Monday, January 02, 2012

Mae West: Playing-In-The-Raw

At the end of January, Marie-Therese Byrne will take the role of MAE WEST in "Courting Mae West," a serious-minded comedy written by LindaAnn Loschiavo. At a one-time only presentation in Australia, the play will have a concert reading during Midsumma Playing-In-The-Raw. Many thanks to Robert Chuter!!
• • Based on true events during the Prohibition Era — — from December 1926 until December 1932 — — the play follows a pre-Hollywood Mae West, age 33, as she socializes in the drag cabaret where she had cast "The Drag" (in Act I, Scene 1), a daring production she plans to bring to Broadway. Unfortunately, she gets arrested and jailed instead (Act 1, Scene 3). Censorship, courtroom battles, bankruptcy, and other crises will dog her footsteps, forcing the Brooklyn bombshell to climb the ladder of success wrong by wrong. Finally, a Paramount Pictures star at 39 years old, Mae gets to bring her box-office blockbuster "Diamond Lil" to the silver screen on her own terms by the end of 1932.
• • Actress Marie-Therese Byrne will portray the 33-year-old Broadway star — — and Jefferson Jail inmate. Her bio notes that Bryne's vast experience stretches across decades and includes theatre, opera, film, and television. A consummate performer with a powerful presence, she has thrilled audiences in productions as versatile as Five Minute Call, The Secret Garden, Dimboola, Seven Little Australians, The Sound of Music and Summer of the Saw. Her stunning voice has seen her work with the Victorian State Opera on Joan of Arc, Aida and Carmen along with The Merry Widow and Di Fledermaus. On screen she appeared in the Aussie films The Castle, and Evil Angels along with appearances on Blue Heelers, Neighbours, Sons and Daughters, Phoenix, Prisoner, Australia's Most Wanted and Flying Doctors.
• • WHAT: "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship & Secrets"
• • Directed by Cameron Menzies
• • Starring Marie-Therese Byrne
• • WHEN: Saturday, 28 January 2012 at 2.00pm
• • WHERE: Midsumma Playing-In-The-Raw at The Chapel [Melbourne, Australia]
• • On Tuesday, 2 January 1934 in Chicago • •
• • On 2 January 1934, when Mae's sister Beverly applied for a marriage license in Chicago, it was hoped that her second Russian-born husband would be a better companion than her ex-husband Sergei Treshatny. The groom Vladimir Baikoff made Beverly's acquaintance when both were booked on a radio program. Beverly was doing her famous Mae West impersonation for a broadcast — — and Vlad was eager to conjugate some sultry Slavic verbs with her in private, after the show.
• • On her marriage license, Beverly gave her age as 27, meaning that she had been born in 1907. This was consistent with Mae's calculations; in 1934, Mae was giving her birthyear as 1900 and the siblings were seven years apart.
• • Good thing municipal clerks were not crossing checking New York State's records with Illinois — — otherwise someone might have wondered about the bride who was born in 1907, having been first married in 1917 when she was 10 years old.
• • Beverly's second marriage ceremony was performed at the Congress Hotel in Chicago. Judge Joseph Sabath (of divorce court fame) officiated.
• • Built in 1893, the Congress Hotel in Chicago was initially called the Auditorium Annex when it opened to house the visitors to the World’s Colombian Exposition. It is located across the street from Grant Park.
• • On Wednesday, 2 January 1980 in Huntington, NY •
• • On 2 January 1980, Long Island movie-goers got to enjoy "I'm No Angel" [1933] starring Mae West on Wednesday evening at 7:45 & 10:15 pm at New Community Cinema, 423 Park Avenue, Huntington, NY. Admission price was $3.00.
• • On Thursday, 2 January 2003 in Houston, Texas • •
• • Lee Williams reviewed "Come Up and Slay Me Sometime!" starring a Mae West character for The Houston Press; this coverage was printed on 2 January 2003.
• • Lee Williams wrote: Wonderfully weird kitsch is what every droopy soul needs during the post-holiday doldrums. And there's no better place for good old American middle-class strangeness than the Marriott West Loop Hotel, where the Mystery Café serves up London broil, penne pasta and a show every Friday and Saturday night. The newest production — — "Come Up and Slay Me Sometime!" — — features gangsters, girls, and giggle water, and promises to sweep the audience back to the prohibition era. Mae West, Charles Lindbergh and Freddie "The Noodle" have all gathered at the "largest floating speakeasy in history," but a dead body is found just as the party is about to go live on the radio.
• • On Sunday, 2 January 2005 in Belgium • •
• • Salvador Dali — — over 60 legendary works from main collections across the world were being displayed in the Orangerie and the gardens of the Château du Roeulx. Under the patronage of the King of Spain, the Fondation Croÿ-Roeulx organized this artistic event. On view were Dali's Venuses with Drawers, Otorhinological Heads of Venus, The Surrealist Angel, the Mae West Lips Sofa . . . and many other brilliant masterpieces. This world première, exclusively at the Château du Roeulx, began on 9 September 2004 and ended on the first Sunday in January — — on 2 January 2005.
• • Exhibit took place here: Château du Roeulx, B-7070 Le Roeulx — Belgium
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “When you got the personality, you don’t need the nudity.”
• • Mae West said: "A girl in the convertible is worth five in the phonebook."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An Australian arts critic discussed a biography of Mae West.
• • Australian critic Simon Caterson wrote: Few things in popular culture can date as fast as humour but Mae West, the brassy, man-eating comedienne whose heyday was the 1930s, remains a figure of surprising relevance and enduring appeal. The girls of "Sex and the City" are among her descendents, even though they lack the character of their spiritual great-grandmother. ...
• • Source: Article: "Mae West: It Ain't No Sin" reviewed by Simon Caterson for The Sydney Morning Herald; review published on 2 January 2006
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2164th 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 • • in "Sex" 1926 • •
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