Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mae West: Swallow Hard

MAE WEST had visits from a member of the Nassour family. This remembrance continues from Monday, when Part 3 was posted.
• • "After knowing Ms. West for seven years through a family connection, I had the pleasure of working with her to promote a recording project of some of her famous movie lines," wrote Ellis Nassour in 1985.  Insisting he had "rare access," he self published this lengthy remembrance.  This is Part 4. The misspelt words have been corrected. Some of the more questionable recollections and inaccuracies have been marked by "sic."
• • Memorable Visits with "Aunt Mae" • •
• • Ellis Nassour recalled:   Ms. West introduced the shimmy in Chicago [sic] during the 1918 pre-Broadway run of Rudolf Friml's "Sometime," after she saw South Side blacks doing the dance in a club. She was the author/star of "Sex," which created such an uproar in New York over obscenity that Ms. West was arrested briefly for "corrupting young minds."  Some of her ideas were so far ahead of the curve that it was all but impossible get some of her plays up.
• • Ellis Nassour noted: When not meeting with her financial advisors or going over the details on how she would make her entrance at the two Universal Studios soundstages that would house the backlot media event for the album launch, Ms. West's day was spent honing the legend and myth of Mae West.
• • Ellis Nassour observed: She did not look in her mid-80s. However, you had to swallow hard when she would utter statements such as "I look like I'm in my thirties. A lot of people think I'm in my late twenties. I've got letters from twelve-year-olds and thirteen-year-olds who tell me I look young enough to be their mother. There's not a line on my face! And look at my hands! They're as smooth as a baby's behind."
• • Ellis Nassour added: True, sort of.  Ms. West's skin was like a baby's — — at least, the parts she exposed. As far as lines on her face, there were no really discernible ones.  She swore she never had plastic surgery.  I always imagined she spent the better part of her days on personal ritual, such as rubbing on ointments and creams to preserve the illusion. There wasn't much reality at Ravenswood.  . . .
• • This has been Part 4.  Part 5 will continue tomorrow.  [Ellis Nassour © 1985; all rights reserved; used with permission].
• • On Saturday, 25 July 1922 in Connecticut • •
• • During July 1922 "The Ginger Box Revue" was booked for a try-out in Stamford, Connecticut.  Hours before opening, Mae West and the cast learned that their producer failed to secure adequate financing so they could have their costumes and the scenery.  Mae insisted on going forward, however, with a humorous prologue that highlighted the difficulties (all the while making it seem part of the act).  The show gave two sold-out performances and received a review in The Stamford Advocate on Saturday, 25 July 1922.
• • On Wednesday, 26 July 1950 • •
• • On Wednesday, 26 July 1950 Guido Deiro, age 63, died after a long illness.
• • Save the Date: Wednesday, 17 August 2016 • •
• • Mae West: New Yorker, Vaudevillian, Upstart, and Jailbird — — a Birthday Celebration!
• • Link: Mae West event on August 17, 2016
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • It's a joy to talk to that blessed old trouper May Robson for she's as full of amusing personal anecdotes as Mae West is of curves.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:    "I got my own individual style. You know you can always tell Eugene O'Neill — — and you can always tell Mae West."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Playbill mentioned Mae West.
• • Robert Simonson wrote:  "A Saint She Ain't" — — The tuner, which will run Aug. 28-Sept. 14, will enjoy its U.S. premiere in a co-production between the Berkshire Theatre Festival and Westport. The musical will play at BTF before reaching the Playhouse. Eric Hill will direct the "Hollywood inspired musical" in which each character is based on renowned Tinseltown figures, such as Mae West and W.C. Fields.  ...
• • Source: Item in Playbill; posted on Wednesday, 26 June 2002
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 12th anniversary • •
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past twelve years. The other day we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,400 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • • 
• • The Mae West Blog was started twelve years ago in July 2004.
You are reading the 3494th 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/


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1927

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