The Blue Dahlia [drag show poster and program]
The Blue Dahlia [drag show poster and program]

The Blue Dahlia [drag show poster and program]

Chicago: The Blue Dahlia, 1967 & ca. 1967. 22 x 15 1⁄2 in. unfolded. Offset program/poster. Very good. Folded four times horizontally, as issued. 11 x 8 1⁄2 in. Offset on glossy paper. Very good with bumping at edges and 1⁄2 in. closed tear at bottom edge not obstructing image or text. Item #5822

Large program and poster for a drag show at the Blue Dahlia, together with a playbill for another series of shows at the club featuring several of the same performers. The Blue Dahlia, a struggling square bar in the 1950s, began hosting drag shows in the early 1960s and, backed by the mob, became a center of the “female impersonators” performance scene throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s.

This superbly designed program features photographs of dancers in various states of undress. The group performed three shows a day Tuesday through Sunday, with two shows on Saturday. Includes sheet advertising the show “Turn About Follies of 1967” with Cara Montez and Jan Sutton, two of the Dahlias advertised in the larger fold-out poster brochure, with a comedy show promoted on verso.

Two rare artifacts from this landmark of queer history in Chicago.

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