Friday, November 01, 2013

Mae West: Before What?

An article discussing MAE WEST dispelled some misconceptions about her audience.
• • Aileen St. John Brenon wrote: Popular as Mae West has always been with men — both on and off the stage — Miss West's audiences, strange as it may seem, have been composed for a large part of staid, kindly, middle-aged ladies. You know the sort — solid, shrewd homebodies who have devoted their lives to making their menfolks comfortable throughout the years, humoring their foibles and idiosyncrasies, closing their eyes to their faults and shortcomings. These wise ladies, who have more worldly wisdom in their little fingers than their restrained exteriors admit, thoroughly appreciate and enjoy the jokes and sallies of la West, at the expense of the genus homo.
• • Aileen St. John Brenon stated: Mae West explains that the reason people enjoy her rowdy fun is that she makes sex something to laugh about and enjoy, not to cry or wail about, whereas your lachrymose heroine suffers at the expense of, rather than outwits her man. ...
• • Source: Article: "The Real Mae West" written by Aileen St. John Brenon for New Movie Magazine; issue dated August 1934.
• • On Tuesday, 1 November 1932 in Variety • •
• • Critiquing the debut of the motion picture "Night After Night," Variety (for once) was full of praise for Mae West, who overshadowed her younger and trimmer castmates.
• • On Friday, 1 November 1946 • •
• • "Sigma Chi Makes 'THE' Mae West New Sweetheart" was the headline on page one of the Cornell Daily Sun [Volume 64, Issue 16, Friday, 1 November 1946]. And here is what the college boys arranged, according to a local news outlet near the university campus.
• • "Before what?" • •
• • Mae West last night was formally made the latest "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi" in a ceremony held at that fraternity following her one night stand at the Strand Theater. Flustered by the honor, Mae West answered a Cornell Daily Sun reporter's query as to whether she had ever been in a fraternity house before with this reply: "before what?"
• • "Diamond Lil" had one performance at the Strand Theater (located then at 310-12 E. State Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 in Tompkins County, New York).
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • When the Motion Picture Theater Owners of America held their convention in our fair city, Mae West talked to them over a phone from her sick bed, rather than disappoint the gentlemen.
PHOTO by 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:
• • 7:00pm 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
• • 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 this month • •
• • Mae West's legal woes inspired the stage play "Courting Mae West." See it on Saturday, 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: "You see the speakeasy influence. Sit at a table, dearie, I always say. And don't forget your frills and ruffles and anything else that feminizes you."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The New Movie Magazine mentioned Mae West.
• • The New Movie Magazine wrote: "I Met My Waterloo" from the Mae West picture "It Ain't No Sin" is on the other side. This is also by Duke Ellington and his orchestra. It is a very slow tune, and contains a lot of muted brass work. Good all around. (This is a Victor record.)  ...
• • Source: "Music in the Movies" printed in The New Movie Magazine; published in September 1934
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2778th 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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