Monday, September 30, 2013

Mae West: Sam McDaniel

In September 1934, MAE WEST was promoting her fourth feature for Paramount Pictures: "Belle of the Nineties." This motion picture was released on September 21st. The black actor Sam McDaniel had a minor role as Jasmine's Admirer.
• • Samuel McDaniel [28 January 1886 — 24 September 1962] • •
• • Born in Wichita, Kansas on 28 January 1886 to former slaves was a sweet little boy who would be one of their 13 children. Samuel Rufus McDaniel was the older brother of the actresses Hattie McDaniel and Etta McDaniel.  Their mother died in 1920 and their father died in 1922.
• • After 30 years of performing in minstrel troupes and always being on the road, Sam went to Hollywood in 1929 and his kid sister Hattie McDaniel decided to tag along. She, of course, became famous and he was the one who was cast in the token roles of servant, butler, doorman, porter, handyman, drunk, usher, waiter, valet — — confined to the ghetto of uncredited parts and limited screen time.
• • From 1929 — 1960, Sam McDaniel appeared in about 220 motion pictures and TV shows. In 1934, he had the privilege of working in a Mae West film.
• • One year earlier, Hattie had played one of Mae West's jovial maids in "I'm No Angel" [1933]. 
• • In Sam's final film "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" [1960], McDaniel worked with John Carradine — — who would be cast, a decade later, as the surgeon in "Myra Breckinridge" [1970].
• • Samuel Rufus McDaniel died of throat cancer in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California on Monday, 24 September 1962.  He was 76.
• • On Saturday, 30 September 1911 • •
• • On Friday, 22 September 1911, 18-year-old Mae West was in the spotlight. On that date, "A La Broadway" had opened at the Folies-Bergere Theatre, New York, NY. This short-lived revue (produced in an expensive venue) closed on Saturday night, 30 September 1911.
• • Variety noted on September 30th: "Folies Bergere Experiment Reaching an End."
• • On Sunday, 30 September 1934 • •
• • Andre Sennwald wrote an article "Lines for a Mae West Scrapbook." It was published in The New York Times on Sunday, 30 September 1934.
• • On Saturday, 30 September 1944 • •
• • On Saturday, 30 September 1944 Mae West, who was playing the Empress of Russia, moved her show "Catherine Was Great" from the Shubert Theatre to the Royale, the playhouse that had originally welcomed Diamond Lil and her boisterous Bowery hijinx in 1928.
Photo by Wayne Takenaka
• • See "Diamond Lil" This Autumn! • • 
"Darlene Violette channels Mae West to perfection!" — Stu Hamstra
• • 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:
• • 7:30pm 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
• • Director: Co-directed by Dena Tyler, The Actors Studio, and Darlene Violette.
• • Come up and see for yourself. You might even win a swell Raffle Prize.
• • Watch a short clip: Diamond Lil meets Pablo, a gigolo
• • 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.
• • Audience Comments about "Diamond Lil" • •
• • Gigi Garcone said:  Just saw "Diamond Lil" — — a very entertaining production! This tribute to the sultry, irresistible diva Mae West is a must see! All the actors are very talented and you can see they put their hearts into their roles. I especially liked Darlene Violette as Mae West and Joanna Bonaro as Rita, a madam from Rio. Darlene encompassed the whole persona of Mae and Joanna was sublime as the madam — — she really has such a presence on stage. Very enjoyable performance and it's worth the trip!
• • Rick Baynes of Baltimore said: I second Gigi's comments. "Diamond Lil" brings the fabulous Mae West back to life. The wonderful Darlene Violette is spot-on in her portrayal of the lusty, bawdy Mae. Do yourself a favor and go see this lovely production.

• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I harmed no one."
• • Mae West said: "Women can make men do anything they wish them to do, if they're clever — — and they needn't be gold-diggers, either."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • American Thinker mentioned "sex kitten" Mae West. [Be still, my heart.]
• • Robert Oscar Lopez wrote: If there's one thing I know from my bizarre life experience, spending forty years immersed in gay culture, it's camp.  Before gay men became obsessed with surgically altering people's genitals and forcing middle schools to teach boys about ways to stimulate the prostate, gay men learned most of what they needed to know from Hollywood divas.  My lodestars were always the wholesome girls next door like Shirley Jones, Doris Day, and Audrey Hepburn.  Some gay men loved the tragic figures of Edith Piaf, Judy Garland, and Billie Holiday.  Still others venerated sex kittens like Mae West or castrating villainesses like Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.  ...
Source: Article: "Remember to Unplug the Refrigerator, Conservatives" by Robert Oscar Lopez  for American Thinker; posted on Saturday, 28 September 2013
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2752nd 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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