Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mae West: Joe Frisco

As soon as she was cast in "Sometime" in 1918, MAE WEST sought out Joe Frisco to coach her.
• • With her tough gal posture and a hand on her hip, Mae forged her own portrayal of the vampy man-eater Mayme Dean (who was originally written as a pathetic little sparrow). Mae West even spiced up "All I Want Is a Little Lovin'" with her own lyrics. According to Jill Watts: Rather than working with the busy choreographer of "Sometime," Mae West got some guidance from her Chicago pal Joe Frisco, a popular white jazz dancer who was an expert in black technique.
• • Born in Milan, Illinois on 4 November 1889, Joe Frisco was a vaudevillian whose first bookings featured him as a proficient jazz dancer. Frisco performed with some of the first jazz bands in Chicago and New York City, including Tom Brown's Band from Dixieland, the Original Dixieland Jass Band, and the Louisiana Five. In 1918, he took his first Broadway bows in the Ziegfeld Follies, but also toured in variety throughout the 1920s. His popular jazz dance act (occasionally called the “Jewish Charleston”) was a choreographed series of shuffles, camel walks, and turns. He usually performed to Darktown Strutters’ Ball. So well known for his jazz dance was he that writer F. Scott Fitzgerald made reference to him in "The Great Gatsby" when he compared a showgirl's dancing moves to Frisco's.
• • Later on, Joe Frisco incorporated his stutter into his act and became a popular comedian. one of his witty off-stage remarks, made in a stammering voice, was: “After they made that guy, th-th-they threw away the sh-sh-shovel!”
• • Mae admired his off-the-cuff humor and reworked this line, which became "His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
• • Addicted to gambling, Joe Frisco's career declined and he was penniless when he died of cancer in Woodland Hills, California in the month of February — — on 12 February 1958.
• • Mae West, Literary Muse • •
• • Graham Greene's novel Brighton Rock, published in 1938 and made into a film nine years later, has now been remade under the direction of Rowan Joffe.
• • Writing in The Australian on 12 February 2011, film critic Ben Macintyre offered this background: In 1920s Brighton, gang violence was on the rise, as was the popularity of Britain's southern coastal resorts. Brighton Rock brilliantly captured the seediness of British seaside life between the wars, the teashops, the spiv culture and a peculiarly English sort of melancholy. The character of the crook Colleoni in the novel is probably based on Darby Sabini, the "king of the racecourse gangs" who ran Clerkenwell's Italian mob and retired to Brighton. The prototype for the barmaid Rose in Brighton Rock is thought to be Mae West. . . .
• • Mae West's Bio (Lost in Translation) • •
• • Michael, a blogger from Illinois, posted this about the Brooklyn bombshell: Mae West is the single of the heading poke today. Brooklyn innate beauty, Mae West, was initial innate as Mary Jane West upon Aug 17, 1893. She had regularly desired behaving flourishing up though flourishing up in the twenties was really confining. Not for Mae West. Mae West took value of the resounding twenties as well as the regressive position upon what women should do as well as be as well as how they should action — — she declared her initial fool around “Sex.” . . .
• • Initial innate, huh???
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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