Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mae West: Cowboys & Indiana

The Jasper Public Library had an a-Mae-zing idea — — to host "Mae in March," a 5-part series of MAE WEST movies. The fifth of these is “My Little Chickadee” on Thursday, 29 March 2012 in the library’s theater at 5:30 pm. Attendees are invited to bring their own cushion and non-alcoholic beverage. Free popcorn will be served. Call 812-482-2712 for more information.
• • "My Little Chickadee" was originally released during March on 15 March 1940.
• • Where: Jasper Public Library, 1116 Main St., Jasper, IN 47546.
• • Where: Dubois Branch Library, 5506 E Main St., Dubois, IN 47527.
• • Tell them you heard about "Mae in March" on the Mae West Blog.
• • Arthur Fields [6 August 1888 — 29 March 1953] • •
• • Mae was close to her 19th birthday when she was invited back by Oscar Hammerstein for a weeklong booking that began on 6 August 1912 at Hammerstein's Victoria. She shared the stagebill with several acts — — including the inimitable Fields and Carroll.
• • Half of the team was Arthur Fields [born on 6 August 1888] who hailed from Philadelphia, where he started out in life as Abe Finkelstein — — and who toured for years with Harry Carroll. Arthur Fields was just 11 years old when he turned pro, booking singing engagements in Utica, New York and then branching out to Coney Island.
• • Sadly, in March 1953, after a long career, Arthur Fields had a stroke and went under the care of the Littlefield Convalescent Home in Largo, Florida. Most unfortunately, the institution had a fire, which ended his life at the end of March — — on Sunday, 29 March 1953. He was 64 years old.
• • On Saturday, 29 March 1930 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • As reported by The N.Y. Times on Saturday, 29 March 1930, the "Pleasure Man" trial presided over by Justice Amedeo Bertini was not without its own impromptu entertainment value. Called to the stand by Nathan Burkan, cast member Chuck Connors II sang the controversial "She's the Queen of the Beaches" for Judge Bertini and the jurors. Though somber and bereaved, Mae West had to stuff a black handkerchief in her mouth to keep from laughing as Chuck Connors, "clasping his hands together, crooned the song."
• • Prosecutor James Wallace insisted the title really was "I'm the Queen of the Bitches" — — and the lyrics to that and another number "Cruising for the Moon" were rife with homosexual argot and innuendo. Wallace had explained to the jury that Police Captain Coy was an expert on the swishy vernacular of gents given to female impersonation off, as well as on, the stage.
• • The defense counsel had no luck rattling the two police witnesses, the theatrical Captain Coy, who delighted in mimicking the girlish soprano "whoops" of the brassiere-wearing drag queens, and the much more somber police stenographer, the dour Mr. Powers.
• • Chuck Connors also testified for the defense that he and his co-star Ed Hearn (who had also been his vaudeville partner), performed traditional gags and routines in "Pleasure Man," skits that had been used in variety for decades and seen by thousands of people.
• • Mae did get a bit of relief in mid-March when the court ruled out the count of "public nuisance" from the indictment.
• • On Sunday, 29 March 1936 • •
• • "Has Mae West Done Herself Wrong?" was the intriguing headline teasing readers of the Atlanta Journal Magazine in their issue dated for Sunday, 29 March 1936. The byline went to Frank Daniel. Congressional hearings being conducted in February and March 1936 by the U.S. Senate were peppered with the name of Mae West, whose new motion picture "Klondike Annie" caused a lot of concern on Capitol Hill. Ramona Curry has written well-researched articles on this topic of how censorship tightened its noose around Mae's neck.
• • On Saturday, 29 March 2008 in NYC • •
• • Offered for free in the Times Square area on Saturday afternoon, 29 March 2008 was a reading of the play "Courting Mae West" at The Producer's Club [358 West 44th Street, NYC]. Louis Lopardi directed the cast. Based on true events 1926
1932, the play dramatizes moments from both of the obscenity trials.
• • On Monday, 29 March 2010 • •
• • During the month of March in 1970, there were rumors about a feud between Raquel Welch and her co-star Mae West during the filming of "Myra Breckenridge." Quarreling over the gowns and costumes had started. Raquel also said a few “very unflattering things” about the director, Michael Sarne.
• • On Monday, 29 March 2010, Raquel Welch's autobiography, Raquel: Beyond the Cleavage, was released. Thanks to this book being published, she found the need to include disparaging remarks about her co-star Mae West. Silicone can make things look bigger, Raquel, but a small mean-spirited mind keeps its shape, eh?
• • On Thursday, 29 March 2011 • •
• • An auction for a rare autographed b/w still from "The Heat Is On," showing Mae West surrounded by top-hatted gentlemen in a dance number, was auctioned last year in New Hampshire by LiveAuctioneer. Mae West signed her name on it. That internet auction began at 7:00 pm on Thursday, 29 March 2011.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I like to see how I'm doin'."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about body image mentioned Mae West.
• • Mae West said: "I don't like myself, I'm crazy about myself."
• • Patricia Biesen wrote: I recently came to the point in my life when I really needed to adopt a spiritual badass. I needed to be inspired by a larger-than-life persona. Maybe other people prefer more serene spiritual guides but Mae West works for me. Why? She is the exact opposite of me. She was extremely extroverted, curvy, spicy and always confident womanly woman. I did a little research and my admiration grew. Not only was she a sex symbol but she was a successful playwright and producer. The character of Samantha Jones from Sex and the City is a modern day Mae West in many ways. She is a take charge woman in the boardroom and bedroom. . . .
• • Source: Article: "Mae West: A Body Image Icon" written by Patricia Biesen for Chicago Now; posted on 21 March 2012
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Rocker Alice Cooper was in the cast of "Sextette" starring Mae West. Kevin Blair notes this comment by Cooper: While Lady Gaga is a huge fan of Alice Cooper, the macabre rocker also finds himself a fan of hers. Cooper said, "She's a cross between Madonna, Mae West and Liberace... She's a spectacle." ...
• • Source: Article: "Lady Gaga Meets Her Idol Alice Cooper" written by Kevin Blair for; posted on 29 March 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2253rd 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 • 1940 • •
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  1. Manny Tanx1:09 PM

    Though this is the first time I've left a comment, I've been enjoying the HELL out of this wonderful blog since discovering it well over a year ago.

    I'm often amazed at the trivia you provide, both about Mae and about the many other people whose lives intersected hers.

    You really do an incredible job and I'm most grateful to you for providing such an enjoyable respite from all the muck and mire of daily life.

    Long Mae You Wave !

  2. Your comment meant a lot to me, Manny Tanx. Wish I knew your name, however, thanks very much for reading, appreciating, and visiting the Mae West Blog often.

  3. Lucia9:05 PM

    How can I get a copy of Courting Mae West? Is it possible?

  4. • • To Lucia, who inquired about getting a copy of the play "COURTING MAE WEST" — —
    • • It would be helpful if you would identify which theatre company you are with, what city this theatre group is in, and if it is a non-profit or mainstream.
    • • Or if you are a director/ producer/ agent/ investor/ or a company who publishes plays, it would also be helpful to know.