Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mae West: Head of the Claassen

MAE WEST wore her costumes in two motion pictures and the women stayed friends. Movie buffs will remember the gorgeous emerald green, jewel-encrusted come-up-and-see-me-sometime gown Lady Lou donned in "She Done Him Wrong" [1933].
• • The real Edith Head was born in California in the month of October [28 October 1897 — 24 October 1981] and often said, "Mae West taught me all I know about sex, clothes-wise." For a few years, audiences have been seeing Edith Head onstage, thanks to actress Susan Claassen who stars in "A Conversation with Edith Head" (written by Paddy Calistro and Susan Claassen). Susan Claassen strongly resembles the bespectacled Hollywood designer, who never changed her look over the decades. "She took her philosophy from Mae West," Claassen said. "Mae West said when you have a magic that does something for you, honey, stick with it. Never change It. And she never did."
• • When: "A Conversation with Edith Head" onstage from Thursday, 27 October 2011 —13 November 2011
• • Where: Odyssey Theatre Ensemble [2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles]
• • On 25 October 1934 • •
• • Historic Lamar Square is where they built the Plaza Theatre [107 West 11th Street, Lamar, MO], which opened its doors on 25 October 1934 with all sorts of hoopla. Every major studio at that time sent representitives for opening night. Telegrams were sent from Mae West, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Al Jolson, and many others. The Plaza Theatre, designed by architect Larry P. Larsen of Webb City, has been restored and is still in business.
• • In October, Let's Remember Jennie Dolly [1892 — 1941] • •
• • In the cast of "A Winsome Widow" (and onstage with Mae West, who played La Petite Daffy) was pretty Jennie Dolly.
• • Twin sisters were born in Hungary in the month of October — — on 25 October 1892. They emigrated to the USA in 1905.
• • The private life of Rozsika Dolly and her twin Yansci Deutsch turned out to be a tabloid tsunami. They shared lovers, won a fortune gambling, and bought extraordinary diamonds and pearl adornments, all of which made for curious headlines.
• • This frisky lifestyle turned sad in 1933. Jennie was involved in a serious car crash near Bordeaux, France with her former lover Max Constant. Surgeries were paid for by selling her jewels.
• • Unfortunately, lovely Jennie Dolly took her own life on 1 June 1941. She committed suicide by hanging herself in the shower of her apartment in the Shelton Hotel in Hollywood, California. Yikes.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote these lines for her character Margy Lamont: "I'm paying the freight on this joint, and what I say goes. Come on and have a drink with us, Agnes. Agnes lives across the hall. Her idea of a good time is listening to the church bells ring and having a good cry. She's all right when you know her. Sit down." [From "Sex" by Mae West]
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about a funeral home mentioned Mae West.
• • NYC lawyer and journalist Bernard Stamler writes: With a client list that reads like a who's who of American celebrities — — Mae West, George Gershwin, Arthur Ashe, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis among them — — it is no ordinary funeral home. So when Frank E. Campbell, a genteel, nondenominational mortuary, decided to celebrate its 100th anniversary last week, it organized an extraordinary event: an open house with white roses for the ladies and refreshments served by tuxedo-clad attendants. New Yorkers turned out in droves. ...
• • Source: Article: "For Once, the Living Get the Roses at Campbell's" written by Bernard Stamler for The N.Y. Times; published on 25 October 1998
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2094th 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 • • 1932 costumed by Edith Head • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
Mae West.

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