Friday, August 02, 2019

Mae West: Enduring Misogyny

Like MAE WEST, Diane Arbus was a native New Yorker. An Australian stage play, inspired by their Los Angeles meeting and photo session, was widely reviewed. To commemorate Arbus’s untimely death, age 48, in summer (July 26, 1971), let’s ponder some of those critiques.
• • Let’s hear from another Australian drama critic now. This is Part 9 of of 10 segments.
• • In Stephen Sewell’s charming “Arbus and West,” feminism boils to the surface • •
• • the silent villain here is . . .  • •
• • Sandra D’Urso wrote: Here Sewell delivers a different kind of crime thriller that transcends the particulars of these characters’ lives. The silent villain is an enduring misogyny that sweeps across historical time like a nuclear explosion.
• • Sandra D’Urso wrote: Towards the end of the play, Arbus whispers a secret into West’s ear. It is a galvanising moment, where the pair become conspirators. After much suspicion and argument, West finally acquiesces to Arbus’s desire to photograph her candidly.
• • Sandra D’Urso wrote: It is as though the playwright is whispering to us. I can’t be sure of the message, but I suspect that Sewell has found a different way to be political with this play.
• • living in a dream state but yet trapped • • …
• • Sandra D’Urso’s review will be concluded on the next post with Part 10.
• • Source: The Conversation; published on Wednesday, 6 March 2019.
• • On Wednesday, 2 August 1944 • •
• • It was Wednesday, August 2nd and the applause rang out from the Shubert Theatre [225 West 44th Street], signaling the gala Broadway debut of "Catherine Was Great," when Mae West portrayed the Empress of Russia. Produced by Mike Todd, the show starred Mae as the Empress of Love who handled her men as skillfully as she handled affairs of state.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • In Hollywood, police raided an alleged "indecent" stage show and arrested James Timony, the business manager for Mae West, along with 13 of the cast of "Ladies by Request." The play had run for several weeks.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “I liked boys. Girls seemed a foolish investment of my time.”
• • Mae West said: "Sex is good for you."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Motion Picture Herald mentioned movie promotions for Mae West.
• • John Musselman, Rialto Theatre, Louisville — — Paramount, "Klondike Annie"
• • "Klondike Annie" downtown window displays with Mae West dresses. Fur stores displays. 1,000 line ads in newspapers. Special lobby display of Western camp. 25-24 sheets illuminated. Special trailer two weeks in advance. 25 live-size standees placed in prominent windows.
• • Special lobby displays two weeks in advance. 10,000 cut-outs of Mae West distributed in city. Special newspaper story four weeks in advance. Radio broadcast.
• • Soda fountain tie-up and filling station tie-up. Ten cent stores' windows and music counter tie-ups. Radio and night club tie-ups.  …
• • Source: Motion Picture Herald;  published on Saturday, 22 February 1936
• • 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 4270th 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 • photo by Diane Arbus in 1965

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