Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Mae West: Decadent World

On Wednesday, 10 October 1928, Variety published a long editorial in order to scold MAE WEST.  Her offense was that she had written a play about homosexual men. But even worse was the indisputable fact that the public wanted to see it. Variety's publisher was incensed. He wrote this scathing head-shaking, finger-pointing essay. 
• • "Is Show Dirt Box-Office Pay Dirt?" • •
• • stage plays about the decadent world • •
• • Variety wrote:  The remaining two are quite skeptical for box office longevity. One is a musical ["Chee Chee"] with a theme not dissimilar to the Mae West play "The Pleasure Man," and the other by an egocentric roustabout freak litterateur [i.e., "Jarnegan" by Jim Tully, a novel about the decadent world of silent film era Hollywood, which inspired a stage play in 1928], who conceived the happily commercial idea of capitalizing himself at the expense of a powerful industry — — the cinema. In his play, whether it's the fault of his original source or the adapters, he has recourse to one of the lewdest, foulest expressions yet aired on a public rostrum.
• • Variety wrote:   Legit biz has been bum. That's the general cry. The smashes alone have been doing something. There isn't the hullabaloo and excitement of the theatre as usually attends an early season start. More legit houses are dark today, untenanted, than has been the case in Broadway entrepreneurship in many a season. 
• • Variety wrote:    On the other hand the picture houses are over-flowing. Legit $3.50 houses are converted into $2 picture theatres and still there are more legit houses dark. ...
• • This is Part 5, the conclusion. These 1928 articles and editorials reflect the viewpoints, bias, and attitudes of Mae West's era.  We hope you enjoyed all five excerpts.
• • Source: Editorial in Variety (page 44);  published on Wednesday, 10 October 1928.  
• • On Wednesday, 1 November 1933 • •         
• • On Wednesday, 1 November 19933, Rudy Vallée and his orchestra backed Mae as she sang "Frankie and Johnny" and a few other favorites on the wide proscenium stage of the Imperial in New York City. For awhile, Vallée's trademark was a raccoon coat and megaphone. Other co-hosts helping this worthy cause were Walter Winchell, Mark Hellinger, Jack Donahue, and the event's organizer Heywood Broun.
• • The photo shows Mae West rehearsing her number "Frankie and Johnny" for the live radio broadcast. Rudy Vallée stands with the arranger Elliott Jacobi.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Singer Johnnie Ray travels backstage of the Latin Quarter to pose for a few camera shots with Mae West.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said:   "I have really loved only once."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An Ithaca, NY daily mentioned Mae West.
• • "Sigma Chi Makes 'THE' Mae West New Sweetheart" • •
• • Mae West last night was formally made the latest "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi" in a ceremony held at that fraternity following her one night stand at the Strand Theater. Flustered by the honor, Mae West answered a Cornell Daily Sun reporter's query as to whether she had ever been in a fraternity house before with this reply: "before what?" When asked if she would be able to visit the campus before she departed Ithaca, the glamorous actress countered "what time does it open?"  . . .
• • Source: article in Cornell Daily Sun; published on Friday, 1 November 1946 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 13th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past thirteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,800 blog posts. Wow!   
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started thirteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3822nd 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:


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1933

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