Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mae West: David Lichine

On a poster for "The Heat Is On" [1943] Victor Moore asks MAE WEST if she's singing. The screen siren replies that she will "singe" in this motion picture. The director's vision was that an abundance of top hats and top-notch musical zest would be enough to keep the box office boiling over. They even called in the expertise of David Lichine. Haven't you met him yet?
• • David Lichine [25 December 1910 — 28 June 1972] • •
• • David Lichtenstein was born in Russia on Sunday, 25 December 1910.  He pledged himself to the dance arts early, training with Egorova and Nijinska. In 1928, the slim 18-year-old kicked off his performing career with Ida Rubenstein's company. Briefly, he was attached to Anna Pavlova's company, then became a star of Col. W. De Basil's Ballets Russes, where he was a respected interpreter of some of ballet's most iconic roles.
• • In 1933, the 23-year-old began to choreograph for the American Ballet Theatre. The Ballet des Champs Elysees and other companies benefited from his ability to dance and  choreograph. 
• • David Lichine also choreographed for Broadway shows and began working in Hollywood in the 1930s. Disney spotted him and used him as a dance model for the crocodile in "Fantasia" [1940].  Lichine created the dances for "The Heat Is On" [1943] and also appeared onscreen in the number "There Goes That Guitar" with women wearing white.
• • In 1943, Lichine married Tatiana Riabouchinska. They were married for nearly 30 years when he began to have kidney trouble.
• • He died of renal failure in Los Angeles, California on 28 June 1972. He was 61.

• • Photo: Choreographer and dancer David Lichine, clad in a festive orange outfit, performs "There Goes That Guitar" in "The Heat's On" [1943] with eight beauties.
• • On Sunday, 29 December 1912 • •
• • In the Sunday morning newspapers on 29 December 1912, readers noticed that B.F. Keith was offering "Dinkelspiel's Christmas" along with "MAY WEST — singing comedienne" [yes, the newspaper spelled it "MAY WEST" in their 29 December 1912 ad].
• • The 14th Street theatre is, alas, long gone but we can only imagine how much fun we missed since, alas, we were not around to dial STuyvesant 3400 to reserve a ticket.
• • On Wednesday, 29 December 1937 • •
• • Variety did an article on the ill-fated broadcast Mae did on NBC: "Mae West Case Big Dilemma in Washington."  This piece was printed in Variety on Wednesday, 29 December 1937.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "It cheers you up. Every time you see yourself in one of those table mirrors you get the feeling you're in the money. Cute, isn't it?"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Paramount press release mentioned Mae West. A Filipino boxer Speedy Dado, now retired from the ring, had become her driver.
• • A Paramount publicist wrote: "Dado is now chauffeur for the star after a series of disastrous attempts to pick which horse would finish in a given race." ...
• • Source: AMPAS archives; dated for Tuesday, 29 December 1936
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2530th 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 • castmates in 1943
• • Feed — —
  Mae West.

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