Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Mae West: Princeton Premiere

"MAE WEST to Open Summer Theatre" was the headline on Thursday, 5 June 1952 in a New Jersey newspaper.  Herbert Kenwith was announcing the world premiere of "Sextette," a play written by Frances Hope and adapted by the movie queen.
• • PRINCETON —- Herbert Kenwith, producer-director of Princeton Summer Theatre announces that he will open his sixth season of summer stock at the McCarterTheatre in Princeton, with Mae West in the world premiere of her new play "Sextette."  Beginning Monday night, June 23rd, the play will be shown for one week through Saturday night, June 28th.
• • "Sextette" was written by Frances Hope and adapted by Miss West to her own expressive idiom. It is a comedy in three acts with one set, the bridal suite of a swank London hotel. The play is modern and will have a cast of eight characters.  Miss West will play the role of a top movie star on her honeymoon with an English lord, who has only discovered after the wedding that he is the sixth in her sextette of husbands.  The action will give the star an opportunity to sing, also to wear a lavish wardrobe, one costume made entirely of sequins.
• • Miss West made her first appearance in summer stock last year at the Princeton Summer Theatre where, in "Diamond Lil,'' she broke all records for a week's engagement of a straight play in a summer theatre.  It was due to the happy circumstances surrounding her visit there last summer that Miss West chose Princeton for the premiere of her new play.
• • Source: Article: "Mae West to Open Summer Theatre" (on page 4) of the Raritan Township and Fords Beacon, published on Thursday, 5 June 1952.
• • Philo McCullough [16 June 1893 — 5 June 1981] • •
• • Born in San Bernardino, California on 16 June 1893, Philo McCullough launched his Tinseltown ambitions in 1914 and stayed in cinema country until 1969.  He was hired as an extra for "Klondike Annie" and 254 other motion pictures. Philo McCullough did play himself in "Follow the Boys" [1944], a celebrity-studded vehicle starring George Raft and featuring Marlene Dietrich and many other notables. He also took part in 42 productions slated for TV.  Philo McCullough was last seen in the movie houses in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" [1969].
• • He died in Burbank, California in the month of June — — on 5 June 1981. He was 87.
• • On Thursday, 5 June 1975 • •
• • Stanley Musgrove's Log dated for Thursday, 5 June 1975 recalled Mae West explaining that her own method of birth control was a silk sponge tied to a string.  Mae also claimed she taught this barrier method to Fanny Brice who, until then, had several abortions. An odd conversation topic perhaps during June 1975, when Mae was 81, but there you have it.
• • On Saturday, 5 June 2010 in New Zealand • •
• • Mae West is still on the music charts.  Mae's rendition of "Mister Deep Blue Sea" charted on Saturday, 5 June 2010 on New Zealand's Jazz Music Chart at position 104.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • When Mae arrived in Pasadena, California on The Chief in June 1932, she was unimpressed by the cities she passed during the train ride. "I'm a big girl from a big town," Mae told Los Angeles reporters, "coming to a little town."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in The Catholic Herald focused on "a splendid Catholic" Mae West.
• • The Catholic Herald wrote: Mae West, the well-known film actress, is a fairy godmother to Catholic churches and charities, to which she regularly devotes large portions of her earnings.
• • So declares an American showdrummer, Jock Powell, who has recently been touring the United States with her.  In an interview with a C.H. reporter on Wednesday, Jock Powell described Mae West as "a splendid Catholic and a grand scout."
• • He said also that "she is a fine woman in the home.  . . ."
• • Source: Article: "Mae West: A Grand Scout" written by The Catholic Herald [UK] and printed on page 1; published on 3 February 1939
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2322nd 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/

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • 1951 • •
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