Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mae West: Never Expected

MAE WEST was very interested in meeting Aimee Semple McPherson. When the famous Evangelist from Los Angeles visited New York on Saturday, 19 February 1927, she insisted on visiting Texas Guinan's club. Mae West was there to meet this intriguing individual with her marcel-waved hair and charismatic podium presence who dared to tell church-goers at collection time, "No coins, please."
• • When Texas Guinan welcomed McPherson, this was quite a promotional dream — two gals of Irish descent in different types of show business. Aimee invited Texas to her Glad Tidings Tabernacle (West 33rd Street) the next day. Texas and her chorus girls showed up (before going to work), to the wide-eyed amazement of everyone.
• • The New York Times quoted Texas Guinan commenting about Aimee: "This is a woman I admire."
• • At the time, women in the pulpit ministry were rare — — those who wore makeup and jewelry in the pulpit, nonexistent. McPherson's uniqueness in this respect, her flamboyance and her unashamed use of low-key sex appeal to attract converts, endeared her to her followers in Los Angeles. She would invariably appear before parishioners in a white gown, carrying a bouquet of flowers.  
• • "Annie the evangelist" takes shape • •
• • Mae was paying attention to all the stagecraft, power grabbing, and image-building at work here.
• • Mae West portrayed an evangelist in Nome, Alaska in her film "Klondike Annie" — — released in February 1936 after a lengthy hold-up by the censors who refused to let Mae West appear as a preacher or religious worker onscreen.
• • On Monday, 19 February 1940 in Life Magazine • •
• • The cover of Life Magazine's issue dated for Monday, 19 February 1940 featured the King of Romania. Inside were two aristocrats of comedy: Mae West and W.C. Fields.
• • On Monday, 19 February 2001 in Broadway to Vegas • •
• • Laura Deni wrote: The 7th Annual Red Ball held on Valentine's Day at the Waldorf in New York City, honored Clive Davis and Elaine and Jerry Orbach. During this year's event honoree Jerry Orbach divulged that as a struggling actor he needed a job to pay the bills so he got a job as Mae West's chauffeur [from Ms. Deni's fascinating weekly issue dated 19 February 2001]. 
• • Check out Broadway to Vegas, always a treat.
• • On Sunday, 19 February 2012 in England • •
• • The Edward Burra exhibition at the Pallant House Gallery in West Sussex ends on 19 February 2012. This has been the first major show for over 25 years of the work of Edward Burra [1905 — 1976], whose fascination with Mae West and his love of theatrical spectacle, film, and ballet are reflected in these canvases along with his eccentric illustrations for Humbert Woolf’s book "The ABC of the Theatre" (1932).
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I never expected to be sent to jail."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Mae West wrote the play "Sex."
• • On February 19th, The New York Times wrote: The moral tone of the stage in New York has distinctly improved since the activity last year of the District Attorney's office in closing Sex, The Virgin Man and The Captive, according to James G. Wallace, Assistant District Attorney, who prosecuted the cases. He spoke at a luncheon of the City Club, where other speakers were Frank Gillmore, Executive Secretary of the Actors' Equity Association; John S. Sumner and Morris Ernst. ...
• • Source: Article: "New York Stage Improved" printed in The New York Times; published on Sunday, 19 February 1928
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2582nd 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 1936
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