Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mae West: Indiana Inventiveness

MAE WEST had a few prestigious publicists and one was known in the industry as N.T.G.
• • On 21 April 1957, the world received the sad news that Nils T. Granlund had died in a taxi accident in Las Vegas.
• • Born in Sweden but raised in the USA, Nils T. Granlund [29 September 1890 — 21 April 1957] was a Broadway show producer, radio industry pioneer, and also a publicist for Marcus Loew who formed Loews Theatres and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). So well known that he went by his initials N.T.G., this powerhouse was Mae West's publicist and he also attended her wedding when she married Guido Deiro.
• • 21 April 1928 • •
• • Critics often weighed in on the Brooklyn bombshell — — and seldom were they indulgent.
• • Back on 21 April 1928, Billboard's resident killjoy was Robert Garland. He had also been reviewing for the New York WorldTelegram and was a founding member of the Drama Critics Circle. Perhaps trying to insure she would get good notices from him, one hopeful changed her name from Miss Gumm to "Judy Garland," snagging his surname.
• • Well, eighty-three years ago, Robert Garland actually paid "Diamond Lil" a left-hand compliment.
• • "You'd have thought that a favorite bootlegger had come back from Atlanta," wrote drama critic Robert Garland in the New York Evening Telegram [5 April 1928]. "Mae West makes Miss Ethel Barrymore look like the late lamented Bert Savoy."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • In 1940 a creative and colorful fundraiser was held for St. Casimir Church in North Hammond, Indiana. Male parishioners paired up and dressed in formal attire to create a "Wedding without Women" as a way of bringing in donations during the Great Depression.
• • Past Times Coordinator Pat Kincaid writes: They organized a "Wedding without Women" event. Admission was charged. [Then 17 years old] Louis W. Mroz believes it cost either $2 or $3 to view the "ceremony," which included bride, groom, maid of honor, ring bearer and even a Mae West look-alike. The men of the parish paired off and one dressed as a woman who then was escorted by the other. Their wedding finery was handmade. The group met for one rehearsal before staging their event. They were all "guest couples" at the "wedding" and participated in a grand march, too, at a "reception" held in the church gym afterward. The bride was Walter Pelczar, maid of honor was Ray Kaptar, ring bearer was Eugene Pietczak — — and Mae West was Richard Hildebranski. ...
• • Source: Article: "'Couples' raised funds for St. Casimir" written by Pat Kincaid for; posted on 17 April 2011.
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 1906th 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 • • look-alike in 1940 • •
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