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/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • with her lawyer, Alan Brooks, and Texas Guinan, 1930 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

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