Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Mae West: TV Satire Series

During the 1950s MAE WEST launched her new concept — — The Mae West Revue — — in Vegas and then in night clubs across the USA.
• • It was on Sunday, 27 June 1954 when Mae West premiered her newest venture which delighted the audience.  In fact, women patrons even stormed the stage when the movie queen and her entourage of musclemen filed into the Sahara Hotel's Congo Room. The Mae West Revue would remain in Vegas for almost three weeks.
• • In 1957, the long-running sold-out stage show would close in Las Vegas — — again at the Sahara Hotel on the Strip.
• • Plan A for Mae was a comedy showcase on TV in 1954 • •
• • Very few Mae-mavens know the truth about what the entertainer really had been working towards for the first half of 1954 before she reverted to Plan B with.bodybuilders. 
• • Mae, then a robust 60 years old, had approached her longtime ally William LeBaron [16 February 1883 — 9 February 1958], who was then 71. Together they concocted an ambitious half-year TV series starring Mae West. Let's read about this joint venture of 26 episodes for television that went off course, perhaps due to a dearth of corporate cash and worries about the censors' response to Mae's brand of humor.
• • "TV Satire Series for Mae West" • •
• • HOLLYWOOD, April 24 — First six scripts of a proposed 26-episode telefilm series starring Mae West in satires on famous romantic heroines of history and literature have been completed by the actress and William LeBaron, who will produce. The latter is due in New York early next week to conduct negotiations for national sponsorship.
• • The six scripts already completed and ready for the cameras are half-hour episodes based on incidents in the lives of Priscilla and John Alden, Camille and Armand, Cleopatra, Madame DuBarry, Fatima, and Lady Hamilton.
• • Source: Billboard Magazine's issue dated for Saturday, 1 May 1954.
• • On Sunday, 9 April 1916 in Pittsburgh • •
• • "Victoria Burlesquers" • •
• • The Pittsburgh Leader announced on Sunday, 9 April 1916  that Mae West would be appearing at Pittsburgh's Victoria Theatre.
• • Biographer Jill Watts noted: "Without Frank Bohm's careful attention, she had, in one year, gone from being a headliner in big-time vaudeville to performing in cheap, third-rate burlesque." True, true, and without the partnership of her husband Guido Deiro, who had developed a stage act with Mae but who was divorcing her in 1916. These were rough times for the firefly of vaudeville but she soldiered on.
• • On Saturday, 9 April 1927 • •
• • The front page of The New York Times warned Broadway producers and notables like Mae West that the police had been empowered by City Hall and the cops could now close a show faster than a bad review from the drama desk.
• • This headline dominated page one of The New York Times on Saturday, 9 April 1927: "Ready to Enforce New Padlock Law."
• • On Monday, 9 April 1928 on Broadway • •
• • "Diamond Lil" written by and starring Mae West opened at the Royale Theatre in NYC on Monday, 9 April 1928. It would be her defining role.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Mother continued to encourage me to write a play."
• • Mae West said: “If I wanted local color, I sure got it in that [jail] place.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • New York Magazine mentioned Mae West.
• • Frank Rich wrote: In a 1925 — 1926 New York theater season with acclaimed new plays by O'Neill ("The Great God Brown"), O'Casey ("Juno and the Paycock"), and Coward ("Hay Fever"), critics agreed that the rock bottom was "Sex," the first Broadway vehicle written by and starring the voluptuous vaudeville trouper Mae West. "Sex" was mere "street sweepings," in the verdict of The New Yorker, and "a crude, inept play, cheaply produced and poorly acted," according to the N.Y. Times. The paper's review did helpfully note that the show's "one torrid love scene" lived up to its title. ...
• •  Source: Article: "Mae West 'Sex' Capade! Plays prostie on the Great White Way, wears silk undies in jail" written by Frank Rich for N.Y. Magazine; posted on Monday, 9 April 2012 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2623rd 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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• • Photo:
• • Mae West 1954 TV news item

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