Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mae West: Join Us Saturday

The play "Courting MAE WEST" had its first read through this evening in preparation for a staged reading and a discussion on Saturday, 23 November 2013.
• • Darlene Violette plays the title role of Mae West, whom we meet in December 1926.
• • Melvin Lima is Mario "Shortie" DeAngelis, the young reporter who's courting Mae.
• • Joanna Bonaro is Beverly West, Mae's sister and verbal sparring partner.
• • Sidney Myer plays stage director Edward Elsner, a souse who's arrested with Beverly.
• • Jim Gallagher plays Jim Timony, her lawyer-manager; Declan Rourke, newsstand owner (and other roles). 
• • Kimmy Foskette plays Eliza Rourke, daughter of Declan and Peg Rourke, a maid at the boarding house where news man Mario "Shortie" DeAngelis is living.
• • Dena Tyler plays socialite Sara Starr, modeled on Starr Faithfull.
• • Jane Aquilina plays the role of Matilda West as well as roles that showcase the real-life lawyers, the judge, the jury foreman along with fictional characters.
• • Jeffrey Johns plays many off-stage voices and bit parts, bringing to life real and fictional characters.

• • "Courting Mae West" will be followed with a discussion on "Mae West, Prison, and Politics" led by dramatist LindaAnn Loschiavo.
• • The Jefferson Market Library has ample seating and all are welcome. Free event.
• • On Saturday, 19 November 1927 • •
• • When Mae's play "The Wicked Age" opened, The New York Times reacted with alarm: "The whole was in the best Mae West school of playwriting . . . ."   Yes, you're right; this was never meant to be a compliment.
• • The curtain clanged down on "The Wicked Age" on Saturday, 19 November 1927.
• • On Thursday, 19 November 1936 in The N.Y. Times • •
• • During the 1930s, publications were still spelling the star's first name as either "May" or "Mae," sometimes using both spellings in the same article.
• • J.T.M. penned the movie review of "Go West Young Man," which was printed in the Times on Thursday, 19 November 1936. His title read "May West at the Paramount in Go West, Young Man" [sic].
• • J.T.M. wrote: "The suasively undulating Mae West (sic) is back on the Paramount screen with a new and engagingly robustious . . . ."  Robustious, yes. Exactly.
• • On Tuesday, 19 November 1996 • •
• • A CD by Mae West "I'm No Angel" was released on the British label Jasmine on Tuesday, 19 November 1996.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • And, while discussing the Teuton situation, the fair Marlene's name was also mentioned as one of the wanted expatriates, but there is little likelihood of die Dietrich ditching the U.S.A. Not unless Mae West gets her goat.
• • Of course, that was mostly publicity — that feud between Mae and Marlene — and pretty good press agent hooey at that. The famous old Negri-Swanson feud was raked up and warmed over for the benefit of the present generation and the public was almost convinced that Mae was ready to take aim at Marlene, or vice versa, at the very first time they got within a mile of each other. But at this writing there have been no fatalities.
Kimmy Foskett plays the doomed unwed run-away Sally Glynn
• • See "Diamond Lil" This Month! • • 
"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 24th — — the last show
• • Phone after 4pm to reserve a seat: 212-757-0788; RSVP online: www.donttellmamanyc.com
• • 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: http://www.lideamagazine.com/usa-still-entertaining-mae-wests-diamond-lil-makes-new-fans-in-new-york-city/
• • 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 week • •
• • Mae West's most successful play "Diamond Lil" will be performed here on Friday, 22 November 2013 in the evening.
• • And 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: "The truth is, no kidding, that my mother never approved of a single boy friend I had."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • News-Times mentioned Mae West.
• • Danbury News-Times wrote: Mae West — — not only a great voice, but an influential voice.
• • Source: "Best Voices in Hollywood" for Danbury News-Times; published on Tuesday, 12 November 2013
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2791st 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West Diamond Lil returned for Mae's birthday

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
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