Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mae West: Sexually Exuberant Part

MAE WEST and her writings were front and center on New York City's cultural radar screen from August 12th — November 24th.
• • Drama critic Mark Dundas Wood came up to see Mae West's "Diamond Lil" and here are a few of his comments.
Juan Sebastian Cortes as Pablo Juarez
• • On BistroAwards.com, Mark Dundas Wood wrote: Part of the show's vitality can be attributed to its star, Darlene Violette, who also co-directed (with Dena Tyler). Violette lovingly impersonates West in the role, although she more closely resembles one or another of the Gabor sisters in their radiant prime. Violette gets the sexually exuberant part of Lil right, but she also brings out an oddly affecting cerebral dimension of the character. "What makes people good?" Lil wonders in one soliloquy, and Violette makes it seem as though the character had been sampling an anthology of World Philosophy back in her bordello-ish boudoir.
• • Mark Dundas Wood explained: LindaAnn Loschiavo has now reworked the play, restoring as much of the original's licentious fun as possible, for those of us who missed out on it back in 1928 or 1949.
• • Mark Dundas Wood noted: "Diamond Lil" provides a true star turn for Darlene Violette, just as it did for Mae West — — so much so, in fact, that many of the supporting characters often are lost in the shapely shadow of the leading lady. Still, Joanna Bonaro effectively portrays Lil's feisty Latina rival, Rita Christinia, as well as the Thelma Ritter-ish maid of all work, Frances. Juan Sebastian Cortes has fun as steamy Pablo Juarez, over whom Lil and Rita tangle. ...
• • Source: Reviews on BistroAwards.com [November 2013].
• • On Thursday, 26 November 1931 • •
• • The New York Herald Tribune reported on the intense displeasure to white Washingtonians when Mae West brought her Harlem play "The Constant Sinner" to D.C. where the local D.A. was Leo K. Rover. Leo roared about the profanity and the dances performed by the black cast. The D.A., apparently, had been telling the media he would "arrest the entire company of fifty one if another performance were given," noted the Herald Tribune on Thursday, 26 November 1931. Racism reared its head.
• • On Friday, 26 November 1954 • •
• • In a vintage catalogue that kept track of Decca's 78 rpm platters, it was listed that Mae West recorded "Frankie and Johnny" and the B-side "All of Me" [Decca # 29452] on these dates: Friday, 26 November 1954 and Monday, 29 November 1954.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • John Miljan and John Mack Brown were arguing next summer's bathing suit trend for women, when Mae West glided in.
• • "What do girls do with their bathing suits in the winter?" queried Dorothea Wieck. 
• • "Use 'em for book-marks," cracked Mae.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Keep outta my room! I've got to have some place that's all my own . . . where I can go and shut the door and be by m'self!"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The San Bernardino County Sun wrote: Mae West, that curvacious star of the shadow play, whose second picture, 'I'm No Angel,' is playing at the California theater. Cary Grant (left) is again the 'tall, dark and handsome' man of Mae's life.
• • Source: News Item: "Mae West Film Held Over" in The San Bernardino County Sun (page 9); published on Sunday, 26 November 1933
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2796th 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" revival cast member

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