Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mae West: Bad Girl Badinage

The Argus announced this on May 20th: MAE WEST takes the mountain to Mahomet in "My Little Chickadee." She goes out West instead of inviting it to come up and see her. Here she takes up with the bulbous-nosed comedian W. C. Fields and matches him in an orgy of galloping hooves, blazing six-shooters, and the usual Westian and Fields-ish badinage. A strange mixture, but a satisfactory one.  ...
• • Source: Movie Page: "Mae Out West: My Little Chickadee at the Liberty Theatre" published on page 5 of Melbourne, Australia's local publication The Argus on Monday, 20 May 1940.
• • Patrick Sullivan Burke [20 May 1917 — 3 January 1994] • • 
• • Born in the USA during the month of May — — on Sunday, 20 May 1917 — — Patrick Sullivan Burke was often placed in fantasy roles. His first role was as a leprechaun in "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" [Walt Disney Productions, 1959]. Over the years he appeared in a dozen projects for TV and the big screen, cast variously as a witch, a soldier, a bartender.
• • In "Sextette" [1978], he was 61 when he played a live person, the Irish Delegate. The same year he was in "Lord of the Rings" and he played Head Angel in one episode of "Little House on the Prairie" before retiring.
• • Patrick Sullivan Burke died in Las Vegas, Nevada on 3 January 1994.  He was 76.
• • On Thursday, 20 May 1926 in Life Magazine • •
• • Drama critic Robert Benchley [15 September 1889 — 21 November 1945] attended a performance of "Sex" starring Mae West in April 1926.  To his astonishment, Benchley noted that "at the corner of Central Park West and Sixty-Third Street, we ran into a line of people which seemed to be extending in the general direction of Daly’s Theatre . . . and what was more, the people standing in line were clutching, not complimentary passes, but good, green dollar bills.” Ahhh, Bobby dear, nothing like a paying audience.
• • The well-connected Algonquin Round Table writer and best buddy of Dorothy Parker was the Drama Editor of Life Magazine at this time.  Robert Benchley, writing in Life (issue dated for 20 May 1926), gave his opinion that, since "Sex" was playing to an SRO audience, it would soon become "a whacking hit."  But he complained it was "solely because the papers had said that it was 'vulgar' and 'bold' and because someone had the genius to think of its name."
• • That's not giving Mae too much credit for her creativity, eh?
• • On Sunday, 20 May 1934 in The L.A. Times • •
• • The article "So Mae West's Slipping? Not So She Can Notice It!" was published in The Los Angeles Times in their weekend edition on Sunday, 20 May 1934. By then Mae had two motion picture hits behind her and her third "Belle of the Nineties" would be released in September 1934.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Say what you want about long dresses but they cover a multitude of shins.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about objectionable plays mentioned Mae West.
• • The Brisbane Courier wrote: A stage censorship has been initiated in New York, and hardly a voice is raised in disapproval. The latest drama of Miss Mae West, called "Pleasure Man," has been stopped by the police. After the first New York City performance 55 persons, including all the members of the cast, and Miss West, were arrested. The next day she obtained an injunction preventing police interference, and the performance was given, but the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court cancelled the injunction, and in the midst of the third performance police officers stepped on the stage and ordered the curtain to be lowered, arresting 47 members in the cast. Some of the actors tried an appeal to the audience against "police tyranny," but were forcibly removed.
• • The Brisbane Courier continued: The play deals with degeneracy in a flippant, sordid manner. Mayor Walker, who was personally responsible for the police activity, issued a statement saying that he is determined to "put an end to this kind of salacious performance in violation of law." He added that "this is a community of liberal people, and the mayor is liberal and always has been, and will be a patron of the theatre. But anything so offensive to the decency and morality or the citizens of this community cannot continue while I am Mayor."
• • The Brisbane Courier added: Miss West some months ago served a term for her activities in writing, producing, and appearing in another play called "Sex." A third piece from her pen, "The Drag," was stopped by the police in several provincial cities and never reached New York. ... 
• • Source: Article: "Objectionable Plays'' written by a New York correspondent for The Brisbane Courier and printed on page 8; published on Wednesday, 2 January 1929 
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2306th 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:

Source: to Google

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • 1940 • •
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