Monday, July 08, 2019

Mae West: Wanted to Kill

Like MAE WEST, Diane Arbus was a native New Yorker. A stage play, inspired by their Los Angeles meeting and photo session, was widely reviewed. To commemorate Arbus’s untimely death, age 48, in the month of July, let’s ponder some of those critiques.
• • Let’s hear from The N.Y. Times critic first. This is Part 5 of 7 excerpts.
• • Theater Review — — “When Mae West Met Diane Arbus” • •
• • Diane Arbus’s mental health issues • •
• • Laura Cappelle wrote: Diane Arbus’s mental health issues hang over the action, and the play is peppered with flash-forwards to the day West is told of the photographer’s suicide, seven years after their encounter. (Her initial response is: “Didn’t she have enough people that wanted to kill her?”)
• • Laura Cappelle wrote: Regardless, neither Mr. Sewell nor Diana Glenn, who plays Arbus, manage to quite capture what might have animated her in person. Her lines about photography are oddly bland: It is “an art,” we are told, that “reveals who we really are.” Arbus is “looking for the mythic in the everyday,” she adds. All undoubtedly true, but hardly revelatory.
• • Mae West has no qualms • • . . . 
• • Laura Cappelle’s review will be continued on the next post.
• • Source: N.Y. Times, stage review; published on Thursday, 21 March 2019.
• • On Monday, 8 July 1946 • •
• • Mae West's wisecracks delighted the critic for the Chicago Herald-American Copeland C. Burg.
• • On Monday, 8 July 1946, writing about her sense of humor in the play "Come On Up," Burg observed:  "We never knew how vulgar we were until we saw Mae West in this new play.  Laughing with Miss West may be vulgar, yet it is honest vulgarity, and there's nothing wrong with that."
• • July 2004: Mae West Blog launches • •
• • What are we up to, writing about the Brooklyn-born bombshell for fifteen years now?
• • We’re here to keep Mae mavens up to date, correct errors, celebrate each revival of a play she wrote, post the latest Westian stage and book reviews. And answer our fan mail!
• • The light’s still on. Come up and see Mae every day.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • No male actors made the covers of the fan magazines unless accompanied by a female star. Clark Gable was on the cover of Hollywood Movie Novels, supporting Jean Harlow, and on the cover of Modern Screen with Mae West, despite their being under contract to different studios. (That same issue, August 1933, also ran a competition offering cash prizes for the best answer to “Why Not Clark Gable as Mae West’s Screen Lover?”)
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Bodyguards look after me."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Associated Press mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West Stages Screen Comeback" • •
• • Hollywood, July 5, Associated Press — Mae West, who added a dash of hip-swinging when she revived the Lillian Russell era, is coming back to the screen after a two-year respite.
• • Associated Press wrote:  And if you should go up to see her sometime, you'd learn our "Diamond Lil" is going tropical.
• • Associated Press wrote: The blond Miss West (buxom only by costume) stated in an interview yesterday that she is already at work on a film with a hot country setting for Columbia Pictures.  Mexico will provide part of the background. …
• • Source: Associated Press; published on Monday, 5 July 1943
• • 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 15th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past fifteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 4,200 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fifteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4251st 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 — —
  Mae West

No comments:

Post a Comment