Monday, September 02, 2013

Mae West: Francesca Rotoli

During December 1946, MAE WEST was busy touring with her show "Come On Up." On Christmas Day there was a performance at the Davidson Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  After a few days, they moved to St. Louis, Missouri for a performance at the American Theatre on 29 December 1946.  Actress Francesca Rotoli played the role of Annette.
• • Francesca Rotoli [2 September 1893 — 23 March 1978] • •
• • Born in Boston, Massachusetts — — in early September on Saturday, 2 September 1893 — — was a little girl named Francesca Rotoli.
• • Her interest in performing led to a role as Kate Vernon in the silent movie "In Mizzoura" [1914] when she was 21 years old.
• • By 1916, the 23-year-old was in a short-lived Broadway play "Moonlight Mary"; she appeared in several productions on The Great White Way: "April" [1918]; in a farce with music called "Why Worry?" [1918]; and in a melodrama "The Mask of Hamlet" [1921].    
• • Francesca Rotoli returned to the silver screen for four additional films between 1934 — 1937. Though she had a featured role in "Romance in the Rain" [1934], rubbing shoulders with Victor Moore and Roger Pryor (two of Mae West's leading men), Francesca only snagged tiny bit parts (as a nun or a nurse) in productions from 1936—1937.  But things definitely picked up when she toured with Mae West from 1946—1947.
• • Francesca Rotoli died in San Francisco, California on 23 March 1978.  She was 84 years old.
• • On Saturday, 2 September 1950 • •
• • It was on Saturday, 2 September 1950 when Mae West returned to New York City.  The originator of the quirky 1890s characters drinking and scheming at Gus Jordan's Bowery saloon had arrived via the modern train called "The 20th Century" at Grand Central Station.  
• • Mae would soon be starting her rehearsals of "Diamond Lil" with a new cast.
• • 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:   "Sex is an emotion in motion."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The N.Y. Times discussed "Diamond Lil" and Mae West.
• • "Mae West Back in Town as 'Diamond Lil'" • •
• • Gallantly supported by four or five handsome, muscular leading men, Mae West has brought "Diamond Lil" back to New York, where it began its renowned career twenty-one years ago. She wriggled through it at the Coronet on Saturday evening, attired in some of the gaudiest finery of the century — — the femme fatale of the Bowery, bowling her leading men over one by one with her classical impersonation of a story-book strumpet.
• • When Miss West restored her study of society to America last November, a bus-load of the Broadway nightwatch rolled out to Montclair, NJ to pay their respects to her artistry. It must be confessed that "Diamond Lil" is a tough play to see twice in one season. Any fairly observant theatre-goer can penetrate its subtleties with a single visit. It does not take long to understand what Miss West has in mind.
• • Mae West's saloon singer is an incredible creation . . . • •
• • But she is a fabulous performer and her saloon singer is an incredible creation — — a triumph of nostalgic vulgarity. She is always in motion. The snaky walk, the torso wriggle, the stealthy eyes, the frozen smile, the flat, condescending voice, the queenly gestures — — these are studies in slow motion, and they have to be seen to be believed. Lazy, confident of her charms, Diamond Lil does not move fast, but she never stands still; and Miss West paces her performance accordingly.
• • Even in the clinches, she is monumentally disinterested . . .  • •
• • There is an attitude of sublime fatalism about the whole business. Miss West extends her hand to be kissed with royal assurance. Even in the clinches, she is monumentally disinterested, and she concludes her love scenes with a devastating wise-crack before they are started. Although Miss West is the goddess of sex, it might reasonably be argued that she scrupulously keeps sex out of her acting by invariably withdrawing from anything but the briefest encounters. "Diamond Lil" is a play about the world of sex, but there is very little sex in it. 
• • Like an old dime novel, it is full of crime, drink and iniquity.  .....
• • Source:  Article: The N.Y. Times; published on Monday, 7 February 1949
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2732nd 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

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