Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mae West: Theatre Royal

MAE WEST took the starring role of Carliss Dale in the stage play "Come On Up (Ring Twice)," which toured during 1946 in California and elsewhere. This comedy was written by Miles Mander, Fred Schiller, and Thomas Dunphy.
• • Mae must have taken a shine to Tommy Dunphy because she attached her name as co-writer to another laugh-fest called "Ladies, Please." Centered around two frisky fellows who attend a party in drag, when this debuted in Great Britain at Brighton's Theatre Royal in May 1948, the Hollywood icon was in residence for the premiere. A ticket, stating "Mae West presents European Premiere prior to London Production," was preserved by Brighton's History Centre along with other Mae-memorabilia.
• • Comic actor Pat McGrath, born in Ireland in 1916, wore a platinum blonde wig with his female garb; London native Dick Emery, born in 1915, played the sexy redhead.
• • The production of "Ladies, Please" was directed by William Mollison, the same English director Mae had worked with when she performed "Diamond Lil" in Great Britain.
• • Documents from the ocean liner Queen Mary confirm that Mae West and Jim Timony boarded on 15 May 1948 at Southampton, England for their voyage back to New York City. They arrived in their home port on 19 May 1948.
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• • • Mae West: visit to Brighton 1948 • • •
• • According to Kate Elms, Brighton History Centre:
• • On the 10 May 1948, screen siren Mae West took her seat at Brighton’s Theatre Royal for the European premiere of ‘Ladies, Please!’ She co-wrote the play and was in town to attend its European premiere, bringing with her a dash of Hollywood glitz and glamour. And, judging by reviews published in local papers, the play was an ideal tonic for a town still in the grip of rationing and other post war austerity measures.
• • • "Ladies Please!" at the Theatre Royal, Monday, 10 May 1948 • • •
• • Heading the cast were George Gee and Betty Frankiss, who was famous for her panto appearances, supported by Pat McGrath and Dick Emery. The plot centered on two men (played by McGrath and Emery), who attend a birthday party dressed as women, with predictably comic results. The Brighton & Hove Herald declared that, ‘In a red wig and purple sequins, Dick Emery is irresistible and his clowning never flags, while Pat McGrath plays his platinum blonde companion with equal ease.’ And according to the Gazette, ‘It [the play] oozes sex from the opening lines to the final curtains but is honest enough to pretend to be nothing else but what it is
— — a blasé farce.’
• • Mae West, who reportedly stayed at The Grand Hotel when she visited Brighton in 1948, also has a more permanent presence in the town. Visitors to Brighton Museum & Art Gallery may be familiar with the Mae West’s Lips sofa, designed by Salvador Dali around 1938. ... One of only five originals, the sofa was acquired by Brighton Museum in 1983, and can be seen in the Twentieth Century Art and Design Gallery.
• • • • Written by Kate Elms, Brighton History Centre [posted on 5 May 2011]
• • Source: Brighton History Centre at The Brighton Museum & Art Gallery [Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1EE]
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• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Can you imagine Mae West in a Marx Brothers comedy — — as a foil?
• • Movie Critic Steven D. Greydanus writes: Flirting with Angelica [actress Penelope Cruz] isn’t the same, because she’s a pirate and isn’t discomfited in the same way. How funny would Groucho’s impudence be if Margaret Dumont came back at him like Mae West? How amusing would Astaire’s insouciance be if Ginger didn’t at least pretend to be offended? ...
• • Source: Article: "SDG Reviews 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' " written by Steven D. Greydanus for The National Catholic Register; posted on Friday, 20 May 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 1937th 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.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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