Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Comediennes by Darryl and Tuezday Littleton

I read Comediennes: Laugh be a lady by Darryl and Tuezday Littleton, in exchange for review from Netgalley.com. The book was published by Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, in addition to Applause Books

Comediennes discusses female comediennes. From LaWanda Page to Lucille Ball to Josephine Baker to Fannie Brice to Ellen Degeneres, Whoppi Goldberg, and Mae West. The book starts out with a history of comedy. At first, comedy was delegated to the men. Men, dressed up like women on stage. Women were expected to stay at home, cook, clean, and produce babies, unless you was a lady of the night. A nun named Hvorithat helped start women in comedy. She wrote a few comedic, tragic plays. Nuns were allowed to do plays within the convents and before bishops and other officials. The early 16th century allowed non-nuns to perform on stage. Later female comedians popped up in England, France, and Italy. Finally America.

The book provides a history of female comedy. I loved this book. The book goes from the tragic comedies, to minstrel shows to slapstick comedy to burlesque. The book was enlightening. Highly recommend it.

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Please leave a comment. Thank you. Stacie