Friday, January 30, 2015

Mae West: Khushwant Singh

On Friday, 30 January 1948, MAE WEST was starring in London's West End production of "Diamond Lil."
• • Born in 1915 in pre-Partition Punjab, Khushwant Singh, perhaps India’s most widely read and controversial writer, was a Mae West fan.  Let's revisit his recollection of enjoying the diva sashaying around Suicide Hall onstage.
• • Khushwant Singh wrote: I was still in London when Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in Delhi on Friday, 30 January 1948. I had taken leave to pack up my belongings to proceed to Canada.  ... Instead of going to the shipping office to confirm our passage, we made our way  to India House to be with our own people. . . . We sat there for an hour.  In my pocket were theatre tickets I had bought a month earlier to see Mae West in "Diamond Lil." I was torn with conflict in my mind. Was it right to see the world's greatest sex symbol when Bapu lay dead in Delhi?  Ultimately, we decided to go to the theatre.  I did not have any shame or sense of guilt when I saw the bosomy woman come out with her punch line: "Come up and see me sometime." I would have happily responded to her invitation. From the brochure, I discovered Mae West was the same age as my mother.  . . .
• • Source: excerpt from "Truth, Love and A Little Malice" written by Khushwant Singh [UK: Penguin, 10 February 2003].
• • On Sunday, 30 January 1938 • •
• • "Mae West Is Banned Over Radio" • •
• • ("The Sunday Times" Special Message) • •
• • NEW YORK, Saturday — — The National Broadcasting Company from its headquarters here has issued definite instructions that the name of Mae West must not be mentioned over any station in the network which it controls.
• • It is believed that this is the result of violent objection that followed Miss West's recent appearance, after a four-year absence from the air, in a sketch entitled "Adam and Eve."
• • Source: Sunday Times (Perth); published on Sunday, 30 January 1938.
• • On Wednesday, 30 January 1935 in Singapore • •
• • "Lord Byng at a Mae West Tea-Party — Star Will Be in London for Jubilee Celebration"
• • Lord Byng and Lady Byng joined Mae West for tea and tried to butter her up with some friendly persuasion. The Straits Times in Singapore ran an article with all the particulars on page 6 on Wednesday, 30 January 1935.
• • The NYC newsman wrote: "Miss West entertained Lord and Lady Byng at tea in her dressing room at Paramount Pictures. She soon put her guests at their ease with a few simple Westisms." ...
• • Before he left, Lord Byng suggested that she should come to London. "Sure," said Miss West. "It would fascinate me." ...
• • "Tea began formally but Miss West soon broke the ice," the journalist noted.
• • Source: Article: "Lord Byng at a Mae West Tea-Party — Star Will Be in London for Jubilee Celebration" printed in The Straits Times; published on Wednesday, 30 January 1935.
• • On Sunday, 30 January 2011 in Florida • •
• • Words of Mae West come to life in “The Drag• •
• • Orlando-based columnist Dawnn Behrens wrote this for Originally written in 1926, the words of Mae West come to life in “The Drag” tonight [on January 30th] at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center (Studio B). Directors Michael Wanzie, John DiDonna and their group received permission from the estate of the late Mae West to present the show. It will be present tonight as the last night of an exclusive 2 night performance as part of their “Dangerous Plays Series — Giving breath to dissenting voices” series. . . .
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • In her first film endeavor, "Night After Night," Mae West was a mild success in a meager part.  Then Mae made "She Done Him Wrong." It had not played more than two or three days before the studio executives realized they had stumbled upon on a gold mine.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "I'll stick to the movie game for some time. But I hope to be able to find time to do another play."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A Malaysian paper mentioned Mae West.  Which actor gave Mae West a kiss onscreen that would be monumental?
• • "Mae West's First Kiss" • •
• • Hollywood — For the first time in any of her films, Mae West has agreed to kiss a man.
• • The lucky man is Charles Winninger, who is playing the part of a social reformer in the film she is now making, "Every Day's a Holiday."
• • Said Mae in announcing the big decision: "I figured I owed just one kiss to reformers as a class. So Charlie gets it.  He's old enough not to take it too seriously."
• • Mae West is 45 and Charles Winninger is 53.
• • Source: Item: The Straits Times [Singapore]; published on Sunday, 26 September 1937 
• • 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 1,430 visitors. We reached a milestone this week: 3,100 posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3104th 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 • Program in 1948

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