Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mae West: Muscle Mambo

In 1912, when many American teenagers were still in high school and focused on amusing themselves or finding a future, MAE WEST was eighteen years old and finding her footing in variety.
• • At Poli's Palace Theatre in Connecticut, the energetic entertainer appeared with the "Girard Brothers" [— — two dancers named Bobby O'Neil and Harry Laughlin]. During their act, Mae did a sultry rendition of "Cuddle Up and Cling to Me" as she danced provocatively. After the third performance, the trio was fired. "Her Wriggles Cost Mae West Her Job," read one newspaper headline.
• • At Hammerstein's Victoria in midtown Manhattan in April 1912, she was booked on the same stagebill as Aida Overton Walker — — alone this time and using fresh material such as rousing rag melodies.
• • Summer brought hard-working Mae to The City of Brotherly Love. Rephrasing praise that a reviewer had accorded her — — "In other words, it isn't what Mae West does, but the way she does it that assures her a brilliant career on the stage" — — Mae had circulars printed up that announced "It is all in the way she does it and her way is all her own." And what was the specialty the vivacious teen promised to ticket-buyers in Philadelphia? According to a back issue of Variety, it was frisky enough: "A Muscle Dance in a Sitting Position." Mae's curtain speech explained, "It isn't what you do, it's how you do it."
• • Source: Item printed in Variety on Friday, 26 July 1912.
• • Morgan Wallace [26 July 1881 — 12 December 1953] • •
• • Morgan Wallace got to work in two motion pictures starring Mae West.
• • Born in Lompoc, California on Tuesday, 26 July 1881, Morgan Wallace appeared in 124 films between 1914 — 1946 often in authority roles such as the physician he played in "Blonde Venus" [1932} with Marlene Dietrich. He was briefly seen as J. Henry Brash in "Goin' to Town" [1935] and also as a gambler in "My Little Chickadee" [1940]. Not merely a bit parts player, he also snagged several meatier assignments during the casting.
• • Like Mae, Morgan Wallace was known for his work on Broadway, where he was active from 1904 — 1946. One play he wrote, "Congratulations," was onstage in 1929.
• • Morgan Wallace, a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild, died in Tarzana, California on 12 December 1953. He was 72 years old.
• • On Saturday, 25 July 1922 in Connecticut • •
• • During July 1922 "The Ginger Box Revue" was booked for a try-out in Stamford, Connecticut.  Hours before opening, Mae West and the cast learned that their producer failed to secure adequate financing so they could have their costumes and the scenery.  Mae insisted on going forward, however, with a humorous prologue that highlighted the difficulties (making it seem part of the act).  The show gave two sell-out performances and received a review in The Stamford Advocate on Saturday, 25 July 1922.
• • On Tuesday, 26 July 1938 • •
• • On Tuesday, 26 July 1938 there was an intriguing reference to Mae West in an article on a children's fancy dress ball held annually by the Church of England: Swaggering "soldiers" paid homage to Mae West, whose "Come up and see me sometime" expression made Popeye eat several tins of spinach.
• • A prize for "Best Sustained Character" in the "Junior Section" went to little Dolores Bolton, who portrayed screen queen Mae West at the ball.
• • Source: Article "Children's Fancy Dress Ball" in Northern Standard (on page 5); published on 26 July 1938.
• • On Wednesday, 26 July 1950 • •
• • On Wednesday, 26 July 1950 Guido Deiro, age 63, died after a long illness. Learn more about Mae West's secret Italian husband at an event next month on August 16th in Manhattan's Little Italy neighborhood.
• • Save the Date: Thursday, August 16th • •
• • Thursday, 16 August 2012 will be the next Mae West Tribute in Manhattan and the evening affair will start at 6:30 pm at 155 Mulberry Street.  This year Mae-mavens will enjoy an indoor event (ahhh, air conditioning), music written by Mae West's Italian husband will be played, and attendees will be seated.
• • At the Reception, Italian wine and light refreshments will be served. The ever-popular Mae West Raffle will offer rare prizes once again to a number of lucky attendees. The public is invited.
• • Mae West was born in Brooklyn, NY on Thursday, 17 August 1893.
• • Closest MTA subway stations: Grand St. or Canal St.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "My ideas and my texts were from the first for the stage, through the secret doors of my personal life."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about Hollywood movies mentioned Mae West.
• • Film Daily's West Coast columnist wrote: Hollywood — Mae West, the Broadway actress recently signed by Paramount, will make her first screen appearance as a contract player in "Honky Tonk," an adaptation of the stage play written by herself. Lowell Sherman is to film the production, which is being scenarized by John Bright.  ...
• • Source: Article: "Mae West to Star" printed in The Film Daily; published in 1932
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2375th 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 • 1912
• •
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