Sunday, September 02, 2012

Mae West: Grand Central Salute

It was on Saturday, 2 September 1950 when MAE WEST returned to New York City.  The originator of the quirky 1890s characters drinking and scheming at Gus Jordan's Bowery saloon had arrived via the modern train called "The 20th Century" at Grand Central Station.   
• • Mae would soon be starting her rehearsals of "Diamond Lil" with a new cast.
• • Harrison Grey Fiske [30 July 1861 — 2 September 1942] • •
• • Born in late July in Westchester County (in Harrison, New York) and educated at New York University, Harrison Grey Fiske became a theatrical manager and reporter. Fiske served as an editorial writer and dramatic critic for a number of publications such as the Jersey City-based Argus and The New York Star. In 1879 he became a contributor to the New York Dramatic Mirror, and by 1883 the proprietor.
• • The influence the Dramatic Mirror wielded was not inconsiderable. They praised Mae's performance as part of the Broadway line-up they reviewed — — and her vamp portrait even made the front cover on 25 December 1919, yes, thanks to some pressure exerted by Ned Wayburn who featured the 26-year-old brunette in his "Demitasse Revue" at the Capitol Theatre in New York City.
• • In 1890 Harrison Fisk wed actress Minnie Maddern [1865 — 1932].
• • Harrison Fiske had a fatal heart attack at his Manhattan residence on West Sixty-Sixth Street on Wednesday, 2 September 1942.  He was 81.
• • Ned Wayburn [30 March 1874 — 2 September 1942] • •
• • Ned Wayburn, born Edward Claudius Weyburn in Pennsylvania, was the most famous and influential choreographer in the early twentieth century.
• • Ned Wayburn taught Mae West to do the Grizzly Bear, a dance craze that started in San Francisco (along with the Bunny Hug and Texas Tommy). His ads named all the successful students he taught to dance such as Fanny Brice, Gilda Gray, Ann Pennington. Not until 1933, however, did he begin to mention Mae West in his advertising.
• • Versatile and well-connected, Wayburn worked closely with Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. in numerous productions for Broadway.  He died in New York City on Wednesday, 2 September 1942.  He was 68.
• • On Monday, 2 September 1911 in The Clipper • •
• • The New York Clipper (a.k.a. The Clipper) was a weekly entertainment newspaper published in New York City from 1853 to 1924.  It reviewed many forms of artistic endeavor from the circus to vaudeville to the legit.
• • Two items in The Clipper, on 3 June 1911 and on 2 September 1911, covered "A Florida Enchantment." This touring show featured "a little French adventuress" played by Mae West and "young Goldberg" played by Frank Wallace, who became her husband in April 1911. The Clipper applauded their "coon shouting."  Mae sang a number "Tiger Love," backed by a burlesque chorus and also delighted the reviewer when she made "several changes down to full tights with good effect."  Woo-woo.
• • On Tuesday, 2 September 1969 • •
• • Stanley Musgrove spoke to Mae West often as she prepared for "Myra Breckinridge" and fretted about working with Michael Sarne and a much younger actress.  Musgrove's diary entries on 2 September 1969 reveal a different side of Mae than most of her fans knew.
• • In Her Own Words • • 
• • Mae West said: "Why marry a ballplayer when you can get the whole team?"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article about architecture on West End Avenue mentioned Mae West.
• • Apparently, Mae kept a stupendous canopied bed there.  She was interviewed for a NYC newspaper in November 1933 right inside her lavishly appointed Manhattan bedroom, which was photographed for this lengthy article.
• • According to Christopher Gray: The most ambitious town house still standing on West End Avenue is No. 266, between 72nd and 73rd, built in 1896 by Julius Jaros, an importer. "It is sometimes said that Mae West occupied the house for a time with her sister, Beverly, who is indeed listed there in a 1933 directory," Christopher Gray wrote in one of his fascinating Streetscapes columns.
• • Source: Article: "West End Avenue — — Three Apples of Somebody’s Eye" written by Christopher Gray for The N.Y. Times; published on 2 September 2010
By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2414th 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 • 1950
• •
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