Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mae West: 30 April 1956

It was on 30 April 1956 that Robert W. Dana's felicitous coverage of "The MAE WEST Review" appeared.
• • Dana's popular daily dish "Tips on Tables" was printed in the now defunct New York World-Telegram & Sun.
• • His column "Mae West's Show Grows" [dated April 30th] indicated Dana had seen the routine previously.
• • Robert W. Dana wrote: The old belief that everything should be bigger and better — — a thought most forcefully pronounced by Hollywood trailers — — can be applied with forthright honesty to Mae West, who has returned to the Latin Quarter [in New York City on West 48th Street], where she scored heavily in the fall [sic] of 1954. . . .
• • A native New Yorker, Robert Dana was born in 1907. His lengthy writing career began on the Drama Desk of the New York Herald Tribune. Years later, after penning a column on restaurants and night spots for this daily paper, Dana gathered those reviews into a book published in 1948. So well-known was he among New York's nightlife czars, that he did a stint for awhile as a night club and restaurant press agent. Subsequently, Robert Dana commandeered a regular byline at the New York World-Telegram column. This energetic reporter also hosted a radio show and short-lived TV program offering his opinions on the stars and entertainers during the 1940s—1950s.
• • Staying active and alert to the end, Robert W. Dana lived to be 89 and died in 1996.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
1955 • •

Mae West.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mae West: Broad Minded

In her “Vox Pop” column for PopMatters, Meta Wagner (who voices observations on pop culture — — particularly as it intersects with our lives) devoted her April 29th column to MAE WEST along with that nearly extinct species: "broads."
• • Interestingly, Meta Wagner shares the same initials with the Brooklyn bombshell: M.W. That's worthy of attention right there.
• • Meta Wagner asks: What ever happened to broads? You know, those larger-than-life women who swore like sailors, threw back shots of whiskey, sounded like they’d swallowed whole packs of cigarettes, and aged without apology.
• • Meta Wagner notes: Mae West was a pioneer broad back in the 1930s, tossing out double entendres in a saucy tone that left no mistake as to her meaning. Some of the most famous and infamous women over the next several decades followed her lead, surprising and delighting men and women alike with their in-your-face attitude, among them the actress Roslyn Russell (Auntie Mame), the Broadway “belter” Ethel Merman, the controversial playwright Lillian Hellman, the feminist leader Bella Abzug (the one with the ubiquitous hat), and the former governor of Texas Ann Richards, and her pal the columnist Molly Ivins. Sadly, they are no longer with us. But their legacy remains.
• • Is that a gun in your pocket . . . ?
• • Meta Wagner muses: It’s amazing to me how the quips Mae West famously uttered still serve as quotable quotes today: “Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?” “When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better.” “A man in the house is worth two in the street.” Now, that’s a broad! . . .
• • Currently back on Broadway is "South Pacific," the World War II-themed musical that immortalized a catchy number "There Is Nothing Like a Dame." Mae West was a swell dame (not to mention a triple A-all-right broad).
• • To find out Meta Wagner's definition of "broad," read her column [posted on 29 April 2008] "Vox Pop: Broads Don’t Blog, Especially in Haiku" — — http://www.popmatters.com

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
December 1932 • •

Mae West.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mae West: British Director

When interviewed by The Biography Channel, Rex Reed admitted that MAE WEST was the only reason to watch the flop that he co-starred in: "Myra Breckinridge." Not considered one of Mae's best films, this step-child is often ranked as low (or lower) than "Sextette" [1979].
• • Ken Hughes, who was the director of "Sextette," based on Mae West's play ["Sextet"], died in April and is being remembered. Not unlike reading the work of a very clever Marxist, the script's logic is impeccable, even when the premise — — that an actress in her 80s can portray a 26-year-old sexpot — — is wrong.
• • "Sextette" was his first American film — — as well as Mae West's final screen appearance.
• • Kenneth Graham Hughes was born in Liverpool, England on 19 January 1922.
• • The Hollywood director developed Alzheimer's disease and died on 28 April 2001 in Los Angeles.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
1979 • •

Mae West.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mae West: 27 April 1927

Today as publishers rub their hands together anticipating the profits from a "surging interest in street lit," it must be said: Mae West was ahead of her time.

• • In 1927 she spent the night of February 9th and April 19th incarcerated in Jefferson Market Prison in Greenwich Village, held in a cell with prostitutes, addicts, stick-up women, and pickpockets. After a trial at Jefferson Market Court, she was found guilty and sentenced to the Women's Workhouse for ten days beginning 19 April 1927. [The Warden shaved off two days for good behavior.]
• • Mae was paid $1,000 to write about her experiences for a women's magazine. Some of her essay appears here. [Mae donated the $1,000 to the workhouse to establish a library for female inmates.]
• • Released from the lock-up on 27 April 1927, Mae told reporters she had enough material fo
r several plays.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
1927 • •

Mae West.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mae West: A Devilish DVD

New on DVD, and now being promoted, is this MAE WEST classic (along with other motion pictures): She Done Him Wrong [1933, Universal].
• • Acquainting a new audience to this filmland favorite, the DVD description notes: Mae West says, "Come up sometime and see me" to a 28-year-old named Cary Grant, making his first big impression in his eighth screen appearance.
• • For the uninitiated, the DVD description helpfully adds: Very famous — — and included in 2005's mostly juicy tome 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die — — the adaptation of Mae West's stage hit Diamond Lil helped teetering Paramount survive during the Depression. Good tunes, strong chemistry, and a fast 66 minutes.
• • Diamond Lil, a Broadway blockbuster, kept Mae busy for years after its smash Broadway opening in April 1928.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
1932 • •

Mae West.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mae West: Who'll play Mae?

How many actresses would like to portray MAE WEST? When director Louis Lopardi placed the official casting call for the play "Courting Mae West" in Actors' Access, within 48 hours 690 responses had flooded his mailbox.
• • Since "Courting Mae West" — — a serious-minded comedy based on true events during the Prohibition Era — — has a cast of seven, not every resume was intended for the "diamonds is my career" gal. Another actress will portray Beverly West and Texas Guinan, for instance.
• • But the largest number of replies, according to Mr. Lopardi, was for the role of Starr Faithfull [called Sara Starr in the play]. He received 270 headshots and cvs from actresses eager to play the fatal flapper. Starr's role calls for a very thin, stylish woman in her mid-twenties. As written, Sara Starr is a complex creature with a generous store of nervous discontent, harsh in her judgments of others, and quick to see individuals as defective because they are not enough like her. When John O'Hara wrote about the beautiful party girl, who met death at age 25, he renamed her Gloria Wandrous and made her the centerpiece of Butterfield 8.
• • As Mr. Lopardi heads for his first round of auditions on Friday and Saturday [April 25th — 26th, 2008] at The Producers Club in Manhattan, what will he look for in the next Mae West? "Her vitality was legendary," said the director. "And Mae West had industrial strength charisma."
• • What helps a stage director select the right individual? The first step is "typing-out by headshots plus experience," he explained, "and then short screening auditions."
• • What are some red flags? Showing up totally costumed for the role is a warning sign Mr. Lopardi is aware of. "An actress can suggest Mae West by wearing a boa — — but if she shows up decked out like Diamond Lil, I would be leery."
• • The casting and the elimination rounds begin today. Later there will be callbacks. Check this blog again to see who will play Mae in "Courting Mae West" in mid-July at the Algonquin Theatre in New York City.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
1927 • •

Mae West.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mae West: Influential

"When I am 90, I'm going to look like MAE WEST!" said Dolly Parton, who (at not quite five feet tall) is about the same height as the durable Empress of Sex. "I may be in a wheelchair — — but I'll still have the big hair, big boobs, and big fingernails. I'll probably end up this way in my coffin. But I won't be a fat hog!"
• • Born on 19 January 1946, Dolly Parton was interviewed by Alan W. Petrucelli for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Now worth more than $100 million, Dolly is comfortable about laughing at herself and acknowledging that she drew inspiration — — not unlike Mae West — — from the scarlet sisterhood. Dolly explained, "I'm not a natural beauty, so when I started out, I needed to be as flamboyant and outrageous as possible." She recalled, "My trashy look started from a sincere place — — a country girl's idea of glamour. I always wanted to be sexy even before I knew what the word meant. I thought that town tramps were beautiful. They had more hair, more color, more of everything. And they had men always hanging 'round them. So I copied those girls. And I owe them a lot."
• • Dolly Parton giggled as she made an admission so very unlike Mae West. "When I realized my trashy look was working, I kept it. It's cost me a lot to look so cheap," she added. "I wear the fake hair because it's so tacky. I wear high heels because I have short legs. And I wear fake fingernails because I have short, fat arms. I have no taste and no style and I love it!"
• • Now 62, hard-working Dolly Parton does share a great deal with Mae West, for instance, her refusal to be defeated and her determination to keep her career going even though she is a senior citizen. It's a long high-spirited interview with an upbeat woman — — and the source is posted below.
— — Source: — —
• • Byline: Alan W. Petrucelli
• • Publisher: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — — www.post-gazette.com
• • Published on: 21 April 2008

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
none • •

Mae West.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mae West: Sweet Alabama

In May, Dothan will honor one of Alabama's biggest football heroes and film stars — — who was in a black and white classic with MAE WEST.
• • Anyone who knows westerns knows Johnny Mack Brown, who first made his name on the field in Tuscaloosa. A few years later, movie goers would know him as a character actor featured in more than 160 films with Mae West, John Wayne, and Greta Garbo.
• • Born on 1 September 1904 in Alabama, Johnny Mack Brown died at age 70 in Los Angeles (on 14 November 1974) of a cardiac condition.
• • Mae-mavens became acquainted with the six-foot-one actor when he played the role of Brooks Claybourne, a good time Charlie, in "Belle of the Nineties" [1934].
• • An All-American halfback while attending the University of Alabama, Johnny Mack Brown would choose the silver screen over the green grass of the football field when he graduated. Signed to a contract with MGM in 1926, Brown debuted in Slide, Kelly, Slide (1927) with William Haines in a film about an all-American sport — — baseball.
• • The city of Dothan is holding its annual film festival May 9th — 10th, 2008, featuring many of his best movies.
• • To attend, call the organizers at 334-794-3452.
• • Here's hoping the film organizers show "Belle of the 90s" — — a Paramount Pictures production. Stars Mae West. Directed by Leo McCarey from story and scenario by Miss West. Songs, Arthur Johnston and Sam Coslow; Photography Karl Struss. At Paramount, New York, week Sept. 21, 1934. Running time, 73 minutes.
• • Ruby Carter . . . Mae West
• • Tiger Kid . . . Roger Pryor
• • Brooks Claybourne . . . John Mack Brown
— — Source for a portion of this information: — —
• • Publisher: WSFA 12 News — — www.wsfa.com
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
1934 • •

Mae West.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mae West: Sergei Treshatny

Taking advantage of the legal woes of his sister-in-law MAE WEST, Beverly's husband Sergei Treshatny obtained a divorce on 15 April 1927 after a decade of marriage.
• • On 29 January 1917 Beverly West [1898 —1982] wed her first Russian husband Sergei Treshatny. An inventor, Treshatny had arrived in the United States in 1916. Vaudevillians Beverly and Mae West were both busy working in Paterson, New Jersey during January 1917 when Beverly took some time off to become a "missus" at Brooklyn City Hall on Joralemon Street. It had been a brief courtship.
On 8 December 1916, the bride-to-be had celebrated her 18th birthday.
• • A decade later, when Mae and Beverly were arrested in Bridgeport, Connecticut on 2 February 1927, Sergei took advantage of the scandal, using the trial testimony as his grounds for divorce.
• • The union between the unhappy couple was dissolved by Supreme Court Justice George H. Taylor, Jr. in Newburgh, New York. The divorce action was based on a police raid on a room in the Arcade Hotel (Bridgeport) at 5:00 AM when Beverly West and Edward Elsner were charged with a "breach of the peace" [i.e., being drunk].
• • Though the case against Edward Elsner and Beverly West was dropped the next day in the Bridgeport City Court, a stenographer took a transcript of the testimony for Treshatny, the policeman who made the February 2nd arrests testified before Judge Taylor.
• • Sergei Treshatny, who was living in Stamford in 1927, had invented an air-cooled motor.
• • Beverly had tried to divorce him in Brooklyn in 1924 but dropped it after her plea for alimony and counsel fees pending a trial had been denied.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West's hotel in 1927 • •
Arcade Hotel • •

Mae West.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Mae West: A la russe

MAE WEST had been waiting to step into the fast-moving shoes of Catherine II of Russia, who was born in Stettin (which became Szczecin in Poland). "After years of surviving studio politics and handling vice-presidents, I saw Catherine was really a portrait of myself," Mae told the Los Angeles Times.
• • For years she had tried to promote a film about Catherine the Great
— — and, naturally, Mae West would offer a warmer and more sensual alternative to what she described as Dietrich's "hollow-cheeked doll." But when the regal Marlene Dietrich had a royal flop on her hands with "The Scarlet Empress" [1934], the studio bosses felt that the bawdy Brooklynite would hardly be credible in this role.
• • Finally, Mae brought her dream to her hometown. "Catherine Was Great" had its live mainstage premiere on 2 August 1944. The show closed on the Gay White Way on 13 January 1945.
• • As this nation was at war, Mae West was ruling over her New York City ticket-holders. Her cast wore Russian military uniforms. Their ammunition: laughter.
• • After trying to convince Hollywood to do this project, she finally found an energetic and extravagant theatrical backer, Michael Todd, who helped the Shuberts stage this version of "Catherine Was Great" in grand style. The play co-starred Mae West and her leading man, actor Gene Barry.
• • The play ran on the rialto for a total of 191 performances. While taking her curtain calls, Mae would make a little speech about Catherine having hundreds of lovers. "I do the best I can in two hours," Mae told her adoring audience.
• • Larger than life in many ways, the empress has two birthdates in 1729; depending on the calendar you use, Catherine came into this world either on 21 April or 2 May.
• • The headstrong czarina reigned as Empress of Russia for 34 years — — from 28 June 1762 until her death in 1796. Not unlike Mae West, she did the best she could.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
1944 • •

Mae West.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mae West: A Dragumentary

• • MAE WEST comes alive through the art of the impressionist Sabrina Blaze, who opens Lara Sebastian’s colorful "Life’s a Drag: A Dragumentary" [2007], which focuses on the mysteries and mystique of professional drag queens.
• • Rhode Island filmmaker and RISD Alumni Lara Sebastian, who describes herself as "a very green documentary maker," gained the confidence of these glamour gals and came away with behind-the-scenes portraits that are affecting and funny. Curious about (and astonished by) the vibrant and colorful scene, Sebastian set out to make a film about drag queens that would answer the question: What makes a man want to dress as a woman?
• • On camera, Lara Sebastian asks good questions in a conversational way without being overly probing, which results in her female impressionists giving surprisingly personal insights. Sebastian also gamely queries her transvestite entertainers about the dangerous downsides of their nighttime adventures —
realizing that some people aren’t too happy to see men gussied up as women.
• • Her Virgil-like guide through this sub-culture is Wayne Hawkins, whose stage name is Sabrina Blaze and who does good impersonations, too, of Mae West, Carol Channing, and others.
• • Wayne Hawkins is a personable, amusing, middle-aged man who looks like a librarian and who always wanted to be a performer. Early in his career he became a clown
— but then he realized he was gay.
• • Transformed into Sabrina Blaze, Wayne Hawkins becomes an extroverted and way-out-there character, winning his audience over with snappy quips and songs. (In one hilarious sequence, Sabrina’s disastrous stage entrance from above on a giant silvery quarter moon is more than memorable.) “I cannot imagine a real lady wearing this makeup,” says Hawkins while spreading a thick layer of foundation across his face, which will help him magically transition into the ultra-glam blond bombshell Sabrina.
• • "Life’s a Drag: A Dragumentary" features several prominent Rhode Island drag queens: Kitty Litter (Stephen Hartley), BB Hayes ( Brian Laquerre), and La Diva Jonz (Gary Jacques).
• • Last month [March 2008], at the annual Triple Crown Pageant, Lara Sebastian was named Miss Lesbian Rhode Island.
• • Emcees for this year's GLBT event were Sabrina Blaze and Genesis.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
none • •

Mae West.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mae West: Fascinating Femmes

Media analyst and college instructor Lawrence Jeziak has been focused on MAE WEST as he explores the feminine influence in films.
• • Professor Jeziak, who tours The Great Lakes State facilitating film-related conversations, teaches cinema studies at Oakland Community College in Michigan. His hour-long presentation for general audiences showcases iconic actresses like Mae West and Barbara Stanwyck, whose pre-Production Code work is still considered scandalous, he claims.
• • According to Jeziak, his goal is to help screen scene-sters have more fun at the movie house. Said Jeziak, “For those who are serious about film, maybe my presentations will remind them of other films they’ve seen and enjoyed — — and for others, it might make them think a little deeper about the movies they watch.”
• • Lawrence Jeziak said the role of women in film has changed over the years along with the way culture has viewed the fair sex, from the earliest depictions of housewives, to the screen sirens and femme fatales of film noirs, to present depictions of strong businesswomen and female political leaders. When Hollywood was in its infancy, he noted, there were basically two roles for women in film: the housewife or the whore. [It seems he forgot about the paid housemaid.] “Now you have directors like Sofia Coppola, who is one of only three female directors to be nominated for an Academy Award.”
• • Maybe his discussion will touch on sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, born on 19 April 1933.
• • Mae West, whose vacuum-packed perceptions about her sultry hold on the bodybuilders who comprised "The Mae West Revue" were shattered when a blonde vixen slithered into the nightclub, never forgot the evening when Jayne Mansfield [1933 —1967] surprised her. Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay met when the actress noticed his impressive physique in Mae West's touring nightclub revue. When Mansfield's dinner partner asked her what she wanted, she replied, "I'll have a steak and the man on the left."
• • Presumably Jayne Mansfield got her steak along with her stake in Hargitay's happiness — — and perhaps she, too, rates a mention in Professor Jeziak's oral history of women in soft focus.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
none • •

Mae West.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mae West: Suicide Man

The role of Captain Cummings — — in Mae West's play "Diamond Lil" — — required a handsome, charismatic man with stage training. For the Broadway cast, Mae chose Curtis Cooksey, who was born on 9 December 1891 in Indiana, as her leading man.
• • Set in a Bowery dive known as Suicide Hall, "Diamond Lil" debuted at the Royale Theatre [242 West 45th Street, NYC] on 9 April 1928. It was a box office success as well as a favorite with drama critics.
• • Since 1916, the 25-year-old actor began winning leading roles on The Great White Way. Curtis Cooksey had starred in over a dozen productions before stepping into his Salvation Army uniform to make an impact on a beautiful saloon singer, a vivacious blonde bombshell who told him, "Diamonds is my career."
• • Since 1911, Curtis Cooksey had also been cast in silent films [debut: "Taming a Tyrant"] and he made a smooth transition into talkies.
• • In the film version of Mae's play, Cary Grant played Captain Cummings [a.k.a. "The Hawk"].
• • After a long career in Tinseltown, Cooksey contracted cancer. He committed suicide in Hollywood on 19 April 1962.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • as "Diamond Lil"
• • 1928 • •

Mae West.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mae West: April 1927

A West Coast feature "This Week in History" — — which mentions MAE WEST — — is glued together by the Santa Barbara Independent's news staff who, obviously, is a wee bit thick. Though reporters and fact-checkers have had eighty-one years to get their facts straight about what happened in 1927, here is the Santa Barbara Independent's inaccurate backwards glance on the date 19 April 1927.
• • To wit: Actress/ playwright Mae West is sentenced to 10 days in jail for writing Sex, a Broadway show about a gigolo, deemed “scandalous” by the courts. [Source for the incorrect info: Santa Barbara Independent: 122 West Figueroa St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101; T. (805) 965-5205. Send corrections to this weekly here:
corrections (at) independent.com. Their excuse for getting facts wrong was explained by Rachel, a staffmember, who assembles this feature and whose explanation appears below. They only do a quick cut-and-paste from The History Channel — — even if that means passing errors along. So if you want a job as a fact-checker or proofreader, reconsider which companies might value this service. At the Santa Barbara Independent, a more suitable title might be "This Week in Mystery" — — with trinkets given to the first canny readers who can spot the mistakes. This would be an inexpensive way to get the copy proofread as well, eh?]
• • Since when was Mae West's play "Sex" referred to by the inaccurate, tea-party word "scandalous"? In New York City, actresses do not get arrested, fined, and imprisoned because they are "scandalous." In Jefferson Market Court and in the courtroom transcript, this was called "an obscenity trial." The actors were fined and charged with giving an offensive and indecent performance. Mae West's manager and her producer also went to jail.
• • Since when was "Sex" about a gigolo? Wrong plot and wrong-headed altogether.
• • Why? Well, since when would Mae West choose to star in a vehicle unless the narrative centered on the leading lady's role? She wouldn't and she didn't.
• • Too bad the Santa Barbara Independent staff was not aware of the Aurora Theatre Company's critically acclaimed revival of "Sex" (starring Delia MacDougall in the role of Margy LaMont) onstage in Berkeley, California in November and December of 2007 — — a production that was widely reviewed in the West Coast media.
• • Synopsis of the 1926 play Mae West wrote in order to give herself a starring role: "Sex" is the tale of Margy LaMont, an ambitious young prostitute in Montreal, who is determined to get out of the skin trade and marry well. Margy takes the advice of a British naval officer [played in 1926 by handsome Barry O'Neill] to ''follow the fleet.'' That takes her to Trinidad, where she meets Jimmy Stanton, a naive rich boy from a blue-blooded Connecticut family. Jimmy proposes to Margy and whisks her home to his parents' well-furnished mansion.
• • Well, there's no gigolo in that synopsis! Anyway this blog posting is set forth for all news media outlets who would like to have correct information [vs passing along the errors made by The History Channel].
• • On 5 April 1927 at Jefferson Market Court [on Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village], the jury returned with a guilty verdict.
As she left the courtroom, followed by reporters, photographers, and a mob of well-wishers, Mae told them, "You've got to fight in this world!" She added, "You've got to fight to get there — — and fight to stay there."
• • On 19 April 1927, actress MAE WEST was sentenced for her performance in "Sex," the Broadway play she wrote, cast, and starred in. She was given ten days in prison and the jail time seems to have done her good — — from a publicity standpoint. As she left the courtroom, followed by reporters, friends, fans, and gawkers, Mae predicted, "I expect this will be the making of me!"
• • Though Mae West was sentenced to 10 days, she actually only served 8 days. The actress received "time off for good behavior."
• • The History Channel does not know this information yet — — nor do they use fact-checkers — — but Mae-mavens and history buffs are encouraged to contact them and ask them to correct errors. [Contact The History Channel: A & E Television Networks, 235 East 45th Street, New York, NY 10017-3305; T. 212-210-1400.] And thank you to all who wrote to report other errors The History Channel has made.
• • Plan ahead. Get ready to come up and see Mae onstage in New York City when the Annual Fresh Fruit Festival presents "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship and Secrets" (based on true events 1926 — 1932 when Mae West was arrested and jailed) under the direction of Louis Lopardi at the Algonquin Theatre [123 East 24th Street, NYC 10010] July 19th — 22nd, 2008.
• • "COURTING MAE WEST" opens at 7 o'clock on Saturday night July 19, 2008 at the Algonquin Theatre [123 East 24th Street
near Park Avenue South].
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • Jefferson Market Court
• • 28 March 1927 • •

Mae West.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mae West: Blonde Fun

Watching Madonna eating only a plain soft-boiled egg for lunch, Emily Zak of British Vogue became hungry for the curvaceous, peachy perfection of MAE WEST.
• • Noting that Madonna does not make it look as though blondes have more fun, Emily Zak explained: Maybe it was in the age of Mae West (or Jerry Hall) but, far from devil-may-care, being a modern blonde requires vigilance, nuanced blending, and the best colorist money can buy. Today Marilyn's mono-shade would be frowned on as looking DIY.
• • The crisp musings of Emily Zak, Executive Retail Editor of Vogue, can be snacked on here — — www.vogue.co.uk/

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1932
• •

Mae West.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mae West: April Shows

In April 1954 and April 1956, Mae West returned to Manhattan to perform at the Latin Quarter.
• • Impresario Lou Walters [1896 1977] had produced shows for The Ziegfeld Follies, and wanted a regular "French style" cabaret of his own.
• • On 1 April 1942, Lou Walters opened The Latin Quarter [at 200 West 48th Street, New York zipcode 10036]. It was housed in the two-story structure where The Cotton Club had been [September 1936 April 1940].
• • In his on-going column "Tips on Tables" night-life reporter Robert W. Dana reviewed "The Mae West Revue"; his critique appeared in the newspaper on 30 April 1956. Here is an excerpt from Dana's coverage.
• • • • Mae West's Show Grows • • • •
• • The old belief that everything should be bigger and better, a thought most forcefully pronounced by Hollywood trailers, can be applied with forthright honesty to Mae West, who has returned to the Latin Quarter, where she scored heavily in the fall [sic] of 1954.
• • Instead of changing her act, Miss West embellished it. Most noteworthy, I think, is the addition of some song-and-dance men whose soft-shoe capers and grace provide a fair contrast to the muscle boys who are the background for her boudoir comedy. They rock and they roll and Miss West demonstrates that her vocal chords are as roving as her come- hither eyes.
• • . . . Packaged in regal white robes, [the bodybuilders] march first toward the audience then turn to Miss West and throw back their robes. Her expression of approval regales the customers. One of the muscle specimens is Mickey Hargitay, Mr. Universe. ...
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • 1954
• •

Mae West.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mae West: Exaggerating

That unreliable source of information — — the celebrity tell-all — — has showed no signs of bookstore slowdown since Mae West penned her memoirs with the help of a ghostwriter [Stephen Longstreet] fifty years ago in 1958.
• • Many celebrity memoirs over-exaggerate the rotten aspects of a childhood in order to flatter the achievements that follow it. However, Julie Andrews resisted this in Home A Memoir of My Early Years.
• • In her autobiography Goodness Had Nothing to Do with It, Mae West certainly revealed no household poverty nor unhappiness, no past traumas, no "slippery slopes" where she fell down on the upward climb to success, no struggles with alcoholism, no childhood sexual molestations, etc. And it was not a kiss and tell book either.
• • Mae West (who was totally disinclined to air dirty linen) used this as a reason: that her fans wanted to know that Mae West always triumphed, that people did not want to see her as unable to cope or besieged by demons. Her book covered up a lot of unpleasantness.
• • What did Mae West hide in her memoir and her media interviews?
• • She hid the fact that she was sexually molested when young by a relative and also by a teacher. She hid the fact that she had a love affair with a married man when she was 21. She hid the fact that she got lousy reviews for 25 years. She hid the fact that she was fired from several Broadway shows before April 1926 (when she wrote "Sex" and produced it with her mother's savings). She hid the fact that no one would hire her between 1923
1925. She hid the fact that she was a bigamist, etc. She hid a lot of warts.
• • In other words, Mae West refused to give herself "a wound."
• • The public prefers stars who have a WOUND: who have had demons to overcome, whose glamorous public image hides dark secrets, etc .
• • While Mae West, who died in 1980, has no fan clubs, and is all but forgotten, Marilyn Monroe [1926
1962], who did not write her own plays and scripts, and who struggled with pills and alcohol and depression all her life, who had many marital break-ups, etc., has fan clubs galore and a legion of fans around the globe.
• • Fans love stars who have been WOUNDED.
• • One of the key elements of "Courting Mae West" that Steve Rossi (and other people who knew Mae) commented on is that this play shows Mae West under siege and wounded, and it is quite poignant when you watch Mae struggle and resolve her problems.
• • "Courting Mae West" opens on Saturday night 19 July 2008 at the Algonquin Theatre in New York City. Louis Lopardi directs this 95-minute serious-minded comedy.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • •
1897 • •

Mae West.