Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mae West: Oooo! Mae in Cabaret

Mae-mavens here in NYC may want to come up to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe on Sunday evening to see a show focused on MAE WEST.
• • What: "Oooo! An Homage to Mae West and The Golden Age of Hollywood" stars Darlene Violette as Mae West. [Credits: Written by Darlene Violette and Jeffrey H. Johns; Co-Directed by Jeffrey H. Johns and Brandy Rowel; Music Direction by Brian McInnis; Piano: Wayne Shuker, Chromatic Harmonica: Brian McInnis.]
• • When: Sunday, 28 April 2013 from 6:00 — 7:30 pm.
• • Where: Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 East 3rd Street (just east of Avenue B), NYC 10009.
• • Show Review • •
• • You will enjoy spending 90 minutes in the company of Mae West, lovingly brought to life by Darlene Violette, who is the co-author of ”Oooo! An Homage to Mae West and The Golden Age of Hollywood" along with Jeffrey H. Johns.
• • The script is still evolving but, in its present incarnation, Mae is in the money in Tinseltown, ensconced at The Ravenswood, and chatting with studio boss Adolph Zukor, former lover George Raft, co-star Cary Grant, Paramount player Marlene Dietrich, MGM solitary Greta Garbo, black cast-mate Gertrude Howard, reporters, suitors, a fortune teller, Amelia Earhart, and the Oscar winner who trumped her for Best Picture of 1933, Noel Coward. Count on hearing several Mae West numbers selected from the soundtracks of her top motion pictures as well as these standards: "Hooray for Hollywood," "Falling in Love Again," "We're in the Money," and "Putting on the Ritz," a number written for Mae's former pianist Harry Richman.
• • Ms. Violette, who relocated from New England to Kings County, New York in 1996 to further her entertainment career, has appeared on TV, on the big screen, and as a stand-up comedienne. The Brooklyn accent she's acquired for her role would make Boro Prez Marty Markowitz proud — — as well as the polish and style she brings to her legendary character, who was born in Bushwick in 1893 and made Brooklynese trendy.
• • Reveling in the chance to bring Mae West to a live audience again, the versatile Ms. Violette admitted the screen siren has also been a muse: "One of the biggest lessons I've learned from Mae is that you can't sit around and wait for someone else to make it happen for you.  If you want something, you must create it yourself, dedicate yourself to its manifestation, and never compromise or settle for second best.  I am honored, humbled and eternally grateful to Mae West." 
• • According to Ms. Violette:  "I've always known that one hundred percent self-confidence is vital for any actor.  Acquiring that level of confidence had always eluded me until I researched, studied and played the part of Mae West.   What you think and what you believe to be true is true.  'I think therefore I am' pretty much sums it up."
• • Still being shaped, decorated, trimmed, and pinned, "Oooo!" is a work-in-progress. Its beauty is still finding its footing amid the intrusive tumbleweed. Example, Amelia Earhart is brought onstage to have a seance with Mae, then says very little, and vanishes — — only to be replaced by Cleopatra. Huh? And George Raft (though married in 1923) had an intimate and lifelong friendship with Mae that might have been mined for dramatic interest but his character is underused.
• • An actress of unlimited generosity, Darlene Violette does overshadow some of the shortcomings by the sheer force of her dynamic presentation. All the same, more show and less tell would be effective. And the details about this Hollywood haven in its halcyon days, which currently come out as if by conveyer belt, need to be channeled into a cohesive, meaningful whole. And if the highlights were balanced with insight, Mae West would shine through more indelibly. A challenge, to be sure, but one senses the dynamic duo of Ms. Violette and Mr. Johns are up to it. 
• • Photo: Darlene Violette
• • On Thursday, 24 April 2008 • •
• • Goldmine Magazine featured Mae West on Thursday, 24 April 2008.
• • Goldmine Magazine said: Mae West did it all, even 45s.  Mae West was sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll before there was sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.  After Mae West, the rest of us just tried to keep up.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I was advised to diet. They almost talked me into it, but I thought I'd stick by the curves people paid to see in New York."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A newspaper in Estonia quoted from the Mae West Blog.
• • Though they are one year off on the dates when "Sex" was on Broadway, they are totally forgiven because they used images (with credit) from the Courting Mae West Blog
• • They wrote about sex symbol Mae West, "Sex," the $500 fine, and the New Yorgi politsei (our N.Y.P.D.) helping to fence her in the Women's Workhouse, isolated from the public on the (now re-named) Roosevelt Island. It's thrilling to realize that the arrest of Mae West on 9 February 1927 in New York City (and the trial and incarceration) could still be a newsworthy item that deserves recognition in far-flung foreign countries such as Estonia. Bonus points for their recalling that 325,000 ticket-holders had seen "Sex" before the law shut it down..
• • "Kuidas 1920 aastate seksisümbol Mae West sündsusetuse eest vangi pandi" • •
• • Hooaja 1925/1926 kõmulisemaid lavastusi Broadwayl oli kahtlematult Mae Westi etendatav Sex, mille kriitikud tegid maatasa, aga publik jooksis sellele tormi, ennekõike ühe "kõrvetavalt tulise" armutseeni pärast (pildil).
• • Seda lavastust jõuti ette kanda 375 korda, enne kui New Yorgi politsei korraldas veebruaris 1927 suure haarangu Westi ja tema teatri ruumidesse. Täna, 19. aprillil 1927 mõistis kohus Westi sündsusetuse eest kümneks päevaks vangi Roosevelti saarel ja määras talle 500 dollarit trahvi, karistused, mida Mae Westi ka nurisemata ära kandis. Kokku oli lavastust vaatamas käinud 325 000 inimest, sh ka hulgi prominente.  ...
• • Source:; published on Friday, 19 April 2013 

• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2634th 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 1927

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