Friday, December 16, 2011

Mae West: Ramblings

In her one woman show "Absolutely Anna" actress Anna Berger talks about working with MAE WEST, becoming her close friend, and then having a falling out (related to some business).
• • Anna Berger lived through the Depression, World War II, the McCarthy Era, and witnessed many events that made history. Her first important acting job was touring in “Diamond Lil” with Mae West, with whom she became bosom buddies. Throughout her life she worked with (and was close to) some of the luminaries of theater, film, and TV — — before and after they got their star on Hollywood Boulevard.
• • Anna was encouraged by her colleagues at The Actors’ Studio to collect and present her memories of the years when Broadway, Hollywood, and TV began their reign, which she shaped into a humorous one-woman monologue — — “Absolutely Anna” — — and has performed at several venues over the past years.
• • On Sunday, 18 December 2011, Anna Berger will give a single performance of her lively "behind the scenes with Mae West, etc." show at the Puffin at 4pm.
• • WHERE: Puffin Cultural Forum, 20 Puffin Way, Teaneck, NJ; Tel. 201-836-3499
• • In December, Remember Camille Saint-Saëns [1835 — 1921] • •
• • Unafraid of a challenge, a culture clash, an outlandish costume, nor an opportunity, Mae West performed an abbreviated opera aria in her motion picture "Goin' to Town" [released in 1935] decked out, quite hilariously, as the Biblical temptress Delilah. Portraying the star-crossed strongman Samson she serenades was none other than Mae's pesky in-law Vladimir Bykoff [billed as "the Tenor"].
• • Born in Paris on 9 October 1835, Camille Saint-Saens was a French Late-Romantic composer, organist, conductor, and pianist, known especially for The Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, Samson and Delilah, Piano Concerto No. 2, Havanaise, etc.
• • Camille Saint-Saëns died of pneumonia at the Hôtel de l' Oasis in Algiers in mid-December — — on 16 December 1921.
• • On 16 December 1937 • •
• • It was on 16 December 1937 that Variety ran an article about Mae West's controversial appearance on NBC in the Garden of Eden Skit: "Educator calls radio program a home menace."
• • Mae West on the Bookshelf • •
• • There is a section on Mae West in "Hollywood Blondes: Golden Girls of The Silver Screen" written by Michelle Vogel and Liz Nocera [Wasteland Press, March 2007]. Other actresses include: Alice Faye, Betty Grable, Jean Harlow, Judy Holliday, Grace Kelly, Veronica Lake, Carole Landis, Carole Lombard, Jayne Mansfield, Marie McDonald, Marilyn Monroe, Barbara Payton, Lana Turner, Thelma Todd, in addition to Mae West.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: ”You only live once
— — but if you do it right, once is enough.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A review of an exhibition mentioned Mae West.
• • Richard Hughes wrote: It’s only when one happens upon the scene from a particular position right of centre that all the objects fall into line and the girl’s face appears. It’s a dissonant, entropic take on Face of Mae West (1935), wherein Salvador Dalí employed his so-called ‘paranoiac-critical method’ (that old illusionistic trick of rolling two images in one) to produce an image of the 1930s’ star from the furnishings of a boho-bourgeois salon (a sofa standing for Mae’s lips, a fireplace for her nose, two landscape paintings in place of eyes and so on). ...
• • Source: Article: "Focus" written by Richard Hughes for Frieze Magazine [Issue # 95; Nov/Dec issue 2005]; posted in 2005
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2147th 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 • • by Sandie Croft • •
• • Feed — —
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