Mayhem Borrows an Angel’s Voice
“The Blonde Baumer” Seizes the Scarlet Sisterhood with a Sizzling Tribute to Mae West
New York, NY — Songbird MARNIE BAUMER (nicknamed “The Blonde Baumer” by her fans) has a bookshelf rammed with awards. Her muscular soprano — rich, creamy, and totally secure in its high-wired technique — has been appreciated by the Broadway hit-machine Steven Schwartz along with theatre-goers and ticket-holders at Town Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Yale University, and London’s Covent Garden Theatre Museum.
• • Baumer has a trained stairmaster’s voice, equally capable of ascending into the celestial realms, resuscitating a Moliere classic, or retooling Betty Boop’s cheeky repertoire.
• • Though best known for her tribute to women in animated films, on August 17th Marnie Baumer seizes her place in the scarlet sisterhood when she performs a sultry MAE WEST MEDLEY during the actress’s annual birthday gala in a former speakeasy.
• • • • During the 1920s, MAE WEST [1893-1980] heard “Frankie and Johnny” performed at Diamond Tony’s, a saloon on the Coney Island boardwalk. The Civil War Era folksong [about a heartbreaker and the quick-trigger gal who marries his manhood to a bullet] became stardusted when Mae sang it onstage in her Broadway hit “Diamond Lil.” This plain jane in the public domain became her signature show-stopper.
• • • • “A Guy What Takes His Time” (written for Mae by Ralph Rainger) serenades the ideal lover who is not quick on the trigger, and perfect for “a demon for slow motion.”
• • • • “My Old Flame” (written for Mae by Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow) revisits a fascinating fellow who could ferry a pillow-partner clear across the Milky Way.
• • Celebrating mayhem on the mattress, says Marnie Baumer, is the fun of reprising these old standards. “I can’t get them out of my head,” she admits. Pianist ELLIOT PAUL will accompany her on the keyboard. Listening will be Mae West die-hards such as STEVE ROSSI, who performed with the movie queen in Las Vegas nightclubs, and broadcast legend JOE FRANKLIN, who interviewed the icon for his WOR TV show.
• • Perrier-Jouet champagne, Hendrick’s gin, and a “Cos-MAE-Politan” made with Boru’s vodka will fuel the merrymaking along with chef Stephen Lyle's delicious specialties. The media and celebrity guests will raise their glasses at a Roaring 20s-theme gala during a sneak preview of "Onstage Outlaws: Mae West and Texas Guinan in a Lawless Decade." This exhibition of rare photographs, archival images, and theatre memorabilia will be open to the public August 18-31 at VILLAGE RESTAURANT [62 West 9th Street]. There is NO charge to view this installation.
• • Media inquiries welcome. Event Images: maewest.blogspot.com — texasguinan.blogspot.com
• • The Annual Mae West Gala always takes place during August in a New York City venue that the actress had frequented.
• • COURTING MAE WEST, LLC, based in Manhattan, is an off-Broadway producing outfit whose mission is to increase opportunities for women and female-driven plays.
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• • Source: Village Restaurant [62 West Ninth Street, NYC] • •
• • Photo Credit: Marnie Baumer • photographer Michael Ian • •