Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Mae West: September Embers

In early September 1928, as the Broadway run of "Diamond Lil" was coming to a close, MAE WEST went over to the northern borough of the Bronx to pay her respects.
• • In the month of September — — on 7 September 1928 — — Fanny Leitzbach had died. Shortly afterwards, the funeral proceeded from her residence and the Bavarian native was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery. Fanny's devoted daughter was sweet-natured Adeline, Mae's frequent writing partner.
• • Adeline M. Leitzbach • •
• • After Mae West read the play "Following the Fleet" (written by J.J. Byrne and Ted McLean), it did not suit her idea of a vehicle that would make the most of her talents. So once again she contacted a female playwright of German descent who was often hired to collaborate.
• • In 1922, Mae had first contacted this ghost writer, who helped her put together a full-length, three act play: "The Hussy."
• • The author was living in the Bronx with her widowed mother Mrs. Maximilian Leitzbach and had worked on projects such as adapting a woman's novel Wife in Name Only [1923] for the screen. Soon Mae West, age 32, and Adeline M. Leitzbach, age 38, would be revising the script that would become Sex and be staged in April 1926.
• • On 7 September 1912 • •
• • Nineteen-year-old brunette Mae West was featured in the show "A Winsome Widow" as La Petite Daffy in 1912.
• • The musical was presented at the Moulin Rouge, then located at 1514-16 Broadway [West 44th Street], New York, NY. This showplace was demolished in 1935.
• • This extravaganza was produced by Flo Ziegfeld, and during its latest revision the Eastside musical was relocated to the West Coast — — to San Francisco's Chinatown.
• • As La Petite Daffy, Mae West won acclaim for her vivacity and sauciness. "Mae West assaults the welkin vigorously," applauded the New York Dramatic Mirror from their tony perch on West 42nd Street right opposite the New York Public Library.
• • It was on 7 September 1912 that "A Winsome Widow" closed.
• • On 7 September 1949 • •
• • When "Diamond Lil" left the Plymouth Theatre on 21 January 1950, Mae West immediately took the show on the road.
• • The revival had enjoyed great success at the venerable Plymouth [at 236 West 45th Street]. It opened at this playhouse on 7 September 1949 — — and had 182 performances on Broadway.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote this: "I like my clothes to be tight enough to show I'm a woman — — but loose enough to show I'm a lady."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on J Class yachts, a racing boat that enjoyed a heyday during the 1930s, mentioned the "Mae West" spinnaker. Let's clarify the term for you landlubbers. A spinnaker is a special type of sail that is designed specifically for sailing off the wind from a reaching course to a downwind, i.e., with the wind 90° — 180° off the bow. The spinnaker fills with wind and balloons out in front of the boat when it is deployed, called flying. You can see why they named this sail after Mae West.
• • Regatta pro Steve Knauth writes: In their heyday, when they were sailed off Newport in the successful Cup defenses of 1930, 1934, and 1937, these powerful, graceful racehorses were the most advanced sailing yachts ever built. Aluminum masts, moveable spreaders, rod rigging, quadrilateral headsails, the “Mae West” spinnaker — — these were just a few of the innovations we take for granted today. Only 10 were built — — six in the United States and four in England — — and only three originals survive. ...
• • Source: Article: "Beautiful Brutes" written by Steve Knauth for Soundings; posted on 01 September 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2046th 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 • • as Margy LaMont, 1926 • •
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