Friday, February 17, 2012

Mae West: Maryville Vaudeville

A vaudeville event in Missouri tomorrow night will star MAE WEST on stage.
• • Fr. Martin DeMeulenaere, OSB, Pastor of St. Gregory’s Church said their group tries to host a Mardi Gras event each year and on Saturday, 18 February 2012 they organized an evening of old-fashioned variety artists. Performing live with Mae West will be Shirley Temple and comedy teams Laurel and Hardy and Abbott and Costello.
• • “We will have BJ Talley, a magician, and Georgi Lane, a singer, coming in to entertain,” Pam VanSicale, business manager of the church, said. “Also, there will be singing, music, and skits put on by our parishioners.” Attendees were asked to wear a costume from the 1920s — 1940s era. There is a contest for best costume during the event.
• • This lively vaudeville presentation is open to both the public and church parishioners who have advance reservations. The J.C. Wyatt House will provide dinner before the stage show. A cash bar will serve adults who are 21 and older. Proceeds benefit St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic Community, which is located in Northwest Missouri in Maryville, MO 64468-2817. Phone for info: (660) 582-3833. This night out sounds too good to miss.
• • Tell them you heard about it on The Mae West Blog.
• • Kathleen Freeman [17 February 1919 — 23 August 2001] • •
• • A laugh-getter who appeared with Mae in "Myra Breckinridge" [released in the USA on 24 June 1970] also had ties to variety. Chicago native Kathleen Freeman made her vaudeville debut at age 2, becoming a part of her parents' act.
• • Born on 17 February 1919, the heavy-set comedienne portrayed Bobby Dean Loner in the screen version of Gore Vidal's bestseller. The UCLA graduate's first goal had been to shine as a professional pianist but, after thoroughly enjoying her work with several stock productions, she changed gears. Kathleen Freeman once said: "I think comedy is more powerful than drama in the long run. Comedy is more difficult. It's very easy to make people cry."
• • She made her first motion picture appearance in 1948 at 29 years old. The reliable character actress was used as a comic foil by Jerry Lewis in several of his films. Her stocky figure, expressive face, energetic laugh, and supple voice-craft served her well, keeping her in demand and busy juggling parts on the silver screen, TV, and also on Broadway.
• • Kathleen Freeman, 82 years old, was cast in a Broadway production when she died in New York City on 23 August 2001 of lung cancer. Engaged on stage until the very end, the octogenarian had given her final Tony nomination performance for her role as the piano player in Broadway's musical hit "The Full Monty" on August 18th, and five days later she was gone.
• • Remembering Bess Streeter Aldrich on 17 February • •
• • Bess Streeter Aldrich [17 February 1881 — 3 August 1954] was an author born in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
• • Mae West appears in a very playful short story by Bess Streeter Aldrich: "How Far Is it to Hollywood?" [published in Cosmopolitan Magazine's July 1934 issue].
• • Aldrich's whimsical piece of short fiction begins this way:
• • Greta Garbo and Mae West sat on the back fence and swung their legs over the tops of the milkweeds and the boxes of empty tin cans. ...
• • On Saturday, 17 February 1951 in Los Angeles • •
• • In Los Angeles on February 17th, Pete Ermalinger, manager of the Biltmore Theatre, was negotiating for "Diamond Lil" the Mae West starrer currently in Texas.
• • "Hollywood Biltmore Seeks Lil Date" was the headline and the piece was datelined Hollywood, Saturday 17 February 1951. The popular show starring Mae West was, at that time, onstage in The Lone Star State.
• • Here's Mae looking ravishing in her Lil costume in 1951. She did bring the show to Los Angeles for an acclaimed run at the Biltmore.
• • This item ran in Billboard Magazine on 24 February 1951.
• • On Monday, 17 February 2003 in Sun-Sentinel • •
• • Reporting on an upcoming Gem and Jewelry Show in Fort Lauderdale on Monday, 17 February 2003, The Sun-Sentinel wrote that pieces owned by Mae West would be on display and available for purchase.
• • The Florida editors noted: Pearls, rubies and diamonds will be among the sparkling pieces displayed at the upcoming International Gem and Jewelry Show. The show, Friday through Sunday, will feature 80 vendors and two exhibits at the Broward County Convention Center, 1960 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. One exhibit, "Fabulous Jewelry of the Stars," has a pair of Marilyn Monroe's earrings and pieces owned by Mae West, Cher, Jack Nicholson, Lucille Ball and others. All items are for sale.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “When it comes to finances, remember that there are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on shame and disgrace mentioned Mae West.
• • Marina Hyde wrote: The idea of disgrace being a career opportunity is not especially new. "I expect it will be the making of me," Mae West purred in 1927 of her arrest on vice charges relating to her play Sex, and indeed it was. But it has never been easier to bounce back, and TV is the primary redemptive force. ...
• • Source: Article: "Shamelessness: the TV route to rehabilitation" written by Marina Hyde for The Guardian [UK]; posted on Friday, 16 February 2007

• •
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2212th 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 • "Diamond Lil" in 1951 • •
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