Gayety Raid Changes Aim Of Take-Offs
Charges Laid Against 2 After Audience Shows It’s Not Slow
(The Baltimore Sun, 6/25/1956)
Two hundred patrons at the Gayety Theater took off in a hurry yesterday afternoon when the police rackets division raided Baltimore’s burlesque emporium in “the Block.”
Two performers who make their living taking off slowly stepped up their tempo and exited quickly via a back door.
But a well-proportioned blonde billed as Donna Christie, the Rock ‘n Roll Girl, was caught in her act.
Later, with her eyes batting shyly, she explained: “I lost my G-string.”
Charges Against Three
The 20-year-old stripper (36-24-35) was taken to police headquarters and booked under her real name, Donna Barber, on charges of performing an indecent act and maintaining a disorderly house.
Also charged were Morris N. Shoib, 40, treasurer of the company that controls the theater, and John Fitzmaurice, 57, manager of the burlesque house in the 400 block East Baltimore Street.
About 4.30 P.M., when Miss Christie was rolling into a rock, Patrolman Edgar Kirby leaped on the stage and became master of some uproarious ceremonies.
Crowd Needs No Second Cue
“This is a raid,” he shouted into the microphone as he reached out and grabbed Miss Christie’s left biceps.
The boys on the front row and the boys on the back row kid and all the bald-headed gents in between needed no second cue.
They poured out of the theater in a flood of humanity that almost drowned Kirby’s in-bound cohorts, Lieut. Hyman Goldstein and Patrolman Charles Gross.
But the raiders finally flailed, squeezed and ducked their way through to come to the aid of Patrolman Kirby.
While Miss Christie slipped into her dressing room to don a pair of aquamarine toreador pants and a white blouse with slippery pearl buttons and oversized button holes, the paddy wagon arrived.
“On Certain Days”
She scooped up Pepe, her “natural French poodle,” and was off on the short trip to police headquarters.
Along with Shoib and Fitz-Maurice, Miss Christie was taken up to the fifth-floor office of Inspector Clarence O. Forrester for questioning.
Lieutenant Goldstein said the stripper proved to be most cooperative. He said she told police the Gayety management had advised her “she could take it all off on certain days.”
He said he also learned that a green light had been placed among the footlights at the Gayety to tip off performers In case police were spotted in the house.
The three defendants then were taken down to the Central District Station on the first floor and released in $500 bail each for a hearing this morning at 8 o’clock.
It was agreed that lawyers at this hearing would surrender the two strippers who took off.
From Rochester to New York
Miss Christie described herself as a Rochester girl who went to New York City as a budding commercial artist. This led to a few jobs as an artists’ model. She entered the bump ‘n grind trade as the Rock ‘n Roll Girl about eighteen months ago.
A wedding ring flashed on her finger and when she was asked what that meant she replied: “I use it to keep the wolves away.”
Last night’s performance at the Gayety went on in the grand tradition of the stage. And Miss Christie, bundled up in a G-string, was rocking and rolling as the drums beat slowly.