Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mae West: Olio Acts

During the 1930s, reporters on the staff of fan magazines pursued MAE WEST.  Hollywood-obsessed readers loved any headline with the word "real." To fill this need, Mae often got her own  series. Here is one of those excerpts.
• • "The Real Mae West" • •
• • As a member of the stock company, when there were no child parts in the plays, Mae West was called upon to take part in what are known in old-fashioned stage plays as "olios," or vaudeville acts in between the scenes of the plays. She sang popular songs and gave her imitations, being what was known on the billboards as a "coon shouter." It was at this stage of the game, she avers, that she learned to roll her eyes, a propensity, however, that had to be curbed when she became, for the sake of drama, "Little Eva" or "Little Red Riding Hood." . . .
• • Source: Article from The New Movie Magazine; published in the issue dated  for June 1934.
• • Note: Olio Acts were short between-the-acts variety artist bits that would punctuate a full-length show.  In the early days of vaudeville, specialty material — — i.e., a novelty song or an eccentric dance — — would be performed directly in front of an oilcloth curtain while the stage was being set for the next part of the show. Often the curtain bore the messages of advertisers.
• • On Sunday, 30 June 1935 • •
• • Frank Wallace was quite a talker when a news man was present.  He told the New York American that Jim 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 • •
• • A 'Mae West' was an airman's yellow life-jacket, so named because of its obvious pneumatic properties.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Keep outta my room! I've got to have some place that's all my own — — where I can go and shut the door and be by m'self!"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Texas Monthly mentioned Mae West.
• • Classic Film Festival (Zilker Park, Hillside Theatre) on June 26: an evening of W. C. Fields and Mae West. At 8:45. Free.
• • Source: Item on page 26 in Texas Monthly; published in June 1983 
• • What's Ahead • • •

• • • JULY: As we start our 11th year with the Mae West Blog, we are preparing to offer our Mae-velous readers some rare content, to wit: (1) an exclusive interview with a handsome gentleman who knew Mae very well and whose remarks might startle you, and (2) an insightful remembrance by a nurse who tended Mae in the hospital and who has fascinating (often poignant) things to say about the star. Stay tuned.
• • • AUGUST:
Celebrations of Mae's birthday will be posted. Got an event? A tribute to the Brooklyn bombshell? A revival of one of her plays? Let us know.
• • 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 3,200 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started ten years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3211th 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: http://MaeWest.blogspot.com/

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• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1932

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  Mae West

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