Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mae West: Meet Q-R

MAE WEST was very clever about self-promotion.
• • For instance in 1926, when she decided to call her play "Sex," she had the production advertised with her photo in The N.Y. Times, etc. But whenever she was interviewed, she'd make up a saucy fib and say the newspapers were afraid to print the title. [Untrue.]
• • Mae claimed that she also dispatched messengers all over Manhattan with stickers featuring the play's frisky 3-letter title. She told a reporter, "If you stopped for a minute when one walked by, why you got a sticker stuck clean across your back, with 'Sex' printed on it."
• • In addition, Mae commissioned a generous postcard run for her NYC plays. The rear of each card instructed the ticket-buyer to write a message, address the card, then hand it to an usher, who would mail it for free.
• • When Mae had a hit with "Diamond Lil," more than once she hired a flat-bed truck and took musicians and the cast (fully costumed) to the piers.  As the passenger ships were coming in, people onboard would see a portion of the play. 
• • Dawn of the Q-R Code • •
• • Today theatre people publicize a play via social media, email, traditional postal mailings, creating a trailer for YouTube, publicity pranks, and by generating a Q-R code that can be scanned by cellphones.
• • Let us know what you think of the Q-R code for "Diamond Lil."
• • On Monday, 10 October 1932 • •
• • On Monday, 10 October 1932 readers of The L.A. Times noticed this peculiar headline and sub-head: "Gem Missing — — Monkey Has It!  Mae West's Pet Chews on Diamond."
• • "What's that monkey eating?" the security guard asks in the article.
• • "Whee, he's got the diamond," screams Mae West.  "But don't get excited.  If he swallows it, I'll buy it."
• • Unsaid by The L.A. Times, and still unknown to the general public, was Mae's curious habit of meeting merchants in automobiles whether the vendor was a saleslady from Bullock's, who climbed into the backseat with an armful of garments, or anxious diamond dealer Isaac Licht, who turned up with bodyguards.
• • Actors who worked with Mae knew the truth: Mae was extremely nearsighted and refused to be seen in public wearing eyeglasses.  Self-conscious about her vision problems, Mae felt that at least in her own backseat, she could control the distance.
• • On Tuesday, 10 October 1933 in Variety • •
• • Many articles appeared in the trade magazine Variety testifying to the run-away success "I'm No Angel" had become, thanks to Mae West.  "'Angel' Forces Open a Second House for Day-and-Date Run" was printed in Variety on Tuesday, 10 October 1933.
• • On Wednesday, 10 October 1934 • •
• • William Troy reviewed "Belle of the Nineties" for The Nation, who ran it in their issue dated for Wednesday, 10 October 1934.
• • On Friday, 10 October 1969 • •
• • The lengthy article "Mae West Draws Support From Young as Well as Old" was written by Rick Du Brow and syndicated to many newspapers including the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern on Friday, 10 October 1969.
• • Recalling an earlier conversation with the movie queen, Rick Du Brow wrote:  At that interview by the way I inquired if she could cook and she replied, "Honey, nobody ever asked me."  The lady is news plain and simple whatever she does. ...
"Diamond Lil" portrait by Dan Lane Williams
• • 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. 
• • 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: "Suggestion is always more intriguing than reality. You must be stimulating to a man’s imagination."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article in Singapore in 1964 discussed Mae West.
• • UPI wrote: Hollywood, Friday — Actress Mae West, 72, who was discharged from Cedars of Lebanon Hospital last Wednesday after treatment for exhaustion, is back in hospital. A hospital spokesman said she returned yesterday for observation of the same illness. Her condition was listed as good. ...
• • Source: Article: "Mae West Back in Hospital" written by UPI for The Straits Times; published on Saturday, 10 October 1964
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2760th 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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