Monday, August 01, 2011

Mae West: Paramount Ranch

It was early August 1933 and Eugene O'Neill was writing a letter to a fellow playwright Dubose Heyward about censorship, Will Hays, and MAE WEST.
• • "Oh, I can easily credit your experience with the censorship," Gene commiserated. "The same sort happened with 'Anna Christie' and 'Strange Interlude.' And Mr. Hays, who cheers with senile lechery when that dainty Mae West sings 'I like a guy wot takes his time' has barred 'Desire Under the Elms' forever from the films! (Meaning no slur at Mae, you understand. I think she's grand.) And in England the censorship made them change the title . . . ." This letter was printed in Selected Letters of Eugene O'Neill [Yale University Press, 1988]. The date on this note to Heyward is 7 August 1933.
• • Edwin DuBose Heyward [31 August 1885 — 16 June 1940] was a white American author best known for his 1925 novel "Porgy." This novel was the basis for the stage play by the same name (which he co-authored with his wife Dorothy), which opened on Broadway in 1927 — — and, in turn, the opera "Porgy and Bess" with music by George Gershwin.
• • In August 1944 • •
• • It was August 1st and scores of New Yorkers were lining up in front of the Shubert Theatre [225 West 44th Street], hoping to secure a ticket for the grand Broadway debut of "Catherine Was Great," when Mae West portrayed the Empress of Russia.
• • Produced by Mike Todd, the show opened on 2 August 1944. Don't you wish you had been there for this exciting premiere?
• • Annual Mae West Walking Tour • •
• • "Mae West in Bohemia — — Gin, Sin, Censorship, and Eugene O'Neill"
• • Mae West's birthday is August 17th. Join us at 3:00 pm 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.
• • Where: This illustrated walking tour begins at 62 West Ninth Street, where a gay cabaret once stood that inspired Mae West to write "The Drag" (and 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. Time: 90 — 120 minutes.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "A man in the house is worth two in the street."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Learn more about Paramount Ranch and Mae West in the 1930s.
• • Michele Reverte writes: July is National Parks & Recreation Month, and all month long LAist will be featuring a hand-selected park a day to showcase just a few of the wonderful recreation spaces — — big or small — — in the Los Angeles area.
• • Michele Reverte continues: A trip to Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains transports visitors to another time — — enabling people to walk in the footsteps of actors like Mae West, Cary Grant, Bob Hope, etc. From the permanent Western Town set to the rugged trails, hiking through the park is a calorie-burning way to explore movie-making history. The ranch got its start in 1927, when Paramount Pictures purchased 2,700 acres for production purposes. They shot at least 10 movies on the land in that year alone. In the decades that followed, it served as the setting for more than 100 films. According to the book Three Magical Miles by Brian Rooney, one of the largest productions filmed at the ranch was The Adventures of Marco Polo (1938) starring Gary Cooper. It featured "herds of elephants and 2,000 fully costumed horses." ...
• • Source: Article: "A Park a Day: Paramount Ranch, Agoura Hills" written by Michele Reverte in News for; posted on 28 July 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2009th 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 • • 1933 • •
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