Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mae West: Sisterhood

On 8 December 1898 MAE WEST and her parents welcomed a new addition to the household — — sister Mildreth Katharina, who later changed her name to Beverly.
• • Also an aspiring actress, kid sister Beverly performed at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in 1916 in an act billed as "Mae West and Sister."
• • One song-and-dance number featured Mae clad in male drag opposite a very feminine Beverly (who actually got better reviews than the tough-talking Mae).
• • Few Mae-mavens realize that Beverly understudied her sister in three Broadway shows: "Sex," "Diamond Lil," and "The Constant Sinner."
• • Negative anecdotes about Beverly — — her drinking, her failed marriages, and her mental deterioration — — have popped up in every biography of her more famous sibling.
• • But every now and then a journalist would interview Beverly about her career. In 1933, Edward Sammis spoke to her and then wrote about the new direction Beverly was taking now that she and Mae were in Hollywood.
• • In Courting Mae West, Sarah Kanter Emanuel portrays the frustrated, devoted, spiteful, ever resourceful Beverly West.
• • Sarah Kanter Emanuel was born in Los Angeles on December 8th (Beverly's birthday). She then spent her first 11 years growing up in Israel. When her family moved again (this time to Toronto, Canada), she felt a desire to tell stories of love and survival. This led to her theater debut at the age of 11 in Peace Child, opening at the Factory Theater in Toronto and continuing its run in Russia through Volgograd, Moscow, and Leningrad. Upon finishing school, Sarah's passion for acting brought her to the teachings of Judy Silver, Sears, and Switzer, The Second City, and at the London Center for Theater Studies in England. While in Toronto she worked on such theater productions as Human Sound, The Stronger, Blithe Spirit, and Hay Fever. She also worked onscreen and in TV playing roles in such projects like the CBS mini series Young Blood: The Salem Witch Trials, starring Kirstie Alley and Shirley MacLaine; and the award winning film Evelyn, the Cutest Evil Dead Girl with director Brad Payton. The success of this film led to to screenings in both the Toronto and Vancouver International Film Festivals. Sarah also had the honor to work with acclaimed Canadian director Bruce Spangler on CFC's film Hasid, where she was recognized for her brave work. While in Vancouver, Sarah fell in love... so she moved, again. Continuing to master her craft, she studied under Michelle Londsdale Smith, Ben Ratner, and Nancy Sivak. Some of her Vancouver highlights include a stage production of The Maids (by Jean Genet), and yet another award winning film, Kathleen's Closet (by Sheila Jordan). Sarah was humbled when asked personally by acclaimed director Julia Kwan to be the children's acting coach on her new film Eve and the Firehorse — — a motion picture that won attention from the international film community, including the film fests in Sundance, New York, San Diego, Toronto, and Vancouver. She discovered her talent for teaching. Soon after, Sarah co-founded Studio Underground, her own private acting studio. With a heady mix of chutzpah and charm, Sarah brought her talent to New York City just 10 months ago. She once again took up studying, this time with Terry Schreiber. She is excited to be a part of the Courting Mae West cast, communicating the stories of women with conviction, courage, and compassion.
"COURTING MAE WEST" opens at 6 o'clock on Saturday night July 19, 2008 at the Algonquin Theatre [East 24th Street and Park Avenue South].
• •
"COURTING MAE WEST" — — showtimes
• • July 19th, 2008 — — 6:00 PM
• • July 20th, 2008 — — 2:00 PM matinee
• • July 21st, 2008 — — 6:00 PM
• • July 22nd, 2008 — — 9:00 PM
• • Tickets to "COURTING MAE WEST" are $18 per adult.
• • sells the tickets — —
• • Questions? Phone 212-779-3051.
• • The play is 95 minutes.

• • Get ready to come up and see Mae West, Texas Guinan, and the gang onstage in mid-July 2008.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

• • Photo:
• • Mae West's family • •
Sarah Kanter Emanuel • •

Mae West.

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