Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mae West: Gyles Smiles

MAE WEST is in the fifth edition of the "Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations" (edited by Gyles Brandreth). 
• • Writing for Reuters, Rob Wile comments: And here are Gyles Brandreth's personal of the top 5 quips of all time, which he introduces thusly:   My personal top ten selection reflects the range of contributors to the Dictionary — — and what’s making me smile today. The joy of a dictionary like this is that, with over 5000 quotations, I can have ten different favourites every week and not run out of them for ten years.
• • Gyles Brandreth included Mae West in his "top 5" and this is his Westian selection:  “Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.” — — Mae West [1893 — 1980].
• • The Brooklyn bombshell is in good company, too, since the top 5 wits included Jane Austen, Winston Churchill, and Oscar Wilde from the U.K. Comedian Groucho Marx rounds out the group.
• • Source: Article: "The Wittiest People of All Time" by Rob Wile for Reuters; rpt in Business Insider; published on Wednesday, 16 October 2013
• • On Saturday, 17 October 1931 • •
• • Since Mae West's drama "The Constant Sinner" was set in and around West 125th Street, the Pittsburgh Courier (a black weekly newspaper) was keeping tabs on this production. Reporter Floyd G. Snelson, Jr. signaled his appreciation. On Saturday, 17 October 1931, Snelson told his readers: "Mae West Employs 30 Race Artists In Her Latest Production." Praising Mae's plans to bring a bi-racial cast with her to D.C., he pronounced the project "the cleverest piece of artistry to be expected from a woman of the Caucasian race."
• • On Tuesday, 17 October 1933 in Variety • •
• • A review of the latest Mae West motion picture was published by Variety in their issue dated for Tuesday, 17 October 1933. Movie critic Land wrote: "I'm No Angel" is going to help redistribute a nice chunk of the nation's coin. That the Mae West film is going to make tubs of coin was crystal-clear opening day at the Paramount. Ushers were riding herd on a permanent corral of waitees in the lobby. As to quality, "I'm No Angel" can stand alone, although without "She Done Him Wrong" as a benediction and a million bucks worth of assorted publicity, high-brow and hoi pollil, the gross probably wouldn't reach the big brackets now looming. ...
• • In the same issue, Variety ran an item on page 8: "'Angel' B'klyn's Big Noise, Rousing $50,000."  Mae's hometown's ticket-buyers turned out for Tira.
• • On Thursday, 17 October 1968 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • Mae West had plans for a cinema version of the stage play "Sextet" back in 1968.
• • Writing for The New York Times, Motion Picture Editor A.H. Weiler announced on Thursday, 17 October 1968: Mae West, who has not appeared in movies for a quarter of a century, will return to the screen early next year in a film version of her play — — "Sextet" — — in which she starred in Florida in 1961.
• • On Friday, 17 October 2008 in NYC • •
• • A Staged Reading of "Courting Mae West" was held on Friday, 17 October 2008 starting at 5:45 PM on West 43rd Street and Broadway.  Yvonne Sayers was quite wonderful in the title role.  Were you there?
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:  "People have come right up to me and said I couldn't play bad women without being bad myself or knowing and liking that kind of women. I'm going to be honest with you now! In all my life I've never met a really bad woman — — and the reason I can make them so glamorous on the stage is because they're not real."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article datelined Hollywood mentioned Mae West.
• • Associated Press reported this frightening headline on Saturday, 17 October 1936 — — "Mae West Escapes Apartment Hold-Up; Other Residents, Victims in Hollywood, Are Glad She and Her Bodyguard Were Away."
• • HOLLYWOOD, Oct. 17,  1936 (AP) — — Mae West missed being robbed by minutes, and eight residents of her apartment house who were victimized were thankful. ...
• • Source: AP; published on Saturday, 17 October 1936
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2766th 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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