Saturday, November 22, 2014

Mae West: Immortal Icon

At age 87, MAE WEST suffered a series of strokes which finally resulted in her death on Saturday, 22 November 1980 in Hollywood, California.
• • The actress took her final breaths quietly in her Hollywood apartment (Ravenswood). Private services [conducted by Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie and attended by about 100 close friends and family] were held in the Old North Church at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills.
• • Her eulogy, written by Kevin Thomas and delivered by producer Ross Hunter, concluded: “Mae West always said that no one was ever to feel sorry for her, and she would not want anyone to start now. Mae West figured that in one way or another she would live forever. And she probably will.”
• • Entombment was in the West family mausoleum at Cypress Hills Abbey in Brooklyn, New York.
• • Cause of death: Complications from stroke
• • Burial: Cypress Hills Cemetery
• • Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, USA
• • Photo: Mae West, promotional shoot for "Diamond Lil" in 1928
• • On Friday, 22 November 2013 in NYC • •
• • Mae West's most successful play "Diamond Lil" was performed in Jefferson Market Library on Friday, 22 November 2013 in the evening. The performance was dedicated to the Brooklyn bombshell, whose career soared after her successful run as the Queen of the Bowery onstage at the Royale Theatre.
• • And Mae West's legal woes have also inspired the stage play "Courting Mae West." Folks came to see it on Saturday, 23 November 2013 in the very same room where Mae faced off with Judge George Donnellan and 12 jurors.
• • Darlene Violette, starring as Mae West, appeared with Joanna Bonaro, Jim Gallagher, Sidney Myer, Dena Tyler, Melvin Lima, Kimmy Foskett, Jeffrey Johns, and Jane Aquilina. The popular Mae West raffle followed.
• • The play, based on true events, is set during the Prohibition Era when Mae's plays were padlocked and she was sent to jail. Talk about a woman who climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong.
• • On Friday, 22 November 2013 in Manhattan • •
• • The annual commemorative supper for Mae West was hosted by LindaAnn Loschiavo.  The "Diamond Lil" cast and crew kept the festivities vibrant.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West wore the famous West diamonds, and made a late entrance very impressively.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "This is the greatest age for women. They no longer have to sit primly on a straight-backed chair with hands folded, waiting for some guy to come and make a pass at them."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Union Leader (New Hampshire) mentioned Mae West.
• • PSU presents "The Pleasure Men" • •
• • The Union Leader wrote: The Department of Music Theatre and Dance at Plymouth State University will present “The Pleasure Men” on November 21-24 in at the Silver Center for the Arts.  “The Pleasure Men” is a deconstruction of Mae West's infamous 1928 play “The Pleasure Man.” The production portrays Mae West as a character and connects the play in relevant and revealing ways to contemporary life.  ...
• • The Union Leader wrote:  “The Pleasure Men'' is a physical theatre work containing original music, popular jazz music, acrobatics, aerial silks, drama, improvisation, comedy and fabulous drag queens and kings.
• • The Union Leader wrote:  Director Robin Marcotte said that Mae West's original production was the first to “queer” Broadway by inviting drag queens from Harlem to portray themselves on the Broadway stage. Police raided the production and the entire cast as well as West were arrested and charged with indecency. All were eventually acquitted by a jury.   “This production is for mature audiences, and those who do not blush easily,” Robin Marcotte said.  ...
• • Source: Article: "PSU presents 'The Pleasure Men' by Mae West" was printed in the Union Leader; published on Thursday, 21 November 2013 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. The other day we entertained 1,223 visitors. 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3054th 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 1928

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Mae West: Influence on Dolls

MAE WEST was so popular that collectible Madame Alexander dolls were fashioned after the actress, depicting the actress costumed for her iconic movie roles.  But Glenbow in Calgary, Canada cited this vintage newspaper article from 1933, indicating that the famous screen siren had a wider influence on toys than most people suspect.
• • Glenbow wrote: The dolls introduced for the 1933 Christmas season had a more rounded silhouette than those of the previous few years. The design of the dolls followed the "Mae West" profile, abandoning the sleek bob and tailored style that had been popular for more generous curves and dimples, and dresses based on the latest Paris creations.
• • Source: This Week in Western Canadian History; printed on Wednesday, 22 November 1933.
• • On Sunday, 21 November 1948 • •
• • It was on 30 October 1948 that Mae West signed an Actor's Equity Association Stock Jobbing Contract on Equity's letterhead in New York. The Broadway star of "Diamond Lil" was agreeing to a weekly salary of $2,500, and the play would be opening in Montclair, New Jersey in the month of November — — on Sunday, 21 November 1948.
• • Until 21 November 2009 in Chicago • •
• • Mae West's play "Sex" was shown in Chicago until 21 November 2009. The production was staged by the Prologue Theatre Company and performed at the North Lakeside Cultural Center [6219 N. Sheridan Avenue in Chicago].
• • On Saturday, 21 November 2009 • •
• • On Saturday, 21 November 2009, "Operation Mae West" was conducted at Mui Woo Helipad. Numerous pictures were taken on this date by the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Hollywood —  I think that Mae West has done 'em more good than wrong. Every one was bent on calling a spade everything from a stiletto to a derrick when she stepped in, dug up all the hidden suggestions, put them on a gilded tray and served them hot.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "It's what they see in my eyes that counts."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Columbia Daily Spectator mentioned Mae West.
• • Don Greet wrote:  For one moment I think I am in heaven. I realize it is the Columbia Band. I am in hell. They are asking who made Mae West.  Henriette wants the answer. I mumble je ne sais pas, and I am ashamed.  ...
• • Source: Item in Columbia Daily Spectator; published on Wednesday, 21 November 1951 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. The other day we entertained 1,223 visitors. 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3053rd 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 1933

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mae West: Torso Slinging

MAE WEST recently received a lovely tribute in Canada's paper, Vancouver Sun.  Staffwriter John Mackie fondly recalled her roisterous torso-slinging. 
• • This Week In History: Mae West invites the masses to ‘Come up and see me sometime’ in I’m No Angel • •
• • Vancouver Sun staffer John Mackie wrote: November 1933 was not a cheerful time. The Great Depression had been raging for three long years, and the old world order seemed to be coming apart at the seams.
• • John Mackie explained:  In Europe, the new German chancellor Adolf Hitler was sabre-rattling. In B.C., the Liberals and CCF were fighting an election over whether to reform or replace capitalism.  People needed an escape, and Mae West was ready to provide it.
• • John Mackie observed: The platinum blonde bombshell was only five feet tall, but she had a lot of oomph. And the most oomph of her storied career came in the movie I’m No Angel, which opened at the Capitol Theatre on Nov. 3, 1933.  “Just a sensitive girl who climbed the ladder of success, wrong by wrong!” trumpeted one of several ads for the movie. “Torso-slinging in tights, tiaras and … tea-gowns.”
• • John Mackie said: I’m No Angel was West’s tour-de-force, a delightfully ridiculous yarn about a circus gal and her misadventures in love.
• • John Mackie continued: West wrote the screenplay herself, starring as Tira, a lion tamer and dancer for Big Bill Barton’s Wonder Show. Tira was sexy and could stick her head in a lion’s mouth, qualities which simply slay wealthy New Yorker Kirk Lawrence (Kent Taylor), who breaks off his engagement to a blueblood to party with Mae.
• • John Mackie noted: His friend Jack Clayton (Cary Grant) tries to get Mae to dump Kirk, and winds up falling in love with her himself. Hijinks ensue which allow West to reel off some of her most famous lines, including “Come up and see me sometime,” “Sure I’m good, but when I’m bad, I’m better,” and “Beulah, peel me a grape!”
• • John Mackie emphasized: West was 39 years old when I’m No Angel appeared. She didn’t break into the movies until 1932, after she had enjoyed a solid stage career in New York.  Her most famous (and infamous) stage show was called Sex, and landed her a 10-day jail sentence in 1927 for obscenity. When she got out, she was a star.
• • John Mackie concluded: I’m No Angel was a huge hit, and West became one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the 1930s. But her double-entendres didn’t always go down too well with censors, who apparently forced her to rewrite many lines.
• • Source: Article "This Week in History: Mae West Invites the Masses" in Vancouver Sun; published on Friday, 31 October 2014.
• • On Monday, 20 November 1911 • •
• • Mae West was cast in "Vera Violetta," which opened on Monday, 20 November 1911 at the Winter Garden Theatre.  Thanks to her ill-conceived attempts at upstaging the French star of the show, Mae West was seen only in the previews. Oh! That was foolish, Mae!
• • On Sunday, 20 November 1988 • •
• • Mae West once confided to a friend: "I felt Bill Fields had no class."
• • This exchange was printed in The Orlando Sentinel on Sunday, 20 November 1988.
• • On Monday, 20 November 2006 • •
• • Radio station WFMU's "Playlist for 20 November 2006" included Mae West's version of "I'm in the Mood for Love" from the album "The Fabulous Mae West." If you're in the mood, go to their web site and have a listen. 
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Hollywood — George Eells spent every Sunday evening for two years with Mae West at the home of her manager to collect information for "Mae West: A Biography," which he wrote with Stanley Musgrove.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "What I mean is I was coming to the conclusion that boys made much better playmates than girls."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Cornell Daily Sun mentioned Mae West.
• • The college editors wrote: The "famous dramatic soprano" Mme. Sebela Wehe will unleash a "Mae West Dance" at 8:16 o'clock tomorrow eve in the Odd Fellow Temple. She will also "give her public a special treat by whistling 'Sweet Bunch of Daisies'." Are ya listenin'?
• • Source: Item in The Cornell Daily Sun; published on Tuesday, 20 November 1934
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. The other day we entertained 1,223 visitors. 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3052nd 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 1933

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