Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Mae West: Introduces Sex

"MAE WEST Introduces Sex" is a fascinating essay written by Yvonne Shafer.
• • It's interesting to note that the fresh material Mae scripted for herself during her Broadway years was either a drama or a melodrama.  Using the comments written by several critics who watched these live performances, Yvonne Shafer describes the effect they had on viewers.
• • Yvonne Shafer wrote: "Mae West's first play was performed in 1926 under the simple title of 'Sex'."  And despite the wet blanket wielded by New York's perspiring-under-the-collar male columnists, Shafer notes: "When 'Sex' opened nobody would have predicted that in two years critic Percy Hammond [1873 — 25 April 1936] would write that she was more popular with her fans than Lynn Fontanne or Eva Le Gallienne." 
• • In another post, we'll revisit this essay and Shafer's remarks about "Diamond Lil," "The Constant Sinner," etc.
• • Source: Essay: "Mae West Introduces Sex" by Yvonne Shafer printed in the book "The Changing American Theatre: Mainstream and Marginal, Past and Present" [Universitat de València, 28 November 2011].
• • On Sunday, 2 October 1938 • •
• • Critic Rex Reed, who co-starred with Mae West in "Myra Breckinridge," was born on Sunday, 2 October 1938 in Fort Worth, Texas.  We wish him a Happy Birthday.
• • On Monday, 2 October 1922 • •
• • Citing the Billboard Index, author Jon Tuska said Mae appeared in "Playmates" on the Mutual Circuit [week of 2 October 1922].  "Playmates" was a burlesque show.
• • On Tuesday, 2 October 1928 • •
• • Producer Carl Reed and lawyer James Timony secured an injunction. "The Pleasure Man" was able to give a second performance on Tuesday, 2 October 1928, then the police padlocked the show for good. Pshaw!
• • Outraged that a woman would write a play about homosexuals in love, the Evening Post ran this headline "They Don't Come Any Dirtier" on Tuesday, 2 October 1928.
• • Headlines about Mae West's troubles ran in The N.Y. Times on Tuesday, 2 October 1928 on the front page.
• • "Mae West Defies Cops" read the cover of the Evening Graphic on 2 October 1928.
• • The legal battles fought by Mae West and Jim Timony are dramatized in the play "Courting Mae West: Sex, Censorship, and Secrets," set during the Prohibition Era. Watch a scene on YouTube.
• • On Monday, 2 October 1944 • •
• • "Catherine Was Great" was written by Mae West.  Her play premiered at the Shubert Theatre on 2 August 1944 and ran until 30 September 1944. On Monday, 2 October 1944, the show transferred to Mae's lucky spot, the Royale Theatre, where it remained until after the Christmas holidays [closed 13 January 1945].
Joanna Bonaro as RITA, Sidney Myer as GUS; 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.

• • 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.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Sometimes I grow weary of fighting to keep faith with the public."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Broadway World announced a show in Argentina about Mae West.
• • Teatro San Martin Presents "Mae West, Sex Symbol."
• • El Complejo Teatral de Buenos Aires y la Fundación Cinemateca Argentina han organizado un ciclo denominado Mae West, sex symbol, que se llevará a cabo del miércoles 23 al domingo 27 de noviembre, en la Sala Leopoldo Lugones del Teatro San Martín ...
• • Source: Press Release: posted on 16 November 2011
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2754th 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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