Monday, February 13, 2012

Mae West: The Drag Dropped

MAE WEST would never forget the headlines she made in February 1927.
• • On Sunday 13 February 1927, The N.Y. Times ran these headlines:
• • One ["The Virgin Man"] Expiring, Is Brought Back to Life by Police Campaign — — May Seek Bigger Theatre.
• • PRODUCER DROPS "THE DRAG" — — No Further Effort Will Be Made to Present It, He Declares. [Source: New York Times, on Sunday, 13 February 1927, p. I, col. 4]
• • But eleven days earlier, "The Drag" was far from dead.
• • William Morganstern, producer of "The Drag," said yesterday [i.e., February 2nd] that he had his choice of any one of three theatres for that drama and that he expected to have it on Broadway at an early date, possibly next week. [Source: New York Times, on 3 February 1927, p. 1, col. 6]
• • Mae West was found guilty and given a short prison sentence and a stiff fine. These events are dramatized in the stage play "Courting Mae West," last seen on 28 January 2012 in Australia at MidSumma, where there was a rousing reception by a full house.
• • "I'm No Angel" on Monday, 13 February 2012 • •
• • A free screening of the Mae West comedy "I'm No Angel" [1933] will be offered along with another film feature and live music in England on Monday, 13 February 2012. Doors open at 7:30 pm.
• • WHERE: Hugo's Speaker Palace: 14 Andre St., Amhurst Rd., Dalson, London, E8 2AA U.K.; Tel: 02089685704
• • "Myra Breckinridge" starring Mae West on February 13 • •
• • WHAT: "Myra Breckinridge" [1970] shown as part of this retrospective series: "Cinematic Goddess: American Sex Symbol, The Films of Raquel Welch"
• • WHEN: Screens on Monday, 13 February at 4:00 PM. (Raquel Welch is participating in a Q&A following some of these screenings.)
• • WHERE: Walter Reade Theatre, 165 West 65th Street, NYC; T (212) 875-5600.
• • On Wednesday, 13 February 1924 • •
• • On 13 February 1924, The Varsity Eight recorded their version of "Hula Lou."
• • In January 1924 Sophie Tucker had discovered this gem and she recorded it with Miff Mole on Okeh Records.
• • Though Mae West didn't get a chance to record it, she made "Hula Lou" part of her act and was featured on song sheets in 1924. The lyrics are very well-suited for her stage persona.
• • On Saturday, 13 February 1971 • •
• • Mae West was the cover girl on Nieuwe Revu (in the Netherlands), a magazine dated for Saturday, 13 February 1971, Issue # 8.
• • On Sunday, 13 February 2000 • •
• • Vincent Canby looked back on the career of Mae West in an article "Mae West, Still There for Us to Come Up and See" published in mid-February in The New York Times [Sunday, 13 February 2000] and focused on her sexpot image in "My Little Chickadee," released in the USA on 15 March 1940.
• • Vincent Canby wrote: When Mae went to Hollywood, her good humor and bold assumption of sexual authority, coupled with her raunchy aphorisms of Wildean balance, transformed her into one of the world's biggest box-office attractions. She was also the reason Hollywood overhauled the Production Code, the apparatus by which the industry censored its own material, in this way to combat the new licentiousness represented by little Mae. ...
• • On Tuesday, 13 February 2001 • •
• • This book was published on February 13th: "Passionate Minds: Women Rewriting the World" written by Claudia Roth Pierpont [NY: Vintage, Feb. 2001].
• • Vintage described it this way: Claudia Roth Pierpont gives us portraits of twelve amazingly diverse and influential literary women of the twentieth century, women who remade themselves and the world through their art: Mae West, Gertrude Stein, Margaret Mitchell, Eudora Welty, Ayn Rand, Doris Lessing, Anais Nin, Zora Neale Hurston, Marina Tsvetaeva, Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy, and Olive Schreiner.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I don't like myself — — I'm crazy about myself."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on the literature of love nodded at Mae West.
• • Maureen Dowd wrote: There are many angles for romance. In the movie "Silk Stockings," Fred Astaire uses geography. He croons to the leggy Soviet apparatchik Cyd Charisse that he loves "the east, west, north, and the south of you."
• • Maureen Dowd wrote: In "My Little Chickadee," Mae West rolls her hips and eyes and goes with arithmetic. "A man has $100 and you leave him with $2," she lectures a class of schoolchildren. "That's subtraction." ...
• • Source: Column: "Love Lit 101" written by Maureen Dowd for The N.Y. Times; posted on: 13 February 2005
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2208th 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 court in 1927 • •
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