Listen, Friday, November 11, 2:30 pm, KPFA Radio
Is that old neighborhood guy a wheelchair-using amputee?
Or a man in an impeccably tailored formal gown with Oscar-caliber make-up and hair?
Robert Bouvard is both.
Robert Bouvard worked with the pioneering Jewel Box Revue, a female impersonation show that toured the Chitlin Circuit in the 1940s. The Jewel Box played New York’s Apollo Theater while Black Muslims on the sidewalk outside yelled, “Get the faggots out of Harlem.”
Later Bouvard worked in Hollywood and toured with many Broadway musicals, including “Hello Dolly” and “Phantom of the Opera.” Now, 85 years old, he lives in a three-room apartment with his good friend Suzie, tools his go-cart around town and enjoys his theatrical sensibility.