Sophie, Totie, and Belle are no longer household names, but you can still draw straight lines from the blues singer Sophie Tucker, the '60s comedienne Totie Fields, and the borscht belt star Belle Barth to Bette Midler, Roseanne, and Joan Rivers, not to mention the dozens of lesser-known women comics, actresses, and performers they inspired. Like a three-headed personification of show biz these great -- and also enormous -- bawds of the American stage and nightclub scene embraced and made innovations in multiple theatrical conventions, from burlesque and vaudeville to nightclub and cabaret. Is it any wonder that someone decided to corral the... More >>>