Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mae West: Suddenly Sam

Since MAE WEST enjoyed a long association working for the Shubert brothers, it would be remiss not to give Sam his due on this date.
• • Born in Neustadt, Poland during the month of August — — on 27 August 1878 — — Samuel S. Shubert emigrated to America with his parents and siblings and was raised in Syracuse, New York.
• • Due to his father's alcoholism, which kept the family in precarious circumstances, young Sammy began shining shoes and, eventually, snagged better wages indoors at the Grand Opera House, where he sold souvenir programs and helmed the box office. Despite his lack of formal education, Sam Shubert was a math whiz and soon got a promotion to the position of assistant treasurer at the Wieting Theatre, the pride of Syracuse. Thinking big, Sam Shubert decided to focus on producing stage plays. With borrowed financing, he set out with his two brothers to operate playhouses in upstate New York, and then expand into midtown Manhattan.
• • During May 1905, as Sam Shubert was traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on business, the passenger train he was on had a serious collision. Severely injured in the train wreck, 26-year-old Sam Shubert succumbed to his injuries two days later on 13 May 1905. His body was brought back to Manhattan for prepared for burial in the Salem Fields Cemetery in Brooklyn.
• • In 1913, Sam Shubert's brothers opened a prestigious new venue at 225 West 44th Street, in the heart of the bustling Broadway theatre district, which was named in his honor. Mae West enjoyed many bookings there starting with "Sometime."
• • The Sam S. Shubert Theatre, which remains in operation today as one of the great landmarks of The Gay White Way, was the starting point for the Mae West walking tour (which took place on 16 August 2009). To see this flagship building, have a look at the tour photos.

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

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:48 PM

    What is known about his sexuality?