Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mae West: And WIGGLED

MAE WEST appeared on the cover of Broadway Brevities wearing one of her most seductive costumes from "Mimic World." In Act I, Scene 2, Mae's character was Shifty Liz. In Act I, Scene 5, she was cast as Madelon, a patron at the Cafe de Paris. In Act I, Scene 10, she portrayed Cleopatra in the skit "Shakespeare's Garden of Love." Act II also featured "An Interlude with Mae West" featuring the vivacious vaudevillian in a dress with that controversial (ahem) "detachable" strap; during the second half of the Program, she shimmied garbed as an Oriental dancer called "Our lady of Fatima."  
• • And Wiggled • •
• • Billboard's man-on-the-aisle, who did not care for the material much, nevertheless singled out Mae: "Yes, Miss West certainly wiggled. And Wiggled. AND WIGGLED." (This is an unedited comment from Billboard.)  Theatre Magazine printed a photo of Mae West, leaning with one hand on a glowing orb, one hand holding up her strapless dress, and the caption writer credited Mae with "the invention of the shimmy."
• • With "The Mimic World of 1921" the Shuberts had hoped for a big hit; this revue also inaugurated their new roof theatre that featured a restaurant and 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] in shock.
• • The enormous cast included performers hired mostly for background appeal such as the sisters Lebanon and Portland Hoffa, who died in the month of December.
• • Portland Hoffa [25 January 1905 — 25 December 1990] • •
• • Born in Portland, Oregon on 25 January 1905, Portland Hoffa had parents who must have named their offspring according to geography.  
• • Like her cast mate Mae West, actress Portland Hoffa also toured in vaudeville as a comedienne and dancer. One of three sisters, she is remembered best as the stage and radio partner of her first husband, Fred Allen. Portland met Fred Allen while performing in "The Passing Show" in 1922 and joined him in his vaudeville routines.
• • Portland Hoffa died in Los Angeles on Tuesday, 25 December 1990. She was 85.
• • On Monday, 23 December 1929 in Los Angeles • •
• • Mae West took her "Diamond Lil" cast to the West Coast where she hoped to meet with Hollywood producers who would help bring the popular stage play to the silver screen. After a booking in San Francisco, Mae moved to her final California destination: Los Angeles. An article about Mae was published in The L.A. Times on Monday, 23 December 1929.
• • On Tuesday, 23 December 1947 • •
• • On Tuesday, 23 December 1947, the Loew's State Theatre offered its last vaudeville show. Dave Apollon, who appeared in 1922 with Mae West in "Ginger Box Revue," closed with a performance on his mandolin.
• • On Sunday, 23 December 1984 • •
• • "West and Owney Had a Hot Romance" was a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the bootlegger and Cotton Club owner Owney Madden, who was Mae's lover, written by film critic Kevin Thomas and printed in The Los Angeles Times on 23 December 1984.
• • On Sunday, 23 December 2007 • •
• • In a year's end round-up that assessed the Bay Area theatre scene in 2007, reporter Pat Craig ranked the Berkeley, California revival of "Sex" by Mae West at the Aurora Theatre in the top ten. Successfully staged and with an appealing cast, "Sex" had been held over.
• • The final performance of "Sex" at the Aurora Theatre, with Delia MacDougall as Margy Lamont (the Mae West role), was on Sunday, 23 December 2007.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Asked about Owney Madden, Mae West said: "Very sweet and very vicious."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on foreign pens mentioned Mae West.
• • Moderator wrote: For a long time, Danitrio has been thinking of coming out with a pen that's similar to "Mae West" but something that's more portable. As you know, Mae West shape pens are popular here, but they are all clipless and not very portable. Well, This one still retained the lovely curve, but now fitted with a clip, it is much more portable. ...
• • Source: Item on Fountain Pen Network; posted on Wednesday, 23 December 2009
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2524th 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 • 1921
• • Feed — —
  Mae West.

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