Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mae West: Tira Titillates on TV

When MAE WEST was launching her stage career, she emphasized her dancing ability and physical exuberance. Like the newcomer George Raft, variety artist Mae became known for fast footwork. At the Shubert Theatre, a young soldier in the audience named Leonard Hall noted that she was a "slender, beautiful ball of fire who performed as a specialty dancer in high kicks, cartwheels, and fast taps. She was a tasty tornado." Those fancy steps were the result of years of studying with Ned Wayburn, whose birthdate is at the end of March.
• • Born in Pennsylvania, Ned Wayburn [30 March 1874 — 2 September 1942] was a choreographer. His promotional campaigns pictured some of his most successful dance pupils — — and though Mae was not featured on those testimonials, Ned taught her to dance and cast her in several shows, adding heft to her resume and stage career.
• • Tira Titillates on TV • •
• • Paramount Pictures was too terrified to show Mae's hip movements. Her gyrations are merely suggested in the opening segment of "I'm No Angel," when she appears in an outrageous kootchy-kootchy harem costume and is introduced as "Tira the incomparable," the gal who realized you didn't need feet in order to shimmy.
• • In his column "Notable TV Screenings," Ken Hanke writes: Depending on your stamina — or your DVR or DVD recorder hard-drive capacity — you could easily start at 11:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30, on TCM and just keep watching till about 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 31, without hitting a single clunker. It starts with Wesley Ruggles’s Mae West film "I’m No Angel" (1933). This is Mae’s second starring film — and her second with Cary Grant. It’s also perhaps her most elaborate film and definitely one of her best and most pre-code racy vehicles. Nothing quite matches Mae singing “They Call Me Sister Honky Tonk” and then surveying her leering audience and saying, “Suckers,” though telling Louise Beavers, “Beulah, peel me a grape,” ain’t bad. This is followed by Ernst Lubitsch’s "Trouble in Paradise" (1932) ....
• • Source: "Cranky Hanke’s Weekly Reeler March 30 — April 5" written by Ken Hanke for Mountain Express; posted on 29 March 2011.
• • 30 March 1927 • •
• • By 30 March 1927, twelve male jurors had been selected for Mae West's "Sex" trial set for Jefferson Market Court on Sixth Avenue in Greenwich Village.
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Sportswriter Patrick Kennedy jokes: Coach Evan Robinson, who is to over-confidence what Mae West is to chastity, would be lying if he said he wasn't concerned. His edginess stems from the club's sudden lack of grit and no-guff approach, both large, loud factors in the Game 3 defeat in Oakville. ...
• • Source: Sports Page: "Voyageurs desperate for victory" written by Patrick Kennedy, The Whig-Standard, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; posted on 24 March 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 1884th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in her 1933 costume as Tira • •
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