Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mae West: October Almost Over

MAE WEST, with the rough baritone voice she had as a child, was often cast as a male in stock productions. She played the leading role of Little Lord Fauntleroy several times in Brooklyn theatres.
• • The British-born playwright and author Frances Hodgson Burnett [24 November 1849 — 29 October 1924] is best known for her children's stories, especially The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, and (of course) Little Lord Fauntleroy.
• • Born in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, in England, Frances emigrated to America (Knoxville, Tennessee) after her father died in 1865.
• • Following the death of her mother in 1872, Frances became the head of the household. Pressed with the demands of supporting herself and four younger siblings, she looked for income from writing assignments.
• • Serialized in St. Nicholas Magazine in 1885, Little Lord Fauntleroy is a sentimental children's narrative that became a huge hit for the publication. In 1886, this work was separately published as a novel. The book was a commercial success for its author, and its fanciful sketches by Reginald Birch set fashion trends.
• • Frances Hodgson Burnett lived for the last 17 years of her life in Plandome Manor, New York, where she died in the month of October — — on 29 October 1924
— — at the age of 74. She is buried in Roslyn Cemetery nearby, next to her son Vivian.
• • On 29 October 1932 • •
• • Paramount Pictures held a star-dusted premiere of their speakeasy movie starring George Raft — — and which introduced Mae West to the silver screen — — on 29 October 1932. This was the red carpet debut for "Night After Night" in Hollywood. Mae was seen in a few scenes as Maudie Triplett, the vivacious and unstoppable ex-girlfriend of Joe Anton, Raft's character. Afterwards George Raft told a reporter, "She stole everything but the cameras."
• • Co-star Allison Skipworth may have walked away with different memories. She resented Mae's directions on how to deliver a line to her. When Allison retorted, "You forget that I have been an actress for 40 years!" the answer she got from Mae was, "Don't worry! I'll keep your secret."
• • On 29 October 1959 in New Statesman • •
• • Mae West's memoir was reviewed by Maurice Richardson. His critique of "Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It" [NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1959] appeared on page 657 of the New Statesman on 29 October 1959. Published when Mae was 66 years old, the sunny-side-up narrative focuses on her triumphs and downplays (or omits) any inconvenient setbacks.
• • On 29 October 2009 "Sex" in Chicago • •
• • Just think. On 29 October 2009 you could have enjoyed "Sex" with Mae West in the Windy City. According to Chicago Broadway World's news desk: Prologue Theatre presents "Sex" by Mae West. The original cast of the 1926 show was arrested for "corrupting the morals of youth," and Mae West herself was sentenced to ten days in jail.
• • Progressive staging in a historical Edgewater mansion allows the audience to follow Margy Lamont, a sassy prostitute, from a night in Montreal's red light district through her escape to Trinidad to her bid for a straight life in a Westchester manor.
• • WHERE: The North Lakeside Cultural Center is located at 6219 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois. [Hope you caught this enticing show in Chicago in October 2009.]
• • On Saturday, 29 October 2011 in Long Beach • •
• • About "Screaming Mimi," the producers explain that this show spoofs everything from Mae West, Perry Mason, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price, Stephen King, witches, "Psycho," "Rebecca," "Silence of The Lambs," "Twilight" and Freddy Krueger. Staged in a dinner theatre setting, this comedy-thriller runs until the first week in November. There is one evening performance on Saturday, 29 October 2011.
• • WHERE: ACT Out Mystery Theatre in Long Beach, California.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West wrote this comeback for her character Maudie Triplett:
• • • Miss Mabel Jellyman: Maudie, do you believe in love at first sight?
• • • Maudie: I don't know, but it saves an awful lot of time. [From "Night After Night" featuring Mae West]
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about Australian politicians mentioned Mae West.
• • Australian columnist Tony Wright writes: What is it about Mae West, Australian political leaders, and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting? Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday offered one of the weirder, and saucier, greetings in modern diplomacy when she met New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Murray McCully (right), at the official opening of CHOGM. ''You got an apple in your pocket?'' she said as she met Mr McCully in the greeting line. ...
• • Source: Article: "She'll be apples, Foreign Minister" written by Tony Wright for The Sydney Morning Herald; posted on 29 October 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2098th 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 • • 1932 • •
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