Thursday, August 01, 2013

Mae West: George Moran

MAE WEST starred in "My Little Chickadee" [1940] and George Moran played Milton.
• • George Moran  [3 October 1881 — 1 August 1949] • •
• • Born in Elwood, Kansas on 3 October 1881 was a future variety artist named George Searcy.  He partnered with Charles Mack [1887 — 1932] who had just lost a player in his "coon act."  Performing their comedy routines in blackface, the men were billed as the "Two Black Crows," the last major blackface team to work that circuit. Their popularity led them to Broadway, a recording contract, film shorts, and the airwaves. In 1928, "The Two Black Crows" became a weekly radio show. One of their stage routines made this phrase famous: "Why bring that up?"
• • In January 1932, a motor car crash in Mesa, Arizona, caused by a tire blow-out, killed Charles E. Mack and injured their passenger, film producer Mack Sennett; George Moran escaped injury. Since he had been on the same stagebill with W.C. Fields in "The Ziegfeld Follies," Moran was drawn into some of his films.
• • From 1927 — 1948, George Moran was seen in 11 motion pictures. The five-foot-eight comedian played an American Indian in four of them.
• • When George Moran worked with W.C. Fields and Mae West in "My Little Chickadee," he was 59 years old. There he is, playing a redskin, in a 1940 studio portrait with his co-stars.
• • George Moran had a stroke.  He died in Oakland, California in the month of August — — on Monday, 1 August 1949. He was 67. 
• • On Sunday, 1 August 1937 • •
• • Frank Wallace, the man Mae West wed in April 1911 but ditched soon after, seemed to have the best memory in the world. Or so he convinced the Los Angeles reporter who sat down with him for this lengthy interview published in Singapore on Sunday, 1 August 1937.
• • Reading the page 1 article, "Mae West's Romance Told by Husband," you would think Mae has the same determined let's-march-down-the-aisle outlook on relationships that rings true for the Harlequin romance audience. Ummm, well, that's Frank's story anyway.
• • The Straits Times wrote: "Mae and I were playing in New York when the intoxicating truth dawned on me that Mae loved me," recalled Frank Wallace.  ..."Mae," he added, "seemed restless and suddenly she blurted out, 'Honey, my lungs need ventilation. Let's walk to the park.' 'Okay, sweetie, I replied. 'Let's go.' Hand in hand we walked through the streets of Milwaukee ... Then like a bolt out of the sky, she spoke in that throaty voice of hers.  'Where's it all taking us, Frank?' ... 'How much longer can we go on this way?' ...."
• • Source: Article: "Mae West's Romance Told by Husband" printed in The Straits Times (Singapore); published on Sunday, 1 August 1937.
• • Frank Wallace missed his calling. He should have been writing short fiction or bodice rippers. Do you agree?
• • Save the Dates: August 12th and August 17th and 18th • • 
• • What: three events timed to celebrate the 120th birthday of Mae West, born in Brooklyn, NY on August 17, 1893
• • On Monday, 12 August 2013 at the Hudson Sq Library • • 
• • One afternoon only! • •
• • When: Monday, August 12, 2013 from 4:00pm — 5:45pm [Seating from 3:45pm]
• • Where: Hudson Branch Library, 66 Leroy St., New York, NY 10014; NOT accessible to wheelchairs 
• • Who + What: "Diamond Lil" by Mae West as a Reader's Theatre Experience with words and period songs and live music — a unique, unforgettable presentation
• • 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 — enhanced with period songs and 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 with rare vintage images you have never seen before. 
• • What else: The ever-popular Mae West Raffle. 
• • August 12th Admission and Raffle Tickets: FREE. 
• • RSVP:  Email  MaeWestDiamondLil (at) gmail  (dot) com
• • 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)
• • The library has a spacious auditorium so tell your fun-loving friends about this!
• • All of the sex and none of the censorship . . . • • 
• • The novel "Diamond Lil" closely follows the 3-hour production Mae performed onstage from 1928 — 1951, and it is much more exciting than the family-friendly screen version. Playwright LindaAnn Loschiavo massaged Mae's 1928 Bowery melodrama in three acts into a pared-down 85-minute adaptation featuring all of the sex and none of the censorship. No intermission. 
• • There will be two stagings of "Diamond Lil" on Saturday, August 17th and on Sunday, August 18th in Manhattan, both in midtown. Tickets will go fast. Don't miss out.
• • Find out more details (both addresses, performance times, ticket prices, cast) here: 
• • Updates:
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I've always liked athletes because they don't smoke, don't drink, and understand the importance of keeping their bodies in top working order — — and a hard man is good to find."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The N.Y. Times wrote about Mae West.
• • Irvin Molotsky wrote: Mae West, who died in 1980, considered herself a serious writer, a viewed shared by Peter Sellars [born 27 September 1957], head of the American National Theater at the Kennedy Center, and his colleagues. They have scheduled her play in a run to begin June 29 in a season that is also to include Shakespeare, a juxtaposition Miss West would have liked.
• • Irvin Molotsky wrote: The play "Come On Up" has ''a bubbly surface, but every once in a while a character says something that is very deep, very profound, very sincere,'' said Davies King, Mr. Sellars's literary manager. ''This is not the stereotype of Mae West.''
• • Irvin Molotsky wrote: The Kennedy Center will evidently call the play ''Come on Over, or Embassy Row.'' That is not its only title.
• • Irvin Molotsky wrote: George Eells, who wrote a biography of Miss West with Stanley Musgrove, said the play was also known as ''Come On Up,'' ''Ring Twice'' and ''Come On Up, and Ring Twice.''  ...
• • Source: Article: "Mae West's 1940s Farce Due on Kennedy Stage" written by Irvin Molotsky for The N.Y. Times; published on Wednesday, 30 January 1985
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2706th 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.

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