Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mae West: O'Neill on Mae

One day in 1933 Eugene O'Neill was writing a letter to a fellow playwright Dubose Heyward [31 August 1885 — 16 June 1940] about censorship, Will Hays, and MAE WEST.
• • "Oh, I can easily credit your experience with the censorship," Gene commiserated. "The same sort happened with 'Anna Christie' and 'Strange Interlude.' And Mr. Hays, who cheers with senile lechery when that dainty Mae West sings 'I like a guy wot takes his time' has barred 'Desire Under the Elms' forever from the films! (Meaning no slur at Mae, you understand. I think she's grand.) And in England the censorship made them change the title . . . ."
• • This letter was printed in "Selected Letters of Eugene O'Neill" [Yale University Press, 1988]. The date on this note to Dubose Heyward is Monday, 7 August 1933.
• • Eugene O'Neill [16 October 1888 — 27 November 1953] • •
• • Born on Tuesday, 16 October 1888, Eugene O'Neill started his life in a Broadway (New York City) hotel room in Times Square. The site is now a Starbucks (1500 Broadway, Northeast corner of West 43rd and Broadway). A commemorative plaque is posted on the outside wall with the inscription: "Eugene O'Neill, October 16, 1888 — November 27, 1953 America's greatest playwright was born on this site then called Barrett Hotel, Presented by Circle in the Square."
• • During the 1910s, Eugene O'Neill was a regular on the Greenwich Village literary scene, where he also befriended many radicals, most notably Communist Labor Party founder John Reed.
• • "The Hairy Ape" is an expressionist play by Eugene O'Neill (1922), and this was the drama being mocked in Mae's song lyrics: "Lemme up! I'll show ya who's an ape!" Imagine it, if you will, since the show "The Ginger Box Revue" did not open (after all) at the Greenwich Village Theatre in 1922.  The song Mae wrote for her skit was titled "Eugene O'Neill, You've Put a Curse on Broadway." 
• • Fascinated by the prize-winning dramatist Eugene O'Neill, Mae West made sure she saw his plays. Though Mae found O'Neill's outlook depressing, she was well aware of his enormous popularity. His character Anna Christie inspired Mae's prostitute Margy LaMont along with her well-crafted spoofs.
• • Eugene O'Neill died in Boston, Mass. on Friday, 27 November 1953. He was 65.
• • On Monday, 16 October 1933 in Time • •
• • Time Magazine's review of "I'm No Angel" ran in the issue dated for Monday, 16 October 1933.
• • On Monday, 16 October 1939 • •
• • When they were collaborating on a screenplay, both Mae West and W. C. Fields signed a Universal Films contract. The document is dated Monday, 16 October 1939.
• • On Friday, 16 October 1959 • •
• • The sympathetic headline in The Hollywood Reporter was "Mae West Too 'Person'-al; CBS Junks Interview Tape" and it was printed on Friday, 16 October 1959.
• • In Marietta, Georgia, the Journal ran this article on page 3: “Too Sexy?: CBS Cancels Mae West's TV Interview.” It was printed on 16 October 1959.
• • The Los Angeles Herald-Express ran a similar piece on Friday, 16 October 1959. The media reacted en masse to CBS's censoring Mae by taking her side.
• • On Saturday, 16 October 1965 • •
• • The song "Day Tripper" was recorded on Saturday, 16 October 1965 by The Beatles. Mae West covered the song on her album "Way Out West" [1966].
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Now there is talk that Jim Aubrey and Hunt Stromberg Jr. will produce for Warner Brothers-Seven Arts a film version of a Mae West play, “Sextet,” starring Mae. It would be her first film since “The Heat’s On” 25 years ago.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I got my own individual style. You can always tell Eugene O'Neill — — and you can always tell Mae West."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on a playhouse mentioned Mae West.
• • Nancy Berk wrote: The stage where Katharine Hepburn was allowed to “try her wings” in 1931, has welcomed an endless list of legendary theater greats including Tallulah Bankhead, Art Carney, Marlon Brando, Carol Channing, Betty Grable, Dorothy Lamour, Groucho Marx, Mae West, and Mickey Rooney.  ...
• • Source: Article on Ivoryton Playhouse written by Nancy Berk for Parade;  published on  Friday, 10 October 2014 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 10th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during this past decade. The other day we entertained 1,223 visitors. 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3027th 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

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• • Mae West in 1928

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