Friday, August 10, 2018

Mae West: Ill Repute

Jill Watts, biographer of MAE WEST, a distinguished professor at CSUSM, and a talented author of books on Father Divine [1879—1965] and Hattie McDaniel [1895—1952], which has inspired a new film about the Oscar winner, has kindly consented to an exclusive interview with The Mae West Blog. This is Part 9.
• • no children ever performed in working class men’s saloons • •
• • JILL WATTS: I would agree it would be extremely, extremely unlikely that Mae West debuted at Neir’s Tavern as a child.  Turn-of-the-twentieth century working man’s leisure culture wouldn’t have welcomed children and women into such spaces (unless they were women of “ill-repute” as you have pointed out). 
• • JW: Her father may have frequented such a place — in looking at Neir’s history it was near a racetrack for a time.  But I agree her mother wouldn’t have put Mae on stage there (IF there was a stage back then). 
• • JW: I am sure that Hal Clarendon’s stock company never played in working class men’s saloons and that would be technically Mae’s professional debut.  It just wouldn’t be the kind of entertainment that appealed to such a crowd.
• • When Mae was young • • . . .
• • This exciting interview with Prof. Jill Watts will be continued on the next post.
• • Recommended Reading: “Mae West: An Icon in Black and White” by Jill Watts [Oxford University Press; paperback edition, 2003]; 400 pages.
• • On Monday, 10 August 1936 • •
• • Production of "Klondike Annie" starring Mae West began on Monday, 10 August 1936 and was finished by September.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • A party of 50 AIF and RAAF officers and men went up last night and saw Mae West in person.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "A quiet country estate would bore me. I'm a city gal and I like rackets — — and I don't mean what you think."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An ad for "I'm No Angel" in August 1934 said this:
• • Castle Theatre, Newcastle, Wyoming — Last Time Tonight: Thursday, August 9th — Mae West in "I'm No Angel" — A vehicle for Mae West which fits every curve of her fascinating personality.  Her blinding swift wit is ever present.
• • Source: The News Letter Journal in Wyoming; published on Thursday, 9 August 1934
• • The evolution of 2 Mae West plays that keep her memory alive • • 
• • A discussion with Mae West playwright LindaAnn LoSchiavo — — 
• •
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 14th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past fourteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 4,000 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fourteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4021st 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 1934

• • Feed — —
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