Monday, June 30, 2014

Mae West: Backstage Meelee

MAE WEST was in the headlines on June 30th. Chaos reigned but wasn't it an ego boost, too?
• • "A Member of Mae West Troupe Accused of Striking Blow" • •
Landing at Idlewild Airport, NYC
• • Washington, June 29 (AP) — A municipal court jury today deliberated less than 15 minutes before returning a verdict of guilty in the assault trial of Charles (Mr. California) Krauser, 210-pound performer with a troupe headlined by Mae West. Krauser was accused of hitting a fellow performer, Miklos (Mickey) Hargitay, during a meelee last June 6 in Miss West’s dressing room backstage at the Casino Royal.
• • Judge Armond W. Scott postponed sentencing until he returns on September 20th from a trip abroad. Penalty on the charge could be $1,000 fine or a year in jail.
• • Krauser remained free on $300 bond.
• • Source:  Syndicated feature rpt in The Kansas City Times;  published on Saturday, 30 June 1956.
• • On Sunday, 30 June 1935 • •
• • Frank Wallace was quite a talker when a news man was present.  He told the New York American that Timony began living with Mae West and one day he pulled over in a "fine, big automobile" with Mae inside, happily wrapped up in a fur coat.  "He said I ought to realize my marriage to Mae was a fizzle and that she could not afford to be married because there was a future waiting for her in show business." 
• • The newspaper ran a long interview with the washed-up vaudevillian in their issue dated for Sunday, 30 June 1935.
• • On Wednesday, 30 June 1937 • •
• • The Straits Times in Singapore was up to date with Mae West, in their own fashion. On Wednesday, 30 June 1937, this was the headline on page 12: "Mae West Comes East to Singapore." 
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • By the way, Mae West is now working on her new contract by the terms of which she gets $100,000 a picture. They also say that the curvaceous one also gets about half that amount again for providing her own story and, be it known, Mae won't stand for anybody's writing stories for her pictures but Mae.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Very few people know my secret ambition to be a lion-tamer. It began when as a child my father took me to my first circus at Coney Island. Through the years I mentioned it very rarely and only to intimates. The response to my enthusiasm was mainly negative and uninspiring. People were incapable of understanding unless they themselves felt the same driving fiery compulsion I had toward lion-taming."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A movie review focused on Mae West.
• • "'I'm No Angel' at State Today" • •
• • The Sandusky Register wrote: With all the traditional fireworks of the old wild west shows, Mae West appears here, on Sunday, in her new picture "I'm No Angel," opening a four day run at Warner's Ohio. Mae West has given herself the difficult task of bettering her first picture, "She Done Him Wrong," which lifted her to the top of the cinematic ladder.
• • It is a modern jam, concocted by Miss West herself, presenting her in the picturesque characterization of a rowdy, wise-cracking carnival dancer and singer. She becomes a lion tamer, has nerve enough to put her head in the lion's mouth, and becomes a sensation in a New York circus. There she captivates society millionaires.
• • Mae sings five "scorch" songs • •
• • She sings five "scorch" songs, dances a glorified shimmy number known as "the midway," wears tights, enters a cage with savage lions, and wisecracks. Her supporting cast is headed by Cary Grant as her "tall, dark, and handsome" sweetheart.  Kent Taylor, Edward Arnold, Gregory Ratoff, Ralf Harolde, Dorothy Peterson, Gertrude Michael, Russell Hopton, and William B. Davidson also have prominent roles.   . . .
• • Source: Review (on page 2) written for The Sandusky Register (Ohio); published on Sunday, 12 November 1933
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started nine years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2946th 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 at Idlewild Airport in 1956

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1 comment:

  1. One has to hand it to Mae West for turning the potentially ugly incident of the dressing room fracas between Mickey Hargitay and Chester Rybinski to her favour, putting the spin on the incident that the men were fighting over her! Hargitay refused West's request to tell reporters that he wasn't interested in Jayne Mansfield. Rybinski had actually won the "Mr. Baltimore" title a few years earlier. West had a policy that only titled bodybuilders would be featured in her nightclub routine. In her anger at Hargitay not following her request, he was fired with West's proclamation, "You're last year's model," prompting the dustup.

    One can't help but wonder how Chester Rybinski, aka Chuck Krauser Aka Paul Novak avoided an identity crisis!

    A recent photo of Cher currently on her latest "Farewell" Concert Tour recalls a somewhat similar gown that West wore when she appeared as a burlesque dancer in "I'm No Angel." The male chorus line wearing skimpy outfits on Cher's tour recall's West's tours across the U.S. in her muscle man revue, arguably a precursor to the "Chippendale" male reviews that became popular in the 1970's.

    Mae West was a true original, way ahead of her time.