Born on 12 January 1884 in Waco, Mary Louise Cecilia "Texas" Guinan played a gun-slinger and rode bareback in silent films, took New York by storm in 1906, and earned a salary of $700,000 as a speakeasy hostess. Here are highlights from a life led at full speed until 5 November 1933. Meet TEXAS GUINAN!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Texas Toasts the "Cos-MAE-politan"

Celebrity Chef Fits Class in a Glass
The “Cos-MAE-politan” Debuts on Mae West’s Birthday in New York

New York, NY — Celebrity chef Stephen Lyle passes Barbra Streisand en route to his kitchen at Village Restaurant, across the street from Jefferson Market Library [a former courthouse]. A photo of the songbird during her Broadway boom graces the entry to the dining salon because the teenager was discovered in this location (June 1960) — then known as The Lion. Joan Rivers launched her career at The Lion as well. History hits the spot on the menu. During the 1920s this storied location had housed Paul and Joe’s, a French-Italian restaurant that was frequented by Jack Dempsey, Mae West, and other jazz age notables. In fact, because Mae West watched famous drag queens perform here, she based her play "The Drag" on the colorful scene. "The Drag" led to Mae West being arrested and incarcerated at Jefferson Market Court and Jefferson Market Jail in 1927.
• • On Thursday August 17th, 2006 — Mae West's birthday — Lyle invites the news media to toast the blonde bombshell from Brooklyn with a new cocktail he created: the “Cos-MAE-politan.” Here’s his recipe:
1 ½ oz Boru Crazzberry Vodka
1 oz cranberry juice
½ oz Cointreau [or Triple Sec]
½ oz fresh lime juice
fresh raspberry garnish

• • The news media and a roomful of celebrity guests will raise their glasses at a Roaring 20s-theme gala that evening during a sneak preview of "Onstage Outlaws: Mae West and Texas Guinan in a Lawless Decade." This exhibition of rare photographs, theatre memorabilia, and colorful illustrations will be open to the public from August 18th - 31st at Village Restaurant [62 West 9th Street]. There is NO admission charge to view it.
• • Vintage views [1909 - 1930] of the two friends showcase the theatrical side of these two actresses who performed on the same stages. Though TEXAS GUINAN [1884-1933] is remembered as a speakeasy hostess, in fact, she starred in more than 30 films and had leading roles in Broadway musicals. And though MAE WEST [1893-1980] is an icon of the silver screen, she performed live in vaudeville and on Broadway.
• • On Sunday August 20th there will be a Mae West and Texas Guinan brunch at Village preceded by a guided tour. The fee [tour and brunch] is $25. Brunch guests can enjoy a FREE exhibition whether or not they take the tour. Info: 212-505-3355.
• • Media inquiries are welcome.
Images: * and *
• • COURTING MAE WEST, LLC, based in Manhattan, is an off-Broadway producing outfit whose mission is to increase visibility and opportunity for women and women-driven stories in the theatre.
• • Source: Village Restaurant [62 West Ninth Street, NYC] • •
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• • Illustration: The "Cos-MAE-Politan" • •

Texas Guinan.