Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mae West: Alabama Variety

When MAE WEST performed in Dixie, those lovely Southern gentleman gave her a good hand — — the kind of applause that makes paint flake from the walls.
• • One of the many playhouses Mae appeared in was the Lyric Theatre.
• • The grandly decorated auditorium opened as the premier entertainment venue in Birmingham during the years 1914 —1926. In addition to boasting of the famous live acts featured here — — such as Mae West, Will Rogers [1879 — 1935], the Marx Brothers — — the playhouse once called the "King of Vaudeville" in Birmingham is very proud of its history. The Lyric is the oldest surviving theater in a city that once offered great variety to entertainment seekers: over sixty theatres, opera houses, nickelodeons, and silent movie houses. This sturdy corner building has withstood many decades of neglect and changes in the downtown community to become a lasting testament to Birmingham architecture and to vaudeville theatre.
• • The Lyric Theater is located at 1800 3rd Avenue North in Birmingham, Alabama. According to Bobby Horton, of Birmingham Landmarks: "It's just our history. It's tied to our history. You know in 1914 when this thing was opened Birmingham was booming. This is a theater where the greatest names came through. This was a major, major stop on the vaudeville circuit . . . ."
• • Restoration efforts are afoot. The plan is to raise funds to renovate the Lyric in time for its 100th anniversary in 2014 — — and we wish them the best of luck.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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1 comment:

glennybrock said...

Thanks so much for mentioning the Lyric! We are working hard to see that amazing theatre restored.
Anybody interested can find more details at www.savethelyric.com.

Thanks, too, for your terrific Mae West blog. It's a joy to read.