Friday, September 27, 2013

Mae West: Toni Basil

MAE WEST received top billing in "Myra Breckinridge" [1970] and Toni Basil was part of the uncredited cast and seen as a cigarette girl.
• • Born in September — Toni Basil • •
• • Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, sweet little Antonia Christina Basilotta came into the world on Wednesday, 22 September 1943.
• • Eager to pursue show business, Toni Basil studied dance. On TV music shows such as "Hullabaloo," she worked as a dancer and an assistant choreographer. Her resume gained stature and she choreographed the popular motion picture "American Graffiti."
• • From 1964 — 1993, she was seen in about two dozen minor roles on TV and in films. Then in 1981, she launched her music career with her first album which included a fun song called "Mickey." This scored a huge # 1 single for the 38-year-old singer.
• • Toni Basil celebrated her 70th birthday this week.
• • On Thursday, 27 September 1934 in Boston Herald • •
• • A review of "Belle of the Nineties" appeared in the Boston Herald on this date.
• • On Friday, 27 September 1935 • •
• • According to "The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville," one greedy variety artist tried to stage his comeback based on a bigamy scandal.  Anthony Slide wrote:  Billed as “Mister Mae West,” Frank Wallace opened in burlesque at the Eltinge Theatre on Friday, 27 September 1935, in an act with Trixie LeMae that he claimed he had performed with his first wife Mae West.
• • On Wednesday, 27 September 1961 in Variety • •
• • Mae West starred in the stage comedy "Come On Up" during the summer of 1961. She had observed something done by the Shuberts — — the placement of a publicity ad in the trade papers after a show closed. This is what she did when "Come On Up" closed, too, and her advertisement in Variety (in their issue dated for 27 September 1961) recapped positive comments from the reviews.
PHOTO: 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 figured I owed just one kiss to reformers as a class. So Charlie Winninger gets it.  He's old enough not to take it too seriously."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Daily Mail in London mentioned Mae West.
• • Roger Lewis wrote:  Mae West did her best to get around the bans with innuendo: ‘Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I’m tired.’  ...
• • Source: The Daily Mail [U.K.]; published on Wednesday, 26 September 2013
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2751st 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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