Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mae West: Stop and Frisk

What would MAE WEST have thought about stop-and-frisk? Perhaps she would have quipped, "Why stop — — if you're not planning to get frisky?"  We don't know for sure. But we admired the cheek of this press release.
Mae West as the Queen of the Bowery and convict Chick Clark (actor Owen Moore)
• • For Immediate Release • •
• • Police Commissioner Ray Kelly Is Invited to Stop-and-frisk Diamond Lil on West 46th Street
• • Denizens of the Bowery saloon Suicide Hall hereby demand equal mistreatment from Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD
• • NEW YORK, NY — — Written in 1928 by Mae West, the stage play “Diamond Lil” has been called many things including "critically acclaimed," "more sinful than Sodom," and "a drama of the underworld." The seedy underbelly of the old Sixth Ward is well represented here with a cast of actors portraying prostitutes, procurers, sex traffickers, jewel thieves, gigolos, hornswogglers, and con men.
• • But despite a City Council vote to increase police oversight, law officers have (so far) avoided stopping by this frisky show in the Times Square area to, you know, stop-and-frisk.  If this continues, we intend to send word to the New York State Department of Cultural Purity.
• • Souls both serious and sinister took note that three events in August — — that led to whoopee, winks, and ink in The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Brooklyn Courier, etc. — — lifted the petticoats of petulance from the psyches of an untold number of Manhattanites who have missed Mae West.
• • Packing pistols in her corsets and pulsing with roisterous charm, actress Darlene Violette is taking the role of the Queen of the Bowery to new levels of comedic combat that severely restricts boredom by unlawful methods.
• • And breaking with convention, the audiences interrupted each performance, cheering the cast often with applause so heavy that paint chips flaked off the ceiling.
• • Did you miss the merriment? Fear not. Those  torso-tossing scenes of sin and sensationalism return to the red curtained realm called “Suicide Hall” this Fall. Come up sometime and reserve a seat.  Then stop-and-frisk the bartenders.
• • You have six more chances to see "Diamond Lil" this autumn!
• • On Friday, 19 September 1919 • •
• • It was on Friday, 19 September 1919 that Mae West was booked on the vaudeville circuit, where the New York City critics caught her 16-minute act. Showing off her figure in a dramatic black and white gown and one stunner made of silver shimmer, the 26-year-old performer selected three songs: "Laughing Water," "Yankee Boys Have Made a Wild French Baby Out of Me," and "Everybody Shimmies Now." Harris Music Publishers boasted in a short news article that they had published those songs.
• • Though Variety looked askance at one of Mae's more daring dance numbers, complaining that the movements were "a bit broad for vaudeville," the reviewer had to admit something. "Mae West shows a marked improvement in method and delivery," he wrote.
• • On Wednesday, 19 September 1928 • •
• • Variety used their hammer on Mae West more often than a judge uses a gavel. Variety published a review (on page 46) in their issue dated for Wednesday, 19 September 1928. The title was  "Oh, My Dear, Here's Mae West's New Show — Get a Load of It and Weep."  Weep for Diamond Lil? Thanks a heap, Variety.
• • On Friday, 19 September 1947 • •
• • The article "Mae West Likes the Atlantic" ran on page 6 of The Singapore Free Press on Friday, 19 September 1947.
• • 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 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
• • 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.
• • 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: "Without men, who'd do up the zipper on the back of your dress?"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • NPR mentioned Mae West.
• • Ann Power wrote: Like most persistent American stories, those about the good girl in crisis also involve our anxieties about race. The mobility of women who blur moral lines often includes crossing that much-contested boundary. Jazz-fueled stories like James Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man and the recently hip-hop-ified Great Gatsby pivot on scenes of racial boundary crossing; in pop, female stars from Mae West to this summer's official tramp, Miley Cyrus, have taken up the vocal inflections and erotic movements of African-American women to show just how far they're willing to go.  ...
• • Source: Article: "Drake And Pop Music's Good Girl Problem" written by Ann Powers for NPR; published on Wednesday, 18 September 2013
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2745th 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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