MAE WEST always tried to get a big one — — a big cast for her stage productions. She liked to help newcomers break in. And she knew it was important for actors to work, especially those middle-age performers who were often turned down. When she brought "Diamond Lil" to the United Kingdom, she hired fifty extras for the tour. Take a moment to calculate the payroll, will you?
• • "50 Men for Mae" • •
• • Fifty hefty, middle-aged actors are wanted to play American tough guys in Mae West's own play, "Diamond Lil." In London. Mae, who turned down 2,000 [pounds sterling] a week to play in London before the war, has packed her bags for Britain due on September 11 to start rehearsals for London's most expensive straight play.
• • "Diamond Lil," a tale of New York's Bowery in the rip-roaring 'nineties, opens in Manchester on October 20th and in London in January. It has a cast of 50 gangsters, dope fiends, gigolos, crooked lawyers, political racketeers — — and Mae, the Bowery Queen.
• • Mae insisted on taking over two American actors (Hal Gould and Dick Bailey) to play a low down Tammany politician and a Chicago gangster [Chick Clark]. For the rest, Tom Arnold is holding daily auditions in London.
• • Qualifications: Applicants must "talk rough and look it." — — "News" Special Service.
• • Source: Item in The Singapore Free Press; published on Wednesday, 10 September 1947.
• • On Saturday, 10 September 1921 • •
• • "The Mimic World," a musical revue Mae West performed in, opened on 17 August 1921 at the Century Promenade Roof on Central Park West at West 62nd Street. Originally designed as a rehearsal space, this outdoor auditorium could seat 500.
• • "The Mimic World" closed on Saturday night, 10 September 1921.
• • In 1930, the building was razed to make way for the Century Apartments.
• • One of the musicians behind "The Mimic World" was Owen Murphy [2 September 1893 — 3 April 1965]. A composer, writer, and lyricist, Owen Murphy was born in September in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. During her Hollywood years, Mae would visit Mt. Clemens for the healing mineral springs.
• • On Wednesday, 10 September 1980 • •
• • It was on Wednesday, September 10th that the news media reported that a stroke had caused Mae West to suffer a speech impairment. At the time, she and Paul Novak were registered in Good Samaritan Hospital under the press-dodging names of Gloria and Paul Drake. The Los Angeles sunshine invaded their private room, flooding the floor with fractured light.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • The Noxema shaving cream girl tries to come on like Mae West.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "The score never interested me, only the game."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The history of Jersey City included a mention about Mae West.
• • New Jersey chronicler Carmela Karnoutsos wrote: After Frank E. Henderson sold the Majestic Theatre [275 Grove Street, Jersey City, NJ] in 1925, it became part of the vaudeville and burlesque circuit. Among the performers were Mae West (arrested on stage at the theater while performing her play "Sex"), . . .
• • Source: Item in "Jersey City, Past and Present"; posted in 2001
• • Note: here is Mae West in 1926 when she was promoting "Sex," her first full-length stage drama, and portraying the frisky Montreal prostie Margy LaMont. She looks fabulous!
• • 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 3264th blog post.
Unlike many blogs, which draw
• • Photo: • • Mae West • • in 1926 when she starred in "Sex" • •
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