Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mae West: Chic Bowery Queen

The decision to film "Diamond Lil" by MAE WEST meant that Paramount had joined the Hollywood race to produce "sex pictures," a race begun when the Motion Picture Association board banned gang pictures in September 1931, wrote Leonard J. Leff and Jerold L. Simmons in "The Dame in the Kimono."
• • According to Leff and Simmons, the story department told the front office that the playscript would make a  poor picture.  Why?  It was believed that the Gay Nineties setting would alienate the core audience — — college students, teenagers, and children.
• • Management at Paramount had a decisive approach: this picture, shot quickly would not be expensive, and thus it might succeed. Indeed.
• • Which is your favorite Mae West movie?
• • On Wednesday, 31 August 1938 • •
• • An article complimenting Mae West and applauding her newest motion picture "Every Day's a Holiday" was published in The Queenslander (Brisbane, Australia) on Wednesday, 31 August 1938.
• • The Queenslander wrote: Mae West goes back to her favourite period, the nineties of last century, for her latest film, "Every Day's a Holiday," a Paramount picture. It has a steady flow of Westian wit, such as "Let joy be unrefined," with a plot that gives the comedienne large scope. She has surrounded herself with an imposing array of male comedy talent, including Walter Catlett, Charles Butterworth, and Charles Winninger, and has included Edmund Lowe for romantic appeal, so that the film will not disappoint even the most critical of her admirers.  ...
• • On Sunday, 31 August 1969 • •
• • "Sex is an emotion in motion," Mae West told The Los Angeles Times on Sunday, 31 August 1969. That's a pretty provocative way to end a hot month, eh? 
Juan Sebastian Cortes, Joanna Bonaro, Sidney Myer in "Diamond Lil"
• • See "Diamond Lil" This Autumn! • •
• • By popular demand, actress Darlene Violette — — and the wonderful cast who brought the Bowery denizens and Suicide Hall’s ne’er-do-wells to life — — will return in “Diamond Lil” for several evening performances at Don’t Tell Mama [343 W. 46th Street] on these dates in 2013:
• • 7:00pm on Sunday September 15th and 22nd. 
• • 7:30pm on Sunday October 27th — Hallowe'en Party — come in 1890s costume!
• • 7:00pm on Sunday November 3rd — vote for Gus Jordan for Sheriff Night.
• • 8:30pm on Sunday November 10th
• • 7:00pm on Sunday November 17th
• • 7:00pm on Sunday November 24th
• • Phone after 4pm to reserve a seat: 212-757-0788; RSVP online:
• • Closest MTA subway stations: 42nd St./ Times Sq. via A, C, E, 1, 2, 3 
• • The public is invited (suitable for age 18 and over). Join us as we turn the iconic NYC nightspot Don't Tell Mama into Gus Jordan's "Suicide Hall"! 
• • The Cast: Starring Darlene Violette as Diamond Lil, Queen of the Bowery and also featuring Sidney Myer, Anthony DiCarlo, Joanna Bonaro, Gary Napoli, Juan Sebastian Cortes, Kimmy Foskett, Jim Gallagher and live music by Brian McInnis
• • Come up and see for yourself. You might even win a swell Raffle Prize.
• • Read a Review of "Diamond Lil" • •
• • L'Idea Magazine's editors attended four times and had a lot to say. Here's the link:
• • Staying faithful to the gritty themes in the novel, LindaAnn Loschiavo trimmed the work to 85 minutes for a cast of eight.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "They kept begging me and telling me they had a contract with me."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • mentioned Mae West.
• • "From Mae West to Miley" • •
• • "Is that a banana (sic) in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" — — Mae West
• • Ben Wearing, Executive Editor of wrote: We offer this Mae West quote to add a little perspective to a world gone atwitter over Miley Cyrus' performance Sunday at MTV's VMA Awards.
• • Ben Wearing continued:  If you didn't see Cyrus' act, you can watch online and see what the fuss is about. Or, if you're easily offended, here's our short version: Miley, the former "Hanna Montana" star and daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, prances around in what appears to be flesh-colored bra and panties and basically gives it the old bump-and-grind with Robin Thicke as they both sing — — to the degree that any pop or rock performers "sing." Actually, it's more like shouting, but hey, it's worked for decades for Mick Jagger.  She also does some nasty antics with a big, foam finger and sticks out her tongue a lot.
• • Ben Wearing explained:  Much of the entertainment world and some audience members are shocked, shocked we tell you, to see faux sex on stage.
• • Ben Wearing noted:  What does this have to do with Mae West? Nothing, except that if you take a look back even just a few decades, there have always been entertainers using sex to shock viewers and sell themselves. Each new generation thinks they are doing something groundbreaking, when in fact they're only the latest to create a scene.  ...
• • Ben Wearing added:  From novels to stage plays to music and videos, performers are always trying to shock us to promote themselves. There's typically little new or significant here, and we're always mystified when people are surprised or offended. We guess when you have no sense of history, everything is new.
• • Ben Wearing concluded:  What's not a puzzle is why performers go to such extremes. Mae explained it decades ago: "Virtue has its own reward, but no sale at the box office."
• • Source: Article written by Ben Wearing, Executive Editor for; published on Thursday, 29 August 2013
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2731st 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 Diamond Lil returned for Mae's birthday

• • Feed — —
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