Friday, October 25, 2013

Mae West: Private Letters

MAE WEST fans wrote to the star herself and also to fan magazines about their idol.
• • Some of these marvelous missives have survived. We'd like to share this eager note from an Angeleno fan:  Here's Hoping: Just read that Lubitsch may direct Mae West in a talkie version of "The Czarina." How I hope that this proves to be more than mere rumor! Mae would be simply grand in the part — she even looks a lot like the frisky empress. And with Lubitsch to put her through her paces — ! What a show! — D. H. Chapman, 1532 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California.
• • Source: Letter printed in The New Movie Magazine; published in July 1933.  
• • Ernst Lubitsch [29 January 1892 — 30 November 1947] was informed by Mae West that "William Shakespeare had his style — — and I have mine."
• • Saturday, 25 October 1930 • •
• • In their issue dated for Saturday, 25 October 1930, Publishers Weekly announced the clever contest Mae West's publisher Macauley came up with to draw more attention to her novel titled "Babe Gordon." 
• • Asking a reader to rename it, Macauley offered a prize of $100. The winning title was "The Constant Sinner."
• • On Tuesday, 25 October 1932 • •.
• • Variety reviewed "Night After Night," the motion picture debut of Mae West.  A display advertisement for the film was printed in Variety's issue dated for Tuesday, 25 October 1932.
• • On Wednesday, 25 October 1933 • •
• • Under the headline "Chicago Likes Her" was a smiling portrait of Mae West by George Hurrell. The caption explained that "I'm No Angel" was in movie-houses in The Windy City during that week.  The Chicago Herald and Examiner ran the coverage on Wednesday, 25 October 1933.  Stunning photo.
"Diamond Lil" portrait: DLW Photography NYC
• • 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: "Probably the sort of thing that I present on the screen is just what the folks need these days."
• • Mae West said: "Diamonds are a part of my publicity campaign — a necessary expense."
• • Mae West said: "We haven't had any perfectly Natural Figures since the war took beer away."  
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The New Movie Magazine mentioned Mae West.
• • Herb Howe wrote: Mae West is Hollywood's little heroine. Mae is the gal what lifted the mortgage. Mae not only drove the wolves from theater doors — — she took their pelts. "She Done Him Wrong" made a million in first-run theaters alone. Mae's our American Cavalcade, matching Brooklyn accent against the British and winning Hollywood back to the U. S. A. Hooray! Hooray! and Buy American ! Mae's goin' to change the grammar of a nation 'fore she's through. . . .   To say nuthin' of its shape....
• • Source:  The New Movie Magazine; published in August 1933 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2772nd 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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