Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mae West: Laugh Vamp

MAE WEST was on the front page of the August 1922 issue of Broadway Brevities. The editor described the 29-year-old performer as a "laugh vamp." Bet you have not see this before.
• • On Our Cover: MAE WEST • •
• • Broadway Brevities wrote:  She's still most engagingly young, but we do remember Miss West's former feats in the varieties at the time when she was in the throes of the shimmey (sic) epidemic, and did her palpitations in a manner that was the ruin of many a Presbyterian divine. Especially do we recall her work at the Capitol, not long after it opened. Miss West is now in a middle phase of subtler artistry, still inflected by the shiver but adorned with much remarkable dramatic exhibition. Recently at the Palace, she accomplished an unbroken triumph, doing her act in protean role, now a "laugh vamp," now a prima donna, comical and serious by turns. In short Miss West was a fine and consummate surprise, with a finesse and versatility, a dashing vitality and sure authority that ought to send the legitimate managers trailing her holding contracts in their hands ready to be autographed by her on the dotted line. By looking at her most fetching pose on our cover, you will admit that Mae is no company for a nervous person. 
• • In 1922 Broadway Brevities wrote:  "She's still most engagingly young" — why? because Mae was telling the stage directors that she was born in the year 1900.
• • 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" starring Mae West
• • 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, on 16 April 1968. She was 82.
• • On Monday, 15 August 1921 • •
• • It was Monday, 15 August 1921 and Mae West was enjoying her debut in "The Mimic World" playing controversial characters such as Shifty Liz.
• • With "The Mimic World of 1921," the Shuberts had hoped for a big hit. Additionally, this revue was inaugurating their new roof theatre, Century Promenade, that featured a restaurant and a promenade overlooking Central Park. However, the show opened to mixed reviews from a number of top critics.
• • Mae West wore a daring black velvet dress onstage, "cut at either side to display her bare hips," wrote Women's Wear [24 August 1921], quaking under such a sartorial shock. Clearly, this was Whoopee Wear.
• • On Sunday, 15 August 1993 • •
• • Molly Haskell wrote an article "Mae West's Bawdy Spirit Spans the Gay 90s" and it ran in The New York Times, Section 2, on Sunday, 15 August 1993.
• • Molly Haskell wrote:  Mae West, the blond, diamond-studded, wisecracking, sashaying vamp from Brooklyn who lit up the stage in the 1920's and the screen in the 30's with a special brand of gender-bending sexuality, still defies categories and refuses to be conscripted into any one ideological army.  ...
• • Bob Thomas, with AP in Los Angeles, wrote an article "Mae West Remains a Hot Number." This charming piece was syndicated,  It was printed in the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette on Sunday, 15 August 1993, and also in other papers.
• • 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: "I can't see myself horsing around with hockey players in a business way. It would make me feel unappealing. Any time I show my authority over the male sex, it's got to be 100 percent emotional."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about Mae West celebrated the 100th year of her birth.
• • Molly Haskell wrote:  Feminists have found her both liberating and awkward: Her frank obsession with men as both lust objects and figures of identification have made her dubious as a "sister," but she's talking only to us when she says life is a man's game and "I just happen to be smart enough to play it their way." ... 
• • Source: Article: "Mae West's Bawdy Spirit Spans the Gay 90s" written by Molly Haskell for The New York Times; published on Sunday, 15 August 1993
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2395th 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 • 1922
• •
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