Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Mae West: A Sparkling Sunday

Raffle Prize Winners on November 3rd
MAE WEST must have been smiling on Sunday evening, 3 November 2013, as a nice-looking audience filed in to enjoy a ramped up performance of "Diamond Lil."  Darlene Violette, on fire last Sunday as the diamond-draped Queen of the Bowery, took the entire cast along with her to blazing heights.  Wow!  You should have heard the cheers.
• • Jim Gallagher (as Tiny Jo Breslin) and Anthony DiCarlo (as Brooklyn thug Barney Bledso) added clever ad-libbing to the "Safe House Scene."  And when Barney Bledso offered his advice to Chick Clark — — "I wouldn’t go looking for trouble, Chick.  It don’t pay!"  — — Gary Napoli (as Chick Clark) delivered his stirring monologue ["Nothing pays! . . ."] with such resonance that the stop-the-show-applause rang through the house.  Bravo to a fine cast who has come so far since August and who has continued to bring depth to these dangerous characters of the 1890s.
• • Springboro, Ohio travelers Judy Airhart and her husband were in town last weekend and paid a visit to "Diamond Lil." Mrs. Airhart went home with a lovely book of witty lines from Hollywood movies with Mae West and Clark Gable on the cover. And Brooklyn resident Chris Marston won a rare 1949 drawing of Mae West costumed as Diamond Lil. 
• • Fez-wearing LindaAnn Loschiavo, clad in an amusing corset T-shirt from Max Azria's Fall 2013 collection, received a hand with the raffle from actress Joanna Bonaro (wearing her gorgeous 1890s maroon and black corset dress costume as Rita) and actors Jim Gallagher and Anthony DiCarlo on November 3rd.
• • Different prizes on Sunday, November 10th will include a wooden picture frame from Cynthia Rowley (holding an image of Mae) as well as other treats.  Join us.
• • On Wednesday, 5 November 1930 • •
• • "A prizefighter's tart" who enjoys black men as well as Caucasians, Babe Gordon, the frisky blonde teenage protagonist, was Mae's idea of an uptown temptress, footloose, fearless, and unfettered in Harlem.
• • The novel "Babe Gordon" by Mae West was published in New York City by The Macaulay Company on Wednesday, 5 November 1930.
• • On Saturday, 5 November 1932 • •
• • On Saturday, 5 November 1932, a cable was wired to Colonel Joy.  It assured him that Zukor and Hertz promised that they will abandon "Diamond Lil" and will make an announcement to that effect tonight. [Hmmm. We know how that turned out.]
• • On Wednesday, 5 November 1969 in Ithaca • •
• • On Wednesday, 5 November 1969 Cornell University students were treated to a  screening of "My Little Chickadee" starring Mae West and W.C. Fields at 7:00 pm and again at 9:15 pm. Details were announced in The Cornell Daily Sun on page 10.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West never misses any of the fights, and Cary Grant, who has accompanied her to some of them, is amazed at the warmth and geniality she brings to the ringside where invariably she greets a host of friends.
• • "All sorts they are," said Cary Grant on a recent visit to New York. "And Mae is as interested in them, though she may not have seen them for years, as though she'd been palling around with them the day before. She is interested in human beings, that's the secret of her popularity with them. I don't believe women can appreciate that quality in her.
JOANNA BONARO (as Rita) challenges DARLENE VIOLETTE (as Lil)
• • See "Diamond Lil" This Autumn! • • 
"Darlene Violette channels Mae West to perfection!" — Stu Hamstra
• • By popular demand, actress Darlene Violette — — and the wonderful cast who brought the Bowery denizens and Suicide Hall’s ne’er-do-wells to life — — will return in “Diamond Lil” for several evening performances at Don’t Tell Mama [343 W. 46th Street] on these dates in 2013:
• • 8:30pm on Sunday November 10th
• • 7:00pm on Sunday November 17th
• • 7:00pm on Sunday November 24th
• • 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 month • •
• • 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 reason I don't read fiction is because I can do my own dreaming. I want to know things that are real."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The New Movie Magazine mentioned Mae West.
• • Step into the automatic elevator in Mae West's apartment house and, if a stiff odor of "Christmas Night" beats you to your knees, you'll know that the voluptuous Mae has just arrived. Or departed.
• • Source: "The Latest News of Stars and Players" from The New Movie Magazine; published in October 1934 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2780th 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
  Mae West

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