Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Mae West: Trollops, Gangsters

The drama critics in Great Britain and California have reviewed a revival of stage plays that were written by MAE WEST. But let’s go back in time to see what the critics of her own era had to say about her writing and acting. This review is from 1931 and it was published in Mae’s hometown newspaper during the Prohibition Era when a glass of gin or beer in a honky-tonk or a Harlem dive made the audience misty-eyed and nostalgic.
• • This is a review of “The Constant Sinner,”  Part 1.
• • Miss West Turns Her Novel Into Drama and Plays a Bum • •
• • Drama Critic Burns Mantle wrote: Mae West played a bum last night. In "The Constant Sinner," which had the Royale Theatre buzzing, Mae West played to a largely stag audience which had a snickering good time — — an audience which crowded back of the standing room rails to see Miss West do the expected.
• • Burns Mantle wrote:  In a pretentious production of sixteen scenes which travel swiftly on platform stages, peopled with trollops, gangsters, colored dope peddlers, prize fight followers and a lone millionaire just to lend a bit of tone Miss West devotes herself to the topic of sex. A forthright actress who shuns the diplomacy of double meanings, Miss West growls out lines that are only single in intent. It's only a minute after the curtain rises on a Harlem athletic club exterior when Miss West, as Babe Gordon, sways and bobs on stage in that patented gait of hers.
• • Babe Gordon at a Harlem athletic club • •  . . .
• • To be concluded tomorrow.
• • Source: Drama Review, p. 39, from The N.Y. Daily News; published on Wednesday, 16 September 1931
• • On Friday, 10 July 1931 • •
• • During July 1931 Mae West entered into a complex discussion with the Shuberts about a stage version of "The Constant Sinner," based on her bi-racial novel set in Harlem and published by Macauley in hardcover [November 1930].
• • The mainstage contracts were signed by Mae West the playwright (on Friday, 10 July 1931) and Mae West the Broadway star (on 20 August 1931).
• • When she brought her stage play "The Constant Sinner" to Atlantic City in August 1931, the crowds lined up for tickets, noted The New York Times.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Bad was good but bawdy was better for Mae West, the author of “Sex.”
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Look your best — — who said love is blind?"
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An Australian paper mentioned Mae West.
• • "My Little Chickadee" for Capitol Theatre • •
• • Stars Wrote Own Screenplay • •
• • Together Mae West and W. C. Fields wrote the screenplay for their first co-starring picture, "My Little Chickadee," which will be screened to-morrow at the Capitol Theatre.
• • They have given themselves the respective names of "Flower Belle Lee" and "Cuthbert J. Twillie" in the film, the most part of which is devoted to their efforts to trick each other.  . . .
• • Source: Article (p. 19) in The Sydney Morning Herald; published on Thursday, 11 July 1940
• • The evolution of 2 Mae West plays that keep her memory alive • • 
• • A discussion with Mae West playwright LindaAnn LoSchiavo — — 
• • http://lideamagazine.com/renaissance-woman-new-york-city-interview-lindaann-loschiavo/
• • 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 3,900 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fourteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3998th 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 1931

• • Feed — — http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MaeWest
  Mae West

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