Thursday, December 25, 2008

Mae West: December 25th

MAE WEST has a tie to two individuals linked to December 25th.
• • Evelyn Nesbit Thaw — — born on 25 December 1884
• • No doubt Mae, an aspiring entertainer, would never forget her booking on 4 August 1913 — — when Hammerstein had scheduled the vivacious teenager to perform at his vaudeville playhouse situated in Longacre [later Times] Square. The location was popularly known by New Yorkers as "the corner."
• • On this sultry August evening, Mae West was there to open for a world-famous star: Evelyn Nesbit [1884 — 1967]. Despite a low-cut gown and provocative songs, Mae failed to fire up the audience.
• • The critic from The New York Tribune [whose coverage ran on 5 August 1912] commented that even Mae's low neckline and raunchy bumps and grinds were not enough to sway the hoi polloi.
• • In 1899, Oscar Hammerstein built his fifth showplace — — the Victoria Theatre — — at the corner of West 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue. Stars like MAE WEST, Will Rogers, W.C. Fields, Charlie Chaplin, Ethel Barrymore, Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Buster Keaton, Harry Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit, and Eva Tanguay were among the thousands of performers who made Hammerstein's Victoria the vaudeville "nut house" of Times Square.
• • W.C. Fields — — died on 25 December 1946
• • Fields co-starred with Mae in the motion picture "My Little Chickadee," which began production on 12 November 1939 and wrapped up in December just before Christmas.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1935 • •
Mae West.

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