Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Mae West: Chez Shay

Leo McCarey, who helmed "Belle of the Nineties," was one of the directors MAE WEST never liked.
• • In September 1934, a review of "Belle of the Nineties" appeared in The New York Times: "Of course, Miss West is her own plot, but there are a fixed prize-fight, some stolen jools, an envious siren, a fire, and a pair of rival claimants for her affections to add the necessary business. While Ruby Carter's personal philosophy is, in her own words, to keep cool and collect, she has a healthy admiration for a good man, and the Tiger Kid fills the bill. ..."
• • Born in Los Angeles, in the month of July, Leo McCarey [3 October 1898 — 5 July 1969] was an Academy Award-winning film director, screenwriter, and producer.
• • Where It Happened • •
• • When Mae West was rehearsing in the month of July for "Ginger Box Review" — — in which she would be singing "Eugene O'Neill, You Put a Curse on Broadway" — — she was returning to a familiar playhouse on Sheridan Square. In 1920, Mae had enjoyed seeing her idol Bert Savoy [1888 — 1923] in the musical comedy "The Greenwich Village Follies of 1920," which opened at the Greenwich Village Theatre on 30 August 1920.
• • En route to Seventh Avenue South to production meetings at this 400-seat theatre in the summer of 1922, it is likely that Mae would have passed a place where she could have purchased a copy of "The Hairy Ape," the recently staged drama that was being lampooned in "Ginger Box Review."
• • "The Hairy Ape," an expressionist play by Eugene O'Neill, had opened in Greenwich Village on Thursday, 9 March 1922. Drama critic Alexander Woollcott wrote: The little theatre of Provincetownsmen in MacDougal Street was packed to the doors with astonishment last evening as scene after scene unfolded in the new play by Eugene O'Neill. This was "The Hairy Ape," a bitter, brutal, wildly fantastic play of nightmare hue and nightmare distortion. It is a monstrously uneven piece, now flamingly eloquent, now choked and thwarted and inarticulate . . . ["Eugene O'Neill at Full Tilt" by Alexander Woollcott, published in The N.Y. Times on 10 March 1922].
• • If O'Neill was fortunate in the enthusiastic media coverage he received, he was also blessed by having an intelligent promoter of the manuscripts of his plays, the imaginative and erudite literary publisher Frank Shay, famously located at 4 Christopher Street. Come along with us to Chez Shay on August 14th.
• • Annual Mae West Tribute 2011 • •
• • "Mae West in Bohemia — — Gin, Sin, Censorship, and Eugene O'Neill"
• • Mae West's birthday is August 17th. An upcoming Mae West event that is open to the public will be held on Sunday afternoon, 14 August 2011. The title of this illustrated historical theme walk is "Mae West in Bohemia — — Gin, Sin, Censorship, and Eugene O'Neill." Rare vintage illustrations will show you how the buildings and blocks looked as these two theatre people saw them.
• • Sites will include the Village speakeasies where Eugene drank himself into oblivion, and where Mae socialized and bent elbows with Texas Guinan, Walter Winchell, and Barney Gallant. Get ready to walk on the wild side.
• • Each Mae West walking tour ends with a raffle of Mae-themed prizes. Sponsors may inquire about suitable product placements for August 14th.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “Love thy neighbor. And if he happens to be tall, debonair, and good looking, it will be that much easier.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Mae West enjoyed shopping at Bullocks. You can spend the day there, too, in July.
• • An occasional blogger, The Chic Bargainista has just written this post: Some Los Angeles residents may remember the art deco splendor of the old Bullocks Wilshire store. It was one of the first shopping stores to open in the suburbs and features a parking lots for its patrons cars. Wealthy Los Angeles residents shopped there as well as movie stars. Stars like Mae West, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, and Doris Day all shopped at the renowned department store. Sadly, the store shuttered its doors in 1993 after the Los Angeles riots and the recession of the 1980s. . . . However, every summer the [current law] school reopens Bullocks Wilshire for a wonderful tour, which also offers attendees the chance to chose to have lunch or high-tea in the legendary Tea Room where stars like John Wayne stopped in, and models in the latest fashions floated between the tables of ladies who lunched. This year, the tour will take place on 30 July 2011. General reservations for the tour will open on July 6th. ...”
• • Source: Article: "Save the Date: A Summer's Day at Bullocks Wilshire Tour is on July 30th " written by The Chic Bargainista; posted on 4 July 2011
• • 17 July 2004 17 July 2011 • •
• • In mid-July the Mae West Blog will celebrate its seventh anniversary. Thank you to all those Mae-mavens who come up and see Mae every day.
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 1982nd 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1922 • •
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Mae West.

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