Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mae West: Broadway Bouquets

MAE WEST received many bouquets in ink when her play "Diamond Lil" debuted on Broadway. The reviews published in April 1928, when Mae was just breaking in her striped corset and settling in to her swan bed, are the most insightful.
• • This is the final installment of a lengthy critique written by the influential New York based syndicated columnist Leonard Hall.
• • "Flamin' Mae Hits Broadway" • •
• • Leonard Hall wrote: Now detonates "Diamond Lil," latest in the Mae West lethal line.  The new opera is of the brand that only Mae writes and acts, Diamond Lil, girl friend of the King of the Bowery. All the characters are wild, wise-cracking, and no better than they should be. 
• • Among the songs are a revival of "She's Only a Bird in a Gilded Cage" and a pale pink version of the immortal "Frankie and Johnnie."
• • No Girlish Lines • •
• • Leonard Hall wrote: Mae West is a sight in herself.  Gone are the old girlish lines. Mae is buxom now, opulently curved. A great mass of blond hair crowns a large, pretty face, from which languorous violet eyes dart destruction at any and all males in the vicinity. Just to see the girl walk is a liberal education, for she doesn't really walk, she slithers in the most astonishing fashion. Censors come, dry up and blow away on the winds of time and change, but Mae West goes on forever. She is the great tang-inserter of the Broadway theater. Just as the season gets dull and prosy, in undulates the Mae West with one of her three ring circuses and the fun is on.  ...   
• • Source: Syndicated review "Flamin' Mae Hits Broadway" written by Leonard Hall rpt on page 12 in The Scranton Republican (Scranton, PA); published on Monday, 16 April 1928.
• • On Saturday, 17 April 1937 • •
• • "Mae West Disappears — Star in Retreat" • •
• • From London, the snippy, snooty British gossip columnist Greville Bain wrote: It cannot have escaped the notice of the film public that it is a long while since we had any news or even rumors of Mae West.
• • Greville Bain stated his own opinion on this: Even her greatest admirers had to admit that Miss West's more recent pictures were not calculated to enhance her reputation. Not so long ago she was said to vie with Shirley Temple as the greatest film attraction in the United States.  ...
• • Source: Article: "Mae West Disappears" by Greville Bain in The Advertiser (Adelaide); published on Saturday, 17 April 1937.
• • On Thursday, 17 April 2014 in Germany • •
• • "Hollywood is here" featuring Mae West
• • Here: LUMI LUIS Foto Studio Atelier and Art Gallery (Eisenacherstr. 11, Berlin, Germany)
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • In 1922, thanks to the city of Santa Monica's decision to not buy a stretch of beachfront property on the Pacific Coast Highway, many of Marion's more well-heeled friends began building "dignified" mansions on the sandy strip.
• • In time Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Mae West, Louis B. Mayer, Samuel and Francis Goldwyn, Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg, Anita Loos, Bebe Daniels, Jack Warner, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, and Paulette Goddard would all have homes on what was dubbed by some "The Gold Coast."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "A guy in Iowa wanted me to send him $500 to start a barber shop. Says he has invented a special Mae West haircut. I told him I'm sorry, but $500 is too much to pay for a haircut."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A syndicated Hollywood columnist spoke to Mae West.
• • "Mae West — Wisecracks Fill Her Conversation" • •
• • Paul Harrison, NEA Service Staff Correspondent for Hollywood, scored a fascinating interview with Mae West. He told his readers that No other screen star receives a more diversified assortment of requests, pleas, suggestions, and queries. Miss West is doing very well for herself as the writer and star of a picture to be called "Klondike Lou." Naturally, too, she is pretty good.
• • Paul Harrison explained: Between scenes she usually can be found scanning letters in her dressing, room and dictating, or suggesting answers to a "secretary." Also, there's a circle of admirers within earshot, and Mae always expands before an audience.
• • "Here's a guy says he's going to name a gold mine after me. Tell him it would be a big mistake.  I'm a digger, not a producer."
• • Paul Harrison added: Once an editor of a small weekly paper asked Mae to send him one of her diamond rings, so he can give it to his girl friend. Mae suggested, "Write and ask him for the girl's name and address, and I'll send her five good reasons why she shouldn't marry him." Mae revealed another letter:  "A man says he'll send me a complete and absolutely sensational scenario if I'll send him $1,000 first. Tell him I'm terribly, terribly hurt that he doesn't seem to trust me. And as for me, I never trust men anyway."   . . .
• • Source:  rpt in Xenia Daily Gazette (Xenia, Ohio); published on Thursday, 3 January 1936
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2894th 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 in April 1928

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