Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mae West: Mother Mae I

A cabaret inspired by MAE WEST has been making the rounds in the United Kingdom.
• • "Mother Mae I" is a buoyant bouffant of a bill of variety artists — — all ladies! — — from stand-up comedians and magicians, to puppeteers and circus performers hosted by Bunny Morethan, devotee of Ms West and firm believer that too much of a good thing can be wonderful! This diversion was born out of the sell-out Edinburgh show and has been a hit in London, Cardiff, and the South West — — and the cast is now rehearsing for an appearance in south Oxfordshire.
• • Venue: Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot
• • Dates & Times: coming up
• • Tell them you heard about it on the Mae West Blog.
• • Margaret Perry [23 February 1913 — 8 April 2007] • •
• • An actress from a most distinguished theatrical family was featured with Mae West in the motion picture "Go West, Young Man," a 1936 screen production of an original Broadway play called "Personal Appearance." Margaret Perry took the role of Joyce Struthers.
• • Born in Denver during the month of February — — on 23 February 1913 — — she was one of two daughters of Frank Frueauff, who worked in the gas and electric industry, and the illustrious Antoinette "Toni" Perry, the director and stage actress for whom the Tony Awards were named.
• • She was raised on a rugged Colorado ranch far from Times Square; her great grandparents homesteaded in South Park in 1862.
• • The 16-year-old made her stage debut in 1929; two years later she appeared on Broadway in John Van Druten's "After All" [1931]. Her mother Toni directed her in "Ceiling Zero" [1935] and "Now You've Done It" [1937]. Her very brief cinema career did not eclipse her theatre work; she was cast in only a few Hollywood movies during the 1930s.
• • By the time Margaret Perry was cast in "Go West, Young Man," she had married her second husband, actor Burgess Meredith; the newlyweds had tied the knot on 10 January 1936 and divorced two and a half years later. With her third husband Paul Fanning, she bore four children.
• • Margaret Perry died in Hartsel, Colorado on 8 April 2007, outliving her sister and her daughter Toni. She was 94.
• • Fuzzy Knight [9 May 1901 — 23 February 1976] • •
• • “Fuzzy” Knight, who usually portrayed a comic sidekick in dozens of motion pictures, was born John Forest Knight in 9 May 1901 in Fairmont, West Virginia.
• • The actor was cast in two of Mae's classic films. Fuzzy Knight appeared in "My Little Chickadee" and also played the role of Ragtime Kelly in "She Done Him Wrong."
• • Fuzzy Knight died in his sleep at the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California in the month of February — — on 23 February 1976. He was 74 years old. He was buried in Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in Burbank, California.
• • On Wednesday, 23 February 1927 in Variety • •
• • Variety sympathized with Mae West and the others whose Broadway shops were closed down due to a contagious censorship epidemic. This article ran on 23 February 1927.
• • On Sunday, 23 February 1997 in The Los Angeles Times • •
• • Ken Hughes wrote: It was 4 in the morning when the phone in my London apartment rang and a voice from 8,000 miles away asked, "How would you like to come to Hollywood and direct a movie with Mae West?" One small fact had, it seemed, been overlooked: Mae West had director approval. ...
• • Source: Article: "Acting Had Nothing to Do With It; How was it to direct Mae West in her final film? Don't ask" written by retired director Ken Hughes for The L.A. Times; published on page 29 on Sunday, 23 February 1997.
• • On Monday, 23 February 2009 in Los Angeles • •
• • At 7:30 on Monday evening, 23 February 2009, both Kevin Thomas and Charlotte Chandler were panelists at UCLA, and now his mink-gloved summation of her biography has been printed. His sufficiently tactful assessment appeared in The Los Angeles Times.
• • Writing in The L.A. Times, Kevin Thomas explained: Charlotte Chandler's gift at getting legendary show business figures to open up about themselves is unique. For "She Always Knew How," Chandler not only got the last major interview with Mae West — — not long before her death in 1980 at 87 — — but also what is almost certainly the most extensive interview West ever gave.
• • Kevin Thomas continued: It's not that "She Always Knew How" is full of surprises, but that its depth and breadth brings West to life as thoughtful, caring, and reflective, a woman of resilient character, self-knowledge and shrewdness in regard to human nature and in sustaining a career over eight decades. . . .
• • On Tuesday, 23 February 2010 • •
• • An item that was new in the App Catalog for 23 February 2010 was Mae West Quotes, $1.99, by Brighthouse Labs. The developer described this: "Quotes from the late American actress and scribe."
• • On Wednesday, 23 February 2011 in Scotland • •
• • Ticket holders went to see "Mae West" — — a play by Ayshe Raif; Oran Mor Theatre, Glasgow; playing on 22 and 23 February 2011.
• • "This is a play Mae West would not have wanted to be staged," explained Mae-maven Ian Macnicol.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • In character as Leticia Van Allen, Mae West said: "So, you're 6 feet 6 inches? Let's forget about the 6 feet and let's talk about the 6 inches."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about "Sextette" was followed up with a letter from a loyal Mae West fan.
• • Ramfis Diaz wrote: I was appalled at director Ken Hughes' story about Mae West in "Sextette," Miss West's final film in 1978 ("Acting Had Nothing to Do With It," L.A. Times on 23 February 1997).
• • Ramfis Diaz continued: God bless her, she couldn't have looked or been so great as she was at age 85! Why is it that every time this film is mentioned it's panned and blame quickly goes to Miss West? Since the 1930s, Miss West was treated so poorly by Hollywood but adored by her friends and fans all over the world. To the fan, Mae West was Mae West at any age. When we fans asked her to please make another movie, she gave us "Sextette" and we love her for it.
• • Ramfis Diaz concluded: The fact is, when she did this very difficult film she was a diabetic and suffered from other ailments, as could any 85-year-old or younger person. Shame on Ken Hughes for deciding to bash Miss West. — — RAMFIS DIAZ, Los Angeles
• • Source: Letter to the Editor: "He Done Her Wrong" written by Ramfis Diaz to The L.A. Times; published on 2 March 1997
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2218th 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:
Add to Google
• • Photo: • • Mae West • "Mother Mae I" • •
• • Feed — —
Mae West.

No comments:

Post a Comment