians!

West Fest Schedule

August 17 (Friday): Mae West Walking Tour

Time: 11:00 am

Location: Cypress Hills Cemetery

833 Jamaica Ave, Brooklyn (meet at main entrance)

Cost: $25 (cost of lunch and drinks separate). Advance registration required; space is limited.

Visit Mae’s final resting place with historian and tour guide Kevin Fitzpatrick. Afterwards, walk (.7 miles) to Neir’s Tavern, an 1829 bar where Mae is said to have performed, for lunch and drinks before visiting her former home.


Mae on Trial, Jefferson Market Courthouse, 1927

August 18 (Saturday): Let’s Talk About Mae

Time: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Location: Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Ave

A series of talks about Mae West will take place in the former courthouse where she was convicted on obscenity charges in 1927.

Cost: Free

12:00 pm: Mae’s Early Life, Career, and VaudevilleTrav S.D., writer and performer; best known for critically-acclaimed No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous and the blog Travalanche.

1:00 pm: Mae and BroadwayJohn Calhoun, librarian, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

2:00 pm: Mae and RaceChicava Honeychild, scholar, actress, proprietress of Brown Girls Burlesque, and artist in residence at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater.

3:00 pm: Mae and SpiritualismKathy Biehl, scholar, actress, freelance writer, and certified, award-winning psychic and astrologer.

4:00 pm: Rebel Mae West—a panel discussion moderated by Grady Turner, curator of “Bare! True Stories of Sex Desire and Romance” and author of blog One Life, Take Two; featuring international burlesque sensation Dirty Martini; Elyse Singer, CUNY teaching fellow, artistic director of Hourglass Group, and director of two critically-acclaimed revivals of Mae West plays: Sex (1999) and Pleasure Man (2003); as well as participants Trav S.D., John Calhoun, Chicava Honeychild, and Kathy Biehl.

August 19 (Sunday): Mae West Double Feature

Screenings: She Done Him Wrong (1933) and Belle of the Nineties (1934)

Time: 2:00 pm

Location: Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Ave

Cost: Free

Films introduced by Michele Gouveia, West Fest chair, writer, and producer.

August 25 (Saturday) Screening: My Little Chickadee (1940), introduced by Dr. Harriet Fields, the granddaughter of W.C. Fields.

Time: 1:30 pm

Location: Metrograph, 7 Ludlow St

Cost: $15

To purchase tickets in advance, go here. 

August 27 (Monday)
Staged reading of the musical Come Up ‘n’ See Me
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: Friars Club, 57 East 55th St
Cost: $15

Proper attire is expected
Tickets must be purchased in advance, visit:

Come Up ‘n’ See Me is an original musical about the life of Mae West. Book by Bianca Leigh, Bonnie Lee Sanders, and Ellen Schwartz. Music and Lyrics by Bonnie Lee Sanders and Ellen Schwartz. Directed by Crystal Chapman. Musical Direction by Thomas Spahn.

August 29 (Wednesday) Screening: I’m No Angel (1933), introduced by Trav S.D.!

Time: 7pm

Location: Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave, Huntington, Long Island

Cost: $11 members/ $16 public

For tickets and more info go here. 


It all starts on her birthday, August 17! And if ya can’t wait ’til then, meantime you can peruse the Mae West section of Travalanche, which features 20 posts about the stage and screen career of America’s naughtiest comedienne.



One comment

Comments are closed.