MAE WEST was born in New York City 115 years ago on 17 August 1893.
• • To celebrate the occasion in style, the Diamond Divas led a group of two dozen Mae-mavens to several locations in Greenwich Village linked to her stage career and the work of individuals she admired such as Lillian Russell, Tony Pastor, Texas Guinan, Eugene O'Neill, and Rae Bourbon.
• • Walking Tour: "Mae West's Walk on the Wild Side" visited the former residence of Judge Amadeo Bertini, who presided over Mae's Pleasure Man trial in 1930; the first speakeasy fined for violating the Volstead Act; the infamous drag cabarets along West Third Street; and the building where Washington Square College coeds elected Mae West as their "prom girl" in 1927.
• • The August 17th event — — billed as "rain or shine" — — received the weatherman's blessing. Ideal conditions prevailed and the group found it quite pleasant to linger and enjoy the musical interludes.
• • The musical program, sung by soprano Marlena de la Mora and Sharon Weinman, included: "Everything's Coming up Mae West"; "Mon Coeur S' Ouvre a Ta Voix"; "The Prisoner's Song"; "Frankie and Johnny"; "Come Down Ma Evening Star"; "I Could Have Danced All Night"; "Gentleman Jimmy"; and a grand finale taken from the score of "Diamond Lil."
• • Joining the tour group yesterday was the cast of "Courting Mae West" — — Yvonne Sayers, Neal Sims, Gloria Buccino, Mary Murphy, and Steven Viola.
• • This outdoor event — — which is part of the Annual Mae West Birthday Gala — — is scheduled every August in Manhattan and open to the public.
• • For info on Theatre District Tours: Seesaw864@juno.com
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West tour • • Diamond Divas Production • •