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In recent years, of course, drag has witnessed a dramatic and widespread revival. Newsday recently observed, People are talking...
In recent years, of course, drag has witnessed a dramatic and widespread revival. Newsday recently observed, People are talking about all those fabulous heterosexual film idols who now can't seem to wait to get tarted up in drag and do their screen bits as fishnet queens. Drawing on a cinematic tradition popularized by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in Some Like it Hot, Dustin Hoffman (Tootsie) and Robin Williams (Mrs. Doubtfire) have each delighted mainstream audiences with their portrayals of women. Even former drag queens have experience newfound fame; witness the recent popularity of the late Divine, renowned for her oddly compelling appearances in underground John Waters films.
Music, too, has been profoundly influenced by drag sensibility, from David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust and the Rocky Horror Picture Show to Boy George and RuPaul (the self- proclaimed Supermodel of the World).
Tracing drag tradition from the Golden Age of stage transvestism during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I in England to the current quasi-drag inclinations of American grunge bands, Drag is an entertaining overview of this popular and complex medium.
Author of books on Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe, the late Roger Baker wrote on a wide range of cultural topics for an equally wide range of publications, from The Times to Gay News and Gay Times.
|Notes on Contributors|
|Pt. I||The Rise and Fall of the Female Impersonator|
|1||Out of the Chancel, Into the Street||23|
|2||No Place for a Lady||33|
|3||Acting Style and the Sound of Juliet||46|
|5||Onnagata and Tan||65|
|7||The Male Actress Takes Early Retirement||82|
|Pt. II||Fantasies, Fairies and Follies|
|1||Diplomats in Dresses||99|
|3||Shame in the Ladies' Morgue||121|
|4||The Things that Are Done by a Nun||134|
|Pt. III||The Rise and Rise of the Drag Queen|
|1||Enter Pursued by Laughter||161|
|2||Dames by the Dozen||172|
|3||All Legs and Limelight||184|
|4||Glamour Girls and Terrifying Termagants||199|
|5||Hollywood and Bust||225|