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Last Minute Add On!!! Discount Seats to live HATTIE McDANIEL Stageplay

Actress Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win an Oscar from her portrayal of "Mammy" in "Gone With The Wind" (1939). She is also one of the few performers to garner TWO separate stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her famed acting career is one of the most intriguing -- and important -- chapters in all of Hollywood history. According to the New York Times, few people have told this story better than Vickilyn Reynolds (Bring In da Noise, Bring In da Funk) in her one-woman musical play, Hattie ... What I Need You to Know! which is now playing for its CLOSING WEEKEND at the cozy Theatre Asylum in Hollywood. This venue is one of the small, but very acclaimed store front theatres on L.A.'s theatre row on Santa Monica Blvd. between Vine Street and Cahuenga Blvd.

Armed with a gorgeous voice, boundless charm and a remarkable likeness to the late actress, Reynolds plays McDaniel at each stage of her incredible journey: from her start in a family of performers in Denver, to her years on the minstrelsy circuit, and finally her ascent to the heights of Hollywood stardom. At every step, Hattie ... What I Need You to Know! captures the trailblazer's genius with heart and soul.

Though regular admission tickets cost $25 at the door (subject to availability), you can purchase discounted tickets on the below Goldstar weblink for $16.50 (optional VIP tickets including premium seating and a beverage are also available for $22.50 instead of the regular $35 price). However, if you do not pre-purchase your tickets on Goldstar and do so at the theatre then the regular prices will prevail...

Parking: Primarily street parking is available near Theatre Asylum, so allow a little extra time to find a space and walk to the theatre.

Another one of McDaniel's small, but memorable and comedic roles was in CAREFREE, the screwball comedy Astaire/Rogers musical which we just attended last Saturday at the Egyptian.

Though many of our events do center around screenings, on occasion, it is good to occasionally break away from that format and participate in other kinds of events, theatre productions and other classic film-related activities. Sorry this is so last minute, but late is better than never!

INTERESTING SIDESTORY: McDaniel's impact on allowing African Americans to move into one part of the West Adams Heights neighborhood district later nicknamed "Sugar Hill"

As reported in Life Magazine, in 1938, African Americans who were willing and able to pay $15,000 and up for a Heights property, had begun moving into the old eclectic mansions. Many were movie folk—Actresses Louise Beavers, Hattie McDaniel, Ethel Waters, etc. They improved their holdings, kept their well-defined ways, quickly won more than tolerance from most of their white neighbors.

But some whites, refusing to be comforted, had referred to the original racial restriction covenant that came with the development of West Adams Heights back in 1902 which restricted "Non-caucasians" from owning property. For seven years they had tried to enforce it, but failed. Then they went to court ...
Superior Judge Thurmond Clarke decided to visit the disputed ground—popularly known as "Sugar Hill." ... Next morning, ... Judge Clarke threw the case out of court. His reason: "It is time that members of the Negro race are accorded, without reservations or evasions, the full rights guaranteed them under the 14th Amendment to the Federal Constitution. Judges have been avoiding the real issue too long."
Said Hattie McDaniel, of West Adams Heights: "Words cannot express my appreciation."

It was McDaniel, the most famous of the black homeowners, who helped to organize the black West Adams residents that saved their homes. Loren Miller, a local attorney and owner/publisher of the California Eagle newspaper represented the minority homeowners in their restrictive covenant case. In 1944, he had won the case Fairchild v Rainers, a decision for a black Pasadena, California, family that had bought a non-restricted lot but was sued by white neighbors anyway.

McDaniel had purchased her white two-story, seventeen-room house in 1942. The house included a large living room, dining room, drawing room, den, butler's pantry, kitchen, service porch, library, four bedrooms and a basement. McDaniel had a yearly Hollywood party. Everyone knew that the king of Hollywood, Clark Gable, could always be found at McDaniel's parties.

The late Ray Charles intentionally built his first Los Angeles recording studio on nearby Washington Blvd. and just a few blocks from that historic African American "Sugar Hill" neighborhood.

McDaniel's former home, which still exists, can be seen on South Harvard Blvd. off off W. 22nd Street, below the 10 Freeway, between Western Ave. & Normandie Ave.

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  • Jono

    Though this small production was a little rough around the edges--performer Vickilyn Reynolds showed great overall talent in writing the script and original songs for this show and interspersed some great historical photos and video segments which further enhanced the show. Most of the moviegoing public remembers McDaniel's movie roles, but few have had any opportunity to hear what she was like in real life and this show provided a few memorable insights into that.

    February 3, 2013

2 went

  • Jono
    Jono, Organizer,
    Event Host
  • A former member

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