Friday, March 16, 2012

Mae West: Portrait by Brown

Donald Brown's portrait of MAE WEST, and his black and white close-ups of Hollywood's golden age actresses, will be on display through the end of March 2012.
• • Brown, 66, is a film buff whose large canvasses done in acrylics demonstrate his desire to to portray the women as strong, independent icons of American culture. The Florida resident insists that his favorite leading ladies — — Mae West, Barbara Stanwyck, Lana Turner, Veronica Lake, and Marlene Dietrich — — all communicated a compelling power, whether viewed on the silver screen or in TV re-runs.
• • Where: 10th Avenue West Studios, 1102 10th Ave. W., Bradenton, in the Village of the Arts in Florida.
• • When: Through the end of this month.
• • Johnny Cymbal [3 February 1945 — 16 March 1993] • •
• • Born in Ochiltree, Scotland, Johnny Cymbal [3 February 1945 — 16 March 1993] was a Scottish born American songwriter, singer, and record producer who had numerous hit records, including his signature song, "Mr. Bass Man." When Johnny was a young boy, the family relocated from Scotland to Goderich, Ontario, Canada, and later to Cleveland, Ohio.
• • He wrote songs for, and produced records for, the legendary Mae West
• • During his years in Nashville, Tennessee, Johnny Cymbal was twice married and twice divorced. However, he was alone when he died in his sleep of a heart attack on 16 March 1993. He was 48.
• • On Sunday, 16 March 1930 • •
• • It has been reported by multiple sources that Mae West's "Pleasure Man" trial began on 16 March 1930. But since March 16th was actually a Sunday, that date is imprecise. Postponed from its scheduled start on 4 February 1930, the battling finally did get under way on Monday, 17 March in New York, NY.
• • The courtroom proceedings had a certain entertainment value. Cast member Chuck Connors II sang the controversial "She's the Queen of the Beaches" for Judge Amedeo Bertini and the jury. Though somber, bereaved, and wearing mourning for her late mother, Mae West had to stuff a black handkerchief in her mouth to keep from laughing at this performance.
• • Actor Alan Brooks [1888 — 1936] — — who played the title role in "Pleasure Man" — — swore on the witness stand that he was astonished to discover that his character had died from being castrated. The debonair 42-year-old leading man testified in smart-looking spats and a gorgeous suit.
• • On Friday, 16 March 1934 in Los Angeles • •
• • There had been no awards ceremony in 1933. The 1932 — 1933 Academy Awards were presented on Friday, 16 March 1934 and had covered a full 17 months period (August 1932 — December 1933).
• • Among the nominations for "Best Picture" was "She Done Him Wrong."
• • On Friday, 16 March 1934 in Los Angeles • •
• • The soundtrack to the motion picture "Belle of the Nineties" was recorded at Hollywood Paramount Studios in L.A. On Friday, 16 March 1934, Mae West did the vocals for "Memphis Blues" backed by Duke Ellington & His Orchestra.
• • On 16 March 1940 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • Movie Critic Frank S. Nugent wrote: "My Little Chickadee," at the Roxy, in which the two comic soloists are trying to sing a duet, is an effort greatly strained. With the best will in the world, it just isn't funny — — not even when the great William Claude ogles Miss West and roguishly invites her to come up and see him some time; not even when La West, commenting on her escape from the "Masked Bandit," explains "It was a tight spot, but I managed to wiggle out of it." And those are the film's high-water marks. ...
• • Tsk! Nugent did not like this one.
• • Previews on 16 March 2005 • •
• • The announcement read: Coming next to the Atlantis Playhouse is "Mel Schwartz Sleeps with Mae West!" on March 23 to April 10, with previews March 16 to 20, 2005. The story was written by Gaby Offenbach, with music and lyrics by Offenbach and Waldman. The farce looks at Mel Schwartz, whose recent elective surgery has him desperately seeking a lover.
• • On Tuesday, 16 March 2010 in Paris • •
• • A MAE WEST LIPS SOFA made in 1974 was sold by Tajan, Paris, on Tuesday, 16 March 2010.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "It's what they see in my eyes that counts."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about a play in 1996 mentioned Mae West in the title.
• • Joe Adcock wrote: Mae West (1893 — 1980) was an important American national resource. She was a flamboyant, glamorous Bad Woman in an era of genteel, tasteful Nice Ladies.
• • Joe Adcock wrote: Vaudeville queen, movie star and Broadway celebrity, West was an essential condiment: spicy, hot. But imagine a meal consisting exclusively of a big, brimming bowl of ground cloves, washed down with a schooner of Tabasco sauce.
• • Joe Adcock wrote: The current show at The Easy, "The Sun Never Sets on Mae West,'' is piquant. Substantial, however, it isn't. Actress/ singer Lisa Petion portrays Mae West: improbably blond hair, an hourglass figure "that makes every second count'' . . .
• • Source: Review: "'Sun Never Sets' Is Too Large a Dose of Mae West" written by written by Joe Adcock for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer; posted on 16 March 1996
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2240th 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 • 1930 • •
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