Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mae West: Joel McCrea

In "Sullivan's Travels" [1941], when the romantic leads are trying to pass as hobos, Joel McCrea says to Veronica Lake: "You look about as much like a boy as MAE WEST."
• • Joel McCrea never co-starred with the Brooklyn bombshell but that did not deter a Mexican artist. Miguel Covarrubias posed Joel quite provocatively near Mae's leg in an illustration for Vanity Fair featuring stars enjoying the Malibu beach.
• • Joel Albert McCrea [5 November 1905 — 20 October 1990] • •
• • Born in South Pasadena, California on Sunday, 5 November 1905, Joel McCrea was  raised near Hollywood and became interested in the movie business in his youth. He studied the dramatic arts at Pomona College and acquired theatre training at the Pasadena Community Playhouse.
• • His career spanned 50 years. The six-foot-three actor made appearances in light comedies and other genres. But by the late 1940s, he was associated with Westerns — — not unlike Mae's co-star Randolph Scott, whose career strongly resembles his and with whom he made a cowboy film in 1962.
• • Before he retired, McCrea made over 90 films. He died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles on 20 October 1990.  He was 84.
• • On Monday, 14 November 1932 • •
• • Deliberately courting the disdain and despisal of Joe Breen, William LeBaron and Emanuel Cohen were daring enough to try to rush a script into production by Monday, 14 November 1932.  "Ruby Red" was written by Mae West (assisted by John Bright). The Hays Office suspected a mutiny, however.
• • On Saturday, 14 November 1936 • •
• • Trade paper Motion Picture Herald reviewed the Mae West movie "Go West Young Man" in their issue dated for Saturday, 14 November 1936. Among their unkind remarks was this punch: "Incidentally, the fight with obesity seems to be getting her down." Ouch.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Incidentally, Mae West has started a new style in formal attire that may be taken up by the entire film colony. And, then again, may not. Anyhow, the lady went to a formal dinner the other evening wearing black crepe de chine pajamas, a white polo coat trimmed with white fox, and a pink taffeta beret.
Cast of "Diamond Lil" posing after a performance
• • See "Diamond Lil" This Autumn! • • 
"Darlene Violette channels Mae West to perfection!" — Stu Hamstra
• • Actress Darlene Violette — — and the wonderful cast who have brought the Bowery denizens and Suicide Hall’s ne’er-do-wells to life since 17 August 2013 — — are concluding their triumphant run of “Diamond Lil” with two more evening performances at Don’t Tell Mama [343 W. 46th Street]:
• • 7:00pm on Sunday, November 17th

• • 7:00pm on Sunday, November 24th — — the last show
• • 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 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:  "Women have more power now.  Her time's her own, and she goes out and grabs a man for herself — not any man, but the one she wants. If she doesn't like him when she gets him, all she has to do is to go out and take another pick."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The New Movie Magazine mentioned Mae West and her favorite breed of roses.
• • Dorothy Manners wrote:  9:00 AM. A bridge table has been set up in the living room near the divan that looks out toward the Hollywood hills. The table is set with a half grapefruit, a low bowl of Cecile Brunner roses, two morning newspapers and several magazines just arrived through the mail. A colored man in a white jacket (no relation to Libby) is dividing his time between the breakfast table and a blond girl busy attaching a hair dryer to an electric plug. As Mae West enters, the White Jacket drops everything to make a bee line to the kitchen and the beauty parlor operator pauses to greet her famous customer. ...
• • Source: Article: "Mae West's Perfect Day" written by Dorothy Manners for The New Movie Magazine; issue dated for February 1934  
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2787th 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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