On Saturday, 10 June 1911, it was clear that MAE WEST had impressed the New York critics when she appeared in "A Florida Enchantment," a two act comedy staged at Columbia Theatre. The Columbia Amusement Company was an Eastern burlesque wheel run by Henry Jacobs and John Jermon. This regional tour of “A Florida Enchantment” lasted a few months and, yes, it was onstage in Milwaukee in April 1911.
• • Under the headline "The Eastern Wheel Openings" was a lengthy review of a production by The Big Gaiety Company (Eastern). Let's discover what was on the Program.
• • N.B.: The text below follows the spelling, punctuation, errors, and style of The New York Clipper's coverage — — printed 104 years ago. You will note that, in one paragraph, Frank Wallace became a "Fred" Wallace.
• • The Eastern Wheel Openings • •
• • The New York Clipper wrote: At the Columbia Theatre last week, this company opened its first New York engagement.
• • "A Florida Enchantment" is the two act comedy, dealing with the flirtation of Meyerwurst, a woman hater, with a little French adventuress, a partner of a young con man. Harry W. Fields played the German, while Al Herman, in a funny make-up as a Jew, introduced some novel comicalities. Eddie Lovett, with a series of natty suits, was the affable "Cheathem," and acted well, also singing several catchy songs. Barry Melton looked handsome In several fine gowns, and led several numbers in clever style. William Betts was a polite lunatic, with some funny capers; also Lord Bonehead. Albert Dunstan was an acrobatic waiter, Eddie Miller a detective, Frank Wallace, Young Goldberg. Mae West was an enticing enchantress, with a slight French accent. Etta Wood was the jealous and energetic Mrs. Goldberg, and Catherine German had a few lines as Miss Meyerwurst.
• • Mae West sang "Tiger Love" • •
• • The numbers Included "Think It Over, Mary" by Frank Wallace and the girls; "Kiss Me," by Miss Melton; "Girl of My Dreams," by Mr. Lovett, with leading stars impersonated by sundry girls; "Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey," by Catherine Gorman, who sang the catchy verses, assisted by the girls, with several sorts of cuddling movements; the operatic finale to the first act, by the entire company; a recitation about "Worry," by Mr. Lovett; "Tiger Love," by Mae West and the girls, and "Some of These Days," by Miss Melton. Some novel business, with Mr. Fields occupying an orchestra seat, flirting with Miss West, and back talk with Eddie Lovett, caught the house — — Mr. Fields being finally ejected by an usher.
• • Mae West and Fred Wallace [sic] sang several coon songs • •
• • The olio had Irene Dillon, who appeared in several character changes, and rendered several songs, including a baby number. She did well with all of them. Mae West and Fred Wallace [sic] sang several coon songs, with Miss West making several changes down to full tights, with good effect. Al Herman, in black face, presented some novel business in his monologue, and employed his powerful voice to good advantage. The Five Musical Gormans, two men and three girls, played various musical Instruments, especially strong in brass, with the youngster pounding the drum and the bass drum, also playing the xylophone in clever style. The lady cornetist executed some good solos.
• • Sydney Dean, assisted by Messrs. Dunstan, Betts and Miller, presented "Christmas on Blackwells lsland," which made a big hit on their previous appearance at this house, and Mr. Dean received several encores for his finishing song.
• • The chorus of fourteen girls worked well. W. J. Rostetter Is the musical director.
• • Source: Review in The New York Clipper; published on Saturday, 10 June 1911.
• • On Sunday, 10 June 2001 in The Hartford Courant • •
• • You can give your book a Mae-West-title but will it find favor with critics or the public? Book critic M.A. Turner did not think much of "Come Up and See Me Sometime," describing it as "A Flat Addition To Tedious Single-girl Subgenre" on Sunday, 10 June 2001 in The Hartford Courant. "Come Up and See Me Sometime," published by Scribner, was written by Erika Krouse (202 pages). Oh, dear. Poor Erika Krouse.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • I am told that Mae West weighs more than one or two nutmegs — — but she is not British.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Back in 1926, I wrote and starred in the play 'Sex,' the first time the word was ever used on stage in that manner."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • A California newspaper discussed Mae West.
• • "Mae West Starred in Granada Program" • •
• • Mae West proved to Hollywood that she is the most versatile woman in America during the filming of her new picture, "She Done Him Wrong," opening Sunday at the Granada theater.
• • This prolific star, who wrote the script for her first starring vehicle, has always written her own stage plays, has published two novels, authored the lyrics for several of the songs [sic] composed by Ralph Rainger [7 October 1901 — 23 October 1942] for her new motion picture, and, besides, turns out sketches and material for other performers in her spare time. . . .
• • Source: Item on page 6 in The Bakersfield Californian; published on Saturday, 10 June 1933
• • 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 3,497 visitors. And we reached a
milestone recently when we completed 3,100 blog posts. Wow!
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3197th blog post.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in 1933 • •
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