Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mae West: Diamond Lil Revival

MAE WEST performed her critically acclaimed Bowery melodrama of the gay nineties in New York City (on and off) from 1928 until 1951.
• • To commemorate the Brooklyn bombshell's 120th birthday, there will be a revival of "Diamond Lil" in midtown Manhattan on Saturday, 17 August 2013.
• • Supported by an able and enthusiastic cast, actress Darlene Violette will star as Diamond Lil, the bewitching, dazzling temptress in residence in Gus Jordan's bawdy saloon.
• • The script, based on the narrative written by Mae West in 1927, has been adapted for a smaller cast by playwright LindaAnn Loschiavo.
• • Darlene Violette said, "If you've become used to the 66-minute screen version, you will be astonished at how much whitewashing was done by Paramount Pictures.  For example, Mae's version depicted an explicit and steamy seduction scene between Diamond Lil and Pablo Juarez, who is described as a black man from Rio."  Other elements missing from the hour-long film are the sex slaves stowed in Charlie Fong's place on Mott Street; Rita's dead body being tossed in the river; Lil's sexual aggressiveness; and other inconveniently sinister plot points. What a story!
• • On Monday, 23 July 1934 in Film Daily • •
• • W. C. Fields wrote: I have been approached by Mae West to consider collaborating. But I want my work to stand out individually. Besides Mae has the wrong slant on this thing. She says she does her best writing in bed. Well, I do my best loafing there, and consider that that is the primary purpose of a bed. . . .
• • Source: Article: "W. C. Fields Talks About His Grand Passion" in Film Daily; published on Monday, 23 July 1934.

• • Save the Dates: August 12th and August 17th and 18th • •
• • What: 2 events timed to celebrate the 120th birthday of Mae West, born in Brooklyn, NY on August 17, 1893
• • When: (A.) Monday, August 12, 2013 from 4:00pm — 5:45pm [Seating from 3:45pm]
• • Where: (A.) Hudson Branch Library, 66 Leroy St., New York, NY 10014; NOT accessible to wheelchairs
• • Who: (A.) Reader's Theatre Cast: Costumed in 1890s Bowery style, actress Darlene Violette and actor Sidney Myer present the 1932 novel "Diamond Lil" written by Mae West in Mae's words and period songs with live music by Brian McInnis.  At intervals, historian and playwright LindaAnn Loschiavo leads an "Armchair Tour" through the boisterous Bowery and Chinatown of the 1890s.
• • What else: The ever-popular Mae West Raffle.
• • August 12th Admission and Raffle Tickets: FREE.
• • RSVP: 212-243-6876 [Hudson Branch Library's phone]
• • Closest MTA subway stations: Christopher St. or West Fourth St.; or the M7 bus.
• • Closest PATH station: Christopher St.
• • The public is invited (suitable for age 18 and over)
• • All of the sex and none of the censorship . . . • •  
• • Two stagings of "Diamond Lil" on August 17th and August 18th.
• • When: (B.) Saturday, August 17, 2013 — in the evening  
• • Where: (B.) John Strasberg Studios, 555 8th Avenue, Suite 2310, New York, NY 10018;  accessible to wheelchairs  
• • When: (C.) Sunday, August 18, 2013 — 7:00 pm  
• • Where: (C.) Don't Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street, NYC
• • Who: (B. and C.) A new staged version of the 1932 novel "Diamond Lil" written by Mae West starring Darlene Violette, Sidney Myer, and TBA. Live music by Brian McInnis.  The novel, which closely follows the 3-hour production Mae performed onstage from 1928 — 1951, is more exciting than the family-friendly screen version. Playwright LindaAnn Loschiavo massaged Mae's classic opus into an 85-minute adaptation featuring all of the sex and none of the censorship. No intermission.  
• • What else: The ever-popular Mae West Raffle and birthday festivities.  
• • August 17th and 18th Admission: reserved seating only (payment info will follow)  
• • Closest MTA subway stations: 42nd St./ Times Sq. via A, C, E, 1, 2, 3  
• • In Her Own Words • •

• • Mae West said: "A penny saved is a girl lost."
• • Mae West said: "Ice is nice at any price."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Motion Picture Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • "Three Stars Colonels" • •
• • Frankfort, Ky., Oct. 26 — Latest commissions issued by Gov. Ruby Laffoon have been mailed to Mary Pickford, Clark Gable and Charles Chaplin. Mae West was made a colonel last week.
• • Source: News Item: Motion Picture Daily; published on Friday, 27 October 1933 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2699th 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 Diamond Lil

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