Monday, July 11, 2016

"The Prettiest Girl on Stage is a Man" is now live on Audible!

My latest release on Audible is a very interesting look at the role reversals of vaudeville entertainers.  The Prettiest Girl on Stage is a Man: Race and Gender Benders in American Vaudeville by Kathleen B. Casey is a mixture of arts & entertainment, and history.

"In this lively and enlightening study, Kathleen B. Casey explores the ways in which the gender- and race-bending spectacles of vaudeville dramatized the economic, technological, social, and cultural upheaval that gripped the United States in the early 20th century. She focuses on four key performers. Eva Tanguay, known as "The I Don't Care Girl", was loved for her defiance of Victorian decorum, linking white womanliness to animalistic savagery at a time when racial and gender ideologies were undergoing significant reconstruction. In contrast, Julian Eltinge, the era's foremost female impersonator, used race to exaggerate notions of manliness and femininity in a way that reinforced traditional norms more than it undermined them. Lillyn Brown, a biracial woman who portrayed a cosmopolitan black male dandy while singing about an antebellum southern past, offered her audiences, black and white, starkly different visual and aural messages about race and gender. Finally, Sophie Tucker, who often performed in blackface during the early years of her long and heralded career, strategically played with prevailing ideologies by alternately portraying herself as white, Jewish, black, manly, and womanly, while managing, remarkably, to convince audiences that these identities could coexist within one body."

To listen to a sample or purchase, head to Audible here


  1. It's a fascinating true story!

    Also have to say, love George's photo of Great Falls, a beautiful place.

    1. It sure is! So many people who were popular that I had never heard of except for Sophie Tucker.