Sunday, March 05, 2006

Mae West: Folies Bergere 1911

Eighteen-year-old brunette Mae West got her first big break when she was cast in the legitimate show "A la Broadway" at New York's Folies Bergere Theatre. Ned Wayburn (Mae's former dancing teacher), who was staging this, pulled her in. The revue premiered 22 September 1911 and lasted eight performances.
• • The New York Times applauded Mae's debut, however, the theatre's limited seating capacity made it financially foolish to mount such an expensive entertainment there.
• • Why didn't they consider that while planning it, eh?

• • Vaudeville mogul Jesse L. Lasky had built his Parisian-style cafe and cabaret on a Louis XIII scale. Located at 206-14 West 46th Street [opened 27 April 1911], it was in a prime position within kissing distance of two well-known Broadway theatres: the Globe and the Gaiety. The prices were equally grand, leading to the impression that this place was meant for the wealthy thus, unfortunately, the general public shied away.
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• • Photo • Mae West • 1911 • Folies Bergere

Mae West.

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