Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mae West: Charles B. Dillingham

As a child, MAE WEST heard fascinating recollections about New York City's Chinatown and the Bowery. Aware of the attractiveness of these lively locales, authors found creative ways to situate their narratives in these neighborhoods.
• • Charles H. Hoyt, for instance, wrote the immensely popular musical comedy "A Trip to Chinatown." The story focuses on a widow who connives and contrives to bring romance to several couples and herself in a big city restaurant [think of "Hello, Dolly!"].
• • Still capitalizing on the "Trip to Chinatown" craze, clever showmen reworked the play again and presented it under a new title: "A Winsome Widow."
• • Nineteen-year-old brunette Mae West was featured in the show "A Winsome Widow" as La Petite Daffy in 1912.  This musical was produced by Charles B. Dillingham and Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.
• • This box office smash was presented at the Moulin Rouge, then located at 1514 — 1516 Broadway [West 44th Street], New York, NY. This showplace was demolished in 1935.
• • Charles Bancroft Dillingham [30 May 1868 — 30 August 1934] • •
• • Born in Hartford, Connecticut — in late May on Saturday, 30 May 1868, Charles Bancroft Dillingham became very fond of the dramatic arts. He secured employment in NYC as a theater reviewer for the New York Evening Post.  Gradually, he increased his influence and became an impresario, a director, producer, and theatre operator.
• • From 1902 — 1934, C.B. Dillingham either produced shows on The Great White Way or participated via talent management or leasing the auditorium for the production.
• • Charles Bancroft Dillingham died in New York, New York on 30 August 1934.  He was 66.
• • On Wednesday, 30 May 2007 • •
• • Christie's held this auction of a Mae West movie collectible in New York City, Rockefeller Plaza on Wednesday, 30 May 2007.
• • A costume design for Mae West, circa 1970s, by Edith Head possibly for "Sextette" [1978]. The sketch of this elegant pink gown is pictured in the auction booklet. A collector paid $900 to possess it.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I have been in love at various points in my career, but as long as my mother lived I shied from marriage. When she died, it released the only governor of possible marriage inclinations."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An Australian news item from 1939 mentioned Mae West.
• • "Conditions Delay Mae West Greetings" • •
• •  It may not be possible after all for film star Mae West to send her greeting to the opening of Jack Lester's 'Ziegfeld Follies' at His Majesty's Theatre tonight.
• • Protracted negotiations were successfully concluded with the actress during the week, but the scheme was threatened by unfavourable atmospheric conditions over the trans-Pacific radio link. ... This was despite the fact that at 7:49 AM (Perth time) successful two-way contact was made between His Majesty's Theatre and Hollywood. Arrangements were completed for Mae West to talk later in the day. ...
• • Source: Article: The Daily News (Perth, Australia); published on Friday, 8 December 1939
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2660th 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:

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• • Mae West 1912

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