Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mae West: Getting Personal

MAE WEST found an early admirer in fan magazine columnist Herb Howe. Once "Night  After Night" was released in the month of October 1932, George Raft's chips were down and Mae West had everyone taking her number.
• • A fan magazine article printed in January 1933 printed this frank assessment: George Raft, signed by Paramount Pictures after his outstanding performance in "Scarface," stands in danger of being rushed into a stardom for which he is not ready. Raft, by his own admission, is not a great actor, unless the role happens to fit. In his first important picture, "Night After Night," those two old troupers, Alison Skipworth and Mae West ran off with practically all of the honors. A cobra-like person, he would do much better in supporting roles.
• • The following month, Tinseltown prophet Herb Howe wrote: Before presenting the big pasha, let's pick the boys and girls outside the starry circle who are most likely to enter it the ensuing year:
• • I knew Mae would be adding diamonds to "Diamond Lil" • •
• • Herb Howe continued: The moment Mae West strutted into "Night After Night" I knew she would have the picture in her bag, and by the time it was over I knew she'd be adding diamonds to "Diamond Lil" — — or "Diamond Lady," I believe she's to be called in her Hollywood version.
• • Herb Howe added: Mae is something more than an actress she's a — — no, I don't mean a Lil or a Lady — — she's a show-woman. I'm willing to bet she built up her entrance and touched up her own lines. Mae was a martyr to her art in New York; her reward is in Hollywood. Mae is — — oh, pshaw! might as well admit it — — Mae is my Dream Girl.
• • Source: Herb Howe's "Hall of Fame" column in The New Movie Magazine; issue dated for February 1933.
• • On Monday, 16 October 1933 in Time • •
• • Time Magazine's review of "I'm No Angel" ran in the issue dated for Monday, 16 October 1933.
• • On Monday, 16 October 1939 • •
• • When they were collaborating on a screenplay, both Mae West and W. C. Fields signed a Universal Films contract. The document is dated Monday, 16 October 1939.
• • On Friday, 16 October 1959 • •
• • The sympathetic headline in The Hollywood Reporter was "Mae West Too 'Person'-al; CBS Junks Interview Tape" and it was printed on Friday, 16 October 1959.
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.

• • Mrs. Jean McLoughlin of NYC said:   I recently saw "Diamond Lil" and loved every minute. The entire cast was top-notch, and I was impressed with their creative use of the entire space. The characters really came to life and I was transported back to the raunchy days of Mae West. Darlene Violette gave a great performance as Diamond Lil  — — but Joanna Bonaro really shone as the sultry, venomous Rita. Joanna commands attention and I was more than willing to give it. Fantastic show, I highly recommend that everyone see it! Even my husband, who does not like theater, really enjoyed it.
• • At Jefferson Market Library in NYC next month • • 
• • Mae West's legal woes inspired the stage play "Courting Mae West." See it on 23 November 2013 in the very same room where Mae faced off with Judge George Donnellan and 12 jurors. 
• • Darlene Violette stars as Mae West and the rest of the cast will soon be announced. 
• • The play, based on true events, is set during the Prohibition Era when Mae's plays were padlocked and she was sent to jail. Talk about a woman who climbed the ladder of success wrong by wrong.. 
• • This free event is open to the public and there is ample seating. [Note: The humor and adult themes are not suitable for children under 13.]
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "It's what they see in my eyes that counts."
• • Mae West said: "Love isn't an emotion or an instinct — — it's an art."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in Buffalo News mentioned Mae West.
• • Jeff Simon wrote: In direct anticipation of Miley Cyrus was Mae West, who was never “sexy” in any recognizable way but rather was an actress/singer/writer whose chief joke was sex. Rather than treat sex with the usual American mixture of piety, guilt, embarrassment and exploitation, she turned it into a vaudeville pig bladder to be thumped on top of society’s thick skull for laughs. The proper way to watch her leering double entendres was to be laughing your way into good mental health.
• • Jeff Simon wrote: She knew she was no sex symbol in any way. No one could ever confuse her with a young Joan Crawford or Jean Harlow.  In the same way, I fully believe Miley Cyrus knows exactly how awkward a dancer she is.  ...
• • Source: Article: "Miley Cyrus reminds me" by Jeff Simon for Buffalo News; published on Tuesday, 15 October 2013 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2765th 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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