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Carroll Revue collection

Call Number: MS 1983

Scope and Contents

The Carroll Revue collection documents Carroll Wallace's troupe of female impersonators who began performing in California, as well as other locales, in or around 1954. The collection, which contains materials dating from approximately 1954 to 1961, is comprised largely of black-and-white photographs of drag artists and of performances staged by the Carroll Revue, including images of various international venues. Prints of performers are mostly studio portraits, proofs, and other publicity shots created by professional photographers, with the majority of images representing Carroll Wallace and a fewer number depicting other members of the Revue, such as Bobby Lane, Guy Doran, and Les-Lee. Portraits of other female impersonators, some of whom are identified, are also included in the collection, although their precise association with the Carroll Revue is unknown. In addition to photographic documentation, the collection contains a small amount of printed material, including a press clipping and two announcements in French about a performance by Carroll Wallace as “Guilda” at the Théâtre National in Montreal, Canada, and a Carroll Revue brochure. Correspondence is limited to a single item: an undated letter from Juan José to Carroll Wallace briefly describing a book about “Boy-lesque.”


  • circa 1954-1961

Language of Materials

The material is in English with some French.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Librarian for Gay and Lesbian Studies, 2011.


Arranged by record type.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The Carroll Revue was a California-based troupe of female impersonators, founded by drag artist Carroll Wallace in or around 1954, that performed in the United States and abroad. The collection documents the entertainers associated with, and performances staged by, the Revue from approximately 1954 to 1961. The collection is comprised principally of studio photographs, and includes a small amount of printed material consisting of two performance announcements, a brochure, and letter.

Biographical / Historical

The Carroll Revue, the subject of this collection, was a California-based performance troupe of female impersonators founded by drag artist Carroll Wallace in or around 1954. Wallace, who began performing in drag on Hollywood’s famed Sunset Strip, assembled and headed the stage show with the help of his wife Ruth, who acted as the show’s producer. Also known as the Carroll Wallace Follies and the Carroll Wallace Show, the Revue involved a number of performers—singers, dancers, and comedians—who took to the stage in a variety of female guises, donning an array of costumes. Members of the Revue included such performers as Bobby Lane, Guy Doran, Jackie Phillips, Russell Reed, Ray Saunders, and Les-Lee. The Carroll Revue traveled widely from its home base in the San Francisco Bay area, performing at such international venues as the Grand Opera House in Manila, Philippines, the Tivoli Circuit in Sydney, Australia, and the Latin Quarter in Tokyo, Japan. The well-known San Francisco night spot featuring acts by female impersonators, Finocchio’s, was also a regular stop on the Revue’s itinerary, along with such venues in the western United States as the Tropics Room in Portland, Oregon, the Rendezvous Club in Fairbanks, Alaska, and the Blue Note Night Club in Honolulu, Hawaii. When not performing with the Revue, Carroll Wallace appeared on stage as an emcee at Finocchio’s.

Guide to the Carroll Revue Collection
Under Revision
compiled by Suzanne Noruschat
March 2012
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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