Friday, April 13, 2012

Catherine was Great

How did I miss this for so long? I'm a fan of Mae West, my FB pal Linda wrote a play and has a blog about Mae West and have been doing research on Catherine the Great for over a year now towards writing a play (The Rimsky-Korsakov Affair) and yet I only found out about Mae West's show Catherine was Great yesterday.

It ran for less than a year and the critics didn't like it much. Wolcott Gibbs in the New Yorker (access to the New Yorker's archives makes a subscription to the magazine a huge bargain) said:
It is almost impossible to reproduce the special accent that has made Miss West what she is or to describe her queer, boneless method of locomotion, but while they can be very comic in a girl who is saying "Whyn't you come up and see me sometime?," they are something else in an actress apparently under the serious impression that she is Empress of All the Russias. They just don't seem very regal, I guess.
Actually what's most interesting about the page that this review appears is the cartoon that appears with it. I don't know what the device is that the guy is supposed to be holding - doesn't it look like an iPhone to you? This cartoon is from 1944. But of course it can't be an iPhone - it wouldn't be a very funny joke for someone to try to talk into it. And of course his ear bud is plugged into the power port instead of the audio port.