Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mae West: Milton Drake

MAE WEST sung "Willie of the Valley" in "My Little Chickadee" [1940]. Though the songwriter was uncredited, he is being unmasked on his death date.
• • Milton Drake [3 August 1916 — 13 November 2006] • •
• • Born in New York City as Milton Druckman on 3 August 1916, Milton Drake was one of four children in a family that had emigrated from Romania (the Transylvania region).
• • During the 1930s, Milton lived in Hollywood and wrote songs for motion pictures. In 1940, he wrote "Willie of the Valley" with Ben Oakland [1907 — 1979] for the film "My Little Chickadee" and this had the distinction of being the only number in the movie and it was sung by Mae West herself.
• • Milton Drake passed away in Palm Beach, Florida on Monday, 13 November 2006. He was 90.
• • On Monday, 13 November 1933 • •
• • "I'm No Angel" starring Mae West and featuring Cary Grant was at the Strand Theatre in Ithaca, NY.  An article on this new release appeared in the section "The Screen." It was published in The Cornell Daily Sun, Volume 54, Number 43, on Monday, 13 November 1933.
• • On Friday, 13 November 1936 • •
• • "Mae West will go to Egypt to make a harem picture if she accepts the offer of a fez-wearing movie director from Cairo, who has been interviewing her for the past week," wrote a publicist from Paramount Pictures. It was sent out on Friday the 13th (13 November 1936).
• • On Thursday, 13 November 1975 • •
• • The book "Films of Mae West" written by Jon Tuska was published  by Citadel Press in the USA on Thursday, 13 November 1975. An excellent title to own.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • You must have wondered how they make the insides of submarines look so real, how Mae West knows how to dress the way they did in 1890, how they make sure the "No Smoking" signs in a French railway station read "Priere De Ne Pas Fumer."
• • The Research Department! It sees all, knows all, tells all.
• • 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: "I don't diet. I eat what I want. If I notice I'm gainin' a little I get hold of a trainer and exercise it off. My weight hasn't varied in three years. I just tipped the scale at 122 pounds!"
• • 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 2786th 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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