Monday, March 31, 2014
Mae West: a visual pioneer in show business
In 1912, a Variety review of Mae West's act described her as "one of the many freak persons on the vaudeville stage where freakishness often carries more weight than talent, but Miss West should be coached to deliver the full value of her personality." Mae might have misinterpreted those last few words. When she appeared later at the American Roof with the Girard Boys, she wore a trick dress with a strap that broke easily, delivering the full value of her personality.
The manager of the Roof would yell, "Don't you realize I've got a family audience?" Mae would calmly shrug and insist she couldn't help it when her strap broke. Said Variety, "The gal was always making a dress adjustment."
--------------------It would be great to see a video of Mae West on stage with the Girard Boys, but instead enjoy her with Rock Hudson, dueting on "Baby, It's Cold Outside" during the 1958 Oscars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZUVP_nsRjw