Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Mae West: Mae by McBean

It was July and MAE WEST was featured in a museum retrospective in London celebrating the late Angus McBean [8 June 1904 — 9 June 1990]. Were you there?
• • Writing for London's paper The Sunday Times in 2006, British reporter Joanna Pitman remarked: One talismanic figure throughout his career was Mae West, who first visited McBean’s London studio in 1948 after a performance of her show "Diamond Lil." It is lovely to see the model that McBean made of West, a bizarre stick-like creature, its arms and legs operated by long sticks like Malaysian puppets. West was amazed by the doll when she saw it and McBean was able to demonstrate that it could, like its progenitor, pat its hair and put its hand on its swinging hip.
• • Round and About: July 2006 • •
• • "Angus McBean: Portraits"  — — July 5th—October 22nd at the National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London WC2H (U.K.).
• • The first museum retrospective of one of the most significant British photographers of the 20th century, the exhibition features more recent images of Derek Jarman and Tilda Swinton as well as iconic portraits of the American actresses Mae West and Katherine Hepburn and the 1951 picture of a then-unknown Audrey Hepburn, with her head and shoulders emerging from sand.
• • Source: Calendar entry in History Today Magazine; published in July 2006.
• • On Friday, 7 July 1916 in Variety • •
• • The resident scold sat stone-faced through "Mae West and Sister" at Proctor's Theatre near Madison Square Park. Later on, Sime Silverman pulled up his tight garters as he sniffed and snorted behind his keyboard like an overheated carriage horse. "Unless Miss West can tone down her stage presence in every way," he sneered, "she just might as well hop right out of vaudeville and into burlesque." And if the unabashed Brooklynite was going to continue to be so disarmingly aggressive, Sime scolded Mae by suggesting that she should get up onstage next time in "men's dress altogether."
• • "Mae West now has a red carpet rolled out," Sime explained in Variety on Friday, 7 July 1916. "She loses much by occasionally overstepping the line between facetiousness and freshness. When she learns to draw the line, she will have made a marked stride in the right direction."  Thanks, big boy! But Mae West wasn't taking your advice.
• • On Thursday, 7 July 1938 • •
• • A 1938 headline in The Sydney Morning Herald tooted: "Mae West and Clark Gable." The screen queen was in her mid-40s and the leading man was 37 years old.
• • "Film News of the Week" announced: It seems impossible to avoid the topic of the new star teams. The latest to be announced is the partnership of Mae West and Clark Gable, who are proposed for the latest roles in "New Orleans," an original story by the man who wrote "San Francisco."
• • Another project that never got made, alas.
• • On Friday, 7 July 1961 • •
• • Mae West's last play "Sextette" (a.k.a. "Sextet") at Edgewater Beach Playhouse officially opened on Friday, 7 July 1961, however, the show was "in previews" earlier that week. Designed by Aaron Frankel, "Sextette" was a Kenley Players production.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • It was a government "boon doggier" in Milwaukee who unearthed the marriage registration of a Mae West and a Frank Wallace.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:  "Marriage is a great institution.  As I've always said, no family should be without it."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An Australian magazine mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West Rouses Ire of Victorian Women" • •
• • Mae West may go west in Australia soon if Victorian women follow the example of America, and if the other States follow Victoria. The present popular phrase, "Come up and see me sometime," will fade away to oblivion, and Mae West will be allowed on the screen only in the most proper of roles.  . . .
• • Source: Excerpt from an article in The Australian Women's Weekly; published on Saturday, 7 July 1934 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 11th anniversary • •    
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past eleven years. 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 3216th 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 1948

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