Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mae West: Dorothy Sands

Dorothy Sands boosted her visibility with her MAE WEST impersonations in the "Grand Street Follies" in 1928.
• • Like Mae West, Dorothy Sands was born in 1893 and died in 1980. On 5 March 1893, Dorothy Sands was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
• • Dorothy Sands began her performance career on Broadway in 1924, and was steadily cast on the legitimate stage until 1970. Her last Broadway credit was her role as Hattie Fields in the comedy "Paris Is Out!" [2 February 1970 - 18 April 1970].• • On the vaudeville circuit, she also did impressions of Sophie Tucker, Eva Tanguay, Ethel Barrymore, and others.• • Reviewing her performance in their June 11th, 1928 issue, Time Magazine had this to say: The Grand Street Follies are built upon the eminently sound principle of burlesquing all recent attractions at Manhattan theatres. A sophisticate must loudly giggle, when Albert Carroll comes on the stage impersonating Laurette Taylor or when Dorothy Sands pretends she is Ina Claire, lest neighbors in the audience suffer from the illusion that he has not viewed the original from which the parody derives. Yokels, too, are compelled by their anxious timidity to give deceitful titters. Since almost all Manhattan theatregoers fall painfully into these categories, it was perhaps unnecessary for Albert Carroll and Dorothy Sands to make their burlesques in The Grand Street Follies of 1928 quite so hilariously exact as they did. The former simultaneously played Mrs. Fiske with the right side of his face and Ethel Barrymore with the left; Dorothy Sands played Mae West in Romeo and Juliet.• • Other impudent imitations were offered by Paula Trueman who appeared successively as Haidee Wright, Eva LeGallienne, and Helen Hayes.• • The customary features of musical shows — such as hordes of pretty, naked ladies and many sentimental songs — are not emphasized in The Grand Street Follies. Mayor Walker, however, without whom no amusement is complete, appears by proxy. ...
• • After a lengthy career onstage and in TV shows, Sands died in Croton-on-Hudson, NY on 11 September 1980.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

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• • Illustration: • • Dorothy Sands as Mae West • • 1928 • •

Mae West.

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