Male Impersonators

Women impersonating men on the stage were not as common as men impersonating women. While female impersonators could really fool an audience, one veteran vaudeville player claims that male impersonators, no matter how good, still always looked female. One of the best, though, was Florrie Le Vere, who played Big Time circuits, traveled overseas (I found one mention of her first visit to Australia in 1928), and later in clubs and even some early television. But Joe Laurie, Jr., the vaudeville chronicler, claims there was a reason male impersonators died out while female impersonators have never lost their popularity. “It ceased to be a novelty to see a swell-shaped gal wearing men’s clothes, when all kinds and shapes of gals started walking around the streets in slacks; the way some of them looked in pants, they looked like neither men nor women!”

Here’s the only picture of  Florrie Le Vere I could find. She’s the “gal” on the right of her husband, song writer Lou Handman.

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