It was April 1944 when MAE WEST, traveling to the East Coast by train with Jim Timony, arrived back in New York City. One of the ticket takers requested an autograph and the actress cordially obliged.
• • Isn't that a marvelous hat with its dotted chiffon side-ties? Mae's coat looks like it might be raccoon.
• • This article appeared in The N.Y. Times in April 1944: "RIALTO GOSSIP: Rehearsals for 'Catherine Was Great' to Start With Mae West."
• • The Times wrote: Those long-suffering Mae West fans need suffer only a little longer. Michael Todd, the irrepressible man with the plans, disclosed to us that Miss West's opus, "Catherine Was Great," is ready to go, with the lady herself abursting for action.
• • Roy Hargrave [14 June 1896 — April 1966] • •
• • Mae West worked with the versatile Roy Hargrave, who staged her Broadway play "Catherine Was Great," which was seen in New York City from 2 August 1944 — 13 January 1945.
• • A few months earlier, Hargrave had done a show produced by Mike Todd's staff, thus the possibility exists that Roy was the go-between who introduced the Brooklyn bombshell to the impresario (and husband of actress Elizabeth Taylor). Mike Todd agreed to produce Mae's play about the Empress of Russia.
• • Born on 14 June 1896, Roy Hargrave was Mae's contemporary. By 1927 the actor was cast in his first Broadway show. Shortly after, he was also writing a few dramas that made it to The Great White Way. Clearly, he loved the theatre and had the skills stage folk valued because he was attached to several shows for twenty-two years either as a performer, a lighting designer, a playwright, or a director. Roy Hargrave was active on Broadway from 1927 — 1949. At the time of his death, he was in Suffolk County on Long Island (in Port Jefferson, New York), where he died during the month of April in 1966. He was 69.
• • On Monday, 16 April 1928 • •
• • This is from Carl Van Vechten's journal entry for Monday, 16 April 1928. Van Vechten wrote: I read proofs all the morning. Lunch in ... Then to see Mae West in "Diamond Lil," which I adored. Miss West is marvelous. Saw Edna Ferber between acts. [Source: "The Splendid Drunken Twenties: Selections from the Daybooks, 1922 — 1930" by Carl Van Vechten.]
• • Edna Ferber [15 August 1885 — 16 April 1968] • •
• • On Monday evening, 16 April 1928, Algonquin Round Table member Edna Ferber was at the Royale Theatre watching "Diamond Lil."
• • Author Edna Ferber had no children, never married, and is not known to have engaged in a romance or sexual relationship. Ferber died at her home in New York City, of stomach cancer, in mid-April — — on 16 April 1968. She was 82.
• • On Monday, 16 April 1934 • •
• • Here's what Mae was doing on Monday, 16 April 1934, during the height of the Depression: the Paramount Pictures star had ordered and signed for a 1934 V-12 Cadillac Town Cabriolet. The specifications indicated: a black chassis; wire wheels; the top (or roof) in Landau black leather; upholstery in black leather.
• • On Friday, 16 April 1937 • •
• • On Friday, 16 April 1937 a cheeky animated feature was released: "Chicken a La King." In this amusing cartoon, a rooster sultan is bored by his harem and exotic dancing girls. A duck drawn to resemble buxom Mae West appears on the scene, accompanied by a musical refrain from "Frankie and Johnny." But when her lover arrives, the males confront each other. Then the lovers leave. Humiliated, the sultan returns to his harem but the ladies beat him up.
• • On Wednesday, 16 April 1947 in The L.A. Times • •
• • "Court Tilt Won by Mae West" was the headline in The Los Angeles Times on 16 April 1947. Two authors had sued Mae West and Mike Todd over the authorship of "Catherine Was Great."
• • On Thursday, 16 April 2009 • •
• • A nonfiction work by Paul Johnson with Mae's name in the title, "Heroes: From Alexander The Great to Mae West," was released in a paperback format on 16 April 2009.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Public toilets were so filthy I couldn't face them."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on a cabaret show mentioned Mae West.
• • Nelson Pressley wrote: Nearly half of Broadway singer Emily Skinner’s hour long set Friday night at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater was dedicated to broad comic turns. . . . Emily Skinner is funny, so the shtick was well-received, and it seldom seemed like a stretch. With pianist John Fischer serving up loping tempos, Skinner’s saucy innuendo in “Miss Celie’s Blues” and Mae West’s “Come Up and See Me Sometime” was rather like watching her walk through the park. . . .
• • Source: Review: "At Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, Emily Skinner’s shtick sounds sweet" written by Nelson Pressley for The Washington Post; posted on 15 April 2012
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2272nd 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • April 1944 • •
• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest