MAE WEST comes to the South Street Seaport this month on March 18th and March 24th when a salute to old-time variety artists will be onstage.
• • Organized by Montauk Theatre Productions/ Shooting Star Theatre and the show's creators NY Artists Unlimited, both shows are matinees and geared towards all ages. Performances are interactive and followed by a discussion/ workshop. Tickets are very inexpensive.
• • "Voices of the Town - - A Vaudeville Salute!" features a line-up that includes MAE WEST, The Marx Brothers, Sophie Tucker, Bert Williams, Florence Mills, Eva Tanguay, Marie Dressler, and more.
• • "Voices of the Town" covers the history of vaudeville in America 1875-1935 and shows the breakthroughs made by African-Americans, women, and immigrants. It has 25 period songs, dance, comedy routines, and brings to life numerous stars of yesteryear.
• • Writer-director Melba LaRose leads the cast which includes Carmela Davis, Nate Steinwachs, Lucia Manzella, Katrin Hier, and Joyce Pena. Anita Brown from Shooting Star Theatre makes a special guest appearance as Molly Picon, singing in both Yiddish and English. Choreographer for the shows is Francis J. Roach.
• • Spanning the late 1800s to the mid-1930s in America, this piece shows how performers survived two Depressions, war, oppression, segregation, discrimination of all sorts, struggles for human/ workers'/ women's rights, and the like. It also reveals that vaudeville was "family entertainment" and the starting point for many major stars.
• • Portrayals of once very important African-American stars are plentiful: Bert Williams, the highest paid star in the Ziegfeld Follies, and Florence Mills, great star of the Harlem Renaissance and Broadway (both played by Carmela Davis). In addition, audiences will gain insight into the T.O.B.A. Circuit (black performers only) and the use of blackface.
• • Circle your March calendar. These affordable matinee shows will be held at the Seaport District Cultural Assoc. Performing Space (a former Liz Claiborne store) on the SW corner of Beekman & Front Street on March 18th and March 24th, 2007. Phone to reserve tickets: 212-242-6036.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • to come • •