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Storme
The Lady of the Jewel Box
A film by Michelle Parkerson
1987, 21 minutes, Color, 16mm/DVD
Order No. W99114
“It ain’t easy…being green” is the favorite expression of Storme DeLarverie, a woman whose life flouted prescriptions of gender and race. During the 1950’s and 60’s she toured the black theater circuit as a mistress of ceremonies and the sole male impersonator of the legendary Jewel Box Revue, America’s first integrated female impersonation show and forerunner of La Cage aux Folles. The multiracial revue was a favorite act of the Black theater circuit and attracted mixed mainstream audiences from the 1940s through the 1960s, a time marked by the violence of segregation. Parkerson finds Storme in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, now working as a bodyguard at a women’s bar and still singing in her deep silky voice with an “all girl” band. Through archival clips from the past, STORME looks back on the grandeur of the Jewel Box Revue and its celebration of pure entertainment in the face of homophobia and segregation. Storme herself emerges as a remarkable woman, who came up during hard times but always “kept a touch of class.”



AWARDS, FESTIVALS, & SCREENINGS

  • Maysles Cinema
  • Berlin Film Festival
  • London, NY, SF, LA and Chicago Lesbian and Gay Film Festivals
  • Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta

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QUOTES

    "Pays homage to this exceptional woman while disclosing the illusions inherent in notions of gender."
    Martha Gever

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us