The InFamous ‘Jewel Box Review’

WHAT? ….A DRAG

The Jewel Box Revue was a famous drag/female impersonator touring company that began in 1939 and ran well into the 1960s. Danny Brown and Doc Benner were lovers and longtime producers of the revue, and were said to be pretty tough customers who never backed down from a fight and were known to run a very tight ship. They were hard on their employees but could be brutal to anyone who messed with “their girls.” The show became incredibly popular throughout the United States. Stars of the revue such as Mr. Lynne Carter, whose talent and skill as a dancer was legendary, became quite famous and included the Rat Packer and toe-tapper Sammy Davis Jr. as a fan. The drag revue was most often comprised of “25 Men & One Girl.” The one girl was none other than Miss Storme DeLaviere who served as the sole male impersonator for the revue. Storme would garner iconic status within the LGBT community in 1969 for being one of the first people to fight back against police officers during the raid on the Stonewall Inn. The riots that followed would spark the modern gay-rights movement. Despite government crackdowns against gay performers and female impersonators, the revue successfully toured America and Canada for nearly 30 years. At the height of its popularity the revue headlined at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem to rave reviews. (Jewel Box Revue photos via QueerMusicHeritage. Click on photo to begin slide show.)The Jewel Box Revue was a famous drag/female impersonator touring company that began in 1939 and ran well into the 1960s. Danny Brown and Doc Benner were lovers and longtime producers of the revue, and were said to be pretty tough customers who never backed down from a fight and were known to run a very tight ship. They were hard on their employees but could be brutal to anyone who messed with “their girls.” The show became incredibly popular throughout the United States. Stars of the revue such as Mr. Lynne Carter, whose talent and skill as a dancer was legendary, became quite famous and included the Rat Packer and toe-tapper Sammy Davis Jr. as a fan. The drag revue was most often comprised of “25 Men & One Girl.” The one girl was none other than Miss Storme DeLaviere who served as the sole male impersonator for the revue. Storme would garner iconic status within the LGBT community in 1969 for being one of the first people to fight back against police officers during the raid on the Stonewall Inn. The riots that followed would spark the modern gay-rights movement. Despite government crackdowns against gay performers and female impersonators, the revue successfully toured America and Canada for nearly 30 years. At the height of its popularity the revue headlined at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem to rave reviews. (Jewel Box Revue photos via QueerMusicHeritage. Click 4slide show.) – – posted by ©Storme DeLarverie 

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One response to “The InFamous ‘Jewel Box Review’

  1. Pingback: The 2011 transatlantic diablog award

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