Monday, November 18, 2013

Mae West: Shotgun Mike

Sunday, November 17th at DON'T TELL MAMA in New York
MAE WEST's "Diamond Lil" is attracting fans from Brazil; Boulder, Colorado; Houston, Texas; Hagerstown, Maryland; and American Canyon, California. On November 17th, we also had a celebrity fitness trainer with us.
• • Crowding into Don't Tell Mama was Drue Penella with his camera and sound crew and a vast array of equipment including a shotgun mike. This efficient 3-camera set-up captured "Diamond Lil" and soon there will be a professional video for producers and theatre companies to view.  The entire cast is very excited to have a reel to remember "Lil" by.
• • Two lucky ladies went home with lovely prizes. DEBBY FRIEDMAN won a picture frame (from Valerie Bertinelli's collection) with a rare image of Mae inside. Screen and stage actress JODIE McCLINTOCK, who came to see her friend Joanna Bonaro in the show, was thrilled to have a rare 1949 caricature of Mae West to put on her wall. The winners got a nice round of applause as they posed with their keepsakes.
• • On Wednesday, 18 November 1936 • •
• • It was a busy time for the screen queen when "Go West Young Man" was released on Wednesday, 18 November 1936 in he USA.
• • On 18 November 1995 • •
• • In the U.K., Virago (a British publisher specializing in women authors) reprinted the novelized version of "She Done Him Wrong" by Mae West. There was a book review in The Irish Times in the month of November — — on 18 November 1995.
• • Dublin-based critic Arminta Wallace called it "a hard-edged novella with a soft centre" and she wrote: "To put it frankly, Diamond Lil was a beautiful short course to hell." …
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West in "She Done Him Wrong," a highly amusing film that will make many remember her stage success, "Diamond Lil."
• • 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:
• • 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 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: "You'll never catch me in pants."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Variety mentioned Mae West on Tuesday, 18 November 1913.
• • Mae West had devised original material for herself and Beverly, an 18-minute routine booked as "Mae West and Sister" and sometimes "Mae West and Beverly."
• • Biographers often explain this as Mae's attempt to develop a new routine to help her sister break into vaudeville.  I doubt it.  I sense the familiar fingerprints of Matilda West all over this short-lived enterprise.  Behind the scenes, Mama West was trying to break up the union of her favorite daughter and accordionist Guido Deiro by distracting Mae and keeping her performing closer to home.
• • But on Tuesday, 18 November 1913, Variety gave her a scathing review: "Mae West in big time vaudeville may only be admired for her persistency in believing she is a big time act and trying to make vaudeville accept her as such. ..." Pfffft.
• • Source: Variety; published on Tuesday, 18 November 1913
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2790th 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

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