Friday, August 17, 2018

Mae West: 125th Anniversary

MAE WEST endures, in our hearts, and also onstage. In honor of her 125th birthday, an A-MAE-ZING revival of her controversial works for the stage has been taking place everywhere.
• • For example, Arcola Queer Collective staged "The Drag” written by Mae West from 9 – 13 January 2017 in England. “Sex” was onstage at Hollywood’s Hudson Theatre until Sunday, 17 June 2018 with Andrea Hutchman as Margie LaMont. During the last weekend of June 2018, “The Drag” was onstage all weekend in the Montmartre section of Paris (the Left Bank). The National Theatre in Britain hosted “The Drag” on 10 July 2018. An Other Company just concluded their successful run of “Sex” in Provo, Utah. A musical called “Come Up ‘n See Me” debuts on August 27th at The Friars Club in New York, NY. And the venerable Shaw Festival, set in a scenic part of Western New York, Niagara-on-the-Lake, will produce “Sex” in 2019.
• • Applause, applause, let's have some a-MAE-zing applause!
• • To the Mae-mavens, dear Mae West, you will never be older than twenty-sex!
• • On Thursday, 17 August 1893 • •
• • On Thursday, 17 August 1893 Mae West was born in her parents' bedroom — — in Bushwick. The young Mom-to-be [born December 1870] and the Dad-to-be [born March 1866], who wed on 19 January 1889, had gone to a hospital for the birth of their firstborn child Katie, who entered their world in August 1891 but who, most unfortunately, died in infancy. Perhaps this is why the couple opted for a midwife and a home delivery when little Mary Jane West was due under the astrological sign of Leo.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West sang loud enough to be distinctly heard in the rear.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Come up sometime and see me."  
• • Mae West said: “You only live once. But if you do it right, once is enough.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Telegraph [U.K.] celebrated the 120th birthday of Mae West back in 2013.
• • "Actress Mae West was born 120 years ago today, was one of the great 20th century wits" • •
• • Culture Editor Martin Chilton wrote:  "I used to be Snow White but I drifted," quipped Mae West, the Hollywood actress who is remembered for her Wildean wit as much as her flamboyant personality.
• • Martin Chilton continued: Mae West was born on August 17, 1893, in New York, a place where this weekend they are staging her 1928 mob melodrama Diamond Lil.
• • Martin Chilton added: The death of this sex goddess from Hollywood's Golden Age was front-page news in November 1980 when she was 87. She had been 40 when she made the first of 12 films and was an important influence on the early career of Cary Grant, teaching him much about the craft of comedy in the course of appearing with him in She Done Him Wrong and I'm No Angel. It was to Grant that West uttered the famous, oft-misquoted line: ''Why don't you come up sometime and see me?''
• • Martin Chilton explained: West had been a late-Victorian stage performer and her vaudeville timing showed in the wonderful banter with W.C. Fields in the pre-war movie My Little Chickadee. By then she was world famous and during the war it pleased her greatly that the RAF dubbed its inflatable life-jacket a "Mae West". . . .
• • Source: Article: "Mae West: remembering Hollywood's wittiest sex goddess" by Martin Chilton for The Telegraph [U.K.]; published on Saturday, 17 August 2013
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • "Mae West Turns Sixty" • • 
• • The Horsham Times wrote: Mae West turned 60 recently. To reporters who went along to wish her many happy returns, Miss West made it plain that birthdays are one thing a lady just doesn't discuss. Fluttering her inch-long eyelashes demurely she said: "You can see for yourself, a girl's just at old as she feels."
• • Source: News Item: The Horsham Times; published on Friday, 12 September 1952
• • The evolution of 2 Mae West plays that keep her memory alive • • 
• • A discussion with Mae West playwright LindaAnn LoSchiavo — — 
• • http://lideamagazine.com/renaissance-woman-new-york-city-interview-lindaann-loschiavo/
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 13th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past thirteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 4,000 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fourteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4026th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1926

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Mae West: All the Mae Men

Jill Watts, biographer of MAE WEST, distinguished professor at CSUSM, and talented author of books on Father Divine [1879—1965] and Hattie McDaniel [1895—1952], which has inspired a bio-pic about the Oscar winner, has kindly consented to an exclusive interview with The Mae West Blog. This is Part 13.
• • Mae West and Her Men • •
• • JILL WATTS: I believe since I wrote the book others have confirmed that she was married to the Italian accordionist Guido Deiro as well as the vaudevillian Frank Wallace. 
• • JW: On the one hand, I think she was proud to be an independent woman who rejected the double standard that allowed men to have as many women as they wanted but confined women to monogamy.  But there were career issues that she was taking into consideration.  Once she became a star, that forced her to be more circumspect about her personal life to keep the public myth intact.  It was important in Hollywood that she remain unmarried and that her personal life be left up to the imagination.  As we know, her marriage to Frank Wallace did and it hurt her image somewhat.
• • Mae West and the Criminal Underworld • • . . .
• • This exciting interview with Prof. Jill Watts will be continued on the next post.
• • Recommended Reading: “Mae West: An Icon in Black and White” by Jill Watts [Oxford University Press; paperback edition, 2003]; 400 pages.
• • On Sunday, 16 August 1964 • •
• • An article "Return Engagement" appeared in The New York Times on Sunday, 16 August 1964. Plans were then in the works for Mae to be featured on the TV sit-com "Mister Ed" for a second episode. Mae was to have played a saloon keeper. This TV project fizzled out, it seems.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • To celebrate her birthday, (Mae was born in the Bushwick section of Kings County on August 17, 1893), borough daughters LindaAnn LoSchiavo and Darlene Violette are putting on a performance of West’s first Broadway success, “Diamond Lil.”
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  “It’s easy to get married, but hard to stay that way.”
• • Mae West said:  "First there's a guy named Frank Wallace, and then another guy named Wallace and now, what's his name — — Burmester? That makes nine this year."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A film site mentioned Mae West.
• • Edith Head’s Most Iconic Looks • •
• • Darby Delaney wrote: Edith Head received her big break for designing Mae West’s outrageous costumes in She Done Him Wrong. With the story set in the 1890s, West wears several gorgeous period ensembles; the first time she meets Captain Cumming, she wears a sparkling, corseted gown with tree and fireflies-esque ornamentation. The statuesque gown and decadent accessories perfectly capture the grandeur of The Gay Nineties, all the while complimenting West’s hourglass figure. As she stands on a staircase,  tall over Captain Cummings (Cary Grant), espousing lines like, “Why don’t you come up sometime and see me?” it’s hard to imagine a more captivating synchronicity between a costume and an actor’s authoritative, camp, and fiery persona.
• • Source: Article for Film School Rejects; published on Tuesday, 7 August 2018
• • The evolution of 2 Mae West plays that keep her memory alive • • 
• • A discussion with Mae West playwright LindaAnn LoSchiavo — — 
• • http://lideamagazine.com/renaissance-woman-new-york-city-interview-lindaann-loschiavo/
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 13th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past thirteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 4,000 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fourteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4025th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • the cast of a revised "Diamond Lil" in 2013

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
  Mae West