Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mae West: Mimic

After she became a wealthy Hollywood movie queen, MAE WEST was on the look-out for anyone who tried to exploit her iconic character Diamond Lil or launch their own Diamond Lil act. But years before the mantle of stardom settled on her shoulders, Mae perhaps realized that impersonations were a sign of her growing popularity.
• • It was in late January — — on Friday, 29 January 1932 — — that a popular mimic was offering her own version of Mae West on Broadway at the Booth Theatre. 
• • Back in 1928, when "Diamond Lil" was onstage at the Royale Theatre, comedienne Dorothy Sands boosted her visibility with her Mae West imitations in the "Grand Street Follies."
• • Reviewing the acts for The New York Sun on Tuesday, 29 May 1928, critic Stephen Rathbun wrote: But the high spot of the evening was the second act finale, "Romeo and Juliet, According to Max Bernhardt," with the scene transpiring on the steps of the New York Public Library, with those funny looking library lions very much in the foreground. With Albert Carroll as the Moissi Romeo speaking only in German, with Miss Sands's exceedingly amusing Mae West — Juliet, and with characters appearing suddenly from holes cut in the steps, this Max Reinhardt satire was something to be long remembered, especially by persons who saw his "A Midsummer Night's Dream" production in German, at the Century. ...
• • Again on Friday, 22 January 1932 and Friday, 29 January 1932, Dorothy Sands reprised her Mae West impressions at the Booth Theatre, calling her routine "Our Stage and Stars."
• • Dorothy Sands [5 March 1893 — 11 September 1980] • •
• • Like Mae West, Dorothy Sands was born in 1893 and died in 1980. On 5 March 1893, Dorothy Sands was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
• • Dorothy Sands began her performance career on Broadway in 1924, and was steadily cast on the legitimate stage until 1970. Her last Broadway credit was her role as Hattie Fields in the comedy "Paris Is Out!" [2 February 1970 — 18 April 1970].
• • On the vaudeville circuit, she also did impressions of Sophie Tucker, Eva Tanguay, Ethel Barrymore, Mary Pickford, Mrs. Fiske, Lotte Crabtree, and others.
• • After a long career onstage and in TV shows, Dorothy Sands died in Croton-on-Hudson, NY on 11 September 1980.
• • On Monday, 29 January 1917 in Brooklyn • •
• • Mae West was a witness at her younger sister's wedding, which took place on a weekday, Monday, 29 January 1917 in Brooklyn City Hall, not far from the West family's Brooklyn residence.
• • On Sunday, 29 January 1978 in Sunday Express • •
• • Since "Sextette" had a British director, articles discussing what happened on the set in Hollywood popped up in the British tabloids. An article discussing a scene filmed in a mock elevator appeared in Sunday Express on 29 January 1978.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I don't remember how many lovers I've had, there were so many. I was never interested in the score, though — — only the game. Like my line, 'It's not the men in my life that counts but the life in my men.' ... I'm never dirty, dear. I'm interestin' without bein' vulgar. I have taste. I kid sex. I was born with sophistication and sex appeal. But I'm never vulgar, and I don't like obscenity. I just suggest."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A book about female celebrities mentioned Mae West.
• • Faye Hammill wrote: In 1928, Dorothy Sands in the Grand Street Follies impersonated Mae West  ... The only imitator Mae West countenanced was her sister, whose Diamond Lil act Mae described (in her memoir) as “the best imitation of me ever done to that time" [Goodness . . . p. 165]. ...
• • Source: Book: "Women, Celebrity, and Literary Culture Between the Wars" written by Faye Hammill [University of Texas Press, 2007]
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2561st 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/
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• • Mae West and mimic Dorothy Sands, 1928
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