Thursday, November 07, 2013

Mae West: A Hamstra Hurrah

The venerable cabaret and entertainment critic Stu Hamstra came up to see a play by MAE WEST on Sunday, 3 November 2013.
• • Stu Hamstra wrote: I saw a fun cabaret play on Sunday night — — "Diamond Lil." The production is a recreation of one that was presented starring Mae West on Broadway in 1928 and written by Mae West. Actress Darlene Violette stars as the irresistible diamond-draped Queen of the Bowery and Sidney Myer plays the king to her queen! Next 3 Sunday nights at DON'T TELL MAMA (343 West 46th Street, NYC — 212-757-0788 — ) — showtimes vary.
• • Source: Cabaret Hotline Online #131101; published by Stu Hamstra on Tuesday, 5 November 2013.
• • On Wednesday, 7 November 1934 • •
• • On Wednesday, 7 November 1934 Vassar's "Polite Questionnaire" asked coeds on campus this question: "Who (sic) did your father dote on in 1932?  Mae West, Aimee Semple McPherson, or Margaret Sanger?"
• • Source: Vassar Miscellany News, Volume XIX, Number 11, on 7 November 1934.
• • On Sunday, 7 November 1954 • •
• • The NY correspondent wrote: The buxom platinum blonde with free-swinging hips and sultry come hither voice has returned to New York after a smash-hit run in the vastly opulent nightclubs and cabarets of Las Vegas and Reno.  Her current show in a New York theatre is not making as much money as she earned 20 years ago, when she was the highest paid woman in America and probably the world, but it is doing pretty well all  the same. ...
• • Source: Article: "At 62, Mae West Now Brings Women Flocking to Learn from the Girl With IT" for The Sun-Herald (Sydney, NSW); published on Sunday, 7 November 1954.
• • On Friday, 7 November 2003 in Los Angeles • •
• • Mae's apartment house The Ravenswood was designated a landmark in the month of November — — on Friday, 7 November 2003.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Nemo wrote: Did I mention that Mae West's whole family had moved into the same apartment house with the "St. Louis woman"? Anyhow, her sister Beverly, and husband, have one of the front suites and, while waiting for orders from headquarters, their chauffeur parks in front of the building and amuses himself by turning the auto radio on, full blast.
"Diamond Lil" cast: Jim Gallagher, Juan Sebastian Cortes, Joanna Bonaro, Anthony DiCarlo, Gary Napoli
• • 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:
• • 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: "If your man's dynamite to you, it's up to you to be his match."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The New Movie Magazine mentioned Mae West.
• • By all fictional traditions, stage, screen and print, the life of the light lady has always been simply terrible. Her wages of sin have been bitter and paid a hundred and ten cents on the dollar. The daughter of joy never has had a break. Miss West has turned tradition hindside before and has given her a break.
• • Her "fallen woman" has let men fall while she has triumphed. To an audience, the novelty of the situation has been delightful. The pursued rabbit has turned around and bitten a mouthful out of the dog.  ...
• • Source: Column: "New Pictures" for The New Movie Magazine; published in January 1934 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2782nd 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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