Saturday, February 2, 2008

Eustace Tilley Impersonates Vesta Tilley, Famous Male Impersonator

change of clothes
my husband turns into my mother
in a dream

DW Bender

Victorian gentleman's costume drawing of artist and dandy of dandies, Alfred Count D'Orsay, Irvan's model for Eustace Tilley:

Perfumes bear his name, as he was also a celebrated parfumeur. Click for D'Orsay in 3-D...a plaster statuette of the Count, probably as perfume advertisment.

Eustace Tilley as Vesta Tilley for The New Yorker, 2008 (spoof):

Tilley wearing monocle:Vesta Tilley as 'Burlington Bertie' of Bow:

Coincidental surname? Vesta Tilley, a famous and very popular (and happily married) English male impersonator, often played a dandy, singing and acting in theaters in New York.

More on Vesta/Eustace Tilley at my "I Play With Eustace Tilley" set at Flickr.

More info on Vesta Tilley on BTinternetand Wikipedia.

Interesting related excerpt from a book by Laurence Senelick, The Changing Room.

(Edit 2-10-08)Emily Gordon of EMDASHES—the New Yorker Between the Lines, writes a bl'article on Monkey Sox's Eustace-Vesta Tilley, "Eustace Tilley Inspired By Famous Male Impersonator?"

Chorus on the playbill in which Vesta Tilley sang this 'dandy' number:

"He has the latest thing in collars, the latest thing in ties,
The latest specimen of girly girls with the latest blue blue eyes,
He knows the latest bit of scandal, in fact he gave it birth,
But when it comes to getting up of mornings, he's the latest chap on earth."

"The Latest Chap on Earth.," written and composed by EW Rogers & performed by Miss Vesta Tilley.

A stage star in England and the United States for over 30 years, one of her most famous dandy-characters was "Burlington Bertie of Bow." When she came to the US for the fist time in 1912, she performed "The Piccadilly Johnny with the Little Glass Eye: "The most perfectly dressed young man in the house" (of which, 'eye' would refer to the dandy's monocle.

Edited February 9, 10.

1 comment:

---Michael--- said...

"The Dandy" in any age, and by any other name, is a specimen of (usually) young manhood, decked out to attract 1) attention 2) female admirers and 3) scoffers. Intentionally? Of course! All three. I believe such men dress in finery to stand apart and gaze down, and if a few rocks are thrown from below, well, I think that just confirms for the Dandy the basic incivility of the "lower" classes of men (which includes everyone but the Dandy himself).