Friday, October 04, 2013

Mae West: Not Pleasured

The headline in Ithaca, NY on October 4th read: "Police Stop Matinee of MAE WEST's New Play."
• • New York, NY — AP — A matinee performance of Mae West's play "Pleasure Man" was halted during the first scene of the third act this afternoon by Police Lieutenant James Coy who walked on the stage and told the audience that he was placing the cast under arrest. Miss West and her actors had also been arrested after Monday night's opening of the play, charged with staging an indecent performance.  ...
• • Source: The Cornell Daily Sun, Volume XLIX, Number 10; published on Thursday, 4 October 1928.
• • On Friday, 4 October 1918 • •
• • .It was ninety-five years ago this October — — when 25-year-old Mae West was cast in a show produced by Arthur Hammerstein: "Sometime." Her character was Mayme Dean.  Mae received top billing in the musical's review by The New York Times (published on Saturday, 5 October 1918).
• • This musical, which opened at the Shubert Theatre [225 West 44th Street, NYC] on 4 October 1918, closed in June 1919, after running for 283 performances.
• • On Friday, 4 October 1935 • •
• • The iconic Raffles Hotel presented the entertainers Lorrison and Cody on Friday night,  4 October 1935.  This comedy pair specialized in "song, dance, and Mae West parodies." The display ad was printed in The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (on page 1) on Friday, 4 October 1935.
• • On Saturday, 4 October 1947 • •
• • British correspondent Cecil Wilson wrote: Mae West, in London to play "Diamond Lil," was "on show" at the Savoy Hotel for newspapermen.  And she put on the performance of her life to give them the Mae West they know on the screen.  ...
• • Source: "Shy Mae West!" written by Cecil Wilson for The Singapore Free Press (on page 2); published on Saturday, 4 October 1947.

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. 
• • 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: "No, I can't talk about salary. It's getting me down. Now, you take interviews.  I gotta be careful."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Indianapolis News discussed Mae West.
• • "'Pleasure Man' Goes On; Injunction Protects Mae West Show" • •
• • "Police Find It Tamed" • •
• • New York, NY — AP — Protected by a Supreme Court injunction returnable Friday, Mae West's police-raided play "Pleasure Man" continues to show on Broadway in defiance of police who arrested its cast of 60 after its premiere Monday. But police officials who saw its second New York performance last night said it had been considerably "tamed." They were prepared to arrest any one who stepped over the bounds of decency but no arrests were made. The injunction restraining police was obtained by Nathan Burkan, counsel for Miss West, author of the play, from Supreme Court Justice Amos (sp?) A. Valente an hour before the evening performance.
• • Members of the cast received letters from the Actors' Equity Association advising them not to appear except with the permission  ...
• • Source: The Indianapolis News (on page 11); published on Wednesday, 3 October 1928 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2756th 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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