Friday, July 29, 2011

Mae West: Ginger Boxed

"The electric sign for the Ginger Box Revue, starring MAE WEST, is still up on the facade of the Greenwich Village Theatre, but current will never light it," tsk-tsked The New York Daily News in August 1922. But during July the firefly of Broadway did not know this musical would end on a sour note. And on 29 July 1922, as she busied herself in that Connecticut dressing room, listening to the Clef Club play the introduction to her opening number "Come On Over," each beat of the drums thrilled with possibilities.
• • Mae West on the Newsstand • •
• • The August 1974 issue of Jet Magazine printed two readers' letters that commented on the profile Jet had run on Mae West in their issue dated 25 July 1974.
• • "I had no idea that [Mae West] broke so many barriers, putting her career in jeopardy for the sake of Blacks," remarked Evelyn Boddie of Brooklyn, NY [excerpt from "Readers Rap," Jet, 8 August 1974].

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
• • 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 met the characters he would put in his plays, and where Mae socialized and bent elbows with Texas Guinan, Walter Winchell, Jack Dempsey, and Barney Gallant; significant theatres; the court where Eugene and Mae battled against censorship; and off-beat addresses that made an impact. Get ready to walk on the wild side.
• • Raffle prizes! Each Mae West walking tour ends with a raffle of Mae-themed prizes. Here is a detail from one of the O'Neill-themed goodies; the original was created in 1928.
• • When: Sunday, 14 August 2011 — — rain or shine
• • Where: Illustrated Walking Tour begins at 3:00 PM at 62 West Ninth Street, where a gay cabaret once stood that inspired Mae West to write "The Drag" (and to hire their drag queens for the cast). This tour focuses on 18 sites around Washington Square and ends at the Eugene O'Neill and Al Hirschfeld exhibition on West Third. Time: 90 — 120 minutes.
• • Cost: $10 per person
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• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • With all the information about Mae West available online, it's astonishing that some news people do not proofread nor bother to fact check. For instance, one Midwest journalist located squarely in the heartland remarks that Mae made her Hollywood screen debut in 1893. [For the record, Mae was born on 17 August 1893 and made her cinema debut in 1932.]
• • Hutchinson, Kansas-based columnist Sheila Lisman writes: Celebrating someone's birthday can take your mind off the heat for a time. How about remembering Mae West on her birthday August 17? She made her Hollywood debut in 1893 and acted in vaudeville before she was in movies. She was quite a lusty old gal. As she once said, "When I am good, I am very, very good, but when I bad, I am better." ...
• • Source: Column "Some hot dates" written by Sheila Lisman, Community columnist for Hutch News; posted on 27 July 2011
• • 17 July 2004 17 July 2011 • •
• • In mid-July the Mae West Blog celebrates 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 2006th 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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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1928 • •
• • Feed — —
Mae West.

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