Monday, January 31, 2011

Mae West: January 31st

Two actors who were cast-mates with MAE WEST in "Go West Young Man" [1936] share the last day in January.
• • Born on 31 January 1887 in Curragh, Ireland, Charles Irwin starred on Broadway in Ned Wayburn's show Gambols (1929). A year after, he began appearing in motion pictures. The busy bit parts player was seen in 180 big screen roles from 1930 — 1964.
• • He played the Master of Ceremonies in "Go West Young Man."
• • Charles Irwin died at the age of 82 on 2 November 1969 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California.
• • Born in Savannah, Tennessee on 22 November 1875, Elizabeth Patterson felt she was destined for the footlights. The determined five-foot-five Southerner overrode her strict parent's objections and became a member of Chicago's Ben Greet Players, performing Shakespearean roles at the turn of the century. She followed this up with numerous roles on Broadway and did not, in fact, turn her thoughts to Hollywood until she was 51 years old.
• • She played Aunt Kate in "Go West Young Man."
• • Often cast as a neighbor, a busybody, a persnickety relative, or meddler, Elizabeth Patterson was seen in over 100 productions between 1926 — 1961.
• • Elizabeth Patterson died at the age of 90 on 31 January 1966 in Los Angeles, California.
• • The cast of "Go West Young Man" included:
• • Mae West — — Mavis Arden
• • Warren William — — Morgan
• • Randolph Scott — — Bud Norton
• • Alice Brady — — Mrs. Struthers
• • Elizabeth Patterson — — Aunt Kate Barnaby
• • Lyle Talbot — — Francis X. Harrigan
• • Charles Irwin — — Master of Ceremonies
• • 31 January 1936 • •
• • According to the archives of The Hutchinson News [published in Hutchinson, Kansas]: In Hollywood, police raided an alleged "indecent" stage show and arrested the business manager for Mae West, along with 13 of the cast of "Ladies by Request." The play had run for several weeks. [This news item ran on 31 January 1936 and refers to a Los Angeles production produced by Jim Timony, Mae's manager.]
• • Sixty-Six Minutes • •
• • According to the Illinois "Answer Man" Roger Schlueter, who wrote a column on 31 January 2011: Mae West's "She Done Him Wrong" — — at 66 minutes, it is the shortest movie ever nominated for best picture. And, of course, it was the only Mae West flick ever nominated for an Oscar.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mae West: Mass Appeal

Actors portraying characters such as MAE WEST will take to the stage and delight ticket-holders during early February on behalf of an annual local fundraiser as well as a centennial.
• • Founded a century ago in 1911, The Winton Club is a women’s organization with one unified goal: to support Winchester Hospital. Celebrating their history, their upcoming “Wincentennial” will feature popular music, 42 songs in all, with hits from each decade since the club was organized — — from World War I-era favorites to the Black-Eyed Peas and Bon Jovi, according to show producer Debbie Williams Chasse.
• • WHEN: February 1st — 5th, 2010.
• • WHERE: Winchester Town Hall Auditorium, 71 Mount Vernon St., Winchester, Mass.
• • INFO: Gayle O'Grady at 781-729-5307.
• • Tell them you heard about it on the MAE WEST BLOG.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Remembering Jimmy Durante, who died on January 29th • •
• • During 1922, Mae West was writing a new stage act, material for herself and an accompanist, featuring fast-paced skits and songs. Faced with choosing a pianist, Mae had auditioned two unknowns, Brooklynite Jimmy Durante [10 February 1893 — 29 January 1980] and Harry Richman [10 August 1895 — 3 November 1972]. Mae selected Richman, a tall, handsome, dapper fellow. Stagebills soon offered her new show: "Bits of Musical Comedy — — Mae West assisted by Harry Richman." After some good notices, Mae snagged a booking at the Palace.
• • Even though he missed his chance to appear with Mae, Jimmy's career continued to blossom. His distinctive clipped gravelly speech, nasal Brooklyn accent, mangled comic language, jazz-influenced songs, and a large, distinctive "schnozzola" helped make this unique performer one of America's most familiar and popular personalities from the 1920s through the 1970s.
• • In 1935, both Brooklynites appeared on this amusing bookcover.
• • In March 1951, Jimmy Durante was featured at the Copacabana, a Manhattan night spot that also booked The Mae West Revue.
• • Interesting, is it not, that both were born in 1893 and died in 1980 and yet these two vaudevillians never shared a stagebill.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1935 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mae West: W.C. Fields

"I have been approached by MAE WEST to consider collaborating," wrote W.C. Fields in 1935. "But I want my work to stand out individually. Besides Mae has the wrong slant on this thing [i.e., the bed]. She says she does her best writing in bed. Well, I do my best loafing there, and consider that this is the primary purpose of a bed."
• • The motion picture screenplay they eventually would create came about a few years later when the screen queen was no longer attached to Paramount Pictures and (no doubt) eager to return to making movies.
• • "My Little Chickadee" — — starring Mae West and W.C. Fields — — was officially released on 15 March 1940 and was booked in Manhattan at the prestigious Roxy; then located at 153 West 50th Street, this superbly appointed cathedral devoted to the cinema had first opened in 1927.
• • Born in Darby, Pennsylvania at the end of January, William Claude Dukenfield [29 January 1880 — 25 December 1946], better known as W. C. Fields, was an American comedian, actor, juggler, and writer. The vaudevillian perfected a stage act as a silent juggler, but eventually cultivated a motion picture persona of a misanthropic and hard-drinking egotist who remained a sympathetic character despite his snarling contempt for children, dogs, and women.
• • Mae had entered into negotiations for this joint venture by the end of May 1939 with reservations due to her costar's reputation for over-doing the imbibing.
• • Earlier that month, W.C. Fields had submitted a script called "December and Mae." In this early draft, which was set in the 1880s, the two leads were wed (but in name only) and also the co-owners of a Western-style barroom. By summer the studio had roped Grover Jones, a professional screenwriter, into the deal. Fields found Grover's ideas both tame and lame — — and urged Mae to collaborate with him instead.
• • Here are a few lines that made it into the final version:
• • Cuthbert J. Twillie: May I present my card?
• • Flower Belle Lee: 'Novelties and Notions.' What kind of notions you got?
• • Cuthbert J. Twillie: You'd be surprised. Some are old, some are new. Whom have I the honor of addressing?
• • Flower Belle Lee: Mmm, call me Flower Belle.
• • Cuthbert J. Twillie: Flower Belle, what a euphonious appellation. Easy on the ears and a banquet for the eyes.
• • Flower Belle Lee: You're kinda cute yourself.
• • Cuthbert J. Twillie: Thank you. I never argue with a lady.
• • Flower Belle Lee: Smart boy.
• • Another line he wrote was: "Whilst traveling through the Andes Mountains, we lost our corkscrew. Had to live on food and water for several days."
• • "My Little Chickadee" ends with this exchange:
• • Cuthbert J. Twillie (Fields): "Come up and see me sometime."
• • Flower Belle Lee (West): "Mmm, I will, my little chickadee."
• • In 1957 Max Ernst finished his "Study for a Monument to W.C. Fields," a tribute to the motion picture "My Little Chickadee."
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • with Fields in 1940 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mae West: Loew's Journal Square

The popular comedy "She Done Him Wrong" starring MAE WEST will be shown tonight in The Garden State.
• • According to director Colin Egan, who is a big fan of the Pre-Code cinema, "It is one of the most fascinating periods of American films. There was a time when Hollywood films were very adventuresome and racy." Mr. Egan manages the venerable Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre, a movie house on Journal Square that can hold close to 3,100 popcorn-munchers. In his opinion, this Mae West motion picture (based on her Broadway hit "Diamond Lil," was the most notorious of the screen classics he selected. "These films have strong women figures, adds Egan, "which you didn't have for a couple of decades, with rare exceptions, in the movies."
• • New Jersey moviehouse history: The opulent Loew's opened on 28 September 1929, noted Colin Egan, and is the only one of the three major local theatres from that era — — including the State and the Stanley — — that still shows film and live events.
• • WHEN: Friday, 28 January 2011 — — a double bill begins at 8:00 PM and includes "Freaks" and "She Done Him Wrong." Pre-Code motion pictures will also be shown here on Saturday, 29 January 2011.
• • WHERE: Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre, 54 Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ; T. 201-798-6055.
• • Frank Mills [1891 — 1973] • •
• • Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan in the month of January — — on 26 January 1891 — — the character actor Frank Mills made his first appearance in a motion picture in 1928 when he was 37 years old. Cast often, and invariably in modest roles, he went on to perform stunts and portray photographers, carnival barkers, bums, cabbies, military men, reporters, etc.
• • In "She Done Him Wrong," Frank Mills played a barfly.
• • Frank Mills logged in more than 300 film and TV credits between 1928 — 1961. He died in Los Angeles on 18 August 1973 at the age of 82.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • filming as Lady Lou in 1932 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mae West: Her First Romance

It was late January in 1927 when MAE WEST had some out-of-town tryouts for her new production "The Drag," a script with no role for her. The novice writer had been focusing her plots around one strong irresistible figure — — usually a female who attracts several admirers, suitors, and fellow adventurers. But even when there is one leading man who might win the lady's favor in the end, Mae was not interested in writing about a romance — — until "The Drag," with forbidden love at its heart.
• • Set in New York City and mentioning numerous sites [such as Broadway, Coney Island, Tenth Avenue, Hell's Kitchen, Brooklyn's Navy Yard, etc.], "The Drag" focuses on Rolly Kingsbury — — a judge’s son and the heir to the family ironworks business — — whose marriage is coming apart as he hides the secret of a past affair with David, a burning desire for Allen Grayson (an engineer), and an affiliation with a colorful drag community that is campy, preening, and happily outrageous.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • • • ROLLY: . . . You'll find "the boys" rather interesting, I think.
• • • • GRAYSON: You think so?
• • • • ROLLY: You've never met that particular type before?
• • • • GRAYSON: I can't say that I have.
• • • • ROLLY: Perhaps you have and didn't know it.
• • • • GRAYSON: [looks at Rolly]
• • • • ROLLY: Why do you suppose I've had you come here so often? Haven't you noticed the friendship I've had for you since the day you stepped into the office? All I could do was eat, drink, sleep, think of Allen Grayson.
• • • • GRAYSON: Why, Rolly, I'd hate to have you think of me in just that way. I've always looked at you as a he-man. God, this is — —
• • • • ROLLY: I — — I thought you had some idea of how I felt toward you — — my great interest in you.
• • • • GRAYSON: Yes, I did think it extraordinary — — but what about your wife? . . .
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Since "The Drag" will be offered at the end of this month in Orlando, a recent announcement appears below the dotted lines, written by Florida journalist Mathew Palm.
• • WHAT: "The Drag" by Mae West
• • WHERE: John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E Rollins St., Orlando, FL 32803
• • WHEN: January 29th — 30th, 2011
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Controversial Mae West play ‘The Drag’ gets reading • •
• • John DiDonna’s Empty Spaces Theatre Co. will present a staged reason of Mae West’s gay-themed “The Drag” twice this weekend as part of its Dangerous Plays Series.
• • Originally written in 1926, West’s play was considered obscene in its time.
• • Previews in Stamford, Conn., were cancelled when the manager felt it was too risky to perform. The Society for the Prevention of Vice warned that if the play ever opened in New York they would move to censor all Broadway plays.
• • West was no stranger to controversy: A police raid of her play “Sex” in 1927 resulted in her entire cast being arrested. West served 10 days [sic] in jail on morals charges and paid a fine.
• • The play itself is strikingly contemporary in its view of hidden homosexuality and a general theme of how “wealth hides corruption,” DiDonna says.
• • The staged reading will be directed by Michael Wanzie and DiDonna. It features Janine Klein, Anitra Pritchard, Emily Killian, David Almeida, Wyatt Glover, Roger Floyd, Alexander Mrazek, Michael Colavolpe, Kevin Bee and Wanzie.
• • Showtimes are at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, January 29th — 30th, 2011, at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center. Each reading is estimated to take an hour; a talk-back session will follow each performance. . . . For reservations, call 407-328-9005.
• • Empty Spaces Theatre Co. plans the Dangerous Plays series to explore works that do not shock for shock value alone, but ask questions that challenge political, social, sexual, religious or philosophical mores. They do not necessarily reflect the personal opinions of those involved or the producers. The mission of the series is “Giving Breath to Dissenting Voices” — — the unasked question is the only one that offers no value. The Dangerous Play Series is privately funded in its entirety.
— — Source: — —
• • Article: "Controversial Mae West play ‘The Drag’ gets reading"
• • Byline: Matthew J. Palm
• • Published by: The Orlando Sentinel — — Orlando, FL
• • Published on: 25 January 2011

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mae West: Smell the Meat Sizzling

How did MAE WEST come up with individuals like Rolly Kingsbury, Rosco Gillingwater, and Clem Hathaway? My hunch is that her characters are based on "types" she met at the spectacular, enormously popular drag balls staged during the 1920s in Manhattan at the old Madison Square Garden, the Hotel Astor, and at Rockland's Palace uptown in Harlem.
• • Set in New York City and mentioning numerous sites [such as Central Park, Times Square, Hell's Kitchen, Brooklyn's Navy Yard, etc.], "The Drag" by Mae West focuses on Rolly Kingsbury — — a judge’s son and the heir to the family ironworks business — — whose marriage is coming apart as he hides the secret of a past affair with a male lover, a nascent interest in someone new, and an affiliation with a colorful drag community that is campy, preening, and happily outrageous.
• • • • WINNIE: Fat! I should say not. I'm the type that men prefer. I can at least go through the Navy Yard without having the flags drop to half mast.
• • • • KATE: Listen, dearies — — pull in your aerial, you're full of static. I'm just the type that men crave. The type that bums 'em up. Why, when I walk up Tenth Avenue, you can smell the meat sizzling in Hell's Kitchen. ...
• • Since "The Drag" will be offered at the end of this month in Orlando, Florida, let's revisit "gay theory" commentary from two female college professors.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Writing in Comparative Literature Studies, Prof. Gail Finney offers this inisght: In The Drag, set in New York City in the 1920s, the voice speaking in defense of homosexuality is an authoritative one — a medical doctor who has informed himself sufficiently about the subject to know that some people are simply born homosexual and should not be blamed. The opposite position is represented by his old friend the judge, who regards homosexuals as an evil to be stamped out, declaring that they should all be banished to a desert island. As the viewer gradually learns, the irony at the heart of the play is that the judge’s son Rolly is in fact an active homosexual and has not consummated his marriage to the doctor’s daughter, whom he married merely for the sake of appearances. At the end of the play Rolly is shot and killed by a rejected male lover, and even if his feelings for Rolly support the thesis that “the gay plays contain the only love stories Mae West would ever write” (Introduction to Three Plays 27), the statement this ending appears to make about queer love is not a sanguine one. ... [SOURCE: "Queering the Stage: Critical Displacement in the Theater of Else Lasker-Schuler and Mae West" in Comparative Literature Studies — Volume 40, Number 1, 2003, pp. 54 — 71].
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Writing in Women's History Review, Prof. Lillian Schlissel states: Mae West, a world-famous wanton of the stage, never disguised her intention to destabilize political arrangements, and while she was always regarded as a ‘dangerous’ woman, the danger she posed was not her flagrant physicality, or her harlot’s disguise. It was the language with which she turned sex into comedy. Speech was her weapon of choice. In the plays she wrote for the Broadway stage, she announced the battlefield she had chosen. In the heterosexual romp, Sex, and in the little known ‘gay plays,’ The Drag and The Pleasure Man, Mae West established herself as a seasoned practitioner of the guerilla warfare waged before the footlights. ... [SOURCE: Women’s History Review, Volume 11, Number 1, 2002, 71].
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • WHAT: "The Drag" by Mae West
• • WHERE: John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E Rollins St., Orlando, FL 32803
• • WHEN: January 29th — 30th, 2011
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • during her obscenity trial, March 1927 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mae West: Former Actors

"Pleasure Man" written by MAE WEST had its opening night on 1 October 1928 padlocked by the police. Alan Brooks who portrayed Rodney Terrill died at the end of September — — on 29 September 1936 — — in Saranac Lake, NY, at age 48. Did the stressful 1930s obscenity trial contribute to his early demise?
• • Actor Alan Brooks, who played the title role, swore on the witness stand that he was astonished to discover that his character in "Pleasure Man" had died from being castrated. The debonair 42-year-old leading man testified in smart-looking spats and a gorgeous suit.
• • In January 1917, the performer also had to sue The Palace over a salary dispute. The court ruled in his favor and the determined vaudevillian walked away with his weekly wages of $665.
• • Born in New York City as Irving Hayward in the month of January
on 25 January 1888 Alan Brooks was active on The Gay White Way from 1909 — 1932. During that interval, Brooks was cast opposite Lionel Barrymore in "The Piker" [1925] and helmed his own Broadway trifecta when he wrote, directed, and starred in the comedy "Merchants of Venus" [1920].
• • The life of an actor has never been an easy one whether onstage or during the drama of the witness stand.
• • The legal battles fought by Mae West and Alan Brooks are dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship, and Secrets," set during the Prohibition Era. Watch a scene on YouTube.
• • Rex Reed: Oh, Myra • •
• • On Sunday evening, 30 January 2011, Rex Reed will air his viewpoints as part of the Annenberg Theater Council Speaker Series. You can gather the gist of his remarks by this title: "Rex Reed: My Life in Movies" — — which promises to share details about “how he started in the movie business, crashed into big-time journalism, becoming a movie star and critic." Rex Reed will also reminisce about bold-faced names he has encountered including Mae West, Truman Capote, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and Tennessee Williams, etc. Surely, Rex Reed must have interesting things to say as well about the author Gore Vidal whose bestseller "Myra Breckinridge" was adapted for the cinema in 1970 co-starring Mae West, Raquel Welch, Mr. Reed, and others. Though Gore Vidal's plot does not involve castration, a surgical operation is part of this messy story. You might say Gore put a lot of gore on the page.
• • WHERE: Annenberg Theater, 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • with her lawyer, Alan Brooks, and Texas Guinan, 1930 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mae West: Moody Music

The radio ruckus MAE WEST set in motion just before Christmas 1937 continued being discussed in the news. Time Magazine's issue — — dated Monday, 24 January 1938 — — focused on all those "right-thinking" citizens who penned complaint letters and the FCC's request for a transcript of the offending program. NBC was reluctant to release it, however.
• • Gene Austin: Born and Died on the 24th • •
• • Mae West utilized her friend Gene Austin's musical talents in her films "Belle of the Nineties" [1934]; "Klondike Annie" [1936]; and "My Little Chickadee" [1940].
• • In addition to writing the music and lyrics for "Klondike Annie," Gene Austin also appears as a vocalist and organ player during the church service. As the collection is in progress, Gene Austin and the parishioners sing "It's Better to Give Than to Receive."
• • Seven years younger than Mae, Gene Austin was born on the 24th day of the month of June in Texas — — that is, on 24 June 1900.
• • Though Gene Austin was the best-selling recording artist of the 1920s, he died virtually unknown in Palm Springs at age 71 after walking away from big-time show biz in the 1930s. His last show was at the old Jack London restaurant on North Indian Canyon Drive on New Year's Eve, 1971.
• • Austin lived with Grace and Phil Moody in Palm Springs from 1971 until his death at Desert Regional Medical Center on 24 January 1972.
• • Recognize the name Phil Moody? The British-born pianist was Mae West's music director. Now nearing his 91st birthday, Phil Moody thinks West and Austin were in love even when Austin was married to Moody's sister-in-law, Pony Sherrell.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • with Gene Austin and W.C. Fields, 1940 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mae West: Henry Beaumont Herts

MAE WEST was thrilled to be onstage, featured in two mainstage playhouses engineered by Henry Beaumont Herts, a native New Yorker who was born in January — — on 23 January 1871.
• • In 1911, the architectural firm of Herts and Tallant carried out work on a short-lived dinner theatre known as the Folies-Bergere at 210 West 46th. The owners wanted tables for ticket-holders, even in the orchestra and the boxes.
• • For eight performances durng September 1911, Mae was in the cast of "A La Broadway," playing (as usual) an Irish maid.
• • The dining surfaces merely wasted valuable space, making the entire scheme too expensive to continue. By October, the tables were removed and the auditorium was renamed the Fulton Theatre.
• • Shortly after their completion of the Folies-Bergere commission, however, the partnership had fallen apart.
• • In 1911, after Herts had ended his partnership with Hugh Tallent [1870 — 1952], he teamed up with Herbert J. Krapp, who had been their assistant. Together they produced the Booth, its companion the Shubert, and the Longacre Theaters. A native New Yorker who studied architecture and fine art abroad as well as in his hometown, Henry Beaumont Herts's first huge success on Broadway came during the early years of the new century. In his New Amsterdam Theater, completed in 1902, a cantilever balcony was used for the first time.
• • Those creations were praised for their beauty and interior structure — — and Mae found herself working at the Shubert Theatre before long.
• • Henry Beaumont Herts attended, but did not graduate from, Columbia University, and apprenticed under Bruce Price. He studied architecture in Europe at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and at the Universities of Rome and Heidelberg.
• • But, unfortunately, Herts, who was very likely an alcoholic and perhaps a morphine addict as well, seemed to have been in a downward spiral by the age of 40.
• • Henry Beaumont Herts died in March 1933.
• • Mae West: Money Guru • •
• • Author Sarah Ban Breathnach, age 63, recently published a new book: Peace and Plenty: Finding Your Path to Financial Serenity. According to reporter Kerry Hannon: Sarah Ban Breathnach is not a financial guru of any sort. . . . To educate herself about personal finance, she turns to some modern day money gurus like Suze Orman, but also to Mae West, Miss Piggy, Scarlett O’Hara, Auntie Mame, and advice from magazine and newspaper articles written during the Great Depression. ... [Source: Forbes, 22 January 2011]
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mae West: Piper Laurie

Though we are not big fans of the 1982 TV bio-pic about MAE WEST, the actress who played Mae's beloved mother onscreen was born today.
• • Cast in this televised production as Matilda West, Piper Laurie's birthname was Rosetta Jacobs. The little redhead was born in Detroit, Michigan in the month of January — — on 22 January 1932 — — the daughter of a Polish immigrant and his Russian-American wife.
• • Mae West's Playboy Interview on iPad • •
• • “Is that an iPad in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?” — — Mae West would most likely enjoy the opportunities that our media-driven world now offers for more people to be happy to see her. According to F.C. Etier: Whether you’re using the new Playboy Hard Drive or looking forward to the just announced Playboy feature (about to be available on iPad) to fill your eyes with beautiful models, opportunities abound. . . . On Thursday, 19 January 2011, Hugh Hefner announced (via his “official” Twitter account) that Playboy (archives and new issues) would be available “uncensored” on iPad. . . . [Source: Technorati.com, 21 January 2011]
• • On Mae West Street • •
• • According to John D'Anna, who reports for The Arizona Republic: Last year Bob Urdiales and his neighbors on Mae West Street at Superstition Sunrise RV Resort set the record for the world's longest salad bar. This year's party has a Love Boat shipwreck theme, playing off the idea that — — in addition to being a bawdy comedienne — — a Mae West is also a life preserver. ... [Source: AZCentral.com, 21 January 2011]
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1928 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mae West: A Tale of 2 Januarys

"Diamond Lil" left the Plymouth Theatre on 21 January 1950 and MAE WEST then immediately took the show on the road.
• • The revival enjoyed enormous success at the venerable Plymouth Theatre [236 West 45th Street]. It opened there on 7 September 1949 and had 182 performances on Broadway.
• • In his admiring review of her 1949 reinvigorated Bowery queen romp through her popular "naughty nineties" hit, The New York Times drama critic Brooks Atkinson admitted he was moved to acknowledge what he called in an atypically poetic effusion ''the sublime fatalism of the entire business,'' and he went on to ask: ''Is she kidding or is she serious?''
• • Final rehearsals for "The Drag" January 1927 • •
• • Mae West, a world-famous Broadway veteran by January 1950, was in a different situation in January 1927. The early evening was occupied by her starring role in "Sex" followed by midnight rehearsals of her homosexual script "The Drag," which was written without a role for her to play.
• • When the play's previews opened in late January 1927 in Bayonne, New Jersey, the police ordered a seated audience out of the theatre. Mae was undeterred. She knew there was an audience who would appreciate her play, a drama that ended in a flashy drag ball "staged with hippodrome elaborations taking up close to twenty minutes of the third act . . . ."
• • During 1926, Jim Timony and Mae had observed the colorful drag cabaret performances going on at Paul and Joe's on West Ninth Street. The restaurant's lay-out was especially suitable. The front room, at ground floor level, had a low ceiling and the dim interior was hidden from view by huge clay pots of bushes. The main room, however, was a substantial salon with a gracious two-story height lit during the day by a magnificent skylight. On three sides of this dining room, a mezzanine skirted along the perimeter; guests could sit at their tables and watch the action below, enjoying the gaudy spectacle without getting too close. Since the mezzanine offered both privacy and access, many celebrities felt comfortable coming here for the "nance" humor including bluebloods, gangsters, reporters, and professional athletes such as Jack Dempsey. New York's Mayor Jimmy Walker was often seen here, too.
• • After meeting a number of these "showgirls," and discussing her project with Timony, Mae West worked on this gay drama-comedy during the latter part of 1926. This is the first time the line "Come up and see me sometime" was used in one of Mae's plays. That line was given to a drag queen.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Here is a tiny excerpt from "The Drag" — — by MAE WEST
• • • • Taxi-Driver: Do you boys want me to wait?
• • • • Clem: You better wait, you great, big, beautiful baby.
• • • • Taxi-Driver: I don't get you guys.
• • • • Clem: If you don't, you're the first taxi-driver that didn't.
• • • • Taxi-Driver: What do you want me to do?
• • • • Clem: Ride me around a while, dearie, and then come back for her, if you're so inclined.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mae West: Angus McBean

MAE WEST posed for Angus McBean and those portraits will be displayed next month in the United Kingdom.
• • Writing for London's paper The Sunday Times five years ago, Joanna Pitman remarked: One talismanic figure throughout his career was Mae West, who first visited McBean’s London studio in 1948 after a performance of her show Diamond Lil. It is lovely to see the model that McBean made of West, a bizarre stick-like creature, its arms and legs operated by long sticks like Malaysian puppets. West was amazed by the doll when she saw it and McBean was able to demonstrate that it could, like its progenitor, pat its hair and put its hand on its swinging hip. ...
• • Word comes that the National Museum Wales will host a series of events, exhibitions, and activities to celebrate LGBT History Month in February 2011.
• • Moreover at National Museum Cardiff, "People, Personalities and Power: Faces from Wales" is a display of Welsh portraits from the museum’s collection, assembled to celebrate LGBT History Month, that will be on view until Sunday, 8 May 2011.
• • Recently acquired pictures by Angus McBean will be displayed, including a surreal self-portrait by McBean and a pair of portraits of legendary Welsh actor and playwright Emlyn Williams. Angus McBean’s biographer and close friend, Adrian Woodhouse, will talk about McBean’s work on Friday, 11 February 2011.
• • Adrian Woodhouse will explain how McBean’s sexual orientation influenced his photography, for instance, his astonishing images of famous women and beautiful men. Woodhouse will focus particularly on McBean's notable images of screen stars like Mae West, Audrey and Katherine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shirley Bassey along with silver gelatin prints of ravishing males in their prime — — Howard Keel and Laurence Olivier and others.
• • Born in London, Angus McBean [8 June 1904 — 9 June 1990] was a Welsh photographer associated with surrealism.
• • WHERE: National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP; Tel: (029) 2039 7951
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1948 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mae West: Ken and Then

Ken Hughes, who once worked with MAE WEST, was born in January.
• • Then 56 years old when he was at the helm of "Sextette" in 1978, based on Mae West's play ["Sextet"], the British director had many career highs and low-points.
• • "Sextette" was the middle-aged director's first American film — — as well as Mae West's final screen appearance.
Ah, yes, the evolving of "Sextet," a comedy for the stage, into a motion picture project. Not unlike reading the work of a very clever Marxist, the script's logic is impeccable, even when the premise — — that an actress in her 80s can portray a 26-year-old sexpot — — is wrong.
• • Vincent Canby, then the film critic of The New York Times, pursed his lips and gave the project a sound spanking. Canby wrote: The story, based on a play written some years ago by Miss West, is about a world-famous movie star and her attempts to consummate her sixth marriage to Sir Michael Barrington (Timothy Dalton) despite repeated interruptions by former husbands, lovers, dress designers, secret agents, publicity people and delegates attending an international peace conference just upstairs. It's a plot that Miss West has often favored, and it freely reprises a lot of lines from earlier pictures. The movie was directed by Ken Hughes ("The Small World of Sammy Lee," "Cromwell," and so on), a fellow you might think had better things to do than to prop up the Tower of Pisa. In addition to Mr. Dalton, "Sextette" features a number of other people who, in happier circumstances, are decent actors. These include Tony Curtis, George Hamilton, Ringo Starr, and the incomparable Dom DeLuise. There are some original songs and some old ones, a couple of which sound as if they'd been lip-synched by Miss West to old recordings . . . [N.Y. Times 8 June 1979].
• • In January
— — on 19 January 1922 — — Kenneth Graham Hughes was born in Liverpool, England.
• • The Hollywood director developed Alzheimer's disease and died on 28 April 2001 in Los Angeles.
• • Regis Retires • •
• • Speaking of "Sextette," cast member Regis Philbin just announced his retirement. We wish the durable TV host and familiar face all the best. Regis Francis Xavier Philbin was born on 25 August 1931 in New York City. He was 47 years old when he did a cameo in "Sextette" playing himself.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mae West: Cary Is Cummings

It is a kick to see Cary Grant, still a youthful Englishman in 1932 [18 January 1904 — 29 November 1986], opposite MAE WEST before his own movie star image had solidified. Paramount Pictures cast him as Captain Cummings who came up to see Lady Lou on the Bowery. "Diamonds is my career!" she tells him.
• • Cary Grant: A Class Apart [TCM, 6:30PM on 18 January 2011]
• • Cary Grant: this TV profile, narrated by Helen Mirren, recounts Grant's career in chronological order — — starting with his early screen turns in "Blonde Venus" and "I'm No Angel" (opposite Mae West), which led to starring roles in celebrated romantic comedies like "Bringing Up Baby" and "The Philadelphia Story." The program includes interviews with Hollywood stars who knew and worked with Grant, including Eva Marie Saint, Martin Landau and Dina Merrill. ....
• • Source: The Globe and Mail [Canada] — 17 January 2011
• • 75 Years ago: Mae West's Dining Car — 13 January 1938 • •
• • Mae West's Application for Dining Car Zoning In Van Nuys Considered By Planners
• • Application of Mae West, cinema actress, for a variance of zoning of a parcel of land on Van Nuys boulevard near Circle Drive, for permission to place on the site an equipped dining car to be used for restaurant purposes, was taken under submission by the City Planning Commissioners Tuesday for further study . . . .
• • Source: The Van Nuys News [predecessor of the Los Angeles Daily News] — 13 Jan. 1938 edition
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1932 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mae West: Noah Near Her Boa

MAE WEST worked in one project with a character actor who was born in January — 17 January 1882.
• • In "She Done Him Wrong" [1933] the bejeweled chanteuse and brash entertainer Lady Lou (Mae West) works in the 1890s Bowery saloon of her boss and benefactor Gus Jordan (Noah Beery, Sr.), who has given her lots of furs and many diamonds.
• • Unbeknownst to Lady Lou, slick and sleazy Gus Jordan trafficks in white slavery (prostitution) and runs a counterfeiting ring (to help finance Lou's expensive rock collection). He also sends young women to San Francisco to be pickpockets. Gus works with two other crooked entertainer-assistants, Russian Rita (Rafaela Ottiano) and Rita's lover, the suave Serge Stanieff (Gilbert Roland).
• • Kansas City, Missouri native Noah Beery, Sr. [17 January 1882 — 1 April 1946] pursued a theatrical career from a young age.
• • Noah and his younger brothers William Beery and the legendary Wallace Beery all became Hollywood actors.
• • His much more successful younger brother, Academy Award winning Wallace Beery [1 April 1885 — 15 April 1949], was once wed to Gloria Swanson.
• • After a number of years touring on the stage, in 1915 Noah joined his brother Wallace in Hollywood to make motion pictures — — where he became a respected character actor adept at playing the role of the heavy.
• • Then, after years of working in silent films, he successfully made the transition to talking pictures. One film historian dubbed him "the villain's villain."
• • During a career that spanned three decades, Noah Beery, Sr. appeared in almost two hundred motion pictures.
• • In 1946, Noah Beery, Sr. died
— — on his brother Wallace Beery's April 1st birthday — — in Beverly Hills, California of a heart attack at age 64.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1932 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mae West: 16 January 1934

It was another appearance in court, this time as a witness for the prosecution — — on 16 January 1934 — — when MAE WEST gave testimony about Edward Friedman, who had robbed her.
• • This coverage appeared in the Los Angeles Evening Herald and Express:
• • OFFICERS GUARD MOVIE QUEEN at TRIAL AFTER THREATS by GANGSTERS • •
• • Amid a chorus of masculine and feminine "oh's" and "ah's," alluring Mae West herself, a riot of color and beauty, swept thorough the courtroom of Judge Harry Sewell this morning in a grand entrance before her audience, took the witness stand and told her story of how she was robbed of $12,000 worth of diamonds and $3,400 in cash.
• • Her appearance was that of the complaining star witness at the trial of Edward Friedman, charged with being one of the robber gang, and it created as much of a sensation in the crowded courtroom as at any Mae West premiere.
• • "The man with the gun said to me, ‘Give me the poke,'" Miss West testified.
• • "My purse was on the seat beside me and the bandit reached over for it. I figured he wanted it, so I picked it up and gave it to him."
• • LAVISH GESTURES • •
• • Here the lovely Mae illustrated with lavish gestures and with the aid of a brocade purse how she generously handed over her purse to a man with the gun.
• • But if she had figured that was to save her sparklers, it was a wrong move, she admitted ruefully.
• • "Then he said, ‘Give me that ring,'" she continued. "So I did. It was a diamond ring."
• • ACTRESS GUARDED • •
• • At this moment a court recess was called. Mae's screen of protective detectives and investigators closed in around her. They were there, to see that no gangster took a shot at her because of telephone threats made against her, but they acted as gallant lackeys as well.
• • "Wouldn't you like a drink of water" asked the first lucky man to reach the side of the attractive screen siren.
• • "Here's a seat for you, Miss West," interrupted another.
• • "I'm all right, boys — there's nothing wrong with me," purred the golden-haired Mae. "I'm feeling fine."
• • A Diamond Pendant Shaped Like a Champagne Bottle • •
• • The missing jewels, she already has complained, included a diamond pendant shaped like a champagne bottle, with the "laughing water" fizzing from its mouth; a diamond bracelet two inches wide and a diamond ring. The cash represented a week's pay for working in the movies.
• • Today she said she didn't want her "rocks" back, but only to find out who really took them.
Her bodyguard, Detective Lieutenants Joe Filkas and Frank "Lefty" James, were fulfilling their pleasurable task as a result of couple of anonymous telephone calls received by the blonde heroine of She Done Him Wrong and other screen hits, demanding that she stay away from Friedman's trial — — "or else."
• • However, those calls didn't bother the nonchalant Mae.
• • "I asked the guy who called me ‘So what?' and hung up on him," she drawled. "Say, phony calls and letters and stuff like that are all a part of a day's mail. I should get hot and bothered ...'
• • She said the man who called her had a 'heavy' voice.
• • "But that don't make him unusual, like a circus exhibit, exactly. Lotsa guys have deep voices, seems like I've observed," she added.
• • Friedman is said to have admitted the robbery, but later repudiated the confession, claiming it was given during a 'third degree' by police.
• • The other men also were indicted with him — Morris Cohen, alleged Detroit gangster, and Harry Voiler, who was with Miss West as a friend at the time the holdup was perpetrated. It was Voiler, according to Friedman's admission, who hired him to hold up Miss West. He is now in Chicago fighting extradition. Cohen never has been found.
— — Source: 1/16/1934 Evening Herald and Express — —
• • Come up and see Mae every day online: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
________
Source:http://maewest.blogspot.com/atom.xml
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.